Four of the first five U.S. Presidents were Virginians. And of those four, three called the Charlottesville area “home.” President Thomas Jefferson, President James Madison, and President James Monroe all lived within a few miles of each other – traveling the same roads and bi-ways as Charlottesville students do today. (Although President Madison’s hometown is actually in Orange County, today this is considered the “greater” Charlottesville area.)
Living in the area and walking the same paths as these 19th century presidents, Charlottesville students share a common bond with these founding fathers, as well as a bond with the first president and “Father of our Country,” George Washington, whose home is less than 100 miles from Charlottesville.
The average Charlottesville student should be well versed in the history of these outstanding American presidents. Charlottesville students have the opportunity to witness history as it comes alive at Monticello, the mountaintop retreat of Thomas Jefferson, at Ash-Lawn Highland, the home of President James Monroe, and at Montpelier, the welcoming residence of James and Dolly Madison.
Students can walk in the footsteps of Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe while taking a tour of Court Square – the same Court House where the three presidents practiced law, or tour the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson. These historical experiences are available to Charlottesville students and their parents, especially in the summer months.
So, how much do you know about these Virginian presidents?
Take the following quiz regarding our first five U.S. Presidents (George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe). See how many of the questions you can answer correctly! (The correct answers will follow at the end! No peeking!) Take the quiz before and after you see the slide show accompanying this lesson.
- Who was the first president to live in the White House?
- Which president’s administration was dubbed “the Era of Good Feelings?”
- Which president is known as the “Father of the Constitution?”
- Who was the only president ever elected by unanimous electoral votes?
- Who was the first president to hold his inauguration in Washington, D.C.?
- Name the first president to have prior service in Congress.
- Which president’s foreign policy emphasized protection of the Western Hemisphere?
- The controversial “Sedition Act” was legislated during which president’s administration?
- Which president wanted to be remembered as the “founder” of his state’s university?
- Which president had no formal education beyond elementary (grammar) school?
(1. Adams, 2. Monroe, 3. Madison, 4. Washington, 5. Jefferson, 6. Madison, 7. Monroe, 8. Adams, 9. Jefferson, 10. Washington)
More lessons to follow – subscribe to this column!
See also CJ Hatcher’s National Lesson Plans column!