Elizabeth Monroe, First Lady

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Elizabeth Monroe (Kortright)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Death: Died in Oak Hill, Leesburg, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Hollywod Cemetery, Richmond, VA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lawrence Kortright, Captain and Hannah Kortright (Aspinwall)
Wife of James Monroe, 5th President of the USA
Mother of Eliza Kortright Hay; James Spence Monroe; Maria Hester Gouverneur and Infant Hay
Sister of Hester Gouverneur; Mary Knox; John Kortright and Sarah Kortright

Occupation: First Lady of the United States, First Lady
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Monroe, First Lady

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Monroe

Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (June 30, 1768 – September 23, 1830) was First Lady of the United States from 1817 to 1825, as the wife of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, who held the office for two terms.

In 1794, she moved to Paris, when her husband was appointed United States Minister to France. While there, she managed to secure the release of General de La Fayette's wife, Adrienne de La Fayette, who was facing death by guillotine.

Elizabeth Monroe was a tall, beautiful woman with elegance, social grace and style; characteristics which she had acquired in her youth.

Early Life and Marriage

Born in New York in 1768, Elizabeth was the daughter of Lawrence Kortright, an officer in the British army who had made a fortune privateering during the French and Indian War, and Hannah Aspinwall. She acquired social grace and elegance at an early age. A statuesque beauty with black hair and blue eyes, she first caught Monroe's attention in 1785 while he was in New York serving as a member of the Continental Congress. James, aged twenty-seven, married Elizabeth, aged seventeen, on February 16, 1786, in New York City.

After a brief honeymoon on Long Island, the newlyweds returned to New York to live with her father until Congress adjourned. In 1794, James was appointed United States Minister to France by President George Washington. In Paris, as wife of the American Minister during the Reign of Terror, she helped secure the release of Madame La Fayette, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette when she learned of her imprisonment and threatened death by guillotine.

First Lady of the United States

Elizabeth began her tenure as First Lady on March 4, 1817, when her husband commenced his first term as the fifth President of the United States. Her husband was re-elected to a second term in office, therefore she remained in her role of First Lady until March 3, 1825.

Children

James and Elizabeth had three children:

Eliza Kortright Monroe Hay (1787 - 1835) was educated at the exclusive French school of Madame Jeanne Campan (former lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette), while her father was Minister to France. Eliza appeared to many a haughty, pompous socialite, quick to remind others of her good breeding and lofty station. In 1808 she married George Hay, a prominent Virginia attorney who had served as prosecutor in the trial of Aaron Burr. He later ran his father-in-law's campaign in Virginia and was appointed a federal judge by President John Quincy Adams. During the Monroe administration, Eliza often substituted as official White House hostess for her ailing mother. Eliza soon alienated most of Washington society for her refusal to call on wives of the diplomatic corps, as was the custom. She caused another social furor in closing her sister's wedding to all but family and friends. For all her apparent vanity, however, she demonstrated genuine compassion during the fever epidemic that swept Washington during Monroe's term. She spent many sleepless nights selflessly caring for victims. Following the deaths of her husband and father, she moved to Paris, converted to Catholicism and lived in a convent.

James Spence Monroe (1799 – 1801) The only son of the Monroes died in early childhood.

Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803 - 1850) was still a child when her father was elected president. Maria finished school in Philadelphia before moving into the White House in 1819. On March 9, 1820, she married her first cousin, Samuel L. Gouverneur, in the first wedding ever performed at the White House. Many in Washington criticized the Monroes for keeping the wedding private; just 42 members of the family and close friends were invited. Friction between Maria's husband and her outspoken sister strained family relations thereafter. The Gouverneurs moved to New York City. Former President Monroe, upon losing his wife in 1830, moved in with them. President John Quincy Adams appointed her husband postmaster of New York City.

Death and legacy

Although Elizabeth Monroe regained a measure of respect and admiration during her husband's second term, she compared poorly to her predecessor, Dolley Madison, who had captivated Washington society, setting a standard by which future First Ladies long were measured.

Retiring sickly and suffering several long illnesses, Elizabeth died on September 23, 1830 aged 62, at her home, Oak Hill. She was interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

View Tree for Elizabeth KortrightElizabeth Kortright (b. June 30, 1768, d. September 23, 1830)

Elizabeth Kortright (daughter of Lawrence "Laurens" Kortright and Hannah Aspinwall) was born June 30, 1768 in New York, NY, and died September 23, 1830 in Oak Hill, Leesburg, Virginia. She married James Monroe on February 16, 1786 in Trinity Episcopal Church, New York, NY, son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones.

Notes for James Monroe:

James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States

Includes NotesNotes for Elizabeth Kortright:

Elizabeth was described as aloof, intelligent and reticent. She loved to

travel. She lived in the White House and later, Ash Lawn, Virginia. She

was first bried at Oak Hill, where she died, and later interred beside

her husband at Hollywood, Richmond, Virginia.

More About Elizabeth Kortright and James Monroe:

Marriage: February 16, 1786, Trinity Episcopal Church, New York, NY.

Children of Elizabeth Kortright and James Monroe are:

  1. +Eliza Kortright Monroe, b. July 27, 1787, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Co., Virginia, d. 1835, Paris, France.
  2. James Spence Monroe, b. May 1799, d. September 28, 1800, Richmond, Virginia.
  3. Maria Hester Monroe, b. 1803, Paris, France, d. 1850, Oak Hill, Leesburg, Virginia.

Notes on children:

Children

James and Elizabeth had three children:

   * Eliza Kortright Monroe-Hay (1787 - 1835) was educated at the exclusive French school of Madame Jeanne Campan (former lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette), while her father was Minister to France. Eliza appeared to many a haughty, pompous socialite, quick to remind others of her good breeding and lofty station. In 1808 she married George Hay, a prominent Virginia attorney who had served as prosecutor in the trial of Aaron Burr. He later ran his father-in-law's campaign in Virginia and was appointed a federal judge by President John Quincy Adams. During the Monroe administration, Eliza often substituted as official White House hostess for her ailing mother. Eliza soon alienated most of Washington society for her refusal to call on wives of the diplomatic corps, as was the custom. She caused another social furor in closing her sister's wedding to all but family and friends. For all her apparent vanity, however, she demonstrated genuine compassion during the fever epidemic that swept Washington during Monroe's term. She spent many sleepless nights selflessly caring for victims. Following the deaths of her husband and father, she moved to Paris, converted to Catholicism and lived in a convent.
   * Maria Hester Monroe-Gouverneur (1803 - 1850) was still a child when her father was elected president. Maria finished school in Philadelphia before moving into the White House in 1819. On March 9, 1820, she married her first cousin, Samuel L. Gouverneur, in the first wedding ever performed at the White House. Many in Washington criticized the Monroes for keeping the wedding private; just 42 members of the family and close friends were invited. Friction between Maria's husband and her outspoken sister strained family relations thereafter. The Gouverneurs moved to New York City. Former President Monroe, upon losing his wife in 1830, moved in with them. President John Quincy Adams appointed her husband postmaster of New York City.
   * James Spence Monroe
view all

Elizabeth Monroe, First Lady's Timeline

1768
June 30, 1768
New York, New York, United States
1786
February 16, 1786
Age 17
New York City
1787
July 27, 1787
Age 19
Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania , Virginia, United States
1799
May 1799
Age 30
Richmond, Chesterfield, Virginia, United States
1803
1803
Age 34
Paris, Île-de-France, France
1817
1817
- 1825
Age 48
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1830
September 23, 1830
Age 62
Oak Hill, Leesburg, Virginia, United States
1830
Age 61
Hollywod Cemetery, Richmond, VA
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