Join Us for Exciting February Programs!
Friday, February 1, 6:00-7:30 PM
First Friday Sketchy History
Location: James Monroe Museum

Join the fun at JMM’s family-friendly version of Win, Lose or Draw™. Categories used in the game are: historic people; historic objects or documents; historic events; and historic places. Bring along a team, or join one when you arrive. There is no admission fee to participate. There will be a cash bar, and free snacks.
Monday, February 18, 6:00-8:00 PM
Annual Presidents' Day Monroe Conversations
Location: Monroe Hall, Room 116,
University of Mary Washington
Join Ed Jones, former editor of the Free Lance-Star , for a "Meet the President" style interview with James Monroe (historical interpreter James "Jay" Harrison III)!

The program will be followed by a reception and opportunity to meet President Monroe.
Thursday, February 28, 7:00-8:30 PM
Black History Month Program - Florida Bound: James Monroe’s Slaves
Location: Monroe Hall, Room 116,
University of Mary Washington

In 1828 James Monroe sold of a group of enslaved people to Joseph Mills White in Florida, who owned the plantation Casa Bianca. Miranda Burnett and Martin Violette delved into records and found that Casa Bianca was not a typical plantation. The establishment of Casa Bianca in Jefferson County, Florida (near the town of Monticello) involved a President, two congressmen, a slave ship, and the richest man in America. However, the majority of the population living and working at Casa Bianca were enslaved men, women, and children. Burnett’s and Violette’s research uncovered the names of the families that Monroe sold to Colonel White, as well as details about their lives, successes, and losses after emancipation.
Curator's Corner

This month’s Curator’s Corner highlights a portrait of James Monroe by Alonzo Chappel. Depicting Monroe as a young and earnest statesman, this painting was commissioned from Chappel by Evert A. Duyckinck for his four-volume work, National Portrait Gallery of Eminent Americans.

Painted in 1861, the portrait is rendered in a gouache style. Gouache is similar to watercolor and dries to a matte finish. The mostly black-and-white color scheme may have been employed by Chappel because the painting was to be used specifically as a model for an engraving in Duyckinck’s book. The work was done 30 years after the president’s death, so Chappel needed an image of Monroe from which to work. The painting bears some resemblance to Asher B. Durand’s engraving of Monroe (modeled on John Vanderlyn’s 1821 portrait of the president), which suggests that Chappel may have used the engraving as a source.  
 
Once Chappel’s painting was completed, Duyckinck’s publishers, Johnson, Fry & Co., used the portrait to create an engraving for the book.
Come see this fascinating image on exhibit at the Museum!
What's In Store?
Are you puzzled?

Be prepared for the next snow day with a history-focused jigsaw puzzle. We offer a great variety that will surely make a snowy evening or any family get-together a bit more fun! Among the selection you will find are puzzles featuring the U.S. Presidents, an overview of the American Revolution, and the well-known image of Washington crossing the Delaware (inaccurately depicting James Monroe holding the flag behind him in the boat - Monroe actually crossed the Delaware ahead of Washington as part of an advance unit).
 
Our full selection of puzzles includes:
US PRESIDENTS PUZZLE 1000 PC
PRESIDENTIAL STAMPS PUZZLE 1000 PC
WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE PUZZLE 1000 PC
JAMES MONROE PUZZLE 300 PC
ELIZABETH MONROE PUZZLE 300 PC
MONROE DOCTRINE PUZZLE 300 PC
FULL PEALE PORTRAIT OF JAMES MONROE PUZZLE 504 PC

Shop online or in-store today. All items are shipped within one business day!
 
We look forward to seeing you in the James Monroe Museum Store!

Musings
by Scott H. Harris, Executive Director,
University of Mary Washington Museums

February is the shortest month, and often among the coldest. This column will be short, but I hope it will leave you filled with a bit of warmth.

I confess to not finding much to like about February, other than Valentine's Day and the start of Major League Baseball Spring Training (pitchers and catchers begin reporting on the 11th this year). Notwithstanding my grumpiness about the month, it does have some significance where James Monroe and Gari Melchers are concerned.

Monroe married Elizabeth Kortright of New York on February 16, 1786. In a letter to James Madison written on February 11, Monroe showed a rare example of humor by promising "I will present you to a young lady who will be adopted a citizen of Virginia in the course of this week." Their happy marriage lasted 44 years.

An important event in Gari Melcher's life occurred on February 27, 1880, though he didn't realize it at the time. While he was honing his artistic skills at the Royal Academy of Art in Dusseldorf, Germany, Leonard Covington Mackall and his wife Louise Lawton Mackall welcomed a daughter, whom they named Corinne. She became Mrs. Gari Melchers on April 14, 1903. Writing to her in February of that year, Gari rhapsodized about his fiance's correspondence: "Such wonderfully sweet and dear letters as you do write me. I would just like to squeeze and kiss and hug you for every single word you say." The Melcherses' joyous union spanned 29 years.

Short, cold month; long, warm marriages. Happy Valentine's Day!
Elizabeth Monroe
Elizabeth Kortright Monroe
Corinne Mackall Melchers
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!

Winter Hours and Closings

The Museum remains on its winter schedule through the end of February: Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM and Sunday 1:00 - 4:00 PM.
 
For weather-related closures w e will post updates on our website and Facebook page. You can also consult local media outlets Fredericksburg.com and B101.5 .



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