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 Lewis Morris

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Lewis Morris

  • Birth 8 Apr 1726 Morrisania, Bronx County, New York, USA
  • Death 22 Jan 1798 Morrisania, Bronx County, New York, USA
  • Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
  • Memorial ID 2767

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from New York. Born in what is now New York City, Lewis Morris was born to a rich and privileged family. His family’s estate, Morrisania, covered about 2000 acres, and resembled a small town, with farmers who rented land, blacksmiths, carpenters and others who worked the estate for wages. Lewis attended Yale College, but left without earning a degree. As the eldest son, he was expected to devote his time into running Morrisania, which he would inherit upon his father’s death. For many years, he would follow the typical pattern of a wealthy gentleman. At 23, he married the wealthy Mary Walton, with whom he would have ten children. When his father died in 1762, Lewis Morris became the lord of Morrisania. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, who had been Royal Governor of New Jersey, and his father, who had been a judge, Lewis decided to enter public service. He was elected to the NY Legislature in 1769. As a wealthy landowner, most people expected him to support Britain, but he surprised everyone by supporting the patriot cause. When New York selected its first delegates to the Continental Congress, Lewis Morris was not selected, because he did not support Great Britain. When electing delegates for the Second Continental Congress in May 1775, this time he was elected, since the majority of New Yorkers had changed their minds. During the critical vote for independence on July 2, 1776, Morris was back home in New York, but he attended the NY Convention in White Plains, NY, which approved the Declaration on July 9, and returned to Philadelphia to sign the document after its approval. He served in the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777, where he worked on the committees that supervised supplies of ammunition and military stores for the Army. During the war, the British burned and wrecked Morrisania. Lewis would spend many years after the war rebuilding his estate. Morris then served in the New York Legislature from 1777 to 1790. He was also a Major General of the New York State Militia during the Revolutionary War. In 1787, Lewis’s brother, Gouverneur Morris wrote much of the final draft of the US Constitution. Lewis attended the convention in Poughkeepsie, NY, to determine if New York would accept the Constitution. Thanks largely to Lewis Morris’s efforts, a narrow vote of 30 in favor to 27 opposed, was achieved, bringing New York into the union as the 11th state. Lewis Morris would die at Morrisania in 1798 at the age of 71.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2767
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lewis Morris (8 Apr 1726–22 Jan 1798), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2767, citing Saint Ann's Episcopal Church Graveyard, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .