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James Monroe Law Office

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Built  1786
VLR #  111-0066
Opened  1786
Added to NRHP  13 November 1966
NRHP Reference #  66000917
Designated NHL  November 13, 1966
Phone  +1 540-654-1043
James Monroe Law Office
Location  908 Charles Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Part of  Fredericksburg Historic District (#71001053)
Address  908 Charles St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, USA
Hours  Closed now Saturday10AM–5PMSunday1–5PMMonday10AM–5PMTuesday10AM–5PMWednesday10AM–5PMThursday10AM–5PMFriday10AM–5PM
Similar  Gari Melchers Home, Mary Washington House, University of Mary Washington, Rising Sun Tavern, Ken
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The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library is a historic museum at 908 Charles Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is located on the site of the James Monroe Law Office, used by future United States President James Monroe from 1786 to 1789. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. It is now owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and operated by the University of Mary Washington. The museum features original objects and memorabilia related to James Monroe, and includes several items relating to other members of his family, including dresses worn by First Lady Elizabeth Monroe.

Description and history

The Monroe Museum is located in central Fredericksburg, on the west side of Charlest Street, between William and George Streets. It is housed in a two-part building that is roughly L-shaped. The older portion is a long 1-1/2 story brick structure, with a gabled roof, built in 1758. To this is attached a larger 1-1/2 story square brick building dating to 1964, when the museum and library were organized. The addition houses Monroe memorabilia, and a small library containing volumes similar to those that might have been in Monroe's library. The museum also houses a collection of furnishings and other artifacts belonging to the Monroes, although most date to the 19th century.

The outside includes a memorial garden to James Monroe, which features a bust of him sculpted by Margaret French Cresson, daughter of Daniel Chester French.

This building housed the law office of the future United States President James Monroe from 1786 to 1789. Monroe had prior to this time served in the Virginia House of Delegates, and in the Congress of the Confederation, from which he resigned in 1786, dissatisfied with the politics of that body. In 1788 he was involved in the delegate to the Virginia convention on the adoption of the United States Constitution, which he opposed.

Monroes's law office was acquired in 1928 by Laurence Hoes, a Monroe family descendant who established the Monroe Foundation to manage the property. He accumulated a variety of artifacts related to his illustrious ancestor, restored the property, and opened it as a museum. In 1964 the addition was built, and the Monroe Foundation gave the property to the state. It is now managed by a board consisting of members of the Monroe Foundation and the regents of the University of Mary Washington.

References

James Monroe Law Office Wikipedia


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