Museum Exhibit and UMW Musicians Featured
at Arts Club of Washington
Over the past few years, The James Monroe Museum has forged a cordial relationship with the Arts Club of Washington, a cultural organization headquartered in the building on I Street that was the home of James Monroe and his family from 1811 to 1817. Owner Timothy Caldwell leased the house to Monroe during the latter’s tenure as secretary of state under James Madison. It also served as the presidential residence from the start of Monroe’s first term until the family moved to the White House on September 17, 1817. The Arts Club purchased the property in 1916, and hosts a James Monroe Dinner each year near the date of the president’s birthday.
Last year Scott Harris and Museum Guide Heidi Stello presented “James Monroe: Theme and Variations,” consisting of musical selections from Maria Monroe’s music book interspersed with historical commentary. Arts Club member Gloria Benedetto-Brazelton was so taken with the program that she painted a portrait of Ms. Stello at the piano, attired as Elizabeth Monroe.
At this year’s Monroe Dinner, held on April 14, the traveling exhibit, In the Service of the People: James Monroe’s 1817 Presidential Tour of the Northern States , was featured. A trio of musicians—faculty members Doug Gately and Andrew Kraus and alumnus/graduate student Levi Manuel—performed Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano , a 1973 “crossover” composition pairing classical and jazz rhythms. The lively piece, consisting of seven movements, was enthusiastically received by the audience.
The Papers of James Monroe
Bob Karachuk joined the staff of the Papers of James Monroe as assistant editor at the end of March. Karachuk holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. from the University of New Orleans, and a J.D. from Tulane. He has worked on a variety of documentary editing projects, including the Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Papers of John Adams and the Adams Family Correspondence, the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, and the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen. Karachuk also served as education director of the Association for Documentary Editing, for which he administered the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents from 2014 through 2016. Welcome, Bob!
Upcoming Programs
Friday, May 4, 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 May! 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.
Wednesday, May 16, 7:00-9:00 PM
Monroe Conversations: First Ladies with Elizabeth Monroe and Dolley Madison
Location: Monroe Hall, Room 116, University of Mary Washington

The James Monroe Museum presents a conversation between Elizabeth Monroe (Heidi Stello) and Dolley Madison (Katherine Spivey) about the role of the First Lady in the early 1800s. Examples of subjects that will be discussed include the aspects of being First Lady that they enjoyed the most, and how their roles changed as their husbands’ political positions changed.

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.
Friday, June 8, 6:00-8:00 PM
* Second Friday - History Trivia Night
Location: James Monroe Museum

Join us for The James Monroe Museum’s Trivia Night featuring Celebrity Quizmaster Sarah Poore, President and CEO of the Fredericksburg Area Museum .
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, be your own one person team, or join one at the program.

Admission, participation, and snacks are free. There will be a cash bar and a 50/50 raffle.

*Please note that due to a University of Mary Washington event, this program is on the second Friday of the month.

Curator's Corner
This month’s featured artifact is a Betty lamp made by an enslaved blacksmith at James Monroe’s residence, Oak Hill. Likely utilized either in the kitchen or slave quarters, the lamp is constructed of hand-forged iron. The generic term "Betty" is believed to derive from the German words "besser" or "bete," meaning "to make better." Blacksmiths fashioned Betty lamps by rounding sheet iron on the horn of the anvil or utilizing specialized shaping tools called “swage blocks.” The lid is then riveted and a hook-handle placed. An innovation of the Betty lamp separating it from the common grease lamp is the addition of a wick holder in the spout. This allowed drippings from the wick to flow back into the base, allowing for further longevity of the flame. Fuel was typically fat trimmings or leftover grease, and the lid reduced heat output.
In contrast to more elaborate lighting devices such as brass or glass oil lamps, Betty lamps would have been used for utilitarian purposes. Along with tallow candles and grease lamps, Betty lamps were widely employed by enslaved African Americans.

Come see our Betty lamp in our new exhibit section – “James Monroe and Slavery.”

What's In Store?
Hardwood Walking Sticks $13.99
If you’re a walking enthusiast or just getting started in outdoor activity, we want make your adventures easier! Our hardwood walking sticks are just what you need you need. Made of sturdy, hand-crafted, and kiln dried hardwoods, they are the perfect companion for a casual stroll or more demanding terrain.
Walking and hiking are fun activities that provide an abundance of physical and psychological benefits. But these shouldn’t be uncomfortable or unstable activities – in fact, you should do everything you can to make it easier to walk or hike. That way, you’ll be more likely to hit the trail more often!
Walking sticks:
  • Help take the load off your feet, legs, and back. By using an additional point of contact with the ground, your upper body can help offset the strain on your feet and legs.
  • Help improve your balance. Many walkers occasionally find it difficult to keep their balance. By giving yourself an additional point of contact, you’ll benefit from better stability and balance.
  • Make it possible to cross more difficult terrain when necessary. If you need to cross a stream, climb a hill or negotiate an uneven terrain, you’ll have better success if you use a walking stick.
  •  Are an eco-friendly and renewable natural resource. The trees used to manufacture the walking sticks are replanted after the wood is harvested, ensuring a product that is both eco-friendly and sustainable.
Stop by soon for the best selection!

We look forward to seeing you in the James Monroe Museum Store.
JMM YouTube Channel

We don't want you to miss any of the museum's public programs, so we are making as many of them available online as possible! If you were unable to attend a program, remember to check our YouTube channel to see if there is a recording of it available.
Museum Hours

The tent is back in our garden, so bring along a lunch when you're visiting the museum and enjoy it in a tranquil setting! The James Monroe Museum is open 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