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The Morris Family

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Descendant Bios - Signer Lewis Morris
8 Apr 1726 - 22 Jan 1798
Lewis Morris, Jr.

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol.7, p.469
MORRIS, Lewis, signer, was born in Morrisania, N.Y., April 8, 1726; son of Judge Lewis (1698-1762) and Catharine (Staats) Morris; grandson of Lewis (1671-1746) and Isabella (Graham) Morris, and great-grandson of Capt. Richard and Sarah (Cole) Morris. His father, chief justice of the vice admiralty court, married first Catharine Staats, and secondly, in 1747, Sarah Gouverneur. The son entered Yale in the class of 1746, and received the degrees of A.B. and A. M. in 1790. He was married to Mary Walton and had six sons and four daughters. His sons, Col. Lewis Morris, U.S.A., and Capt. Richard Valentine Morris, U.S.N., served in the Revolutionary war. He devoted himself to the management of his large estate and became a successful farmer. He was opposed to the aggressive measures of the British parliament and protested against the quartering of British troops on the American colonists. Immediately after the battle of Lexington in 1775 he was chosen a delegate to the Continental congress, taking his seat May 15, 1775. He served on the committee to provide ammunition and supplies for the American army of which Washington wes chairman. He was at Fort Pitt the latter part of 1775, where he negotiated with the Indians to induce them to make common cause with the colonists against the British.

Early in 1776 he returned to Philadelphia and was appointed on several important committees and signed the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776. He returned to New York in 1777, having resigned his seat in congress in favor of his half-brother Governeur in order that he might bring his personal influence to bear upon the citizens of New York to sustain the cause of independence, showing them that he was himself a willing sufferer, his property having been destroyed and his own family exiled from the state. From 1777 till the evacuation of New York in 1783, he and his family were often in actual want. Upon resigning his seat in congress, that body passed a resolution complimenting him on his "long and faithful services." He was subsequently a member of the state assembly and major-general of state militia. Upon the evacuation of New york he returned to his desolated farm at Morrisania and engaged in re-establishing his possessions. He died at Morrisania, N.Y., Jan. 22, 1798.


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