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James Monroe, a native of Westmoreland County, moved to Fredericksburg at the age of 28 to practice law under the guidance of his uncle, Judge Joseph Jones. From 1787 to 1789, he lived at Jones' Home, a hansome dwelling which still stands at 301 Caroline Street.
During his three years in Fredericksburg, Monroe became a member of the City Council and a trustee of the new Fredericksburg Academy. He was appointed to the General Assembly and was a member of the Virginia Convention to ratify the Constitution of the United States. In 1789 he ran against James Madison to represent the area in the first Congress of the United States. After losing this election, he moved to Albemarle County.
This post-Revolutionary War building, which stands on a lot Monroe owned, is filled with personal memorabilia and furnishings of the Monroes. Many pieces in the collection were purchased in Paris while Monroe was the United States emissary to France. Also housed in the museum are thousands of books, documents, maps, manuscripts, and newspapers that date to the early 17th century.
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