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James Monroe in Times of The French Revolution

'Monroe Hill' explores a significant chapter of Monroe’s life as Minister to France, highlighting his relationships with notable figures such as Thomas Paine, Tom Wolfe, Adrienne de La Fayette, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.




‘Monroe Hill’ sheds light on an unexplored period of James Monroe’s life through meticulous documentation, independent research, and expert interviews. The film employs rare footage from D.W. Griffith’s ‘America’ and ‘Orphans of the Storm’ to enhance authenticity. Director Eduardo Montes-Bradley explained, “Obtaining high-quality prints of these early American films shot around Williamsburg in the late 1910s was crucial in capturing the colonial Virginia aesthetic of the early 19th century.” The documentary investigates Monroe Hill as a static yet archaeologically rich site, examining its transformation and challenging misconceptions about the University of Virginia’s mythical origins. It also delves into other properties owned by Monroe during the same period, his diplomatic career in Paris, family dynamics, slavery, and his intricate relationships with contemporaries like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Filmed at locations including the University of Virginia, Paris, Philadelphia, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Fredericksburg, and New York.


film by Montes-Bradley
Archive Photograph of Monroe Hill


‘Monroe Hill’ was made possible by support from The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the University of Virginia Alumni Association. Commenting on the documentary, William Ferraro of the Washington Papers praised,


With ‘Monroe Hill,’ Eduardo Montes-Bradley has crafted a scholarly masterpiece. By weaving historical imagery, early film footage, and modern insights, the film compellingly argues for Monroe Hill’s pivotal role in America’s early development.

James Monroe began cultivating the land in 1789, coinciding with the birth of the new federal government under the Constitution. Originally intended as an agricultural hub, Monroe Hill instead evolved into a beacon of learning, nurturing minds and knowledge—two essentials in America’s tumultuous but enduring rise to prominence.


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HERITAGE FILM PROJECT presents MONROE HILL a film by EDUARDO MONTES-BRADLEY made possible through an award from THE JEFFERSON TRUST | in collaboration with BROWN COLLEGE | CURRY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION | ASH LAWN-HIGHLAND with the support of THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST & VICE PROVOST OF THE ARTS | THE PAPERS OF JAMES MONROE | WASHINGTON PAPERS | THE JAMES MONROE MUSEUM & THE PRESIDENTIAL PRECINCT | 52 min. | HD | 16:9

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