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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Biographies
Picture of 1815-1817 and 1811-1814: Secretary of State James MonroeBIOGRAPHY

1815-1817 and 1811-1814: Secretary of State James Monroe
Secretary of State, 
Term of Appointment: 02/28/1815 to 03/03/1817

  • Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, April 28, 1758;
  • Attended the College of William and Mary 1774-1776;
  • Served as an officer in the Continental Army;
  • Studied law under Jefferson 1780-1783;
  • Member of the Virginia Assembly in 1782 and 1786;
  • Member of the Continental Congress 1783-1786;
  • Attended the Annapolis Convention of 1786;
  • Married Eliza Kortright the same year;
  • Admitted to the bar and practiced in Fredericksburg;
  • Member of the State convention of 1788 that ratified the Federal Constitution;
  • Senator from Virginia 1790-1794; served as Minister to France 1794-1796;
  • Governor of Virginia 1799-1802; was again Minister to France in 1803;
  • Served as Minister to Great Britain 1803-1807;
  • Headed a diplomatic mission to Spain 1804-1805;
  • Again elected to the Virginia Assembly in 1810;
  • Again Governor of Virginia in 1811;
  • Commissioned Secretary of State in President Madison's Cabinet April 2, 1811, entered upon his duties April 6, 1811, and served until September 30, 1814;
  • Served as both Secretary of War and Secretary of State ad interim October 1, 1814-February 28, 1815;
  • Again commissioned Secretary of State February 28, 1815, entered upon his duties the same day, and served until March 3, 1817;
  • During his tenure of office the War of 1812 was fought and the Treaty of Ghent, which restored peace, was negotiated;
  • President of the United States 1817-1825;
  • Retired to his farm in Virginia;
  • Presiding officer of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829;
  • Died in New York City July 4, 1831.

Released on July 15, 2003

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