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John Morgan

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
Death: November 8, 1799 (64)
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Groton, New London, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Morgan, IV and Mary Morgan (Morgan)
Husband of Dorothy Morgan
Father of John Morgan; Hannah Avery; David Morgan; Stephen Morgan; Abigail Morgan and 3 others
Brother of James Morgan; Joshua Morgan; Hannah Avery; Captain Youngs Morgan; Mary Morgan and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Morgan

  • Morgan genealogy : A history of James Morgan, of New London, Conn., and his descendants; from 1607 to 1869 ... With an appendix containing the history of his brother, Miles Morgan, ....
  • Pg.17
  • JAMES MORGAN, the common ancestor of a numerous family now scattered widely over nearly or quite, every state and territory of the United States, was born in Wales, in 1607, but in what precise locality our honest progenitor first saw the light is uncertain, though probably in Llandaff, Glamorgan Co. The family appears to have removed from Llandaff to Bristol, Eng. on the opposite side of Bristol Channel, a short time at least, perhaps a few years, prior to 1636. The name of his father is unknown, but there is some traditionary evidence that it was William.*
  • That year, 1636, in the month of March, he and two younger brothers, John and Miles, sailed from Bristol and arrived at Boston, Mass. in April following.
  • JOHN MORGAN, his next younger brother, who from tradition appears to have been a high churchman and to have exceedingly disliked the austerity of the Puritans, left Boston in disgust for more congenial society in Virginia, soon after their arrival. How far the Morgans of Virginia are descended from him I am unable to say.
  • MILES MORGAN, the youngest brother, born in 1615, on his arrival at Boston, or soon after, joined a party of emigrants, mostly from Roxbury, of whom Col. Wm Pyncheon was at the head, and founded the settlement of Springfield, Mass.
    • * See William, No. 46.
  • Pg.18
  • He is said to have been under 21 years of age at the commencement of this settlement, and to have suppressed the fact of his minority in order to share in the drawing for house lots, which minors were not privileged to do. It is certain that he drew a house lot and afterwards built upon it ; and it was the homestead of himself during his life, and of his descendants for many years after. It was situated upon the south side of "Ferry Lane," and in 1845 was sold by the Brewer family to the Conn. River Railroad Co. ; their tracks now covering the original lot, and their repair shop standing upon the site of the old Morgan homestead.
  • He married, about 1643, Prudence Gilbert, of Beverly, Mass., who was a fellow passenger with him in the voyage from England. Of this courtship and marriage, an interesting and curious account is preserved. He had 8 children by this marriage, 4 sons and 4 daughters ; and his wife, Prudence, dying 14 Nov. 1660, he next married Elizabeth Bliss, of Springfield, 15 Feb. 1670, dau. of Thomas, by whom he had 1 son only. His children by Prudence were, Mary, b. 14 Dec. 1644; Jonathan, 16 Sept. 1646; David, 23 July, 1648; Pelatiah, 17 May, 1650; Isaac, 17 March, 1652; Lydia, 8 Feb. 1654; Hannah, 11 Feb. 1656; Mercy, 18 May, 1658 ; and by 2d wife, Nathaniel, 14 June, 1671.
  • This family of Miles Morgan* has numerous ....
    • * See Appendix.
  • Pg.19
  • JAMES MORGAN, the elder brother, and our lineal ancestor, may have settled first at Plymouth ....
  • Wherever he settled at first, he is found in Roxbury, near Boston, before 1640. That year, Aug. 6, 1640, he married there, Margery Hill, of Roxbury. His eldest daughter, Hannah, was born there 18 May, 1642, and all his 5 other children, except perhaps the youngest, who d. in infancy, were also probably born there. He was made a freeman there 10 May, 1643. He is named as a resident there in the inventory of John Graves, 1646, and was a freeholder there as late as 1650, the same year that he removed to Pequot, (now N. London,) and had a houselot assigned him there.
