MONROE, James. Autograph letter signed (''James Monroe''), as President, to John Watson, Washington, 26 January 1822. 1 page, 4to, seal hole and remnant of seal, very discreet repairs to creases.
MONROE, James. Autograph letter signed ("James Monroe"), as President, to John Watson, Washington, 26 January 1822. 1 page, 4to, seal hole and remnant of seal, very discreet repairs to creases.
"YOU SEE...HOW HARDLY I HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH & WHAT HARD FORTUNE I HAVE HAD..."
Monroe laments his financial difficulties to a fellow Virginian: "I am pressed by heavy duties during the Session of Congress, that I really am not able to do justice to my friends or to my own private concerns. I can only state at present that I will write to Mr. Randolph to accept your draft for three hundred dolrs, for the purposes mentioned in our late correspondence, that is, for Mr Bacon, the clover seed, & Mr Price & to draw on me for the amount, if necessary. I hope that my flour & tobco will be hastened down to him as soon as possible as I wish to pay you out if it, & some other claims. You see enough of my affairs, to know how hardly I have been dealt with & what hard fortune I have had on the management of my private affairs, which I will feel through life." Like many debt-plagued Virginia planters, Monroe did indeed suffer from poor financial health throughout his life. Things only got worse after his presidency when he waged a lengthy battle with the Congress for reimbursement of his expenses incurred while serving as a diplomat overseas. He never achieved solvency and was forced in his final years to live under the roof of his adult daughter.