The Duel that Never Was:
James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton,
and (wait for it . . .) Aaron Burr
by Scott Harris
August 1797 was a trying month for James Monroe. One year earlier, he had been recalled as United States minister to France after a tumultuous tenure, during which his desire to strengthen ties between the two countries had collided with the efforts of George Washington’s administration to improve relations with Great Britain. Monroe’s public embarrassment was but one of the incidents of increasing political conflict between the emerging Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties. As a leading figure in the latter faction, Monroe added fuel to the fire by preparing a pamphlet defending his French mission and engaging in an acrimonious correspondence with Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, among others.
 
During the hot August days in Philadelphia, Monroe’s pen scratched out more than defense of his conduct as an ambassador. He was also engaged in a series of letters with two men well known to him, and to each other—Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. While politics figured heavily in this correspondence, so, too, did sexual misconduct, personal honor, and the prospect of death.

31st Annual James Monroe Lecture
Speaking of Hamilton...Dr. Joanne B. Freeman, whose research on political combat provided background and inspiration for the song “Ten Duel Commandments” in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton , will be the 2018 James Monroe Lecturer! Dr. Freeman is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, specializing in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. Her new book, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence in Antebellum America , explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress between 1830 and the Civil War, and what it suggests about the institution of Congress, the nature of American sectionalism, the challenges of a young nation’s developing democracy, and the longstanding roots of the Civil War.

You won't want to miss this fascinating presentation “Dirty, Nasty Politics in James Monroe’s America” so mark your calendars now for the 31st James Monroe Lecture on Thursday, November 8, 7:00-9:00 PM, in Monroe Hall room 116 on the University of Mary Washington campus. (The previous version of the newsletter that was sent out did not have the complete lecture title. We apologize for the mistake!)
Upcoming Programs
Friday, August 3, 6:00-8:00 PM
First Friday - Sketchy History
Location: James Monroe Museum

Join us for The James Monroe Museum’s version of Win, Lose or Draw™ on the First Friday of August! Practice your drawing skills and review your history books for an evening of fun team play. Categories used in the game are Historic People, Historic Objects or Documents, Historic Events, and Historic Places. Bring along a team or join one at the program. Free and family-friendly. Snacks provided, cash bar. 
Friday, September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM
First Friday - History Trivia Night
Location: James Monroe Museum

Join us for The James Monroe Museum’s History Trivia Night featuring Celebrity Quizmaster Dr. Troy Paino, tenth President of the University of Mary Washington. Dr. Paino earned doctorate and master’s degrees in American studies from Michigan State University. He holds a law degree from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Evangel College.
His teaching and scholarly interests include American higher education, 20th-century cultural and social history and American legal history. He has written extensively on the history of American sports and published his book, The Social History of the United States: 1960s, in 2008.

History Trivia Night features three rounds of questions, with each round focused on different historical topics (not limited to presidential trivia). Bring your own team, join one at the program, or be your own one-person team!

Admission, participation, and snacks are free. There will be a cash bar and a 50/50 raffle.
Saturday, September 15, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM
29th Fredericksburg Welsh Festival
Location: 900 block of Charles St.

This popular street festival honors all things Welsh, including the Welsh ancestry of James Monroe (through his mother, Elizabeth Jones). Craft and food vendors; traditional Welsh music; Welsh country dancing; storytelling; and presentations on Welsh culture, language, and history are all part of this downtown tradition. James Monroe will be returning to the festival again this year, as will Fredericksburg’s Red Dragon Brewery! The festival is co-sponsored by the Welsh Society of Fredericksburg and the James Monroe Museum. Admission is a suggested donation of $5/adult or $1/child.
Saturday, September 15, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
UMW Family Weekend
Location: UMW Campus
If you’re planning to attend UMW’s Family Weekend celebrations on Saturday, September 15, look for us! JMM will have a pop-up Museum on Ball Circle between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. We will also be your source for Family Weekend t-shirts! The full schedule for Family Weekend activities is here .
Friday, October 5, 6:00-8:00 PM
First Friday - Tavern Night
Location: James Monroe Museum

For the second year, the Ship’s Company Chanteymen will lead us in a boisterous night of merriment and songs of yore! All will be invited to join in the chorus or even lead a chantey or two! It is a great treat to see this jolly band of merrymakers who have been seen and heard up and down the east coast of the United States.

Admission and participation are free. There will be a variety of Virginia beers available for purchase at the cash bar!
Thursday, October 11, 6:00-8:00 PM
Discovering James Monroe: Archaeology at Highland
Location: James Monroe Museum

Virginia Archaeology Month provides the context for this program on discoveries under the soil at James Monroe’s Albemarle County farm, by Highland executive director Sara Bon-Harper.

If you were unable to attend one of our lectures or special presentations, like our Monroe Conversations: First Ladies program featuring a conversation between Elizabeth Monroe and Dolley Madison, you can still enjoy them on our YouTube channel!




