By Jack Stanley
James Monroe, our fifth President died basically a pauper. He was living with is daughter in New York as his money situation was in terrible shape. He finally died of heart failure on July 4th 1831. 55 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and five years after Jefferson and Adams.
His Presidency was known as the “Era of good feeling”.In his Presidency was perhaps the greatest Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams who wrote the Monroe Doctrine.
Sadly after his Presidency his money situation grew awful. He sold his home in which his wife was buried and moved to New York with his daughter.
His funeral was of great pomp and he was laid to rest in Marble Cemetery in New York City in the Gouverneur family Vault. There he rested till 1858. When a petition from Virginia was settled and his remains were to be brought to state of his birth and most of his life. His coffin was exhumed and brought to New York’s City hall where it was on display for the public to see once again the coffin, not the President. He was then put on to a barge a taken to Virginia.
There were a number of storms and it looked like what was left of Monroe was to be lost…But they made it. It is an odd thing that one of Alexander Hamilton’s grand sons was part of the honor guard and was sadly washed over board during one of these storms.
Then in July of 1858 he was interred in a rather bizarre Cast Iron tomb. His wife and family were buried near to him. But his tomb was made for only one. There he rests to this day…Now in company with John Tyler, who would be buried there at Hollywood, but not honored till many years later with a marker for his tomb