Calendar of Events


Saturday, July 19: Medical Practice in the Colonial and Early National Era

Enjoy a colorful first-person tour of the reconstructed Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, a museum of medicine, pharmacy, and military and political affairs. Dr. Mercer served the citizens of Fredericksburg with medicines and treatments of the time, including leeches, lancets, snakeroot, and crab claws, treatments James and Elizabeth Monroe would have received. A reception hosted by President Monroe follows at the James Monroe Museum, during which curator Jarod Kearney will show some of the medical artifacts from the museum’s collection – including some related to Mrs. Monroe’s mysterious illness. Cosponsored by the James Monroe Museum (JMM) and the Washington Heritage Museums (WHM).

Program: 6:30 p.m., Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop (1020 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg). Reception: 7:30, James Monroe Museum. $10/person (FREE for Friends of JMM or Members of WHM). Reservations required; RSVP to 540/654-1123 or send e-mail.

Saturday, August 23: “‘Every Species of Lawless Adventure’: James Monroe and the Fight against Piracy.”

Piracy was a scourge of American commerce for nearly 300 years, and James Monroe did his part to combat it. The practice also contributed to the folklore of the east coast and the Caribbean. Our daytime event features family-friendly games, crafts, and other activities that reflect pirate themes. For the evening event, “Pirates and Punch!,” Dr. Daniel Preston, editor of the Papers of James Monroe, will describe the fight against piracy in Spanish Florida during Monroe’s presidency, to be followed by a talk by Brian Prewitt, Master Distiller at Fredericksburg’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery, on the history of rum. These talks will be followed by a tasting of the popular colonial rum drinks grog and tavern punch! Cosponsored with the Washington Heritage Museums (WHM).

Daytime event: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., JMM. Free and open to the public.

Evening event: 6:30 to 9 p.m., Rising Sun Tavern (1304 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg). $20/person ($15/Friends of JMM or Members of WHM). Reservations required; RSVP to 540/654-1123 or

Saturday, September 20: 25th Annual Fredericksburg Welsh Festival

This popular street festival honors the Welsh ancestry of James Monroe (through his mother, Elizabeth Jones) with traditional music, dancing, arts, and crafts. Free trolley between the Festival and other Saturday events in downtown Fredericksburg. Co-sponsored with the Welsh Society of Fredericksburg.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 900 block of Charles Street (between William and George). Suggested donation of $5/adult or $1/child.

Wednesday, October 22: From Monroe to McAuliffe: The Evolution of the Office of Governor of Virginia

This public forum on the evolution of the office of Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from the era of James Monroe to the present includes The Honorable Gerald Baliles, 65th Governor of Virginia; Dr. Stephen J. Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies; and Dr. Daniel Preston, Editor of the Papers of James Monroe. A reception follows.

7 p.m., Lee Hall, Room 411, University of Mary Washington. Free and open to the public.

Monday, November 10: 27th Annual James Monroe Lecture, “The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World.”

A fundamental component of Britain’s early success, naval impressment not only kept the Royal Navy afloat—it helped to make an empire. In total numbers, impressed seamen were second only to enslaved Africans as the largest group of forced laborers in the 18th century. Dr. Denver Brunsman, associate professor of history at George Washington University, will discuss how the controversy over impressment ultimately contributed to the American Revolution and served as a leading cause of the War of 1812. Followed by a reception and book signing.

7 p.m., Historic Dining Room at Seacobeck Hall, University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg campus. Free and open to the public. Campus map.

Saturday, December 6: Deck the Halls 2014

Jan Williams, noted floral consultant and decorator, begins the holiday season by demonstrating how to create extraordinary holiday decorations from native evergreens and other plants. Participants enter a drawing to win one of Jan’s arrangements. A breakfast of coffee, tea, and seasonal pastries will be served.

9:30 a.m. to noon, Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, University of Mary Washington. Tickets are $25 ($20 for Friends of JMM). Reservations requested at 540/654-1043 or

Saturday, December 6: “A Monroe Christmas” Holiday Open House

Enjoy seasonal decorations, music, and refreshments at the museum, immediately prior to the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. Find the perfect holiday gift at the museum store!

3 to 5:30 p.m., James Monroe Museum. Free and open to the public.

Call 540/654-1123 or e-mail with questions about any of our events!