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senate of the United States in his place, and took his seat in that body in 1790. In this station he continued until 1794, acting with the anti-federal party in opposition to Washington's administration, as did Mr. Madison and most of the Virginia delegation in Congress. The French epublican government having requested the recall of Gouverneur Morris, American minister to France, General Washington complied with their wishes, as also those of the democratic party in Congress, and appointed Mr. Monroe the successor of Mr. Morris, in May, 1794. He was received with distinguished favor in France by the government and people, but the course he pursued during his residence at the capital of that republic was not conformable to the views of neutrality entertained by General Washington, who therefore recalled him in 1796, and sent Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in his place.

On his return to the United States, Mr Monroe published a volume in explanation of his views and proceedings relative to his mission to France, vindicating his own course, and censuring the policy of the administration toward the French republic.


He, however, did not cherish any animosity toward General Washington, but at a subsequent period he joined with his countrymen in acknowledging the merits and perfect integrity of that great man. also did ample justice to the character of John Jay, who negotiated his celebrated treaty with Great Britain about the same time that Mr. Monroe visited France. Although opposed to the treaty made by Mr. Jay, and to his political views generally, Mr. Monroe left on record in his own handwriting, an unqualified testimonial to the pure patriotism, the pre-eminent ability, and the spotless integrity of John Jay.

Shortly after his return from France, Mr. Monroe was chosen to the legislature, and in 1799 he was elected by that body governor of Virginia, where he served for the term of three years, then limited by the constitution of the state.

In 1803, President Jefferson appointed Mr. Monroe envoy extraordinary to France, to act jointly with Mr. Livingston, then resident minister at Paris, to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans, or a right of depot for the United States on the Mississippi. He was also associated with Mr. Charles Pinckney, then resident minister at Madrid, to negotiate terms also with Spain relative to Louisiana.

We have, in our notice of Mr. Jefferson's administration, given an account of the purchase of Louisiana by the United States, of France. That country had been ceded by Spain to France, and Mr. Monroe, upon his arrival in France, found a most favorable conjuncture for the accomplishment of the mission, in being enabled to obtain for his country the possession, not only of New Orleans, but of the whole province of Louisiana. The treaty was concluded within a fortnight after the arrival of Mr. Monroe at Paris, and after the conclusion of the negotiation he

proceeded to London, where he was also commissioned to act as successor to Mr. Rufus King, who had resigned.

Here he sought to obtain a conventional arrangement for the protection of American seamen against impressment, and for the protection of neutral rights; but in the midst of these discussions he was called away to the discharge of his mission to Spain.

In the transfer of Louisiana to France by Spain, and to the United States by France, the boundaries of the province were not defined. Spain was encouraged to dispute the extent of the province, and she sought to reduce it to a territory of small dimensions. A controversy arose between the United States and Spain, at one time threatening war, and for the purpose of attempting an adjustment of these difficulties Mr. Monroe proceeded to Madrid. His efforts, joined with those of Mr. Pinckney, were unsuccessful, and the controversy was left unsettled.

Mr. Monroe was then recalled to London to maintain our rights as neutrals, against the systematic encroachment of Great Britain. He was there joined by Mr. William Pinkney, who had then been recently sent from the United States, as minister to England. A whig ministry being then in power in Great Britain, with the friendly feelings of that party toward the United States, Messrs. Monroe and Pinkney were enabled to negotiate a treaty, in 1807, which, although not as favorable as they would have wished, was considered by those envoys as advantageous to the United States. As the treaty was clogged with certain conditions which were deemed by President Jefferson inadmissible, it was not submitted by him to the senate, but sent back to England for revisal. The British cabinet, however, had been changed, and Mr. Canning, the secretary for foreign affairs, refused to resume the negotiation. The mission of Messrs. Monroe and Pinkney was now at an end. Mr. Monroe, after a short detention, in consequence of the difficulty which grew out of the affair of the Chesapeake frigate, returned to the United States in 1807.