  • It has been heretofore supposed, by myself as well as others, that James Morgan was one of the party of emigrants called the "Cape Ann Company," who came ....
  • Pg.22
  • 1. JAMES, born in Wales, 1607, m. Margery Hill, of Roxbury, Mass. 6 Aug. 1640, died 1685, age 78. He was settled in Roxbury at first, and all his children except the youngest dau. were probably born there.
  • CHILDREN. ....
  • Pg.23
  • Capt. JAMES, (3) b. 3 Mch, 1644, s. of James, m. "Mary Vine of Old England," Nov. 1666, died 8 Dec. 1711, age 68. His wife Mary died in 1689, of the throat distemper," so called, a terrible epidemic which prevailed throughout the country that year, especially in the months of July and August, visiting nearly every family and carrying consternation and death in its trail. She was born in England in 1641, and was 48 years old when she died. After her death he married 2d wife Hannah --- , born in 1640, who d. in 1711, aged 71, a few days only before his own death, but after the date of his will, in which he calls her his "dear and loving wife." ....
  • Pg.24
  • Pg.28
  • Deacon JAMES, (8) b. 6 Feb. 1667, s. of James 2d, m. Hannah --- , who was the mother of all his 4 children, and who died about 1720. He next m. Anna --- , b. 1684, who died his widow, 17 June, 1751, age 67. He lived on the old noted homestead of his father and grandfather, in South Groton, and died there, 4 May, 1748, age 81. He, like his father, was an active and useful man in all church and civil affairs, ....
  • Pg.29
    • 92. James, 1693, m. Mary Morgan, (128.)
    • 93. ...
  • Pg.31
  • Capt. JOHN, (38) b. 10 June, 1667, s. of John, m. Ruth Shapley, dau. of Benjamin and Mary (nee Picket) Shapley, of Groton, settled in Groton, and died between the date of his will 30 May, 1744, and its proof in Probate, 16 March, 1746, aged about 79. His wife, Ruth, died earlier, as she is named as his deceased wife, in his will, as also his dau. Ruth Brewster, deceased. All his other children are named as then living, except Experience, who probably died young. He left a large estate ....
    • 127. Ruth, 29 Aug. 1697, m. --- Brewster; d. before 1744; left two children.
    • 128. Mary, 18 Dec. 1698, m. James Morgan, jun. (92.)
    • 129. ....
  • Pg.36
  • JAMES, Jr. (92) b. 1693, s. of James 3d, m. 1st, Hannah --- , who died 2d Feb. 1728, in her 30th year, with-out issue, and he m. 2d, Mary Morgan, (128) dau. of Capt. John, in 1729. He died 25 Aug. 1770, age 77, and his wife, Mary, b. 1698, d. 5 Sept. 1776, age 78. He occupied the old original homestead of the first James, in Groton, being the fourth lineal occupant of the same name ; and he and both his wives lie in the family burial place near.
    • 181. James, 1730, m. Catharine Street; 2d, wid. Lydia Miner, 1779.
    • 182. Mary, 1731, m. Lieut. James Perkins, d. 1799, age 68.
    • 183. Joshua, 1733, m. Esther Stoddard, 13 Nov. 1760.
    • 184. John, 1735, m. Dorothy Avery, 11 Sept. 1759.
    • 185. Timothy, ab. 1737, no trace, probably died early.
    • 186. Esther, 1740, m. Joseph Parker, died 1800, age 60.
    • 187. Youngs, 1741, m. Mary Avery, of Groton.
  • Pg.52
  • JOHN, (184) born 1735, son of James 4th, m. Dorothy Avery, 11 Sept. 1759, dau. of Elder Park Avery, of Groton. He died 8 Nov. 1799, age 64, and his widow, Dorothy, died 19 Oct. 1828, age 92. In his will in Stonington probate, dated 2 June, 1798, proved 7 Jan. 1800, he names wife, Dorothy, and five of the following children, as living, but Hannah, Stephen, and Abigail, as deceased, and bequeaths to their children. The share of his "son David, weak in mind, bereft of reason and faculty to govern and care for himself," is left in trust to his eldest son, John.
    • 495. John, 28 March, 1761, died unmarried, 17 April, 1840, age 79.
    • 496. Hannah, 5 Sept. 1764, m. Ebenezer Avery, 25 Sept. 1783.
    • 497. David, 14 April, 1766, died unmarried, 10 June, 1805, age 39.
    • 498. Stephen, 19 Nov. 1768, m. Sally Barber, of Groton.
    • 499. Abigail, 26 Oct. 1771, m. Elisha Morgan, (216) vide E. M.
    • 500. Amos, 13 Oct. 1774, m. Jemima Stoddard, 16 Dec. 1804.
    • 501. Experience, 13 May, 1778, m. Elisha J. Stoddard, d. 11 May, 1819.
    • 502. Jasper, Jan. 1784, m. Clarissa Holdridge.


