Special Visitors to The James Monroe Museum!
The James Monroe Museum was honored to welcome Dr. Lynne Cheney, historian and former Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and her husband, the 46th Vice President of the United States, Mr. Richard B. Cheney to the museum on Saturday, February 24. Dr. Cheney spent the day at various historic sites in Virginia conducting research for her forthcoming book on the Early Republic. The book will focus on four of the first five U.S. Presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe collectively known the Virginia Dynasty. Executive Director of University Museums Scott Harris welcomed the Cheneys and their staff, one of whom, Nicole Penn, was formerly a guide at James Monroe’s Highland. James Monroe Museum Assistant Director and Curator Jarod Kearney conducted the Cheneys through close-up examination of a select group of Monroe artifacts, including a court suit worn by James Monroe while Minister to France, and Elizabeth Monroe’s wedding dress, as well as other artifacts exhibited throughout the Museum. Mr. Kearney was assisted by the museum’s Bowley Scholars Lindsey Crawford and Holly Irwin. Additional security during the visit was provided by Officer Dillion Brooks and Sergeant John Piersol of the University of Mary Washington Police.
Penning the Presidents
The James Monroe Museum has an extensive collection of political cartoons. Museum founder Laurence Gouverneur Hoes acquired the collection of 114 cartoons at the estate sale of Washington Post editor Andrew K. Reynolds. The cartoons will now be exhibited three at a time at the museum on a rotating basis. Additionally, Scott Harris, Executive Director of University Museums, has written an article, Penning the Presidents: Cartoons from the Collection of the James Monroe Museum , highlighting a selection of the cartoons in the forthcoming White House History Number 48 , the journal of White House Historical Association. Mr. Harris is a member of the journal's advisory board.
Presidents' Day Presidential Conversation
If you weren't able to attend the Presidents' Day Presidential Conversation with James Monroe (James G. "Jay" Harrison III) and James Madison (John Douglas Hall), March is indeed your lucky month! The program is available in full on our YouTube channel .
Mary Wash Giving Day
“In providing for the prosperity and happiness of a country, a careful attention to literary institutions, and the education of youth, ought ever to occupy a high place. To the youth we must look with an eye of deep interest – they are the hope of our country.” -- James Monroe
We hope you will take the opportunity on Tuesday, March 20, Mary Wash Giving Day, to help us continue to honor James Monroe’s vision of education for our most valuable resource -- our youth.
Upcoming Programs
Friday, March 2, 6:00-8:00 PM
Monroe Conversations: First Ladies
Location: Monroe Hall, Room 116
University of Mary Washington

The James Monroe Museum presents a conversation between Elizabeth Monroe and Dolley Madison, reflecting on the role of the First Lady in the early 1800s.
The conversation will be moderated by Scott Harris, Executive Director of University Museums. Questions can be submitted by the audience in writing at the event. The program will be webcast courtesy of the University of Mary Washington, which will be accessible here on the evening of March 2.
Thursday, March 15, 7:00-9:00 PM
Revolutionary Rift: George Washington and James Monroe
Location: Monroe Hall, Room 116, University of Mary Washington

Scott Harris, Executive Director of University Museums, takes an in-depth look at Washington’s and Monroe’s long and complex relationship in war, politics, and diplomacy.
Friday, April 6, 6:00-8:00 PM
First Friday - Pots and Palettes
Location: James Monroe Museum

Join us as we highlight our exhibit Dynamic Ceramics: Selections from the James Monroe Museum Collection with an evening of pottery painting in the garden! The program will begin with an introduction to the exhibit by JMM Curator and Assistant Director Jarod Kearney, followed by pottery painting led by the staff of Pots and Palletes in Fredericksburg.

Registration is required, $15/person, $10/person for Friends of The James Monroe Museum. Contact Lynda Allen by email or phone 540-654-2111 to register.

Curator's Corner
This month’s featured artifact is a circa 1805 barometer made in London, England. Constructed of mahogany, glass, and brass, this mercury wheel or “banjo” barometer belonged to James Monroe.
Barometers became increasingly popular among the upper class during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The emigration of Italian barometer craftsmen to England and France in the 1780s transformed the instrument from a utilitarian scientific apparatus to a fashionable household adornment. Manufacturers housed the inner workings in elegant cases of mahogany and brass, displaying intricate inlay and veneers. Many barometers featured a thermometer in the upper neck section, as is the case with this one.

Monroe’s barometer was created by a maker named John Corti of London, England. His shop was located at 94 Holborn Hill (located in present-day London’s West End) which was a small center of barometer manufacturing during the early 19th century. Monroe’s barometer employs a glass tube with a mercury reservoir at the base. The mercury creates a vacuum at the top of the tube (known as a Torricellian vacuum) and adjusts according to atmospheric force. The face of the barometer is housed in brass-framed glass and reads clockwise from top: 
“Change / Fair / Set Fair [meaning the weather will be unchanged for a period] / Very Dry / Stormy / Much Rain / Rain”

Mercury barometers remained popular in Europe and the United States until the invention of the more efficient aneroid barometer in 1844 by Lucien Vidi, which slowly surpassed mercury barometers by the late 19th century. 

Come see our barometer and many other fascinating artifacts on display at the James Monroe Museum!
What's in Store?

If you’re looking for a good book, don’t forget the selection of informative and unique James Monroe books found in the Museum Store.
You may learn a few things about James Monroe you didn’t know in Quotations of James Monroe ($6.95) by Daniel Preston and Heidi Stello. Read Monroe’s own words to learn how he felt about notable figures of his time. Get to know the man himself by reading his personal messages to family members. Quotations from contemporaries reveal how others viewed Monroe’s strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments.
For a concise biography of James Monroe, pick up a copy of The Making of a Revolutionary ($4.95) by former JMM Curator Meghan C. Budinger. This is an enlightening story of how and why Monroe became such a true patriot of the American cause during the colonies’ revolutionary war against England. Learn how that experience influenced the remainder of his life.
James Monroe: An Illustrated History ($19.95) is a pictorial biography written and compiled by the editor of the Papers of James Monroe, Dr. Daniel Preston. The images in this book are intertwined with a quick-paced and informative narrative of Monroe’s journey from his native Westmoreland County through his years in public office, his presidency, and finally to his retirement and death. A must-have for your coffee table or library!
Books make a great gift for the history buff in your life! Always remember- Friends of the James Monroe Museum receive 20% off all purchases in the Museum Store .
We hope to see you soon!
Museum Hours

It's a sure sign of spring, March 1st marks the James Monroe Museum's return to our regular hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Sundays 1:00-5:00 PM. Come on by!

The James Monroe Museum
908 Charles St.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401