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Chronology, 1873-1898
Based on Letters fom the James Monroe Papers
Click here to see the first part of the Chronology, 1841-1872.
Oberlin, Ohio 18 March 1873

This letter is directed to Oberlin. The one just before it gives evidence of belonging in the Washington category. Three of the four letters that follow are problematical regarding their destinations and Monroe’s immediate residence, but one of them——22 March 1873—proves that he has arrived in Oberlin very recently. As a further proof, he writes the letters of 28 March 1873 from Oberlin.

A letter of 20 March 1873 mentions Monroe’s short visit to Elyria, which must have been made on his trip from Washington; at about the same time he might have visited Cleveland (see letter no. 2482). He was in Columbus for a state convention 19 May 1873, and for a couple of days following perhaps. Letter no. 2540 shows that sometime in June he visited Hudson for their college commencement, and within a week after 16 June 1873 Monroe was the guest of his brother in Akron for three or four days probably (see letter no. 2549). The letter of 12 July 1873 suggests that Monroe may have gone to Medina recently. Letter no. 2589 only hints at a visit to Seville before 14 October 1873, while letter no. 2598 reveals that Monroe was definitely away from home from 20 to 27 September 1873, campaigning in Crestline and Wooster and of course in other Ohio towns not mentioned. It is also definite that on 1 October 1873 he spoke in Clinton and in Canal Fulton, perhaps on 2 October (see letter no. 2599). He might have visited Mount Union College for campaign purposes on 11 October 1873, and he was certainly in Grangerburg sometime during October 1873 (see letter no. 2606).

Naturally, he visited many more towns during his campaign, but these are the only ones designated by the letters. Two letters, of 23 and 27 September 1873, are from Julia in Cincinnati, revealing that she is visiting her sister Helen Cox in Toledo; later evidence tells us that Julia left for home sometime before 23 October 1873. One hundred thirty-six letters occur through the last letter surely sent to Oberlin on Nov. 19, 1873. Two problematical specimens trail after it before there is mention of Monroe in

Washington, D.C. 29 November 1873

This letter was written by Monroe, so I presume that the two doubtful letters intervening between 19 and 29 November 1873 were probably directed to Oberlin (as one was) and then forwarded to Washington, for Monroe must have been in Washington before the convening of the Congressional committees of which he speaks in this letter. Eleven more letters follow, and then an “1873” item belatedly discovered and placed. The next two entries are dated only with the year “1874”; both of these are petitions, probably directed to Oberlin in November or December of 1874, when other petitions desiring the same office were written. Among the sixty-seven subsequent letters is one from Monroe of 9 May 1894, in which he mentions Julia’s recent return to Oberlin. Four more letters close this period; the last directed one having been written 15 June 1874 by T.C. Raynolds, who also wrote a second letter to

Supplementary Letters of 1873  

The supplementary letters were discovered after the bulk of the Monroe letters had been read and listed. Forty-seven letters are found in this year. On 19 May, Monroe received an invitation to attend a Republican Celebration in Wooster, Ohio, on Feb. 22nd. It is not known if he attended. Other letters are routine. See Supplementary Index for dates.

Oberlin, Ohio 25 June 1874

Because the same correspondent wrote in succession, first to Washington and then to Oberlin, we may assume that the dates of his two letters coincide with Monroe’s movements. Moreover, letter no. 2697 reveals that Congress adjourned about 22 June; Monroe could not, then, have been home much earlier than 25 June 1874. There is only one more letter before a Washington entry that must have been missent. Then follow nine letters, all but one problematical in address; the second letter, however, speaks of a visit to Monroe’s house and family and succeeding letters give evidence of Monroe’s Oberlin address.

Seventy more letters are covered in this section, including letter no 2730, stating that the Congressional Convention is to be held 25 August 1874 at Medina; Monroe as a candidate was required to go. Emma Fitch wrote one of the letters in this section on 12 November 1874; she mentions that her parents will leave Oberlin that month. Before Julia and James went they visited T.E. Monroe in Akron for a day or so sometime during September (see letter no. 2755), and Monroe was slated to speak in Elyria 1 and 2 October 1874, according to letter no. 2765. A letter from Monroe on 25 November 1874 at Oberlin substantiates his Oberlin residence at least through this date. Letter no. 2804 (directed to Oberlin 27 November 1874) shows by its contents that Monroe was still lingering in Oberlin, so the other two 27 November 1874 letters, though undirected, were probably sent to Oberlin too. While Monroe was in his native town ninety-six letters passed through his hands.

