1752 - 1816 (63 years)
Has 29 ancestors and 4 descendants in this family tree.
||Gouverneur Morris |
||31 Jan 1752
||This person is also Gouverneur Morris at Wikipedia |
||22 Nov 2016 |
||Lewis Morris, II, b. 23 Sep 1698, Trenton, Monmouth County, New Jersey , d. 21 May 1746, Morrisania, New York (Age 47 years) |
||Sarah Gouverneur, d. Yes, date unknown |
||5 siblings |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- studied law and also became a prominent statesman, serving in the provincial congress of New York and in the Continental Congress. After the Revolution, he moved to Philadelphia and resumed law practice. He became the able assistant to his namesake Robert Morris* , who was Superintendent of Finance in 1781-84 for the preliminary American government and the most prominent financier in his times. He later served in the Federal Constitutional Convention and was thus instrumental in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. In 1789, Gouverneur Morris went to France where he was later appointed U.S. Minister. Finding little sympathy from the French revolutionaries, due to his hang to support the Royalists, he was revoked in 1794 and returned to the United States in 1798. From 1800-1803 he was US Senator of New York, a Federalist. He then retired to his estate at Morrisiana, which he had bought from one of half brothers.
Gouverneur Morris late in his life married Anne Cary Randolph
* This Robert Morris, who was not related to the Morrises of Morrisiana, was the most successful merchant-banker in America during the period following the Revolutionary War; but he eventually failed, brought down by large scale real estate speculations and over-extension of his credit, which he also used to raise funds for the Government. Robert Morris spent several years in debtors prison at the end of his life.
The ablest man among the New York delegates in the Continental Congress was Gouverneur Morris. Being of a wealthy family, he enjoyed the advantages of a complete classical education. He graduated at King's College, in May 1768. Immediately after he entered the office of William Smith (the historian of the colony) as a student of law, and in 1771 was licensed to practice law. His proficiency in all his studies was remarkable. He acquired early much reputation as a man of brilliant talents and various promise. His person, address, manners, elocution, were of a superior order. In May 1775, Governeur was chosen a delegate to the Provincial Congress of New York. In June of that year, he served on a committee with General Montgomery, to confer with General Washington respecting the manner of his introduction to the Congress. He entered with zeal and efficiency into all the questions and proceedings which referred to a vigorous resistance to the pretensions of the mother country.
In December 1776, Gouverneur acted as one of the committee for drafting a constitution for the State of New York, which was reported in March, and adopted in April, of that year, after repeated and very able debates, in which Jay, Morris, and Robert R. Livingston were the principal speakers. In July 1777, he served as a member of a committee from the New York Congress to repair to the headquarters of Schuyler's army to inquire into the causes of the evacuation of Ticonderoga. In October of that year he joined the Continental Congress at York, Pennsylvania, and, in 1778, wrote the patriotic and successful pamphlet called "Observations on the American Revolution," which he published at the beginning of 1779. We must refer to the journals of Congress for an account of his many and valuable services, rendered in that body to the Revolutionary cause. In July 1781, he accepted the post of assistant superintendent of finance, as the colleague of Robert Morris. He filled every office to which he was called with characteristic zeal and ability.
After the Revolutionary War, he embarked with Robert Morris in mercantile enterprises. In 1785, he published an "Address to the Assembly of Pennsylvania on the Abolition of the Bank of North America," in which he cogently argued against that project. In December 1786, he purchased from his brother the fine estate of Morrisania, and made it his dwelling-place. Here he devoted himself to liberal studies. In the following year, he served with distinction as a member of the convention for framing the constitution of the United States. On 15 December 1788, he sailed for France, where he was occupied in selling lands and pursuing money speculations until March 1790, when he proceeded to London as private agent of the American government with regard to the conditions of the old treaty, and the inclination of the British cabinet to form a commercial treaty. In November 1790, he returned to Paris, having made a tour in Germany. In the interval between this period and the beginning of the year 1792, he passed several times on public business between the British and French capitals. On 6 February 1792, he received his appointment as minister plenipotentiary to France, and was presented to the king on 3 June. He held this station until October 1794 during which time he witnessed the most interesting scenes of the Revolution in the capital, and maintained personal intercourse with the conspicuous politicians of the several parties. The abundant memorials which he has left of his sojourn in France, and his travels on the European continent, possess the highest interest and much historical value, he made extensive journeys after he ceased to be minister plenipotentiary, of which he kept a a full diary.
In the autumn of 1798, Gouverneur returned to the United States to engage in politics with enhanced celebrity and a large additional stock of political and literary knowledge. He was universally admitted to be one of the most accomplished and prominent gentlemen of his country. In 1800, he entered the Senate of the United States, where his eloquence and information made him conspicuous. The two eulogies which he pronounced--one on General Washington, and the other at the funeral of General Hamilton--are specimens of his rhetorical style. His delivery was excellent. Gouverneur, at an early period, gave special and sagacious attention to the project of that grand canal by which the State of New York has been so much honored and benefited. In the summer of 1810 he examined the canal route to Lake Erie. The share which he had in originating and promoting that noble work, is stated in the regular history which has been published of its conception and progress. In May, 1812, he pronounced a public and impressive eulogium on the venerable George Clinton; in the same year, an oration before the New York Historical Society; in 1814, another on the restoration of the Bourbons in France; in 1816, a discourse before the New York Historical Society. Gouverneur died 5 November 1816 at Morrisania. He passed the latter years of his life at Morrisania, exercising an elegant and munificent hospitality, reviewing the studies of his early days, and carrying on a very interesting commerce of letters with statesmen and literati in Europe and America. The activity of his mind, the richness of his fancy, and the copiousness of his eloquent conversation, were the admiration of all his acquaintance.
Marshall, James V. The United States Manual of Biography and History. Philadelphia: James B. Smith & Co., 1856. 137-139.
Fortune : 30,000 $ 1775
180,000 $ 1800
Activity : Lawyer
Main property: Morrisania
Politics / Public offices: Member of the Provincial Congress of New York and the Continental Congress. Served in the drafting of the US Constitution. US Minister to France (1789-94). US Senator for New York (1800-1803) Federalist