Biography of Robert Morris
Famous American Biographies





ROBERT MORRIS. - The name of this financier, statesman and patriot is closely connected with the early history of the United States. He was a native of England, born January 20, 1734, and came to America with his father when thirteen years old. Until 1754 he served in the counting house of Charles Willing, then formed a partnership with that gentleman's son, which continued with great success until 1793. In 1776 Mr. Morris was a delegate to the Continental congress, and, although once voting against the Declaration of Independence, signed that paper on its adoption, and was several times thereafter reelected to congress. During the Revolutionary war the services of Robert Morris in aiding the government during its financial difficulties were of incalculable value; he freely pledged his personal credit for supplies for the army, at one time to the amount of about one and a half million dollars, without which the campaign of 1781 would have been almost impossible. Mr. Morris was appointed superintendent of finance in 1781 and served until 1784, continuing to employ his personal credit to facilitate the needs of his department. He also served as member of the Pennsylvania legislature, and from 1786 to 1795 was United States senator, declining meanwhile the position of secretary of the treasury, and suggesting the name of Alexander Hamilton, who was appointed to that post. During the latter part of his life Mr. Morris was engaged extensively in the China trade, and later became involved in land speculations, which ruined him, so that the remaining days of this noble man and patriot were passed in confinement for debt. His death occured at Philadelphia, May 8, 1806.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.

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