We asked Senior Paper Conservator, Kathy Ludwig, about the most interesting project she’s worked on. The most intrinsically valuable document she has treated at the National Archives is the Monroe Doctrine. The document is the Senate version the 36-page text of President James Monroe’s seventh annual Message to Congress on December 2, 1823. The Monroe Doctrine, hand-written by an administrative assistant and signed by the President, was a defining moment in American foreign policy. We’ll explore its conservation treatment in the next few posts.
…the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers…
Message of President James Monroe at the commencement of the first session of the 18th Congress (The Monroe Doctrine), 12/02/1823
The Monroe Doctrine was articulated in President James Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. The European powers, according to Monroe, were obligated to respect the Western Hemisphere as the United States’ sphere of interest.