James Monroe's Obituary

[From Niles' Weekly Register (Baltimore), July 23, 1831]


At the house of his son-in-law, Samuel L. Gouverneur,
esq. New York, at half past 3 o'clock, P.M. July 4,

[A funeral report from an unknown newspaper source.]

     The body having been brought by a guard of honor from the late residence of the deceased, accompanied by the immediate relatives and friends, was deposited on the platform in front of the City Hall. Immediately above it, a temporary stage, covered with black cloth, had been erected;
     The body was then taken from before the City Hall to St. Paul's church, where the impressive funeral service of the Episcopal church was read by the right rev. bishop Onderdonk and the rev. Dr. Wainright. The pulpit and reading desk were clad in mourning, and an appropriate anthem was sung by the choir.
     The body was carried in a hearse, covered with black cloth, fringed with gold. From the centre pannels, the national flag hung reversed, and eight black feathers waved above the whole; the hearse was drawn by four black horses.
     Preceding the hearse, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Onderdonk and the rev. Dr. Wainwright rode in a carriage, followed by the rev. clergy and all others on foot.
     The procession moved up Broadway to Bleecker street, the military forming in line on each side of Bleecker and Second streets, while the different public bodies and societies marched through and entered the cemetery. The body was then deposited in the vault assigned to it on the north east end. The troops fired three rounds after the body had been lowered, and the procession moved out of the cemetery in the same order in which they entered.
     The body of the deceased was deposited in a leaden coffin soon after death, and that in a mahogany coffin, which bears on a plate of silver the following inscription:

Of Virginia,
DIED 4th JULY, 1831.
     The shops generally were closed; and it is to be mentioned, as especially creditable to the inhabitants of the Bowery and Chatham-row, through which the corpse was conveyed to the City Hall, that their stores and dwellings were hung in black -- a spontaneous tribute of respect.