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Please click here for a printable information pamphlet about the James Monroe Foundation.

Mission Statement

The James Monroe Memorial Foundation was founded in 1927 by President Monroe’s granddaughter, Rose Gouverneur Hoes and her son, Laurence Gouverneur Hoes, and was incorporated in Virginia in 1947. Our Mission is to preserve and honor the life,ideals, works and memory of the fifth President of the United States of America, James Monroe, through a variety of means; to educate the American public about the continued relevance of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823; to create a living memorial for President James Monroe which shall have both a physical manifestation and also shall be an active and influential voice of advocacy for sound American diplomacy and governmental values; to create an organizational structure and a plan to raise funds to support these worthy objectives; to create a plan of action to implement these objectives, and then to act upon this plan to fully execute them.

History

The late Laurence Gouverneur Hoes and his wife, Ingrid Westesson Hoes, established the James Monroe Memorial Foundation in 1928.   As a direct descendent of the fifth President of the United States, Mr. Hoes was to dedicate his life to the task of enlarging the national appreciation of Monroe and his work, particularly in deepening the understanding of the Monroe Doctrine.

   Mr. Hoes had inherited a large number of items associated with Monroe; but he realized that a great number of the President's papers, furniture, mementos, and other memorabilia which had come down to other members of the family were gradually becoming dispersed.  In 1928, he acquired the property in Fredericksburg where the future president, James Monroe, had practiced law from 1786 to 1790.  Hoes opened the small brick building to the public and set about to acquire as many of the Monroe pieces as he could.  Although not persons of great wealth, Mr. Hoes and his wife eventually devoted all their resources to acquisition of Monroe items and the enlargement and operation of the Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library.   In this task, he was assisted by the generosity of many other Monroe descendants and others who graciously made their Monroe memorabilia available to be preserved for future generations.

   The Monroe Law Office Museum and Library was opened as the fifth presidential library in the United States.  Mr. Hoes installed a collection of 2,000 of Monroe's autograph papers, and 20,000 other letters and papers providing background on the Monroe period.  The collection was eventually to include a number of paintings significant both in the history of American painting and in the understanding of Monroe's career, including two portraits by Rembrandt Peale, the Vanderlyn portrait, and an anonymous painting depicting Monroe's inauguration.

   Other significant items include chairs, tables, and a bed which belonged to Monroe, as well as personal furniture which Monroe purchased in Paris and used at the White House.  Hoes also assembled "An 18th Century Gentleman's Library," consisting of original books of the period duplicating titles which Mr. Hoes put together is a testament to the richness of the career of President Monroe as a legislator, governor, diplomat, Secretary of State, and President.   Few historical sites in the nation can match the quantity or quality of items associated with the Founding Fathers.

   In 1964, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund made possible the erection of a substantial addition to the original Monroe Law Office and Museum building, including the paneled library and display room.  In that same year, Mr. Hoes and his wife realized that provision had to be made for the continuance of the Monroe Law Office Museum and Library for the future.  To that end, the James Monroe Memorial Foundation made a gift of the Monroe Law Office Museum and Library, and its contents, to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

   When Mr. Hoes arranged for the transfer of the Monroe Law Office and Museum to the Commonwealth of Virginia, he wrote in the deed of gift that:

It is the wish of the James Monroe Memorial Foundation that said land and improvements and contents therein...be donated as a perpetual memorial to the memory of James Monroe and in honor of the principles of just government and righteousness exemplified in his life and in his work, with the hope and expectation that such a memorial will serve to strengthen the adherence of all who may visit the memorial to the views expressed by him in the 'Monroe Doctrine' and other documents.

   The gift was made so that the property would:

...be forever held and preserved intact by the Commonwealth of Virginia, sacred to the memory of James Monroe.

   To fulfill that aim, a 1964 Act of the Virginia Assembly provided for the Monroe Law Office and Museum to be governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the Governor of Virginia equally from lists of nominees submitted by the University of Virginia (Mr. Hoes' alma mater) and the Foundation.  Several years later, the Assembly decentralized the University of Virginia from its associated branches outside of Charlottesville.  In the course of dividing the University's system-wide assets, the Assembly transferred the University's representation on Board of Regents for the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Library to Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg.  Today, the Foundation and Mary Washington College jointly govern the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Library through the Board of Regents.  The James Monroe Law Office Museum and Library is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation of Mary Washington College.

