President James Monroe served 2 terms in office, from 1817 to 1825. He oversaw the Panic of 1819, our country’s first depression, as well as the acquisition of Florida from Spain and of course was the architect of the Monroe Doctrine. Unlike most Presidents, Monroe did not have many pets roaming the White House grounds. But his daughter Maria did have a small, black spaniel.
When her father first took office, Maria was 14 years old and said to be quite beautiful. In fact, in a letter to his own daughter Judge George Tucker took pains to point out Maria’s attire – possibly in the hopes that his daughter Frances would emulate the President’s daughter:
“Your Mama referred you to me for an account of little Maria Monroe…She was dressed in a short frock, that reached about half way between her knees and ankles, under which she displayed a long pair of loose pantaloons, wide enough for the foot to pass through with ease, frilled round with the same stuff as her frock and pantaloons…She had a small Spaniel dog, with whom she was continually engaged in a trial of skill & the general opinion was that seemed to be that she turned & twisted about more than the Spaniel.”
The little spaniel’s name is unverified, although some sources claim it was “Buddy.” His or her gender is also unknown, as well as where Maria might have acquired it.
Another rumored pet of Monroe is a Siberian husky, possibly named Sebastian. However, sources are scarce and most of the sources that do reference the animal also list Maria Monroe as James Monroe’s wife, not his daughter, and thus are likely untrustworthy.