JOHN MORGAN (June 10, 1735 - Oct. 15, 1789), Director General and Physician-in-Chief of the American Hospital, Oct. 17, 1775 - Jan. 9, 1777, was born in Philadelphia, the son of Evan and Joanna (Miles) Morgan. His father had emigrated from Wales, settling in Philadelphia, and had become a successful merchant. The family were Quakers. John Morgan attended the Academy conducted by the Rev. Samuel Finley at Nottingham, Chester County, and received the degree of B. A. from the College of Philadelphia in 1757 in the first class graduated from that institution. In the meantime he bad been studying medicine for a number of years, for some time as an apprentice to Dr. John Redman a leading practitioner of Philadelphia. In April 1758 he joined the British army operating against Fort Duquesne as a first lieutenant of the line but his duties were largely the care of the sick. After two years of military service he resigned and sailed for London in 1760 to resume the study of his profession. For the next year he "walked" the hospitals of London making the acquaintance of the leading lights of the medical profession of that time. Later he attended the University of Edinburgh where he received his M. D. degree in 1763. Then followed a term of study in the hospitals of Paris and Rome. Returning to London he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. He was already a licentiate of the College of Physicians of London and a member of the College of Physicians of Edinburgh. During all of his European sojourn he was planning the creation of a medical school in his home city and when he returned there in 1765 he carried with him the recommendations of a number of British medical educators in furtherance of that plan. He submitted his proposals to the board of trustees of the College of Philadelphia and on May 3, 1765, he was elected professor of the theory and practice of medicine in the new medical department.

