The History of Hollywood Cemetery



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Located in Richmond Virginia, Hollywood Cemetery is home to 2 presidents, the president of the confederacy, confederate generals, and hundreds of confederate soldiers.  Hollywood Cemetery was designed in 1847 and became functional in the 19th century. It is the second most visited cemetery behind Arlington cemetery. In 1858 president James Monroe’s remains were moved to Hollywood Cemetery and 4 years later president John Tyler was buried in president’s circle opposite of Monroe.

James Monroe, fifth President of the United States
James Monroe, fifth President of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


James Monroe was the 5th president of the United States and he was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the last president of the founding fathers and the last in the Virginia Dynasty. Under his presidency he bought Florida from Spain with the Adams-Onis Treaty. He also issued the Monroe Doctrine which told European countries to stay away from colonizing in Latin America. He stated that they would stay on their side of the world, if they stay on theirs. The Monroe Doctrine was written with the help of John Quincy Adams, who was his Secretary of State.

John Tyler was the 10th president of the United States. He was born in Charles County, Virginia and died in Richmond, Virginia at the age of 71. John Tyler was a Democrat and believed in State’s rights. He did not have a Vice President. In 1842 he added Hawaii to the Monroe Doctrine and dubbed it the “Tyler Doctrine.”

Picture of Jefferson Davis's grave in the Holl...
Picture of Jefferson Davis’s grave in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond Virgina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America, is also buried in Hollywood Cemetery. He was a senator from Mississippi who supported Secession from the Union to preserve Slavery during the civil war. When elected president of the CSA, he asked General Robert E. Lee to be commander of the Confederate Army of Virginia. He has a memorial and statue of him at Hollywood Cemetery.

I have many family members buried at Hollywood cemetery along with these people. My aunt, great grandparents, and other distant relatives. One of my relatives that is there was a Virginia Supreme Court Justice, his name is Asbury Christian Compton and he is my grandpa’s cousin. I have heard many stories about him from my grandpa. He was a very nice person and a loving husband to Betty Stephenson and father to his 3 daughters. He died in 2006 at the age of 76. He attended Washington and Lee University and also served in the Navy from 1953-1956.

Asbury Christian Compton, October 1, 1974-February 2, 2000

I have visited Hollywood cemetery many times in my lifetime, but never went to see any of the presidents or confederate soldiers, until my recent visit in March. It is always sad to go and see my family’s gravesites, but the view overlooking the James river is beautiful. I hope to go and explore the cemetery more when I get older. It has great historic value, but also has a lot of meaning to my family history. It is a wonderful place to visit and to enjoy the beauty of the natural cycle of life.

This monument was built in memory of all of the confederate soldiers, who fought and died during the Civil War.
This monument was built in memory of all of the confederate soldiers, who fought and died during the Civil War.