Edwin Denison Morgan (1811 - 1883)

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Birthplace: Washington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts
Death: Died in New York City, New York Co., NY
Cause of death: Bright's Disease
Managed by: Steven Kelley
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About Edwin Denison Morgan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_D._Morgan

Edwin was elected governor of the State of New York (1858); founded the banking house of E. D. Morgan and Company, New York City; was made Major General of Volunteers by President Lincoln (1861); and served in the War of the Rebellion (Civil War); elected senator from New York State (1863); he received a degree of LL. D from Williams College (1867); and he gave $300,000 to Williams College to which he presented Morgan Hall, the handsomest of its dormitories.

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Edwin Denison Morgan (February 8, 1811 – February 14, 1883) was the 21st Governor of New York from 1859 to 1862 and served in the United States Senate from 1863 to 1869. He was the first and longest-serving chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was also a Union Army general during the American Civil War.

Morgan was born in Washington, Massachusetts on February 8, 1811. He began his business career as a grocer in Hartford, Connecticut. He became a partner with his uncle and served on the city council. In 1836, he removed to New York City and became a successful wholesaler, broker and banker.

He was an alderman, member of the New York State Senate from 1850 to 1853, and State Commissioner of Immigration.

Morgan became highly influential in Republican politics of his time and twice served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, 1856 to 1864 and 1872 to 1876.

He was Governor of New York from 1859 to 1862, elected in 1858 and 1860. In February 1863, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and served one term until 1869. In January 1869, he sought re-nomination, but was voted down by the Republican caucus of State legislators who instead nominated Ex-Governor Reuben E. Fenton. In 1876, Morgan ran again for Governor but was defeated by Democrat Lucius Robinson.

In 1881, Morgan was nominated by President Chester A. Arthur as Treasury Secretary and was confirmed by the Senate, but declined the position.

Known for generous contributions to charities and causes, he contributed large sums to the Union Theological Seminary.

Edwin Morgan was a cousin of Morgan G. Bulkeley, Governor of Connecticut 1889-1893.

Morgan died in New York City on February 14, 1883. He was buried at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford. _____

Edwin Denison Morgan, "merchant in politics," was born in Washington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts on February 8, 1811, the son of Jasper and Catherine Morgan. The family removed to Windsor, Connecticut, where he received most of his preliminary education. His career in business began in 1824, when he was hired as a clerk in his uncle's grocery store at Hartford, Connecticut. By 1832 he was his uncle's partner, while making his first venture into politics, having been elected to the Hartford city council. Desiring a wider sphere of activity, he removed to New York City in 1836, where, in partnership with Morris Earle and A.D. Pomeroy, he established a wholesale grocery firm. The firm was dissolved by the end of 1837. Thence, he began business on his own account with expanded interests in the importation of coffee, tea, sugar, and spices.

In 1843, he organized E.D. Morgan & Company, an import house, in partnership with George D. Morgan, his cousin, and Frederick Avery, who left the firm a year later and was replaced by J.T. Terry. Solon Humphreys was taken in as a full partner in 1854 after working several years as an agent in St. Louis, Missouri. Largely through his connections, the firm became the principal agent for Missouri securities. Nearly two-thirds of the bonds issued by the State of Missouri from 1835-1860, plus a large share of securities of St. Louis, were sold through the house of Morgan - in all perhaps thirty million dollars worth. All the while the firm maintained its wholesale grocery trade.

Meanwhile, in 1849, Morgan ventured into politics again when he was elected a member of the New York City Board of Assistant Aldermen, which acknowledged his leadership abilities by appointing him as the presiding officer. Here he made a name for himself as an able administrator as chairman of the Sanitary Committee during the cholera epidemic of 1848. The Sanitary Committee, over strong public opposition, commandeered the public school buildings as emergency hospitals, staffed with physicians and pharmacists and helped rid the city of the disease within six months.

In 1850 he was elected to the first of two terms in the New York State Senate, where his most notable accomplishment was to help secure the passage of legislation in 1853 that authorized the formation of the New York Central Railroad Company by consolidating several short lines. Morgan withheld his vote to minimize conflict of interest charges since he had large stock holdings in some of the lines involved. Some of the individuals whom Morgan worked closely with in the consolidation movement included Russell Sage, Erastus Corning and John V.L. Pruyn. In addition to his interest in the New York Central, he was president of the Hudson River Railroad Company, another financially troubled operation that was turned into a profitable enterprise largely through his endeavors.

Edwin Morgan began his political career as a member of the Whig Party, but after it declined, he switched to the newly formed Republican Party in 1855. This decision had probably influenced his two closest political allies, Thurlow Weed and William H. Seward, to do the same. Because of his administrative abilities Morgan named chairman of the New York State Republican Committee, which oversaw the party's financial and fundraising activities. Within a year, he also assumed the position of chairman of the Republican National Committee. This made him the chief fund-raiser for the presidential campaign of Charles C. Fremont. Although Fremont did not win, Morgan's stature with the party was not diminished.

In 1860, his fund-raising efforts were more successful with the election of Abraham Lincoln. Among Morgan's letters is one from Lincoln urging Morgan to concentrate as much campaign money as possible in Indiana and Pennsylvania, the two states most needed to ensure a victory in 1860. Morgan remained as chairman of the National Republican Committee through 1866, where he greatly assisted in the re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and the election of Ulysses S. Grant in 1868.