Thereby was created the first medical professorship in America. At the commencement exercises of the college at the end of May he delivered his famous address entitled, A discourse upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America, which he had prepared before leaving Paris. When the school opened the following October, William Shippen, Jr., filled the chair of anatomy and surgery, Adam Kuhn that of botany and materia medica, and Benjamin Rush that of chemistry. Morgan limited his practice to internal medicine and was one of the first physicians in America to give up dispensing drugs and turn over that business to the practitioners of pharmacy. Not only was he in a short time in possession of a highly lucrative practice, but he enjoyed high standing in the arts and letters as well as in society. He became one of the leading men of the Philadelphia of his day. He was one of the founders of the American Philosophical Society in 1769 and contributed papers to its Transactions. For years he was physician to the Pennsylvania Hospital. The beginning of strained relations between the colonies and Britain moved him to write The Reciprocal Advantage of a Perpetual Union between Great Britain and her American Colonies, in 1766. But with increasing friction he definitely aligned himself with the cause of the colonies. His service in the Revolutionary army began on October 17, 1775, when he was elected by Congress director general and physician-in-chief of the American hospital "in the room of" Dr. Benjamin Church. He accepted promptly and at once reported for duty to General Washington at Cambridge. Here he was confronted by an appalling situation in which he found unequipped hospitals overcrowded with an unsegregated variety of patients and manned by incompetent personnel without the implements of their profession. Typhoid fever, dysentery, malaria, and smallpox were rife among the troops. He was able to do much to remedy these chaotic conditions. He began the campaign for vaccination by publishing Recommendation of Inoculation According to Baron Dimsdale's Method (1776). He collected medicines and hospital supplies, instituted new examinations for medical officers, and brought about the beginning of system in the medical organization. He inaugurated a plan to supply to each regimental surgeon a well stocked medical chest. By the time the British evacuated Boston in April 1776 he had brought about fairly satisfactory conditions. His orders to transfer the hospital to New York brought new problems. A branch of the hospital had to be left at Cambridge to care for the patients that could not travel. He was able to collect large quantities of blankets, rugs, bed sacks, and pillows and these together with a considerable stock of medicine he transported to New York, where he established his hospital. The disastrous campaign which began with the battle of Long Island and resulted in the evacuation of Manhattan island and the withdrawal to New Jersey and Westchester completely disorganized the frail system that had been built up. His chief difficulty was with the regimental surgeons, whose demands for supplies he was not able to satisfy, and who were persisting in maintaining regimental hospitals. He had collected in some way the supplies for his hospital and be was impatient that the regimental surgeons had not provided for themselves from the facilities of the neighborhood from which they came. Following a conference with the regimental surgeons Morgan submitted to Congress a set of regulations for the guidance of the medical service, remarkable in its scope and in its detail. Thus was suggested a system of medical supply by means of "Continental druggists" entirely independent of the director general and issuing directly to the regimental surgeons. This system was adopted and functioned for a time with but scant success. Another provision called for the abolition of regimental hospitals, but when put into effect it had only limited compliance from the regimental surgeons. Up to this time there had been a distinct line of demarcation between medical officers serving with troops and those serving in hospitals, their duties being in no way interchangeable. The inequalities existing between the two groups were removed, but without entirely healing the breach between them. Continued dissatisfaction was still rife among the regimental surgeons. They increased their involved in this efforts to undermine Morgan with Congress agitation was Dr. William Shippen, Morgan's colleague in the Philadelphia Medical School and now Medical Director of the Flying Camp, operating in New Jersey. On October 9, 1776, Congress passed a resolution dividing the jurisdiction over army hospitals. All those east of the Hudson river were to remain under the control of Morgan, while those to the west of the river were assigned to Shippen's control. Morgan supervised the medical service with the army in Westchester in such a manner as to win the praise of General Washington. From New York the general hospital was moved to North Castle and after the battle of White Plains, to Peekskill. A branch was established at Stamford, Conn. In November Morgan went to Philadelphia for the purpose of obtaining from Congress an explanation of the resolution dividing the authority over hospitals. He was unable to obtain a hearing, but was privately informed that the arrangement was to stand. In the meantime the agitation of the regimental surgeons continued unabated and was augmented by complaints from the Northern army where Medical Director Samuel Stringer had from the beginning denied and resisted Morgan's authority. On January 9, 1777, Congress, without consulting Washington and without holding any hearing, passed a resolution dismissing both Morgan and Stringer from the army. Thus ended the army career of a man who never had a chance of a success. A man of high character and ability, of tireless energy under every discouragement, he made a gallant struggle against the impossible. If the medical service of this period of the war was a failure, so was every other service of the army, and the army command itself. An army of amateurs was pitted against professionals and only the costly lessons of failure could equalize them. Morgan retired a disappointed and broken man, the victim of public clamor against failures which were more chargeable to Congress than to any army service.

