May 23, 2024

James Monroe Museum Acquires Revolutionary War Document

Front of the furlough document

On Friday, Feb. 17, the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library announced the acquisition of a significant artifact from the Revolutionary War. The museum has obtained a furlough signed by then-Major James Monroe on February 23, 1778, at Valley Forge. The furlough is believed to be the earliest-known official document bearing Monroe’s signature.

Support from the Friends of the James Monroe Museum was instrumental in purchasing the furlough from a nationally recognized documents dealer. The effort involved several weeks of negotiation and fundraising.

“Securing such a rare and interesting artifact as this furlough for the museum’s collection would be good news under any circumstances,” said Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum. “To do so with the help of so many supporters is especially gratifying.”

The furlough, or military pass, was issued to Second Lieutenant John Wallace, Jr. of the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, an infantry unit in the division of Major General William Alexander, also known as Lord Stirling. At the time, 19-year-old James Monroe served as Stirling’s aide-de-camp.

Donations made specifically for the purpose of buying the document came from the following: Paul M. Jones Revocable Trust; Stewart Jones Charitable Trust; Clan Munro Association, USA; Champe and Mary Randolph Corbin; Mrs. Mary Alice Regier Hoes; Charles and Mary Wynn McDaniel; Mrs. Rita M. Stone; and Judge Jere M. H. Willis, Jr. and Mrs. Barbara Willis.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.