For a considerable time Mr. Monroe felt dissatisfied with his friend, President Jefferson, in consequence of his rejection of the treaty with Great Britain without consulting the senate, and also from an impression that the president's influence was exerted in favor of Mr. Madison as his successor to the presidency. Mr. Jefferson, in his correspondence with Mr. Monroe, explained his course with regard to the rejection of the treaty, and declared his intention to remain perfectly neutral between his two friends who were named to succeed him. The Virginia legislature settled their respective claims to the presidency, by deciding in favor of Mr. Madison, in which decision Mr. Monroe and his friends acquiesced.

In 1811 he was again elected governor of Virginia, but continued but a short time in that station, for upon the resignation of Robert Smith, he was appointed by Mr. Madison secretary of state. This office he continued to hold during the remainder of Mr. Madison's administration.

After the capture of Washington city, and the resignation of General Armstrong, Mr. Monroe was appointed to the war department, without, however, resigning as secretary of state. In this station he exhibited a remarkable energy and boldness of character. He found the treasury exhausted, and the public credit prostrated; while the enemy, relieved from his war with France, was preparing to turn his numerous armies, flushed with victory over the legions of Napoleon, against the United States. The first duty of the secretary of war was to prepare for the new campaign, and this he was enabled to do by the now excited spirit of the country. The army already authorized by acts of Congress, if the regiments were full, numbered 60,000 men, which Mr. Monroe proposed to increase by the addition of 40,000, and to levy new recruits by draughting from the whole mass of able-bodied men in the United States. This proposition, which was considered an imitation of the French mode of conscription long practised by Napoleon, and would inevitably have lost him the favor of the people, he felt it to be his duty to make, and had intended, in case of the continuance of the war, to withdraw his name from the presidential canTo two or three friends he disclosed his feelings on this occasion, in confidence, and had authorized them to publish his intention of declining a nomination as successor to Mr. Madison, when the conclusion of peace rendered the increase of the army unnecessary, and therefore removed the objections to his being a candidate for president.


Toward the end of the year 1814, Mr. Monroe's attention, as secretary of war, was most urgently called to the defence of New Orleans, against which a powerful fleet and army had been despatched. To raise the funds for the defence of this important point, Mr. Monroe was compelled to pledge his private credit, as subsidiary to that of the government, which then was at a low ebb. By this act of devotion he was enabled to furnish the necessary supplies; New Orleans was successfully defended, and the entire defeat of the British army under General Packenham terminated the war in a manner honorable to the American arms.

A new series of duties now awaited Mr. Monroe. Upon the conclusion of peace he resumed his station in the department of state, and as the longtried friend and confidential adviser of Mr. Madison, he was called to the arduous task of deciding upon those measures which aimed at the re-establishment of the public credit, and to place the country in a better state of preparation, in case she should be called upon again to assert her rights by an appeal to arms. Our foreign relations, which had been partially suspended during the war, were to be renewed, and the domestic policy of the United States required to be modified so as to adapt it to the great changes which had been produced by the general pacification of Europe. In the performance of the arduous duties imposed upon him at this period, Mr. Monroe had the good fortune to be sustained by public opinion, and with that auxiliary he lent his zealous co-operation to Mr. Madison in es

tablishing the system of internal policy, adopted after the close of the war, and continued it with new and enlarged features after his election as president of the United States, in 1817.

In 1816, Mr. Monroe received the nomination of the democratic party, through their representatives in Congress, for president of the United States. With that party he had uniformly acted, under the various names of anti-federal, democratic, and republican, and by them was he elected, in 1816, chief magistrate of the nation, to succeed Mr. Madison, on the 4th of March, 1817. Previous to entering on the duties of his high office, he was advised by General Jackson, with whom he was on the most friendly terms, to disregard former party divisions in the formation of his cabinet, and to use his influence and power to destroy party spirit, by appointing the best men to office, without regard to their political preferences. This course Mr. Monroe declined to pursue, confining his appointments generally, as did his predecessors Jefferson and Madison, to those who professed his own political faith, and excluding federalists from office, with but few exceptions.