Stung by the injuries of his arbitrary dismissal, Morgan prepared and widely circulated his Vindication of his Public Character in the Station of Director General of the Military Hospital and Physician-in-Chief to the American Army. Brought to the attention of Congress, it was referred to a committee, but no report was made upon it until May 12, 1779. This report, unanimously approved by Congress was as follows:

"Whereas, by report of the Medical Commission confirmed by Congress on the ninth of August 1777, it appears that Doctor John Morgan, late Director General, and Chief Physician of the General Hospital of the United States, had been removed from office on the ninth of January 1777, by reason of the general complaint of persons of all rank in the army, and the critical state of affairs at that time: and that the said Doctor John Morgan requesting an inquiry into his conduct, it was thought proper that a committee of Congress should be appointed for that purpose: and whereas, on the eighteenth day of September last, such a committee was appointed before whom the said Doctor John Morgan had in a most satisfactory manner vindicated his conduct in every respect, as Director General and Physician-in-Chief, upon the testimony of the Commander-in-Chief, General officers, officers in the general hospital department and other officers in the army showing that the said Director General did conduct himself ably and faithfully in the discharge of the duties of his office, therefore

Resolved that Congress are satisfied with the conduct of Doctor John Morgan while acting as Director General and Physician-in-Chief in the general hospitals of the United States, and that this resolution be published."

This was a handsome apology, but it was long delayed and there was no word in it in regard to a restoration to the service. It could not entirely bolster the broken spirit which Morgan carried to the end of his days. He had been nourishing his resentment against his successor, Shippen, and now, his own record vindicated, he preferred against that officer, charges of malpractice and misconduct of his office. With the active support of Dr. Benjamin Rush, he pushed the charges before Congress and the army command until Shippen was ordered before a court-martial. Following his retirement from the army Morgan took up his practice and his teaching in Philadelphia. However, he withdrew more and more from contact with public affairs and in 1785 he resigned from the office of physician to the Pennsylvania Hospital. He continued to hold the chair of medicine in the medical school until his death in his native city at the age of fifty-four.

He was married on September 4, 1765, to Mary Hopkinson, daughter of Thomas and Mary Hopkinson, who died in 1785. They had no children. Their burial place is in the churchyard of St. Peter’s in Philadelphia.

Sources: L. C. Duncan, Medical Men of the American Revolution, 1775-1783 (1931); John Thacher, American Medical Biography (1828); Joseph Carson, History of the Medical Department of the Univ. of Pa. (1869); C. W. Norris, Early History of Medicine in Philadelphia (1886); J. A. Morgan, History of the Family of Morgan (1902); T. H. S. Hamersly, Complete Army and Navy Register of the United States, 1776-1887 (1888); J. E. Pilcher, Surgeon Generals of the Army (1905).

[Extracted from "Chiefs of the Medical Department, U.S. Army 1775-1940, Biographical Sketches," Army Medical Bulletin, No. 52, April 1940, pp. 5-9, compiled by James M. Phalen, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army retired]

For a more recent account of John Morgan, see Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., John Morgan: Continental Doctor (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965).


JOHN, (184) born 1735, son of James 4th, m. Dorothy Avery, 11 Sept. 1759, dau. of Elder Park Avery, of Groton.

He died 8 Nov. 1799, age 64, and his widow, Dorothy, died 19 Oct: 1828, age 92. In his will in Stonington probate, dated 2 June, 1798, proved 7 Jan. 1800, he names wife, Dorothy, and five of the following children, as living, but Hannah, Stephen, and Abigail, as deceased, and bequeaths to their children. The share of his "son David, weak in mind, bereft of reason and faculty to govern and care for himself," is left in trust to his eldest son, John.

source: Morgan Genealogy. A HISTORY OF JAMES MORGAN, OF NEW LONDON, CONN. AND HIS DESCENDANTS; by Nathanial H. Morgan

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John Morgan's Timeline

Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
July 11, 1736
Age 1
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
March 28, 1761
Age 26
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
September 5, 1764
Age 29
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
April 14, 1766
Age 31
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
November 19, 1768
Age 33
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
October 26, 1771
Age 36
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
October 13, 1774
Age 39
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
May 13, 1778
Age 43
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States