Virginia 2013: Ash Lawn-Highland

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Our second Presidential tour was to Ash Lawn-Highland, home to James Monroe.  Ash Lawn is located just a few miles from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. 

Once again, no photos were allowed in the home but I will share photos of the outside and share some facts.

I knew that the home was not going to be as extravagant as Thomas Jefferson's but I was still interested to see it.   When you first turn on to the property you will notice that the drive up to the house is beautiful!  In fact, the whole property is gorgeous!

Now, the part of the house pictured above is painted yellow because it did not look like that when Monroe lived there.  That portion of the house was destroyed in a fire and instead of keeping it one story, as it was in Monroe's time, the owner decided to make it two stories.   All of the buildings and sections painted white are the same buildings that were there when Monroe lived there.  The tour only included parts of the house that Monroe lived in.

This was where the tour started and was actually the last part of the home to be added when Monroe lived on the property.   When we arrived, we were greeted by a super fun snake on the roof .... I was totally not amused and neither was our guide, she kept eying it as much as me.

The house is fairly small.  Therefore, we spent a good bit of time in each room learning about James Monroe and his place in history.  I learned that Monroe was a very modest person and lived in a smaller home because he did not feel the need for a large one. 

James Monroe was quite the negotiator and Diplomat, being the one to resolve conflict with the British and acquire Florida from the Spanish.  He also proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine which declared that any European countries that try to colonize in the US or South America would be viewed as aggressive and would require US intervention.  He was also responsible for the final negotiations of the Louisiana Purchase when he was working on James Madison's administration.

Monroe was another President who viewed slavery as wrong.   He didn't abolish slavery because he feared the consequences of abolition, as the Southern States were threatening to secede from the Union if slavery were abolished. 

James Monroe and his wife unfortunately ran into financial trouble and had to either sell this property or the one that they owned up north.  Since this one sold faster, they left it behind and moved into their home up north in 1826.

When Monroe lived on the property, it was known simply as Highland.  The new owner called it Ash Lawn, so now it is combined and called Ash Lawn-Highland.

If you are visiting Monticello, I would recommend popping over to visit Ash Lawn.  The property is beautiful and the tour was both educational and enjoyable.   I knew next to nothing about Monroe before this tour and came out feeling like I knew his whole life.  Definitely worth a visit and it is significantly less expensive than Monticello.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hayley Larue Design