Washington, D.C. 1 December 1874

If other years may be taken as an example, Monroe probably arrived in Washington on 28 or 29 November. The 1 December letter is the first one after the 27 November items sent to Oberlin. The year closes after twenty-two more letters. 1875 begins with two letters bearing only this year date. I cannot localize one, but the other (a receipt for printing speeches) might have been written at the end of the session in March. Fifty-eight more letters to Washington fill the calendar through 18 March 1875, making in all eighty-three letters to or from the Capitol.

Supplementary Letters of 1874  

The supplementary letters were discovered after the bulk of the Monroe letters had been read and listed. Additional letters of this year number forty-eight. On 19 May, Monroe received an invitation to attend a Decoration Day Celebration in Oberlin. It is not known if he attended. Other letters are routine. See Supplementary Index for dates.

Oberlin, Ohio 22 March 1875

I give this letter an Oberlin address because subsequent information indicates that Monroe was probably home by this date. I imposed an Oberlin address on a second letter because Kennedy, the correspondent and temporary guardian of Monroe’s son Willie, sent him home to Oberlin at or a trifle before 24 March 1875. This letter suggests that Monroe himself was home on 22 March 1875. One letter of 26 March 1875 speaks of Monroe passing through Cleveland “last week” on his home, and the second letter of that date is directed to Oberlin. All these clues lead me to believe that Monroe arrived home about 21 or 22 March 1875.

Thursday evening 25 March 1875, he might well have spent with the State Executive Committee in Columbus, helping them to determine the date of the next State Convention, (see letter no. 2887). There are three undirected specimens after 26 March 1875, and then nine mixed. As a group, these indicate sufficiently well an Oberlin residence. Twenty more letters pass and then one of 3 May arrives that is an invitation for a reunion on 4 June 1875. The correspondent tells Monroe that he can travel from Columbus, where Monroe will definitely attend a State Convention 2 June. A following letter changes the reunion date to 11 June; its locale is either Burbank or Lodi. The contents of this letter strongly suggest that Monroe attended the reunion.

Letters no. 2897 and 2903 reveal that Monroe definitely spoke before the Ohio Teachers’ Association at Put-in-Bay, Michigan on 30 June 1875; we can only guess at the number of days his trip consumed. His chairmanship of the Education and Labor Committee might have persuaded him to attend the National Education Convention at Minneapolis on 3, 4, and 5 August 1875 (see letter no. 2971). There was less reason for him to have gone to a Temperance meeting at Newburgh 19 August 1875, which was suggested by letter no. 2974. Monroe was in Akron either 10 August 1875 or close to it for political addresses (see letter no. 2992 and 2993). It is possible that he visited Lake Chippewa 17 September and Akron again on the same date.

He was certainly on the road for a week or a little less, probably between the dates of 8 and 13 September 1875, as letters no. 3009 and 3010 attest. 24 September 1875 saw him addressing the Agricultural Fair at West Richfield, according to letter no. 2888, and from 26 September to 3 October 1875, it is almost definite that he was campaigning through Summit County. We are sure that he made a speech at Hudson within a week after 27 September 1875. A letter from Julia 30 September 1875 is obviously to Monroe at Akron. It suggests that he left only a short time ago for a speech in Akron (on 2 October I think) and will be away less than a week, perhaps till 3 October 1875 when Julia hopes he will be “home over Sunday". It is a proof not only of his trip through Summit, mentioned before, but also of his stop in Hudson. On 2 October he might have visited Troy as well as Akron.

October 5, 1875 saw him speaking in Cuyahoga County, probably at Royalton, and on 7 or 8 October he addressed the citizens of Berea. The final address mentioned in these letters he made at Norwalk on 9 October 1875. Evidence for appointments that I have not proved may be found in the letters of this period. One of them seems to demonstrate that the campaign closed on 12 October 1875, by which date Monroe must have been at home; he was home 13 October because he wrote a letter from Oberlin then. Twenty further letters complete a period that contains altogether 157 entries. The last letter may have been sent to Washington since it recommends a Congressman to Monroe’s acquaintance and is written on the same day as the next letter to

Washington, D.C. 29 November 1875

Regardless of a room bill of 31 December 1875 which charges from 26 November, I cannot be sure that the Monroes began their stay in Washington at that date because it is doubtful to which year it refers. Letters of the same time incline me to believe that the Monroes were still in Oberlin. Only one of the first nine letters bears a written Washington address, but the rest indicate that Monroe is in Washington and that they were sent there.

