MONROE, JAMES. (1758-1831). Fifth president of the United States. ADS. (“Jas Monroe”). 1p. Oblong 8vo. Washington, October 21, 1816. To his personal banker, WILLIAM WHANN (1764-1822), cashier of the Bank of Columbia.

“Sir- Pay to Mr. Woodward or order the sum of one hundred & fifty dollars to acct of your obt servant…”

Monroe served in the Virginia House of Delegates, the Continental Congress and the U.S. Senate before his appointment as ambassador to France. Despite his diplomatic skills, the weakening relations with France brought him back to the U.S. where he practiced law and served three consecutive single-year terms as governor of Virginia, from December 1799 through December 1802. Monroe then returned to Paris to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase and work towards improving relations with France, which was threatening American maritime trade. During the War of 1812, Monroe was President Madison’s secretaries of state and war. On December 4, 1816, Monroe became the country’s fifth president and presided over the “Era of Good Feelings,” a time of reduced partisan disagreement.

Signed while secretary of state, roughly five weeks before his election to the presidency. Trimmed and folded with a cancellation to the left of Monroe’s signature, and in very good condition. Signed “Thomas Woodward” on the verso in an unidentified hand. [indexhistory]

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