Levi Morton, 22nd Vice President of the USA

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VP Levi Parsons Morton

Birthplace: Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont, United States
Death: May 16, 1920 (96)
Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Daniel Oliver Morton and Lucretia Morton
Husband of Lucy Young Kimball and Anna Livingston Reade Morton
Father of 1 Morton; Edith Livingston Eustis; Lena Kearny Morton; Helen Stuyvesant Morton; Lewis Parsons Morton and 2 others
Brother of David Oliver Morton; Mary Grinnell; Daniel Oliver Morton, Jr.; Martha Morton; Lucretia Parsons Morton and 2 others

Occupation: 22nd Vice President of the United States, Diplomat, politician, real estate investor
Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About Levi Morton, 22nd Vice President of the USA


Levi Parsons Morton (May 16, 1824 – May 16, 1920) was a Representative from New York and the 22nd Vice President of the United States. He also later served as the 31st Governor of New York.

MORTON, Levi Parsons, a Representative from New York and a Vice President of the United States; born in Shoreham, Addison County, Vt., May 16, 1824; attended the public schools and Shoreham Academy; clerk in a general store in Enfield, Mass., 1838-1840; taught school in Boscawen, N.H., in 1840 and 1841; engaged in mercantile pursuits in Hanover, N.H., in 1845; moved to Boston in 1850; entered the dry-goods business in New York City in 1854; engaged in banking in New York City in 1863; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress; was appointed by President Rutherford Hayes honorary commissioner to the Paris Exhibition of 1878; elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1879, until his resignation, effective March 21, 1881; United States Minister to France 1881-1885.

Elected Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket with Benjamin Harrison and served from March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1893; Governor of New York 1895-1897; was an investor in real estate; died in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, N.Y., on May 16, 1920; interment in the Rhinebeck Cemetery. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M001018

Morton retired from politics and returned to his banking career, organizing the Morton Trust Company. In 1909, when Morton was in his eighties, an offer came from J.P. Morgan to merge the Morton bank into the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. Morton deeply regretted that, as a result of the merger, the company bearing his name was retired from the business world. L.P. Morton died on his ninety-sixth birthday in 1920, already a long-forgotten name in both banking and politics. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_Levi_...

Levi Morton Parsons was 22nd U.S. Vice President (1889-1893) under President Benjamin Harrison.

For interesting information about Vice President Levi Parsons Morton, see


Levi Parsons Morton was first ask to be a Vice Presidential running mate by James A. Garfield, but Morton asked to be his British or French Ambassador and was so appointed French Ambassador in 1881 after Garfield won the presidency, so Chester A. Arthur became the running mate, then President Garfield was assassinated by someone who wanted to be the French Ambassador. Later, Morton was elected Vice President anyway under Benjamin Harrison in 1988. He was Governor of New York 1895-1896.

Vice President Levi Parsons Morton, First Lady Bess Truman, and actors John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are descendants of their Great Grandparents Mary (Bliss) and Cornet Joseph Parsons.

The Cousin connections for the Siblings Mary (Bliss) Parsons, such as John Bliss and thus to descendants like Floyd Bliss Hanson, to these notable people pivot around the common Great Grandparents Thomas and Margaret (Hulins) Bliss of Hartford.

Levi Morton Parsons and Floyd Bliss Hanson are 6th Cousins 3 Times Removed.

The American generational descent from Thomas Bliss of Hartford to Vice Present Levi Parsons Morton is

Gen. 1: Thomas of Hartford and Margaret (Hulins) Bliss; Gen. 2: Mary (Bliss) and Cornet Joseph Parsons; Gen. 3: Joseph Jr. and Elizabeth (Strong) Parsons; Gen. 4: Ebenezer and Mercy (Stebbins) Parsons; Gen. 5: Benjamin and Rebecca (Sheldon) Parsons; Gen. 6: Rev. Justin and Electra (Frary) Parsons; Gen. 7: Lucretia (Parsons) and Daniel Oliver Morton; Gen. 8: Vice President Levi Parsons and Anna Livingston Reade (Street) Morton.