Thirty-one more letters fulfill this year including one dated only “1875” that was belatedly discovered and placed; it was probably written in early December. The next is started with two letters dated tentatively simply 1876. One hundred forty-seven more letters arrive including some bills that show that during the third week in April, Julia and her daughter evidently did some shopping in New York. From a room and board bill of 1 July secreted at the end of forty-seven later letters, we learn that Julia and children had left Washington on 5 June 1876. There are sixty-nine further letters through 12 August, including a telegram sent by Julia 15 July, of her safe arrival in Oberlin. This makes altogether 305 letters.

Oberlin, Ohio 14 August 1876

I put this undirected letter in Oberlin because the writer sends love to Julia and family. On 15 August, a correspondent wants to visit Monroe from Cuyahoga Falls, so James Monroe must have been in Oberlin where this letter was, of course, sent. Hanford adds that he wants to call on Monroe before the latter goes to Akron, which he might have done in the last week in August; in which case letters were not forwarded but held. Including these, five letters without address precede the first directed letter of 16 August 1876. Two directed letters follow it before a letter to Washington of 19 August, missent for reasons inherent in the correspondence before and after it.

Seven more letters arrive, among which is an invitation for Monroe to speak at Huron on 23 August if he does not have other appointments. We are thus given a hint, confirmed later, of his traveling at this time through Ohio towns for political purposes. A group of five subsequent letters includes one from Julia 5 September, in which she reveals that she has left for Toledo for a few days and her husband also is away, but may be back by Sunday (or 10 September, see below). A letter of 8 September tells exactly where Monroe will be speaking through 15 September 1876:

  Hudson 11 September, Monday
  Cuyahoga Falls 12 September, Tuesday
  Bath 13 September, Wednesday
  Akron 14 September, Thursday
  Greensburg 15 September, Friday
  Manchester 15 September, Friday
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 13 September 1876

While Monroe was speaking here, he received this telegram that expressed eagerness for him to speak in Wooster 21 September.

Oberlin, Ohio 14 September 1876

This telegram of “14, 1876”, must have been sent in September since the sender inquires if the Republicans may make appointments for Monroe for the rest of the canvass. A second letter occurs before a third actually directed, as the first one was, to Oberlin. Another letter (25 September) reveals that Monroe did not visit Wooster, but was elsewhere on 21 September. This letter is probably the one forwarded by Julia (below) to

Lodi, Ohio 26 September 1876

On 28 September, Monroe was to be in Lodi, since Julia sent this, her letter of the 26th there, as well as some correspondence from Wooster.

Oberlin, Ohio 27 September 1876

Eight letters follow this one, including a letter of 17 October that cites Monroe’s plans to be in Doylestown on 3 November for a political meeting. (Some letters under this heading might not have been sent to Oberlin if the writers knew Monroe’s transient addresses, but since there is no indication that they did, I place the letters here as a matter of convenience.) Among seventeen later letters is a telegram from Garfield dated simply “27, 1876”, but since it mentions meeting Monroe on 4 November, I assume that it was sent 27 October. Moreover, a letter written by Monroe on 28 October proves that he is in Oberlin at least on that date.

Two letters, written to Washington 22 November and 30 November, and therefore relegated to the next category—suggests an Akron visit, which Monroe probably made after 22 November and before 30 November. No letters were directed to Akron since Monroe at this time was simply on his way to Washington. Altogether thirty-six letters were more or less certainly sent to Oberlin, although the last item, written 23 November, was misdirected there (see below).

Washington, D.C. 29 November 1876

This letter is probably directed to Washington since the next entry of 30 November definitely is. Monroe could not have been in Washington much before this date since Conger in his letter of 22 November speaks of seeing Monroe on his way to Washington and suggests that they meet in Cleveland a few days after 22 November. A letter of 6 December discloses that Monroe was in Mansfield on 22 November and that a letter to Oberlin on 23 November from Conkling was misdirected since Monroe was on his way to Washington at that time. Three of the above six letters are uncertain in their addresses, but since Monroe must be in Washington by this time (7 December), I assume that they were all directed there. Eighteen letters follow, raising the total to twenty-five letters through 31 December 1876.

