Volume 7 opens in the midst of the War of 1812, documenting Monroe’s role as military adviser to President Madison during an ill-fated defense of Washington in August 1814, his appointment as secretary of war in September 1814, and his return to the State Department in March 1815, when he began the work of normalizing relations with the European nations after the end of the Napoleonic wars. Relations with Great Britain remained uneasy, but Monroe reduced friction by negotiating the 1817 Rush-Bagot Treaty, which led to disarmament of the Great Lakes.
Numerous documents detail the ill will between the United States and Spain caused by the war, disagreement over possession of Florida, and the revolutions in Spain’s American colonies. The volume also addresses the presidential election of 1816. Monroe, in line with the accepted practice at the time, avoided any overt acts that would indicate he was seeking the office. Correspondence with friends and confidants and several campaign essays written by Monroe nevertheless reveal a strategy of a quiet campaign to garner support for his candidacy.
- Contains 605 documents covering the period of April 1814–March 1817
- Offers insights into both Monroe's public career and his private life, including family matters, health issues, friendships, and his participation in the social life of the capital
- Illuminates Monroe's roles as military advisor to former President Madison, secretary of war, secretary of state, and presidential candidate
- Provides details on the presidential campaign of 1816, during which Monroe followed accepted practice and made no public show of seeking the office, but privately worked to garner support for his candidacy