Woman of the Century/Elizabeth Kortright Monroe

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MONROE, Mrs. Elizabeth Kortright, wife of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, born in New York, N. Y., in 1768, and died in Loudoun county, Va., in 1830. She was the daughter of Capt. Lawrence Kortright. of the British Army, who settled in New York City in 1 783. Elizabeth was one of a family of five children, one son and four daughters. She was thoroughly educated and was a belle in the society of the metropolis. She became the wife of lames Monroe in 1789. He was then a Senator. After marriage they settled in Philadelphia, Pa., whither the seat of government had been moved In 1794 he was appointed minister to France, and his wife accompanied him to Paris. He went abroad again in 1803. and while there Mrs. Monroe secured the release of Madame de La Fayette from the prison of La Force, where she was imprisoned under a sentence of death by decapitation. Her life has been left almost completely without mention by the chroniclers of her time. After their return from the first mission to France, Mr. Monroe was made Governor of Virginia, and Mrs. Monroe aided him greatly by her administration of social affairs in the Capital. She accompanied him to England, when he was sent as minister to that country. When he became President, in 1817, Mrs. Monroe took her place as mistress of the White House, and she tilled it with grace, tact and dignity Although she performed carefully all the duties implied in her position, she preferred a quiet home to the splendor of public life. Her health was delicate during the last years she spent in the While House. After President Monroe's retirement they lived on his estate in Loudoun county, Va. The two daughters of the family were married, and the old home, "Oak Hill," was a quiet retreat. Mrs. Monroe died suddenly, in 1830, and her husband died 4th July. 1831.