1877 begins with the usual assortment of letters with nothing but the year given as dates: there are four of these, two to Oberlin, one of which might have been sent in April. Mr. Cowles (part of the subject of this letter) is also discussed in letters from Watmough 28 February 1877 and from Upson 8 March 1877. A letter of 1877 to Washington is from Billow and Rotart who wrote also 30 November 1876 and 7 March 1877. Monroe himself writes the fourth undated letter from Washington, which by its contents indicates that it was written in 1877. Ninety fully dated letters follow these, with selected entries offering pertinent information: a letter of 20 March mentions the end of the Congressional session, and Monroe probably did not stay for the extra session described in a letter of 26 March since he is at home by 29 March. The letters, from 14 through 27 March are not directed and give no evidence of change, so I gather that Monroe did not include the extra session in his plans. He has received 119 letters in Washington, the last one having been written on 27 March, and perhaps forwarded to Ohio.

Oberlin, Ohio 29 March 1877

Although this letter is undirected, the writer sends regards to Mrs. Monroe, so Monroe must be home since Julia left for Oberlin earlier. A correspondent in his letter of 30 March has read of Monroe’s arrival in a newspaper, presumably of this date. We can compute that he has been home about two days mid that these two letters were sent to Oberlin. A 2 April letter was probably sent to Oberlin since the writer had received Monroe’s letter of 28 March, in which he doubtlessly enclosed his Oberlin address. There are no directed letters until 10 April, and fifty-three letters in all up to June 1877.

After 103 letters, we are informed in an entry of 14 September that the Monroes were vacationing in Connecticut. The correspondent also mentions the possible return of Monroe and Julia to Washington in October. Before they went to Connecticut, they were visiting Emma in Rhode Island. This material is presented by A.C. Monroe’s letter of 23 July, so we guess that Tames and Julia Monroe had a vacation from approximately 1 August to 1 September. Among five final letters is one that tells the places and dates of Monroe’s political appointments through 21 September:

  Painesville 11 September
  Chardon 12 September
  Alliance 14 September
  Wooster 18 September
  Cadiz 19 September
  Wellsville 20 September
  Salem 21 September

There were 161 letters received in Oberlin during this residence, including the last one sent 4 October 1877. I believe few if any letters were sent to Ohio towns. In spite of this theory, there is one letter to

Medina, Ohio 7 October 1877

There is only one entry here; Monroe probably stopped off at Medina on his way to Washington and received it then.

Washington, D.C. 10 October 1877

Supposing that the above suggestion is correct, then this undirected letter was probably sent to Washington. The next letter, definitely directed to Washington on 12 October, supports this theory. There follow fifty-eight letters through 19 December until a letter to

Oberlin, Ohio 19 December 1877

The preceding letter is problematical; it has a certain political tone that suggests Washington; the letter to Oberlin at the same date, is, however, actually directed there because of a recess of Congress that Monroe probably spent in Oberlin. A letter of 24 December must have been addressed to Oberlin because it is an invitation from his brother to visit the family in Akron, which Monroe might have done on his way back. An intervening letter, 22 December, was missent to Washington, and so I have listed it in the preceding category. Three letters in all seem to have been sent to Monroe during this brief recess. The last, dated 26 December, and the next to

Washington, D.C. 29 December 1877

This letter from E.G. Johnson could have been sent to either Oberlin or Washington, as also L.B. Halls, but because it is lengthy, concerned with politics exclusively and from a town as close as Elyria, I imagine that it was sent to Washington where Monroe is by now. Moreover, the next letter of 31 December is directed to Washington. A third letter, closing the year, is not directed but the correspondent, thanks Monroe for his Washington return address, so Monroe has but recently arrived.

I have added one more letter, a late discovery, directed to Monroe in Oberlin in mid-July. One letter of the New Year has just the “1878” date for identification and no return address; a second dated only with the year was probably sent to Washington. Starting with 1 January 1878, Monroe received eighty-one letters in Washington through 26 June; a second letter of 26 June is undirected. Since it suggests no destination, we are uncertain where Monroe is. The letter was most likely sent to Oberlin because of Monroe’s arrival there within a week or so.