   Major funding for the Museum is provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia, supplemented by income from visitors and gifts, and by the work of the Foundation.

   The work of Laurence Gouverneur Hoes has been carried on by the Honorable Helen Marie Taylor, Chairman Emeritus of the James Monroe Memorial Foundation.  The aims of the Foundation remain the same:  to spread an appreciation of James Monroe and to honor the principles of just government and righteousness exemplified in his life and in his work.  In particular, the Foundation dedicates itself to strengthening the adherence of all Americans to the views expressed by him in the 'Monroe Doctrine' and other documents.

   The Foundation seeks to achieve these aims both through the support of the James Monroe Law Office and Museum and through other public activities intended to educate the public at large concerning the continuing validity of the Monroe Doctrine.

   In support of the James Monroe Law Office and Museum, so that it may be forever held and preserved intact by the Commonwealth of Virginia, sacred to the memory of James Monroe, the Foundation has undertaken numerous programs of conservation of the collections.  Principal among these has been the restoration and conservation of the Rembrandt Peale three-quarter-length portrait of James Monroe.  This is one of the most important portraits of the Federalist period.   Under the supervision of Dr. Clement E. Conger, then curator of the White House and U. S. State Department collections, the Foundation contracted with expert evaluators and conservators to clean and restore damage to the surface, and install it in an appropriate period frame purchased by the Foundation.

   Other projects have included the repair and rebinding of eighteenth century leather-bound books, and, in some cases, the construction of acid-neutral slip cases for further protection, and the conservation of eighteenth century fabrics.  The Foundation also contributes to the support of educational and social functions at the Monroe Law Office and Museum.

   In its outreach programs, the Foundation has sought to bring the attention of scholars and the public to President Monroe's accomplishments.

   On its 60th Anniversary, the Foundation sponsored a dinner in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Department of State.  The theme of the event was the continuing validity of the Monroe Doctrine, and included as speakers Secretary of State George Schultz and Prime Minister Eugenia Charles of Grenada.   The newly restored Rembrandt Peale portrait was unveiled and lent to the Department of State for two years (the portrait has been returned to the Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library).

   For many years, the Foundation has sponsored a commemoration ceremony on April 28th, Monroe's birthday, at the tomb of President Monroe in Hollywood Cemetery, in Richmond, Virginia.  After the laying of wreaths with full military honors, the assembly retires to the State Capitol Rotunda for addresses from scholars and high government officials in front of the bust of President Monroe.  The Foundation also sponsors events associated with December 2nd, the anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine.

Organization

National Advisory Board

The James Monroe Foundation's National Advisory Board provides advice and guidance to the efforts of the organization.

Board of Trustees

   The Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight of the James Monroe Foundation. The Board adopts rules, regulations, and policies governing the Foundation. The Board has authority over development of preservation and education initiatives and fiscal and human resource management.

Officers

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it G. William Thomas, Jr., President
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Peter Broadbent, Jr., Esq., Vice President
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Justin Logsdon, Vice President
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Patrick M. McSweeney, Esq.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Brandon Taylor, Treasurer
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Dr. Robert W. Selle, Chaplain

Leadership

William Nash, Curator
Chris Winslow, Esq., Scholarship Committee Chair
Dr. James P. Lucier, Education Committee
Mrs. Deborah Brezina, Education Committee
Art Buswell, Birthplace Volunteer Coordinator
Honorable Antonio Monroig, Esq., Pan-American Relations Committee

Board of Regents

   As stated in the Acts of Assembly: 1964 Chapter 641, the Board of Regents "administers the activities specified by the Mary Washington College's Board of Visitors pertaining to the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library."

   Members of the board consist of not less than eighteen members, two of whom are the Rector and President of Mary Washington College, two of whom are the President and Secretary of the James Monroe Foundation and fourteen are appointed by the Governor of Virginia, serving a two year term.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 14:29