Bringing History to Life

Carrie Schlupp '13 examines James Monroe's apron as part of the "World of James Monroe" history course.

The fifth president of the United States owned an apron, kept two dueling pistols and wrote thousands of letters during his life. University of Mary Washington students are experiencing a rare in-depth look at James Monroe’s life firsthand through the objects that were most important to him. “The World of James Monroe” history course, offered for the first time this semester, provides insight into the late 1700s and early 1800s in an innovative way. “I am endlessly fascinated by historical artifacts, and this course has shown me how much we can learn from them and what kind of new questions they can raise for historians,” said senior Leah Tams, one of 22 students in the class. The course contextualizes objects and documents owned and written by James Monroe and examines the social norms of the early Republic through polite culture, daily life, and expansion. Jarod Kearney, the curator for the James Monroe Museum, regularly brings artifacts from the museum to the class … [Read more...]