Oberlin, Ohio 28 June 1878

Since Monroe is not at home by this date, the letter waits his arrival. A letter from Cox on 2 July mentions Monroe’s preparations for traveling and his recent departure, and in so doing, implies that he is in Oberlin now. One of the letters suggests that shortly after 25 July Monroe might have visited Columbus briefly for political reasons. There is one telegram in August followed by a series in October, which disclose Monroe’s victorious election returns. Of course, we know that there has been some campaigning in various Ohio towns in order to achieve their victory. A letter of 11 October describes a trip to Brownhelm and Saginaw, Michigan that Monroe may take. A 12 October letter confirms this information and adds by indirection that Monroe will be there at least by 21 October, beginning his speaking for the Republican cause on 22 October. We do not know how long he was away (if he took the trip), but the next letter from John H. Boynton (his 11 October correspondent) occurs on 8 November, by which time I guess that Monroe has returned. No doubt, letters in general were directed to Ohio where they were held or forwarded. Approximately 101 letters arrived in Oberlin through 18 November, before the change to

Washington, D.C. 26 November 1878

There are two letters on this date, one directed to Washington, the other undirected. The last letter received in Oberlin (18 November) was directed there and we can assume that Monroe was traveling during most of the intervening eight days. A letter of 13 December 1878 suggests that Monroe will be home by New Year’s day at least. There are fourteen letters received in this period, the last one dated 19 December 1878, before an entry directed to

Elyria, Ohio 26 December 1878

I assume that while Monroe was on his way from Oberlin he stopped off at Elyria. This letter offers no concrete point of departure from which I can build more secure reasons. After a single entry, the next is to

Washington, D.C. 27 December 1878

The first directed letter is Dec. 28 to Washington. I place the three intervening letters in the Washington category also because the letters are written from Oberlinites or citizens of Elyria who would undoubtedly have seen Monroe if he had been home. Monroe probably left Washington shortly after 19 December 1878 and departed from Oberlin the day after Christmas, which accounts for the date (26 or 27 December) of his visit to Elyria.

More than likely very few of his correspondents tried to have letters reach him at either Oberlin or Elyria, where he was to be for such a fleeting period, but were content to let letters await Monroe in Washington. Two letters succeed the first letter directed to Washington (28 December 1878). These come from Oberlin and Elyria, proving that Monroe must be in Washington. Moreover, a third letter is directed there. Three more letters complete the year on 30 December 1878, with a total of twelve letters.

1879: The first eight letters of 1879 with incomplete dates are included in the next section. During 1879, Monroe received 125 letters while in Washington, much of which is undirected. A letter of 15 June states that Congress will adjourn probably on 32 June. However, Monroe’s departure was delayed due to an extra session, so some of the letters may have been directed to Oberlin while he was still in Washington. Letter 4101 of 15 June states that Julia left Washington for Oberlin two months previously. One hundred thirty-five letters seem to have been addressed to Washington, plus six letters in 1879, which were neither to or from Monroe or his wife. The last letter to Washington was 4112, was dated 27 June 1879 and, although Congress was still in session the following letter was addressed to

Oberlin, Ohio 31 June 1879

Monroe probably arrived in Oberlin a few days after the above date, at least the next letter, dated 7 July, is directed there. Eight telegrams, 3981-3988, dated only 1879 and directed to Oberlin, are placed here although their descriptive notes will be found opening the year, and, therefore, in a position just before the Washington material. From these Oberlin letters, one may conclude that during August, September, and October, Monroe was out of town frequently giving political speeches. After the middle of September he was in

  Hudson, Ohio
  West Richfield on 20 September

Republican Committee letters of 25 September schedule him to be in

  Plymouth 29 September
  Greenwich 30 September
  Wakeman 1 October

A telegram of 25 September adds the following additional dates:

  Litchfield 3 October
  Brunswick 8 October
  Lodi 7 October

A second telegram of the same date adds

  Sandusky 16 October

Three letters; 4, 14, and 17 November; from Brazil are directed to Washington. One on 10 October has no indication of its destination on the letter proper. Monroe was not in Washington at this time. Later letters with Oberlin addresses show that he did not leave Oberlin until late in November. In a letter of 18 November from George W. Crouse, he states that he will meet Monroe in Akron, Ohio on 20 November before Monroe leaves for Washington. On 27 November, he was definitely in Washington again. On the way he might have stopped in Elyria or Medina—see letter of 20 November 1879. During this period we find 170 letters, the last of which was written on 21 November 1879.

Washington, D.C. 26 November 1879

Letter no. 4192 from T. Adamson, Brazil, also a letter from Ohio on the same date was probably written while Monroe was in Washington. Beginning November 27 46 letters were directed there, the last bearing the date 31 December 1879.

