James Monroe's Highland
About James Monroe’s Highland
Highland is a historic place with an ongoing story. From 1799 to 1826 Highland was the home of fifth US President James Monroe, his wife, and their family. It was a 3,500-acre plantation that operated with the labor of dozens of enslaved men, women, and children who performed the bulk of Highland’s production and maintenance. The property, nestled in the hills of Albemarle County, was bequeathed to the College of William & Mary in 1974 and is open to visitors interested in exploring a complex history that encompasses the presidency, Monroe’s international influence, and slavery, with its formidable impact on the American story.
Research has recently transformed the property and set the stage for dynamic interpretation of the past. The archaeological discovery of the Monroes’ lost and forgotten house from 1799 and the correct identification of the small house that Monroe had constructed in 1818 set the stage for a new public history. Exhibits share research results, Monroe’s career and diplomatic legacy, and the accounts of the enslaved carpenters, George Williams and Peter Malorry, who built the later guesthouse. Visits to the 1818 guesthouse are self-guided. Known since the mid-19th century as Ash Lawn, the site reclaimed Monroe’s name for his home, Highland, in 2016.
Highland offers historic visits and programs, hosts community and private events, and features a robust museum shop, including a Virginia Artisans Room. For hours, directions, and more information, visit highland.org or call 434-293-8000.
2050 James Monroe Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902