See L. Overmire for the Descendancy Web Links:


Levi Parsons Morton was a Representative from New York and the 22nd Vice President of the United States (1889–93). He later served as the 31st Governor of New York.

Born in Vermont, Morton was the son of a Congregational minister. He was educated in Vermont, and trained for a business career by clerking in stores and working in mercantile establishments in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. After relocating to New York City, Morton became a successful merchant, cotton broker, and investment banker.

Active in politics as a Republican, Morton was an ally of Roscoe Conkling. He was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives, and he served one full term, and one partial one (March 4, 1879–March 21, 1881). In 1880, Republican presidential nominee James A. Garfield offered Morton the vice presidential nomination in an effort to win over Conkling loyalists who were disappointed that their choice for president, Ulysses S. Grant, had lost to Garfield. Conkling advised Morton to decline, which he did. Garfield then offered the nomination to another Conkling ally, Chester A. Arthur, who accepted.

After Garfield and Arthur were elected, Garfield nominated Morton to be Minister Plenipotentiary to France, and Morton served in Paris until 1885. In 1888, Morton was nominated for vice president on the Republican ticket with presidential nominee Benjamin Harrison; they were elected, and Morton served as Vice President from 1889 to 1893. In 1894, Morton was the successful Republican nominee for Governor of New York, and he served one term, 1895 to 1896.

In retirement, Morton resided in New York City and Rhinebeck, New York. He died in 1920, and was buried at Rhinebeck Cemetery.

Morton was born in Shoreham, Vermont. His parents were the Reverend Daniel Oliver Morton (1788–1852), a Congregational minister and Lucretia Parsons (1789–1862). His older brother, Daniel O. Morton (1815–59), was Mayor of Toledo, Ohio from 1849 to 1850.

Morton's family moved to Springfield, Vermont in 1832 when his father became the minister of the Congregational church there. Rev. Morton headed the congregation during the construction of the brick colonial revival style church on Main Street that is still in use today. Levi P. Morton was considered by his Springfield peers to be a "leader in all affairs in which schoolboys usually engage." The family moved away when Rev. Morton was reassigned in 1836.

Morton attended the public schools of Vermont and Shoreham Academy. He decided on a business career, and worked as a general store clerk in Enfield, Massachusetts. Morton also taught school in Boscawen, New Hampshire, engaged in mercantile pursuits in Hanover, New Hampshire, and moved to Boston to work in the Beebe & Co. importing business. He eventually settled in New York City, where he entered the dry goods business, became a successful cotton broker, and established himself as one of the country's top investment bankers in a firm he founded, Morton, Bliss & Co. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the 45th Congress, and was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes to be an honorary commissioner to the Paris Exhibition of 1878.

Morton was elected, as a Republican, to the 46th and 47th Congresses representing Manhattan. He served from March 4, 1879, until his resignation, effective March 21, 1881. The 1880 Republican presidential nominee, James A. Garfield, asked Morton to be his vice presidential running mate, attempting to win over disappointed supporters of Ulysses S. Grant's candidacy for a third term. Morton was loyal to Senator Roscoe Conkling, who was Grant's campaign manager; unhappy that Grant had not been nominated, Conkling advised Morton to decline; Morton followed Conkling's advice. Garfield's supporters then turned to Chester A. Arthur, another Conkling supporter. Conkling advised Arthur to decline, but Arthur accepted; Garfield and he were narrowly elected over their Democratic opponents.

After Garfield's election, Morton asked to be appointed United States ambassador to either the United Kingdom or France. He was U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to France from 1881 to 1885. (A deluded Charles J. Guiteau, reportedly decided to murder Garfield after he was "passed over" as minister to France.)

Morton was very popular in France. He helped commercial relations between the two countries run smoothly during his term, and, in Paris on October 24, 1881, he placed the first rivet in the construction of the Statue of Liberty. (It was driven into the big toe of Lady Liberty's left foot.)