In other respects the policy of Mr. Monroe was liberal and satisfactory to men of all parties, excepting, perhaps, the ardent supporters of a system of internal improvements, who regretted the adherence of the president to a strict construction of the constitution on that subject. On many points the policy of Mr. Monroe's administration resembled that of the federal school established in the early stages of the government under the auspices of Washington and Hamilton. The perfecting of the establishment of a national bank, of the plan for the gradual discharge of the public debt, of the system of fortifying the coast and increasing the navy, and of encouraging by adequate protection the manufactures and arts of the country, formed essential parts of the policy referred to, adopted at the close of Mr. Madison's administration, and continued by that of Mr. Monroe. To these measures Mr. Monroe, finally, after long deliberation, and with the entire concurrence of his whole cabinet, sanctioned by repeated demonstrations of Congress, determined to add a system of internal improvement, thus yielding his own scruples to advance the interests of the nation. This was done on the 30th of April, 1824, when the act appropriating $30,000 for the survey of such routes for canals and public roads as the president might direct, received his sanction.

Among the measures which distinguished the administration of Mr. Monroe, was the negotiation of the treaty which added Florida to the Uniten States. This cession secured to the nation all the territory north of Mexico; and it was negotiated with great propriety by one who had borne so conspicuous a part in the acquisition of Louisiana.

In 1817 the president made a tour through a large portion of the northern and middle states, which elicited a general expression of kindness, respect, and courtesy from the people.

Mr. Monroe was re-elected president in 1820, with more unanimity than any one since Washington, receiving every vote of the electoral colleges of the United States, except one, and ended his career in the service of the federal government on the 3d of March, 1825. He then retired to his residence in Loudon county, Virginia, where he was shortly after appointed a county magistrate, the duties of which office he continued to discharge until his departure for the city of New York. He was also appointed curator of the university of Virginia; and in 1830, having been elected a member of the convention called to revise the constitution of that state, he was unanimously chosen to preside over its deliberations Before the close of its labors, however, he was compelled by severe indisposition to retire, and in the succeeding summer removed to New York, to take up his abode with his son-in-law, Mr. Samuel L. Gouverneur. There he remained, surrounded by filial solicitude and tenderness, until, on the fifty-fifth anniversary of the nation's birth (July 4, 1831), he terminated his earthly career, in the 72d year of his age; furnishing another striking coincidence, which, as in the instance of the simultaneous deaths of Adams and Jefferson, on the same day, five years previous, afforded occasion for grave reflection, and seemed pregnant with some mysterious moral lesson to a nation whose attention was thus forcibly directed to the act which, while it gave it birth as an independent community, also served to mark the commencement of a new era in the history of the world.

Mr. Monroe left only two children, both daughters, one the widow of George Hay, Esq., of Richmond, the other the wife of Samuel L. Gouverneur, Esq., of New York. Mrs. Monroe died but a short time before her venerable husband.

Though in the course of his life he had received from the public treasury, for his services, $358,000, he retired from office deeply in debt. He was, however, relieved at last by the adjustment by Congress of his claims, founded chiefly on the disbursements made during the war.

In his personal appearance Mr. Monroe was tall and well formed, being about six feet in stature, with light complexion, and blue eyes. His countenance had no indications of superior intellect, but an honesty and firmness of purpose which commanded respect, and gained favor and friendship. He was laborious and industrious, and doubtless compensated in some degree by diligence, for slowness of thought and want of imagi nation. His talents, however. were respectable, and he was a fine specimen of the old school of Virginia gentlemen, generous, hospitable, and devoted to his country, which he did not hesitate to serve to the utmost of his ability, through a long life, and his career was highly honorable, useful, and worthy of admiration.

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