3. James Monroe (1817-1825)
Monroe ran his plantation into the ground. At the end of his life, he petitioned Congress to relieve some of his family’s debt and was granted $30,000. It turned out to be insufficient and he was forced to sell his home in Paris and his 3,500 acre Ash Lawn estate. On Monroe’s misfortune, John Quincy Adams wrote "Mr. Monroe is a very remarkable instance of a man whose life has been a continued series of the most extraordinary good fortune, who has never met with any known disaster, has gone through a splendid career of public service, has received more pecuniary reward from the public than any other man since the existence of the nation, and is now dying, at the age of seventy-two, in wretchedness and beggary."