QUICK FACTS

Nickname: Last Cocked Hat

Years in office: 1817–1825

Political party: Democratic-Republican

Birthday: April 28, 1758

Official presidential portrait of James Monroe

by Samuel F. B. Morse, ca. 1819

Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze, 1851 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

You have likely seen this iconic painting before, but did you know there are two future presidents depicted here? Washington takes center stage in this painting, leading his men across the Delaware on December 25, 1776.  But, next to him, holding the flag, is James Monroe. It isn’t perfectly accurate (Monroe and Washington were actually on different boats), but it does bring to light the Revolutionary War service of our fifth president.

Check out the map below to learn more.

James Monroe was the last of the Virginia Dynasty who served as president during our founding era. The Federalist party had all but disappeared. Monroe, a framer of the Constitution and Revolutionary War hero, easily won.

President Monroe ran unopposed in this election. Only one elector cast a vote for John Quincy Adams, possibly to protect the legacy of the unanimously elected Washington, or possibly because he did not like Monroe.

BIRTHPLACE

Colonial Beach, VA 

HOME

Highland, Charlottesville, VA

CROSSING THE DELAWARE

Washington Crossing, PA

GRAVESITE

Richmond, VA

BOOKS

Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.

WEBSITES

Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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