Lewis Morris, signer of "The Declaration of Independence"

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Lewis Morris, III

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Morrisania, Westchester, (Bronx), NY
Death: Died in Morrisania, Westchester, (Bronx), NY
Place of Burial: Saint Anne's Episcopal Churchyard Bronx Bronx County New York, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Lewis Morris, Jr. and Katrijntje Staats
Husband of Mary "Maria" (Walton) Morris
Father of Catherine Morris; Mary Morris; Col. Lewis Morris IV; Gen. Jacob Morris; Sarah Morris and 6 others
Brother of Mary Lawrence (Morris); General Staats Long Morris (British army) and Hon. Richard Morris
Half brother of Isabella WILKINS; Sarah ASHFIELD; Gouverneur Morris, Sr.; Euphemia OGDEN and Catherine MORRIS

Occupation: Landowner; Politician
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lewis Morris, III

Lewis Morris (April 8, 1726 – January 22, 1798) was an American landowner and developer from Morrisania, New York. He signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence as a delegate to the Continental Congress for New York.

When warned by his half-brother, Gouverneur Morris, of the consequences that would follow his signing of the rebellious document, Morris stated, "Damn the consequences. Give me the pen."

This Morris was the third to be named Lewis Morris, and was born on the family estate of Morrisania. He was the son of Lewis and Katrintje or Catherine (Staats) Moris. His great grandfather (Richard, died 1672) had immigrated to New York through Barbados after being part of Oliver Cromwell's army in the English Civil War of 1648. He purchased the first tract of land in The Bronx that became the basis for the Morrisania manor. When Richard and his young wife died, leaving behind an infant son named Lewis, it was Richard's brother, Colonel Lewis Morris, also of Barbados, who came to Morrisania to help manage the estate formerly belonging to his late-brother and now his infant nephew. Eventually the infant Lewis Morris (1671-1746) inherited the estate of his father after the death of his uncle, Col. Lewis Morris, and his wife, who were childless. This Lewis Morris married a woman named Isabella and then expanded and patented the estate and was also Governor of New Jersey.

When his father died in 1762, he inherited the bulk of the estate. A prominent land owner in colonial New York, Lewis was appointed as a judge of the Admiralty Court for the province in 1760. As the Revolution drew near, he resigned this post in 1774. He was elected to the Colonial Assembly in 1769.

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Lewis Morris, also known as Lewis Morris III, was one of the two Dutch Americans who signed the Declaration of Independence. At that time he was a delegate to the Continental Congress for the State of New York. The other Dutch American to sign the Declaration of Independence was Philip Livingston [1716-1778]. It is not widely known that Lewis Morris is a Dutch American. Unlike his half brother, Gouverneur Morris, whose name clearly hints at a Dutch connection, the name Lewis Morris does not reveal any connection with his Dutch background. But if your mother’s name is Katrintje Staats, there is little doubt about the Dutch connection. His mother’s name was Katrintje, also known as Catherine, Staats. The mother of his half brother, Gouverneur Morris, was Sarah Gouverneur, whose mother in turn, was also a Staats, Sarah Staats to be specific. So the Dutch backgrounds of both Gouverneur Morris and Lewis Morris III are not in doubt.

Lewis Morris was fortunate to come from a well-to-do background. He was educated by private tutors and entered Yale University in 1762, and graduated in 1766. Upon graduation, he returned to help his father in running the large agricultural estate, named Morrisania, located in what is now New York City. In 1762, his father passed away and Lewis inherited the bulk of the estate. Prior to that time, in 1760, Lewis was appointed by the Crown to a judgeship of the Admiralty Court. In 1769, Morris was elected to the Colonial Assembly. As the Revolution War drew near, in 1774, he resigned from the judgeship in the Admiralty Court, and became active in the New York Convention, which was essentially the revolutionary government of New York State. He served in that body from 1775 to 1777. The New York Convention sent Morris to the Continental Congress, and he served in that body during the 1775 to 1777 period.

Morris returned to New York in 1777, and served in the new State Government Senate from 1778 to 1781, and again from 1783 to 1790. When the New York Convention met to ratify the U. S. Constitution in 1788, Morris was one of the delegates. Morris also served on the first Board of Regents of the University of New York, and served on it from 1784 until his death in 1798.

Lewis Morris was born on April 8, 1726 in Morrisania, New York. He married a Miss Walton with whom he had ten children, six sons and four daughters. His siblings and half-siblings included Staats, Mary Lawrence, Gouverneur, Isabella, Catherine and Richard. Lewis Morris passed away on January 22, 1798 in Morrisiana, New York. He is interred in a vault beneath St. Anne’s of Morrisiana Church, Bronx, New York.

Posted by Walter G. Ashworth, some kind of convoluted relative to Lewis Morris --------------------

Deputy to Provincial Congress 1776-1777 member Continental Congress 1775 Signer of Declaration of Independence 1776 Judge Court of Admiralty 1760-1776 Brig. Gen Continential Army member State Senate 1778-1791 Presidential Elector 1796

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Lewis Morris, signer of "The Declaration of Independence"'s Timeline

1726
April 8, 1726
Morrisania, Westchester, (Bronx), NY
1749
March 4, 1749
Age 22
Morrisania, Westchester, NY, USA
September 24, 1749
Age 23
Trinity Church Parish, New York City, New York, NY
1752
1752
Age 25
Morrisania, Westchester, NY, USA
1753
1753
Age 26
Morrisania, Bronx, New York
1755
December 28, 1755
Age 29
Morrisania, Westchester, New York, United States
1759
1759
Age 32
Morrisania, Westchester, New York, United States
1760
1760
Age 33
Morrisania, Westchester, New York, United States
1762
1762
Age 35
Morrisania, Westchester, New York, United States
1764
1764
Age 37
Morrisania, Westchester, New York, United States