William & Mary

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James Monroe Enslaved Hundreds. Their Descendants Still Live Next Door.

So many Monroes in rural Albemarle County remember the moment they asked a parent or grandparent if they were somehow connected to the nation's fifth president, James Monroe.

The telltale entrance sign to Monroe's plantation estate, now a museum, had been a fixture of their childhoods, part of the landscape on the route back and forth between Charlottesville and the small, predominantly African-American community they called Monroetown.

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