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James Monroe On New Years Day 1825 at the last of his annual White House receptions President James Monroe made a pleasing impression upon a Virginia lady who shook his hand He is tall and well formed His dress plain and in the old style His manner was quiet and dignified From the frank honest expression of his eye I think he well deserves the encomium passed upon him by the great Jefferson who said Monroe was so honest that if you turned his soul inside out there would not be a spot on it Born in Westmoreland County Virginia in 1758 Monroe attended the College of William and Mary fought with distinction in the Continental Army and practiced law in Fredericksburg Virginia President Bush Biography Vice President Cheney Biography Laura Bush Biography Lynne Cheney Biography As a youthful politician he joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution and in 1790 an advocate of Jeffersonian policies was elected United States Senator As Minister to France in 1794-1796 he displayed strong sympathies for the French cause later with Robert R Livingston he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase His ambition and energy together with the backing of President Madison made him the Republican choice for the Presidency in 1816 With little Federalist opposition he easily won re-election in 1820 Monroe made unusually strong Cabinet choices naming a Southerner John C Calhoun as Secretary of War and a northerner John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State Only Henry Clays refusal kept Monroe from adding an outstanding Westerner Early in his administration Monroe undertook a goodwill tour At Boston his visit was hailed as the beginning of an Era of Good Feelings Unfortunately these good feelings did not endure although Monroe his popularity undiminished followed nationalist policies Across the facade of nationalism ugly sectional cracks appeared A
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