American Minute with Bill Federer

"When the people become ignorant & corrupt ... Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and a usurper soon found."-Pres. James Monroe
James Monroe was born APRIL 28, 1758.

Scottish Rev. William Douglas, an early tutor of Thomas Jefferson, taught in the home of James' father, Col. Spence Monroe.

James then attended Campbellton Academy, run by Scottish Rev. Archibald Campbell of Washington Parish, with a fellow-classmate being John Marshall, the future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

At the age of 16, his father died, leaving him the family plantation.

Monroe attended the College of William and Mary, but dropped out at age 17 to join the Continental Army.

In June of 1775, Monroe, along with 24 others, raided the Virginia Governor's arsenal, carrying away 200 muskets and 300 swords to arm the Williamsburg Militia.


James Monroe
was part of General Washington's crossing of the Delaware River the night of December 25, 1776.

He is portrayed in Emanuel Leutze's famous painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" standing behind Washington holding the flag.

Helping to lead the charge at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe was struck by a musket ball in his shoulder, rupturing an artery.

In John Trumbull's famous painting "Capture of the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton," James Monroe is portrayed center left, wounded, lying on the ground.

Only 18 years old at the time of the battle, Monroe became friends with French officer Marquis de Lafayette, who was six months older.

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Never fully recovering, he returned to Williamsburg in 1779 and studied law with George Wythe. In 1780, he studied law under Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson in Richmond.

Jefferson commissioned him to command a militia and be a liaison to the Continental Army in North Carolina.

In 1782, Monroe was elected a delegate to the Virginia House of Delegates. The next year, he was elected to Congress.

In 1790, he was elected U.S. Senator and served till he was appointed Minister to France in 1794.

Monroe was elected Governor of Virginia in 1799 and again in 1811.

In 1803, Jefferson sent Monroe to France to help Robert Livingston negotiate the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the United States.

Monroe was then Minister to London in 1803; Secretary of State in 1811, and Secretary of War in 1814.

Elected the 5th U.S. President, James Monroe sent General Andrew Jackson to Florida in 1817, resulting in it being acquired from Spain in 1819.

Also added to the Union during his administration were the States of Mississippi, 1817; Illinois, 1818; Alabama, 1819; Maine, 1820; and Missouri, 1821.

President Monroe proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, 1823, authored by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, which forbade European powers from interfering with the independent nations of the Western Hemisphere.

Monroe helped freed slaves found Liberia on west coast of Africa. In 1823, their capital city of Monrovia was named in his honor--the only foreign capital named after a U.S. President.

In his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817, President James Monroe warned:

"What raised us to the present happy state?...

The Government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, the credit due...

It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty.

Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.

The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin..."

James Monroe continued:

"If we persevere...we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence...

My fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor."

When Muslim Barbary Pirates committed terrorist attacks, President James Monroe refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as he stated, March 5, 1821:

"Our relations with the Barbary Powers are the same means that were employed when I came into this office.

As early as 1801 it was found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for the protection of our commerce."

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In his 5th Annual Message, December 3, 1821, President James Monroe reiterated:

"A squadron has been maintained in the Mediterranean, by means whereof peace has been preserved with the Barbary Powers...

From past is distinctly understood that should our squadron be withdrawn they would soon recommence their hostilities and depredations upon our commerce."

In 1823, President James Monroe, with the U.S. Congress, ordered Decatur, Alabama, to be founded in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur, the renowned U.S. Naval officer who forced the Muslim pirates to surrender. thus ending the Barbary Wars.

In his First Annual Message, December 2 1817, President James Monroe stated:

"In grateful acknowledgments to that Omnipotent unceasing prayer that He will endow us with virtue and strength."

On November 16, 1818, in his 2nd Annual Message, President Monroe stated:

"For these inestimable blessings we can not but be grateful to that Providence which watches over the destiny of nations...

When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored...

Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good."

On November 14, 1820, in his 4th Annual Message, President James Monroe stated:

"When...we take into view the prosperous and happy condition of our is impossible to behold...without being penetrated with the most profound and grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Author of All Good for such manifold and inestimable blessings...

especially...our most excellent system of government, the powerful instrument in the hands of our All-merciful Creator in securing to us these blessings."

Miracles in American History-Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer Volume One (episodes 1-10)  

On March 5, 1821, in his 2nd Inaugural Address, President Monroe stated:

"The liberty, prosperity, and happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good....

With a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God."

On December 3, 1821, in his 5th Annual Message, President Monroe stated:

"Deeply impressed with the blessings which we mind is irresistibly drawn to that Almighty Being, the great source from whence they proceed and to whom our most grateful acknowledgments are due."

On December 7, 1824, in his 8th Annual Message, President James Monroe stated:

"For these blessings we owe to Almighty God, from whom we derive them, and with profound reverence, our most grateful and unceasing acknowledgments....

Having commenced my service in early youth, and continued it since with few and short intervals, I have witnessed the great difficulties to which our Union has been exposed, and admired the virtue and intelligence with which they have been surmounted...

That these blessings may be preserved and perpetuated will be the object of my fervent and unceasing prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe."

President James Monroe, who was a member of the Episcopalian Church, admonished:

"The establishment of our institutions forms the most important epoch that history hath recorded...

To preserve and hand them down in their utmost purity to the remotest ages will require the existence and practice of the virtues and talents equal to those which were displayed in acquiring them."

Monroe died July 4, 1831, being the third President to die on July 4th, following Jefferson and Adams in 1826.

James Monroe wrote (James Monroe Papers, New York Public Library, Miscellaneous Papers and Undated Letters):

"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury;...of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms...

If these rights are...secured against encroachments, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."

 Miracles in American History-Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer Volume One (episodes 1-10)

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