James Monroe’s dollar coin makes its debut today at the estate of our fifth President. When the coin appears at Ash Lawn-Highland, Monroe’s home in Charlottesville, Va., collectors of an historic frame of mind might think of the Monroe Doctrine as this President’s legacy.
Certainly the preservation of the freedoms won by the newly independent nations carved from the Spanish Empire is a signal historical achievement and is probably the appropriate legacy to reflect on.
However, there might be something instructive for Americans of the present day. This is an election year. Monroe ran for President virtually unopposed in 1816 and 1820. His party, what is now the Democratic Party, had thrived since Jefferson won the presidency in the election of 1800.
The Federalists, on the other hand imploded. They were even tarred with the brush of treason because a number of them met in Hartford, Conn., in late 1814 to oppose the War of 1812 and to float the idea of secession by New England states. This happened just before the victorious Battle of New Orleans in early 1815 and news of the peace treaty signed at the end of 1814. Americans were not pleased. The Federalists were never a serious party again.
Monroe dollars will be available through the banking system tomorrow and the Mint will sell rolls and bags. The 25-coin rolls are $35.95. The 250-coin bags are $319.95. There is a $4.95 shipping charge applied to each order.
The Mint can be contact at the Web site, www.usmint.gov, or by telephone at (800) USA-MINT.