James Monroe, our fifth president, married Elizabeth Kortright on February 16, 1786. In honor of their anniversary, I’m reposting a blog about their plantation, Highland.
Since I first blogged Highland, it’s been in the news because the house that had always been touted as the Monroe residence at Highland turns out not to have been occupied by them at all. A few years ago, the foundation of a larger house was discovered and the structure that I described as the Monroe house has been downgraded to a guest house. Their residence, it turns out, wasn’t a simple farmhouse at all.
We should all be familiar (at least the Americans) with Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s 1851 painting called Washington Crossing the Delaware. But do you know the identity of the man standing behind General Washington, holding the flag? It’s Lieutenant James Monroe, who would eventually become fifth President of the United States.
Monroe was 18 years old, in 1776, when he dropped out of the College of William and Mary to join the Continental army. That December, he found himself in a boat, crossing the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, to surprise a group of Hessians camped in Trenton. He was shot in the Battle of Trenton and in another famous painting, Capture of the Hessians at the Battle of Trentonby John Trumbull, he can be seen lying wounded in the middle of the picture. He carried the bullet in his shoulder for the rest of his life.
He left the army…
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