Morris

Morris, family of prominent American landowners and statesmen. Richard Morris, d. 1672, left England after serving in Oliver Cromwell's army, became a merchant in Barbados, and emigrated to New York City when it was known, under the Dutch, as New Amsterdam. He purchased a tract of land in what is now the Bronx, which, along with other real estate, descended to his son, Lewis Morris (1671–1746; see separate article). The New York estate was erected into a manor, called Morrisania, in 1697. Lewis's eldest son, Lewis Morris, 1698–1762, b. Morrisania, was the second lord of the manor and became judge of the high court of admiralty. His brother, Robert Hunter Morris, c.1700–1764, b. Morrisania, was appointed (1738) chief justice of New Jersey by his father and later became (1754) governor of Pennsylvania; protests from the western counties over his administration of frontier defenses resulted in his resignation in 1756. The third and last lord of the manor was Lewis Morris (1726–98; see separate article). His brothers included Gouverneur Morris (see separate article) and Richard Morris, 1730–1810, b. Morrisania, who was a judge of the admiralty court, like his father, and was appointed (1779) chief justice of the New York state supreme court despite his lack of ardor for the Revolutionary cause. Morrisania was annexed to the city of New York as part of the Bronx in 1874. Richard Morris's son, Lewis Richard Morris, 1760–1825, b. Scarsdale, N.Y., saw active service during the early part of the Revolution and was (1781–83) assistant to the secretary of foreign affairs. He established a manor at Springfield, Vt., was active in Vermont politics, and served (1797–1803) as Representative in the U.S. Congress. Another member of the family was Richard Valentine Morris (see separate article).

See L. D. Akerly, The Morris Manor (1916).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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