1880: The New Year begins with an undated card and a letter presumably to Monroe. Before 26 January there are a number of undirected letters in succession, so that one may assume that they were sent to Washington. Two letters of April were definitely directed to him there. A letter of 1 May was sent to Oberlin, but since two other letters of the same were sent to Washington it may be assumed that the one to Oberlin was misdirected. A letter of 3 May was from Monroe while he was in Washington. Again, a letter from Brazil, dated 8 July, was directed to him in Washington. The last letter, no. 4470, in the group of 278 Washington entries was dated 17 June 1880, and was definitely addressed to Washington.

Oberlin, Ohio 21 June 1880

It seems safe to conclude that the above letter (21 June) was directed to Oberlin since friends were sure that Monroe was in Oberlin on 22 June. Subsequent letters help to confirm this assumption. Letters of 28 August and 14 September give the lists of speaking engagements for September:

  Stryker 6 September
  Delta 7 September
  Perrysburg 8 September
  Ada 9 September
  Forest 10 September
  Groveport 13 September
  Westerville 14 September
  Granville 15 September
  London 16 September
  South Charleston 17 September
  Greenwich 20 September
  Galion 21 September
  Marion 22 September
  Cardington 23 September
  Oberlin 24 September

The weekend of 10 September Monroe probably spent in Oberlin. A letter of 10 September states that he will be in Cincinnati on 6, 7, and 8 October for campaign purposes. Letter no. 4510 of 14 September is from Columbus, Ohio, directed to Monroe in that city. Friday, 24 September being a Monroe was probably in Oberlin over the weekend.

Marion, Ohio 21 September 1880

A letter from Julia is directed here. His schedule would bring him here about this date, or, at least on the following day. A telegram also was directed to Marion. (It may be assumed that most of his correspondence was sent to Oberlin while he was on speaking tours.)

Oberlin, Ohio 27 September 1880

A telegram from G.K. Nash makes it reasonably certain that Monroe was in Oberlin at this date. A second one front Wash follows, this one directed to West Salem, Ohio. After one other entry a telegram is directed to

Orrville, Ohio 29 September 1880

The Republican Chairman requests that Monroe go to Wooster on 29 September. There is no more mail until he receives a telegram in

Oberlin, Ohio 5 October 1880

Five more telegrams follow, giving the following information: Nash insists that Monroe speak in Milan on 6 October, in two undetermined towns on the 7th and 8th, then in Alliance on the 9th, although he had previously scheduled Monroe for Cincinnati on the 6th, 7th, and 8th. Monroe was invited to a rally in Akron 16 October, but it is not known if he attended. He probably did visit Bellefontaine on 30 October. Mixed with and following these telegrams are nine letters. The last, dated 27 November, informs Monroe that the Committee on Appropriations, of which he is a member, will convene in Washington on 15 or 20 December, and that some members are expected to come by the 4th or soon after.

Washington, D.C. 1 December 1880

Letters indicate that Monroe returned to Washington probably about 29 November or soon after. Before the end of the year, he received ten letters, the last directed to him on 29 December 1880.

1881: This year begins with an undated petition and a letter from his son Will. Then follow two letters dated January 1881. The next sixty-six letters were written between 1 January and 17 March. The Washington correspondence totals eighty-one letters.

Cincinnati, Ohio 18 March 1881

Only one entry here, and a letter, no. 4616, was sent in care of J.D. Cox in anticipation of Monroe’s visit with him.

Washington, D.C. 21 March 1881

One may assume from the contents of this letter and from the undirected ones that follow that all were addressed to Washington, D.C. or intended for Monroe there. A fourth letter of 23 March is so addressed. A letter of 20 April reveals that Julia arrived in Cincinnati at Cox’s on 16 April. One letter, dated 28 April, was mistakenly sent to Oberlin. Two following indicate that Monroe was probably still in Washington. Later letters make his movements very unclear, but part of this time he may have been preparing for his return to Oberlin. There are twenty-six letters in this category before

Elyria, Ohio 11 May 1881

Here we find one letter from the citizens of Elyria to Governor Foster, Washington, D.C. It shows the writing of Monroe and a return address to Elyria. Either Monroe was in Elyria at this date or the letter is a copy of a petition sent by Elyria men while he was in Oberlin. The next two letters are uncertain as to destination. The first may have been addressed to

Oberlin, Ohio 13 May 1881

Greetings are sent to Julia and Mary who went to Oberlin before Monroe himself. The next letter was redirected to Oberlin from Washington. A letter of 19 May, as well as others following it, make it reasonably certain that Monroe was in Oberlin during this time. He made a visit to Columbus between 24 and 27 May to consider the presidency of Ohio State University. A total of fifty-three letters are found before Monroe returns to

