MONROE WRITES A DEMAND ORDER DRAWN ON THE BANK OF THE METROPOLIS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $200
MONROE, JAMES. (1758-1831). Fifth President of the United States. Autograph Document Signed, ”Jas Monroe”, as Secretary of State under James Madison. One page oblong narrow octavo [7 x 2½ inches] [Washington], April 18, 1814. Small missing piece at bottom border, unobtrusive cancellations to the signature, as commonly done in the time period. Affixed to a same-sized piece of light cardstock. Fully written in his hand, in the form a demand order [like a check]. Monroe writes: ”Be pleased to send me by the Bearer Thomas two hundred dols, April 18, 1814. Jas Monroe. /Alexr Kerr cashier of the bank of the Metropolis – $200.” The Bank of the Metropolis, housed in Rhodes Tavern at the time, opened for business one month before this financial document was penned. The Burning of Washington occurred a few months later. As the British arrived, methodically setting ablaze the US Capital, White House, Treasury and War Departments, Rhodes Tavern was next to be torched, but was spared. A custodian for the bank, Sarah Sweeney, fended the enemy off and saved the building. The bank went on to loan the government $100,000 to aid to rebuild the public buildings of Washington destroyed by the British. The ”Thomas” referred to may have been an enslaved individual owned by Monroe, as Monroe s household at this time had 7 enslaved individuals, one of which was named ”Tom”. It s quite possible, Monroe sent his household servant to obtain the funds. Worthy of further research. An unusual financial Americana item from the pen of the last of our Founding Fathers, and quite rare thus.