Colonel Morgan Lewis (Continental Army), Governor

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Morgan Lewis

Birthdate: (89)
Birthplace: New York, New York, New York
Death: Died in Hyde Park, Dutchess , New York, United States
Place of Burial: Hyde Park, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Lewis, signer of the "U.S. Declaration of Independence" and Elizabeth Lewis
Husband of Gertrude Lewis
Father of Margaret Livingston and Abner Lewis
Brother of Ann Robertson and Francis Lewis, Jr.

Occupation: 3rd Governor of New York (1804-1807); Colonel and Quartermaster General in Contintental Army; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York; 4th Attorney General of New York (1791-1792)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Colonel Morgan Lewis (Continental Army), Governor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Lewis_(governor)

Morgan Lewis (October 16, 1754 – April 7, 1844) was an American lawyer, politician and military commander.

Of Welsh descent, he was the son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He graduated from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) in 1773 and began to study law on the advice of his father. His studies were interrupted by military service during the American Revolutionary War. From September 1, 1776 to the end of the war he was a colonel and the Quartermaster General for the Northern Department. In 1779 he married Gertrude Livingston (1757–1833), the daughter of Robert R. Livingston.

After the Revolution, Lewis completed his legal studies and was elected to the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. He was New York State Attorney General and later Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. He served as governor of New York from 1804 to 1807, defeating Vice President Aaron Burr in the race to succeed future Vice President George Clinton as Governor. On April 30, 1807, he was defeated in his run for re-election by Daniel D. Tompkins, also a future Vice President. Tompkins received 35,074 votes, Morgan Lewis 30,989.

During the War of 1812 Lewis resumed his duties as Quartermaster General and served in western New York. He commanded the American forces at the Battle of Fort George. Although the British position was captured, Lewis ordered Colonel Winfield Scott to break off the pursuit of the defeated British troops. But for Lewis's over-caution, Scott might have been able to capture Major-General John Vincent's entire division and greatly weaken the British defense of the Niagara Peninsula. Later, Lewis was appointed as commander of upstate New York.

From 1832 to 1835 he was the President of the Historical Society of New York.

Lewis helped to found New York University in New York City, where he was born and where he died.

Lewis County, New York, the Town and Village of Lewiston, New York, and the Town of Lewis in Essex County, New York have been named to honor him.


Morgan Lewis (October 16, 1754 – April 7, 1844) was an American lawyer, politician, and military commander. The second son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lewis fought in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He served in the New York State Assembly (1789, 1792) and the New York State Senate (1811–1814) and was New York State Attorney General (1791–1801) and governor of New York (1804–1807).

Early life Morgan Lewis was born on October 16, 1754, of Welsh descent, the second son of Francis Lewis (1713–1802), Lewis grew up in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he decided to dedicate himself to the ministry. However, based on his father's advice, he attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), graduating in 1773, and began to study law. He read law alongside John Jay. His studies were interrupted by military service during the American Revolutionary War. He was admitted to the bar in 1783.

Career From September 1, 1776, to the end of the war he was a colonel and the Quartermaster General for the Northern Department.

In 1774, he joined the American Revolution as a volunteer in the Continental Army. Lewis was then made a captain of a regiment of the New York militia. Once the 2nd New York militia regiment was organized, he was promoted to the rank of major. He was then appointed chief-of-staff to General Horatio Gates, with the rank of colonel, and accompanied him into Canada, and soon after congress appointed him quartermaster-general of the Northern Army. In 1775, he planned and executed the night attack on Stone Arabia, and was in command at the battle of Crown Point, where he was accompanied by New York Governor George Clinton. He was prominent throughout the campaign that ended with the surrender of John Burgoyne at Saratoga.

Political career After the Revolution, Lewis completed his legal studies while living in Albany, New York, boarding at the riverside home of James Bloodgood. In 1779, the tax list showed him living there with personal property valued at $2,000, one of the city's highest assessments. Later, he qualified for a "bounty right" as a member of the city regiment of the Albany County Militia. During that time, he acquired some Albany property. He was elected to the New York State Assembly, 1789 and 1792, and the New York State Senate from 1811 to 1814. He was New York State Attorney General (December 24, 1791 – October 28, 1801) and later Justice and Chief Justice (October 28, 1801) of the Supreme Court of New York.

He served as governor of New York from 1804 to 1807, defeating Vice President Aaron Burr in the race to succeed future vice president George Clinton as governor. In the New York gubernatorial election, 1804, he was largely responsible for splitting the Jeffersonian Republican Party in New York into "Lewisites" (allies of Lewis) and the "Clintonians" (allies of New York Mayor DeWitt Clinton) with his combination of Lewisites (labeled "Quids" by the Clintonians) and Federalists.

During his tenure, the United States Military Academy at West Point was established, the state's militia system was restructured, and educational improvements were sanctioned. On April 30, 1807, he was defeated in his run for re-election by Daniel D. Tompkins, also a future vice president. Tompkins received 35,074 votes, and Morgan Lewis received 30,989 votes. He then returned home to Staatsburg, Dutchess County, New York, where he turned his attention to agriculture. Having given up the practice of law, Lewis established a cloth factory, and for several years devoted himself to manufacturing. The failure of a mercantile house to which his goods were assigned caused him to discontinue the business.

War of 1812 Prior to the War of 1812 Lewis declined the office of Secretary of War under President James Madison. Instead, he resumed his duties as Quartermaster General and served in western New York. He was commissioned as a brigadier general on April 3, 1812, and promoted to major general on March 2, 1813, as part of his service on the Niagara Frontier. He commanded the American forces at the Battle of Fort George. Although the British position was captured, Lewis ordered Colonel Winfield Scott to break off the pursuit of the defeated British troops. But for Lewis's over-caution, Scott might have been able to capture Major General John Vincent's entire division and greatly weaken the British defense of the Niagara Peninsula. Later, Lewis was appointed as commander of upstate New York. He procured the release of the American prisoners in Canada, advancing from his private fortune the money for its accomplishment, and also rewarding his own tenants who had served in or sent sons to the war, by allowing them free rent for the time they served in the army. After the war, Lewis was discharged from the Army on June 15, 1815.

Later life Lewis was a presidential elector in the presidential election of 1828. Lewis was a Freemason, and served as Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of New York from 1830-1843. From 1832 to 1835 he was the President of the Historical Society of New York. Lewis was an original member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati and served as the Society's President General from 1839 to 1844. He also helped to found New York University in New York City.

Personal life In 1779, he married Gertrude Livingston (1757–1833), the daughter of Robert R. Livingston. They lived in Rhinebeck and then in Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York. In 1790, his Rhinebeck household was served by eight slaves. Together, Morgan and Gertrude had:

Margret Livingston (1780–1860), who married Maturin Livingston (1769–1847), a lawyer and politician from New York.

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Colonel Morgan Lewis (Continental Army), Governor's Timeline

1754
October 14, 1754
New York, New York, New York
1780
February 5, 1780
Age 25
Clermont, Columbia, New York, United States
1787
November 7, 1787
Age 33
1842
1842
Age 87
Hyde Park, NY, USA
1844
April 7, 1844
Age 89
Hyde Park, Dutchess , New York, United States