From 1889 until 1895, Morton lived at this residence in Washington, D.C. Morton was elected Vice President of the United States, on the Republican ticket with President Benjamin Harrison, in which capacity he served from March 4, 1889, to March 4, 1893. During his term, Harrison tried to pass the Lodge Bill, an election law enforcing the voting rights of blacks in the South; the billed failed because Morton did little in his role as the Senate's presiding officer to support the bill against a Democratic filibuster.[3] Harrison blamed Morton for the bill's eventual failure, and, at the Republican convention prior to the 1892 election, Morton decided not to run for a second term and was replaced by Whitelaw Reid as the vice-presidential candidate.[4] Harrison and Reid went on to lose the 1892 election, to Grover Cleveland and Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic candidates.

Levi Morton was Governor of New York in 1895 and 1896. He was considered for the Republican presidential nomination in 1896, but the Republican Party chose William McKinley instead. After his public career was over, he became a real estate investor.

Morton married his first wife, Lucy Young Kimball (July 22, 1836 – July 11, 1871) on October 15, 1856, in Flatlands, Brooklyn. They had one child, a daughter who died in infancy, in 1857.

His first wife died in 1871, and in 1873 Morton married Anna Livingston Reade Street. She was Second Lady of the United States during her husband's vice–presidency, and often handled entertaining duties for the administration due to First Lady Caroline Harrison's ill health. She had five daughters with Morton, and a son who died in infancy.

In 1890 he became one of the first members of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was assigned national society membership number 1838 and district society number 38. He was also a member of the General Society of Colonial Wars.

In retirement, he served as President of the Metropolitan Club at One East Sixtieth Street, New York, between 1900 and 1911. He was preceded in that office by J. Pierpont Morgan; and succeeded by Frank Knight Sturgis.[6] He was also a member of the Union League Club of New York, and served as President of the New York Zoological Society from 1897 to 1909.

Morton became ill during the winter of 1919-1920; a cold developed into bronchitis, and Morton eventually contracted pneumonia, which proved fatal. He died in Rhinebeck, New York on May 16, 1920. His death occurred on his 96th birthday, and Morton is the only Vice President to have died on his birthday. He is interred at Rhinebeck Cemetery.

The Village of Morton Grove, Illinois, is named after Morton. He provided the funding necessary to allow Miller's Mill (now Lincoln Avenue) to pass through the upstart neighborhood, and provide goods to trade and sell. Morton Grove was incorporated in December 1895.

Morton owned property in Newport, Rhode Island, spending his summers on fashionable Bellevue Avenue in his mansion called "Fairlawn," a building currently owned by Salve Regina University, housing the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy. He left a nearby property to the city of Newport for use as a park. The park is at the corner of Coggeshall and Morton avenues (the latter formerly Brenton Road), and is named Morton Park.

Morton sold or donated property he owned in Hanover, New Hampshire, to Dartmouth College, and the college built Webster Hall on the land. Morton was considered an honorary alumnus at alumni gatherings in New York. He also owned a summer retreat in the Adirondack Park, on Eagle Island. The architecture is of the Great Camps style, designed by the notable architect William L. Coulter. Over the years, the island found its way into the ownership of the Girl Scouts of the USA, where it remains today as Camp Eagle Island.

Morton was the second longest-lived Vice President of the United States, dying on his 96th birthday. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Vice President, John Nance Garner (who died 15 days before his 99th birthday) lived longer. Morton survived five of his successors in the vice presidency: Adlai E. Stevenson, Garret Hobart, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles W. Fairbanks and James S. Sherman.


  • The History of St. Peter's Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey: The Oldest ... By William Northey Jones. Page 375. GoogleBooks
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Levi Morton, 22nd Vice President of the USA's Timeline

May 16, 1824
Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont, United States
June 20, 1874
Newport, RI, United States
May 20, 1875
August 2, 1876
Newport, Rhode Island, United States
March 23, 1879
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
June 11, 1881