Portrait by Samuel Morse (1819)


The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia in its historic downtown area at the old site of James Monroe’s Original Law Office. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

University of Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington is a public university in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1908 as a teachers college and went through a name change in 1938 after the mother of the first president of the United States, George Washington. The University currenlty owns the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library and is operated under the new domain: jamesmonroemuseum.umw.edu.


The museum holds the country’s largest collection of memorabilia related to James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States. Former president James Monroe oversaw major westward expansion of the United States and strengthened American foreign policy in 1823 with the Monroe Doctrine.

Manifest Destiny

The Monroe Doctrine showed how manifest destiny was growing in the country. It also declared that the United States would not allow European countries to interfere with independent governments in the Americas.


The museum originally displayed its collection of artifacts and documents in 1927 from descendants of the Monroe family. The artifacts were passed down through generations in the family and eventually turned over to the Commonwealth of Virginia and is now administered by the University of Mary Washington.


“This is a small museum but the staff is friendly. I have brought friends and family to this museum numerous times and they are always impressed by the staff. The staff provides an orientation that makes visitors feel like they had a private tour.”

“Considering the impact James Monroe had on our nation with the Monroe Doctrine and Louisiana Purchase, this small museum was filled with artifacts from his life. Very much worth coming to see!

“This has to be a stop while in historic Fredericksburg! After learning there was a James Monroe Museum and Memorial in Fredericksburg, we planned a day trip to this historic town and made this museum our first stop.”