Munro: James Monroe’s Scottish Heritage

March through August, 2006

children's activity table in Munro exhibitThis exhibit, which was on display in the Rare Book Room, explored and celebrated James Monroe’s Scottish heritage on his father’s side. Before coming to America in 1645, James Monroe’s family had been members of the Clan Munro, which was located in the Scottish highlands around the town of Foulis. The clan was reported to have been fierce warriors against enemies such as the Vikings, as well as supporters of the Reformation in the seventeenth century.

The exhibit showcased the Munro family crest, and allowed children to draw their own crests, and also displayed an early twentieth century tavern sign from the Scottish town of Foulis, on which the Munro crest is painted. Other artifacts such as the tombstone of Andrew Monroe, and a bottle with the family seal embedded in it, add to the collection of artifacts relating to Monroe’s paternal ancestry.

The exhibit also went into detail about Monroe’s involvement in the Masonic Order, a largely Scottish fraternal order that first began as craftsmen’s guilds in medieval Scotland and England. The exhibit showcases Monroe’s Masonic Apron, given to all members of the Order as a commemoration of the aprons worn by actual stone masons during their daily work.