I was tagged by @wolfecalmplusplus.
1. Who’s your historical person?
No question! Obviously James Monroe!
2. What is it about them that draws you to them like a magnet?
I have a thing for forgotten historical figures but what draws me to James Monroe is that he was an orphan who didn’t believe he was going to get anywhere in life and yet used his manners, his talents and his friendships to get him to be well known. He was an extremely good president and is all together forgotten when mentioning the founding era because he was “too young” but “too old” to be considered in the Jackson era.
Something that draws me to him as well was his outright ambition. He strove to have his name known and anything he wanted to know, he’d sit down and study for months. He had one of the longest careers and the most positions in government and the most qualifications of the top presidents and yet… he is forgotten?
Another thing is how young he was during the American Revolution! He was only seventeen when he enlisted and was only eighteen when he was shot at the Battle of Trenton. Monroe himself even realized in his last years that we would never be as known as the other founders and he strove to change that throughout his presidency–he had one of the greatest presidencies in history and he is scarcely remembered.
3. Favorite thing about them?
HIS LOVE FOR HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN. He even said it himself! He said once at a White House dinner when asked why he brought his children and wife over with him to Europe both times instead of leaving them and Monroe replied that he couldn’t stand the thought of being away from them. His stance on women’s education and women’s rights is another reason I hold him in rather high regard. He was open to having his wife discuss his political work cared about her so deeply. The close bond he shared with his daughters is so sweet I might be dying.
4. Least favorite thing about them?
The fact that he hated slavery more than any of the other founding fathers and strove to discontinue it the most, yet the little bitch owned seventy slaves in his life and never freed a single one. Most Monroe biographers use the excuse that because he treated his slaves well and gave them good housing and called doctors when needed is an excuse for Monroe owning slaves—and that is something I cannot wait to talk about in my biography.
Something troubles me about this too, if only James Monroe had enough money he most likely would of freed his slaves. In 1785 or 6 he bought tracts of land in New York where he would engage in agriculture but not in the work of slaves, in the work of fired hands. It is something that troubles me because if he had enough money, the land wouldn’t of been taken from him and would of been gaining income through hired hands, not slaves.
5. If you could fix one thing for them?
I really, really wish that his son had not died. James Spence Monroe dying at the age of fourteen months in 1800 set off a chain of events that cut both his parents lives down completely. Because of “J.S”’s death, Elizabeth Monroe’s health problems became worse and she and James grew deeper into a pit of depression over his death. Elizabeth’s late onset epilepsy got worse, and because of that she died in 1830. The thing is, you know that thing where old people who have been together for like forty years and when one of them dies, the other dies soon after?
The day after Elizabeth’s funeral, James was found sobbing in his room and he admitted he knew he wasn’t going to live longer after loosing her. James didn’t–James died ten months later, poor, in his daughter’s home. If he had lived longer than he would of finished his autobiography and told us just how marvelous it was to be president during the Era of Good Feelings.
Another thing I would change for James Monroe is the United States Government should of paid him the $70,000 owned to him for all of his life work in politics and government. However, because the treasury was depleted, Monroe died in extreme debt because the government never paid him the money owned to him even after he sent them letters confirming what was owned to him. Monroe lost the house he and his wife lived in together and he died in extreme debt. It was the reason he started his autobiography, to grow the government proof of his life work.
6. If you could change their history, would you? If so, what?
Apart from what I have stated in the previous question, I would change the fact that Monroe is forgotten.
7. First thing you would say to them?
I pray that I am doing you justice
8. Bring them to 2017 with you…what does that look like?
I know how much he loved to travel and wanted to see the great west, I want to show him the coast and take him to the botanical gardens. I want to show him that through all he went through to secure himself a legacy, he has one.
9. What WOULDN’T you tell them about the future?
That America has not yet achieved human kindness.
10. Favorite story about them.
James Monroe calling together that cabinet meeting to talk about how Washington needs to stop gossiping about his wife is pretty funny.
11. Reblog with a picture or painting or depiction of them.
This is my favorite picture of James Monroe, it was a sketch never turned into a painting.