JAMES MONROE was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on 28 April 1758; attended private school and entered William and Mary College at sixteen; interrupted his education to become an officer in the Continental Army in 1776; participated in operations at Harlem, White Plains, Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth; studied law under Governor Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, 17801783; served in the Virginia legislature, 17821786; served in the Confederation Congress, 17831786; married Eliza Kortright, 1786; was admitted to the Virginia bar and practiced at Fredericksburg; was a delegate to the state convention called to ratify the Constitution, 1788; served in the U.S. Senate, 17901794; served as minister to France, 17941796; was governor of Virginia, 17991802; was appointed special envoy to France in 1803 and participated in negotiations related to the Louisiana Purchase; served as minister to Great Britain, 18031807; headed a mission to Spain to negotiate American claims to Florida, 18041805; was offered and refused the governorship of Upper Louisiana, 1809; was again elected to the Virginia legislature, 1810; was again governor of Virginia, 1811; served as Secretary of State, 18111814; served concurrently as Secretary of War, 27 September 18142 March 1815; urged that conscription be introduced; was again Secretary of State, 18151817; was President of the United States, 18171825; enunciated the Monroe Doctrine restraining European intrusions into the Americas; was elected to and presided over the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829; moved to New York City after his wifes death to live with his married daughter; died there on 4 July 1831.
Robert Walter Weir (18031889) was born in New York City. He studied under John Wesley Jarvis and the English heraldic artist, Robert Cox. Weir established himself as a professional artist and studied in Florence, Italy, for three years before opening a New York studio in the late 1820s. In 1834 he became instructor in drawing at the United States Military Academy and was made professor in 1846, a post he held for three decades. A portraitist as well as landscape and genre painter, he executed half a dozen likenesses for the Army gallery.
By Robert Walter Weir
Oil on canvas, 29½" x 24½", 1873
page created 1 March 2001
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