Updates from The Papers of James Monroe
We are pleased to announce The Papers of James Monroe has received a one-year grant of $42,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (an agency of the United States National Archives). This award supplements a three-year $300,000 grant received last year from the National Endowment for the Humanities. To date The Papers of James Monroe has published six of ten volumes of selected letters and papers documenting the life and career of the fifth president of the United States.
Claire Dwyer has joined the staff of The Papers of James Monroe as a summer hire transcribing nineteenth-century manuscripts into digital typescripts. Originally from Newsoms, Virginia, Dwyer is a rising senior at the University of Mary Washington. Majoring in English, she has decided to concentrate in creative writing. Dwyer would like to express her gratitude to The Papers of James Monroe for affording her this opportunity. Welcome, Claire!
What's In Store?
Hand cooked Virginia Peanuts from The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg
All of The Peanut Shop’s Virginia peanuts are prepared in small batches, using time-honored recipes, then hand cooked in pure golden peanut oil.
 
The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg has been carefully selecting and hand roasting the finest gourmet peanuts in Virginia for more than 40 years. After all those years they still honor the same traditional recipe, roasting only the “cream of the crop” super extra-large peanuts.
Plump, meaty peanuts cooked in golden peanut oil with no additives or preservatives to alter the natural goodness – which is why their hand cooked

Virginia Peanuts have become the standard by which all fine peanuts are judged.

The Museum Store offers lightly salted peanuts in 2-ounce bags, 4-ounce or 10.5-ounce cans, or milk chocolate-covered peanuts in a 7-ounce can.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent chocolate-covered peanuts.
 
These fabulous chocolate peanuts are made with the best-selling hand cooked Virginia Peanuts that are then double dipped in luscious milk chocolate. If you love chocolate nuts, we've got you covered!
   
Not only are they simply good, they are simply healthy – something peanut lovers have suspected for years!

We look forward to seeing you in the Store!
Curator's Corner
This month’s featured artifacts are three circa 1800 soft paste Lowestoft plates. Decorated with a pale turquoise border with black cross-hatched decorations, these plates feature three polychromed, trailing floral sprays, one large and two small, of various blossoms with leaves. The Lowestoft Porcelain Factory was located in the fishing port of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.
In the 16th century, Portuguese traders began importing blue and white porcelain from China. Europeans became enamored with the exotic ceramic’s translucent body and masterful overglaze artistry. The race was on to discover its secrets. Experimentation began in Germany, Italy, and France to reproduce true porcelain, impelled by the patronage of upper class enthusiasts desiring to create a European product. The recipe and process was unknown to Europeans, and early attempts were unsuccessful. Potters tried multiple combinations of ingredients, including lime and soapstone. Potters also speculated that the formula included glass due to the rigidity and translucence of the ceramic body.  The first venture to produce a moderately comparable product was the Medici porcelain manufactory in Florence, Italy, in 1575. Patronized by Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Medici factory crafted what became known as soft paste porcelain. Soft paste was distinguished from Chinese porcelain in several decided ways. The body is less glassy in texture, and not as uniformly translucent. It is also milder in appearance with less rigidity. However, it was comparable enough to Chinese porcelain that a demand emerged for the product, and other manufactories such as the Rouen manufactory in France and the Lowestoft Porcelain Factory in England began generating soft paste porcelain for the European market.
The recipe for hard-paste porcelain remained elusive to Europeans until the early 17th century. In 1708 Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus successfully replicated hard-paste porcelain, and a manufactory was established at Meissen near Dresden, Germany.  The Meissen porcelain factory was the first to produce hard-paste porcelain on a significant scale. Fired at a higher temperature than the soft-paste variety, hard-paste, or true porcelain was comparable in quality to Chinese imports. The European porcelain industry flourished, spreading to factory centers such as Royal Worcester in England and the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in France. By the mid-1700s European porcelain was widely imported into America. With the ascent of Paris as a ceramics manufacturing center at the turn of the 19th century, James Monroe would have been particularly aware of fine porcelain during his diplomatic missions to France. As a public servant of considerable stature, it was essential for Monroe to adorn his dinner parties with appropriate ceramic services. Indeed, Monroe carried the influence of hard-paste European porcelain with him to the White House, securing dessert and dinner services from Parisian manufactories and embracing the French aesthetic.

Come see our Lowestoft plates currently on display in “Dynamic Ceramics, Selections from the James Monroe Museum Collection.”

Blue Star Museums
The James Monroe Museum is proud to participate in the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. The program allows for free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and up to five family members from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, September 3 . The James Monroe Museum is also glad to extend the Blue Star admission to include veterans and U.S. military retirees, and up to five of their family members. A valid U.S. government issued ID must be presented to qualify for the Blue Star program
Friends of the
James Monroe Museum

Members of the Friends of the James Monroe Museum help make it possible for us to conserve the artifacts in our collection, create new exhibits for their display, and plan and implement public programming that provides opportunities to share the life and legacy of James Monroe with our community.

View the information about the benefits of membership, and learn how to become a Friend of the James Monroe Museum today!

Museum Hours

Bring along a lunch when you're visiting the James Monroe Museum and enjoy it in a tranquil setting! The James Monroe Museum is open Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Sundays 1:00-5:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you soon!



The James Monroe Museum
908 Charles St.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
540-654-1043