James Monroe was born April 28, 1758, at the family plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Monroe was only 16 years old when he left home for college, but two years later, he left college to fight in the Revolutionary War. He rose to the rank of major, and Washington called him a courageous soldier. He married Elizabeth Kortright on February 16, 1786, and they had two girls, Eliza and Martha.
A good friend and hunting partner of James Madison, Monroe was elected President in 1816. He was a Democratic-Republican and Daniel D. Tomkins was his Vice President.
As America expanded in the years following victory in the War of 1812, Monroe enunciated “The Monroe Doctrine,” warning European Countries not to advance on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. During Monroe’s terms, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise bill, banning west of the Mississippi River above the southern line of Missouri. Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri became the 20th-24th states to join the union.
As President, his term in office became known as the “Era of Good Feeling” because the country was at peace and the President was popular.
Monroe died on July 4, 1831, exactly 55 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.