In 1858 Morgan was chosen by Thurlow Weed to be the Republican candidate for governor of New York. At first, the odds seemed against him, but his ability to conduct a successful campaign coupled with the rising tide of Republicanism, won him a plurality of over seventeen thousand votes. In office Morgan did not act as a mere satellite of Weed's as demonstrated by his vetoes of the Washington Market Bill and the New York City Street Railway Bill. There is no evidence that Weed exerted pressure on Morgan for the passage of these bills or other legislation, as well as in matters of patronage. His first term was also noted for his successes in improving the state's credit, strengthening its canal system, and making prisons, insurance companies, and charities more effective. These accomplishments, along with divided Democratic opposition, resulted in his re-election by a large plurality. His second administration was largely devoted to military matters with the outbreak of Civil War. As commander-in-chief of the New York State Militia, he responded to President Lincoln's call for volunteers to serve on behalf of the Union Army by enrolling and equipping 320,000 men. Here again, his keen administrative abilities were demonstrated, having accomplished the task quickly and efficiently, without the kind of scandals that marred governments of most other Union states who were forced into making hasty war preparations.

Governor Morgan declined the opportunity to run for a third term in 1862, as he had decided to seek the United States Senate seat being vacated by Preston King. He was successful in this endeavor with the help of Thurlow Week and a Republican Party majority in the New York State Legislature. His Senate career was not characterized by oratorical display, but by diligent work, both in the committee room and on the floor. However, he never became a leader in the Senate as he had in the Executive Chamber. For example, he played no significant role in financial policy in spite of his successful career in business and finance. His votes generally reflected the interests of conservative Eastern merchants and bankers, with the exception of high tariff legislation, since it would hurt his own business. As for his position on other matters, Morgan never really found a comfortable niche or aligned consistently with a power block in the Senate.

He was perceived as being too conservative by the Radical Republican bloc even though he supported much of their agenda including civil rights legislation and voting for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. On the other hand, his support of the Radical Republican agenda alienated him from the conservatives. In 1869 he was defeated for re-election after a bitter contest with ex-Governor Reuben Eaton Fenton.

Following his defeat, Morgan immersed himself in business, society and politics. In business he gave less time to the wholesale groceries than he had a score of years earlier when he had entered public life. Terry and Humphreys continued to oversee this realm. In addition, the firm's brokerage and securities business had greatly expanded, to the point that it was comparable to the wholesale grocery business. Morgan was also involved in the management of a financially troubled railroad again when, in 1872, he was named to the board of directors of the Erie Railroad. The gross mismanagement and plundering of assets by Daniel Drew and Jay Gould had made the attainment of profit an impossible task.

In politics Morgan served again as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1872 to 1876. The committee's principal responsibility was the re-election of U.S. Grant. During these years Morgan was known as an advocate for sound currency and civil service reform. In 1876 he was again nominated for governor, but the machine element of his party, headed by Roscoe Conkling, was dissatisfied with him, while the Democratic ticket had a New Yorker, Samuel J. Tilden as its presidential candidate. Thus Morgan was defeated by Lucius Robinson. When his old friend Chester A. Arthur succeeded to the presidency in 1881, he nominated Morgan for Secretary of the Treasury. Although he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate, he refused the position. The last few years of his life were devoted to philanthropic endeavors and patronage of the fine arts. He died in his New York City home on February 14, 1883.

Edwin was elected governor of the State of New York (1858); founded the banking house of E. D. Morgan and Company, New York City; was made Major General of Volunteers by President Lincoln (1861); and served in the War of the Rebellion (Civil War); elected senator from New York State (1863); he received a degree of LL. D from Williams College (1867); and he gave $300,000 to Williams College to which he presented Morgan Hall, the handsomest of its dormitories.

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Morgan was born in Washington, Massachusetts on February 8, 1811. He began his business career as a grocer in Hartford, Connecticut. He became a partner with his uncle and served on the city council. In 1836 he relocated to New York City and became a successful wholesaler, broker, and banker. He was a city alderman, state senator (1850 -1853), and state commissioner of immigration.

Morgan became highly influential in Republican politics of his time and twice served as chairman of the Republican National Committee. In 1876, he ran again for Governor but was defeated by Democrat Lucius Robinson.

Known for generous contributions to charities and causes, he contributed large sums to the Union Theological Seminary.

Edwin Morgan was a cousin to Morgan G. Bulkeley, a governor of Connecticut.

Morgan died in New York City on February 14, 1883. He was interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia --------------------

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Maj. Gen. Edwin D. Morgan (USA), Governor and U.S. Senator's Timeline

1811
February 8, 1811
Washington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts
1833
August 19, 1833
Age 22
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut
1834
September 8, 1834
Age 23
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut
1838
July 17, 1838
Age 27
1843
January 12, 1843
Age 31
1846
July 28, 1846
Age 35
1847
December 14, 1847
Age 36
1850
1850
- 1856
Age 38
Albany, Albany, New York, USA; Occupation: NY State Senate
1855
1855
- 1858
Age 43
Albany, Albany, New York, USA; Occupation: NY State Commissioner of Immigration
1856
1856
- 1858
Age 44
Albany, Albany, New York, USA; Occupation: NY State Republican State Chairman