Columbus, Ohio 19 September 1881

A telegram is dated as above, and a second on the 20th. This date checks with Monroe’s speaking dates as stated heretofore. The death of President Garfield necessitated the cancellation of meetings scheduled from 20 September to 1 October. Monroe probably returned to

Oberlin, Ohio 20 September 1881

A letter of 24 September gives the following schedule of speaking dates:

  Ada 1 October
  Mechanicsburg 3 October
  Marysville 4 October
  Newark 5 October
  Coshocton 6 October
  Cadiz 7 October
  Flushing 8 October
  Canal Fulton 10 October

About 1 December, the Monroes may have been on a short vacation as a letter from Willie, who is in Pittsfield, says that he will remain there until they return. Letter dated 6 December. All letters during this period were directed to Oberlin, thirty-nine in all.

1882: The first half of the year 1882 may be represented by the following activities: Some pressure is being brought to bear on Monroe’s behalf for another government post. A request for a speaking date at the University of Nebraska was answered favorably. Considerable pressure was being exerted at this time to get Monroe to accept a professorship at the university. Other speaking dates are:

  Elyria 15 February
  Elyria 5 March
  Lorain 20 March
  Wellington 2 April

On 29 March an invitation was received from Ohio State University to give the Commencement address in June. Monroe was presumably in Medina on 22 April, then in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the 30th. There are 100 letters between 3 January and June, all probably sent to Oberlin. This does not include eleven letters neither to nor from Monroe or his wife. A letter of 11 June was sent to Oberlin then one to

Lincoln, Nebraska 11 June 1882

Monroe received this letter while attending the commencement exercises at Nebraska University, 12, 13, and 14 June. The next letter is, in all probability, to Oberlin.

Oberlin, Ohio 15 June 1882

This letter may have been sent to Crete, Nebraska where Monroe was to give an address at Doane College, 18 June; however, the Oberlin address was used for the second letter which contained a doctor’s certificate. Likewise, a third letter of 16 June. On his return to Oberlin, Monroe may have visited the Finneys in Milwaukee. He was in Oberlin on or after the 19th. Letters of 13 and 19 September give speaking dates:

  Wakeman 18 September
  Fitchville 20 September
  Ripley 21 September
  North Fairfield 22 September
  Ada 25 September
  Dunkirk 26 September
  Catawba 27 September
  Cedarville 28 September
  Waynesville 29 September
  Rochester 4 October
  Sanannah 5 October
  Elyria 7 December
  Norwalk exact date unknown

From here until the end of the year, he received eighty letters, the last on 30 December.

1883: Among the first nineteen letters of 1883 is one dated 18 January in which is mentioned Monroe’s speaking at Buchtel College, Akron, Ohio. Also another speaking date at Wauseon on 25 January. He may have been in Mansfield on 14 February and in Talmadge and Lorain late in February. Soon after 5 May Monroe and his wife visited in Columbus a few days. Speaking dates were requested by Cleveland and Wauseon, but it is not known if he agreed to speak. A letter from the Republican Committee states that Monroe will not tour as extensively as he had been doing in the past. This period is covered by 142 letters. Eight other letters neither to nor from Monroe or his wife are included here.

1884: This year begins with twenty-seven letters to Oberlin. At this time, Monroe agreed to speak in Ashtabula on 8 February, and in Cleveland on 20 May where he may not have appeared. See letter of 20 February. During the political campaign from 15 August to 14 October, he agreed to speak only in his own district. During the summer of 1884, he and Mrs. Monroe visited in Milwaukee. Two undated telegrams were sent to Monroe during the campaign. Fifty-two letters cover the remainder of the year. Two of these may have been sent on 17 July since they resemble other birthday greetings sent on that date.

1885: We begin with three undated letters. On 16 August, Monroe spoke in Pittsfield, Ohio. Another speaking date was early in December when he spoke before the Lincoln Club in Cleveland. The mail of this year totals fifty-seven letters.

1886: The first seven letters would indicate that Monroe was in Oberlin until 19 April when two letters were addressed to him in Columbus where his wife had been visiting. Letters are dated 19 April and 14 May. On 17 May, Monroe was notified that he had been given an honorary membership in the Northwestern Literary and Historical Society. The following eight letters are all addressed to Oberlin, a ninth, dated 23 September, containing an invitation to speak “during the winter” in Bellevue, Ohio. He was also to speak in Elyria on 14 December and in Cleveland on the 20th. Whether he carried out such engagements is not known.

