Oak Hill, VA
USS OAK HILL honors the residence of the fifth President of the United
States, James Monroe.
Oak Hill, located in Loudon County, Virginia, was constructed in
1820-1823 with the assistance of James Hoban, Irish architect of the
white House and the protege of Thomas Jefferson. It is a brick mansion
that stands at the head of an avenue of trees. The simple interior is
ornamented by two very handsome mantels sent by the Marquis de
Lafayette from Europe. Incidentally, Lafyette stayed at Oak Hill during
his triumphal tour of the United States.
Monroe spent much time at Oak Hill making trips to and from the Capitol
on horseback and carrying state papers in his saddle bags. While at Oak
Hill, he penned the Monroe doctrine, a pronouncement he made in 1823
staking out the Western Hemisphere as an American hemisphere of
influence. After retiring from public life in 1825, he remained at Oak
Hill until Mrs. Monroe's death five years later, at which time he went
to live with his daughter in New York.
Oak Hill passed out of the family in the years following Monroe's death
in 1831. Confederate Colonel John W. Fairfax bought Oak Hill in 1854.
His wife remained at the mansion to manage the plantation during the
Civil War and was an unwilling hostess when Union General George G.
Meade made it his headquarters during the Battle of Second Manassas.
Today it still remains as a private residence, the home of Mr. and Mrs.
Thomas Delasmutt. The historic mansion is a fitting monument to an
important part of American History and to President Monroe.