1887: An invitation “to speak this week or next” in Wauseon, Ohio was received on 31 January 1887. On 24 February, another invitation came from Pomeroy, Ohio asking if he would speak at the high school commencement presumably in the spring. A letter dated 8 April from T.E. Monroe, Akron, Ohio, invites Monroe to accompany him to the black Hills and, possibly, to the seashore in August. On 11 May, an invitation was received from Hudson, Ohio asking him to deliver the Memorial Day address in that city. Sometime during this period Monroe apparently visited J.D. Cox at his home on Ballast Islands. See letters of 12 May and 22 July. One letter was directed to Ballast Islands on 8 August, so one may assume that Monroe was there at that time. Between 5 and 14 September, it is probable that he spent a day or so in Cleveland. In the week of 26 September, he was urged to spend a weekend in Austinburg, and probably did so. All other letters up to 5 October are addressed to Oberlin. There is a telegram to Springfield, Massachusetts from James Brand who was in that city at the time. This may have been a meeting of the American Board. Twelve letters follow to

1888: All letters up to August were probably directed to Oberlin.

Watch Hill, Rhode Island 13 August 1888

The following letters indicate that the Monroes visited Plainsville and Hopkinton, Connecticut stopping at Woonsocket on their return to Oberlin about the 20th. They passed through Boston on the way. The next two letters are to

Oberlin, Ohio 1889

Some of Monroe’s movements are decipherable in the letters of this period. Nothing of importance occurs before 12 April when he received an invitation to speak in Sandusky, Ohio. The date was not decided upon. He may have been in Cleveland about the middle of April, and in the fall, it is reasonably certain that he was in St. Louis at the National Silver Convention, which met on 26 November. Late in December, he was again in again in Cleveland.

1890: This year also begins with two undated letters directed to Oberlin. Monroe and his wife visited in Akron, probably in the spring vacation. The invitation was accepted in February. Letters in July show that they intended to leave for New England during that month, to be gone four weeks. Up to and including 20 July there are 209 letters in this period.

Plainfield, Connecticut 1 August 1890

Arrived here, at the Eaton Tavern, the last of July. One letter from Oberlin, and probably addressed to Plainfield, Connecticut, is followed by four others, after which the Oberlin address is used.

Oberlin, Ohio 21 August 1890

The Monroes arrived in Oberlin about this date. Twenty-seven seven more letters, all addressed to Oberlin, bring this year to a close.

From the year 1891 until his death in 1898, Monroe was more or less permanently situated in Oberlin, where his mail was undoubtedly directed. During this year there were seventy-three letters, one of which is from G.W. Chamberlain, who hopes to see Monroe in Cleveland in May. Sometime between 24 October and 2 November, Monroe probably gave a lecture in Mentor, Ohio.

1892 is represented by thirty-two letters;

1893 by seventy-two. Two letters are placed tentatively in 1894, and a third bears that general date.

1894 contains eighty-one letters, in the collection, some of which reveal a bit of information concerning Monroe’s movements. This includes Julia’s return from Europe, and early in the year a speaking engagement in Cleveland. A telegram dated 3 April states that Julia will arrive in New York on the 10th. In order to meet her, Monroe went to the Atkinson’s in Brooklyn—see letter of 2 April. Letters dated 6 April were probably received by Monroe before he left for Oberlin. The next letter from Monroe is dated, Oberlin, 21 April. This gives some idea of the length of his Brooklyn visit. He was away again on 8 September, but to where is not known.

1895: We find sixty-four letters in 1895. On 30 April Monroe probably presided at the Anti-Saloon League Convention in Elyria, Ohio since he was earlier chosen to be president of that organization.

1896: Sixty-nine letters are dated 1896. As far as we know, the Monroes were in Oberlin the entire year with possibly the exception of a visit with the Finneys in Milwaukee. When is not clear.

1897: Sometime after the middle of June a visit was made to the T.E. Monroes in Akron, Ohio. See letter of 14 June. All mail continued to be addressed to Oberlin. A few days after 10 August Monroe was In Cleveland visiting W.H. Stewart, and on 20 October both of the Monroes were in Cleveland to attend the wedding of their son William. Sixty-four letters in all were received during this year.

1898: We find only six letters for 1898. All correspondence in the file comes to an end on 28 April.

Letter Index
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