Robert Morris papers

Collection Data

Description
Robert Morris (1734-1806) was a Founding Father of the United States, a businessman, and statesman. As a Philadelphia merchant, Morris helped to finance the American Revolution with the wealth he acquired through his real estate and shipping business. He was one of the rare Founding Fathers to have signed all three of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. The Robert Morris papers, dated 1751-1802, consist of correspondence, financial and legal papers. The correspondence pertains mostly to Morris's business affairs. Other letters concern his Revolutionary War activities, his service as Superintendent of Finance of the United States and as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, and some personal matters. The financial and legal papers include receipts, accounts, stock certificates, and land records.
Names
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806 (Creator)
Bondfield, John (Correspondent)
Brown, John (Correspondent)
Cranch, William, 1769-1855 (Correspondent)
Deane, Silas, 1737-1789 (Correspondent)
Harrison, Benjamin, approximately 1726-1791 (Correspondent)
Hoops, Adam, 1709-1771 (Correspondent)
Hopkinson, Francis, 1737-1791 (Correspondent)
Jay, John, 1745-1829 (Correspondent)
Lee, Charles, 1731-1782 (Correspondent)
Livingston, Muscoe (Correspondent)
Nicholson, John, 1757-1800 (Correspondent)
Parr, William (Correspondent)
Peters, Richard, 1743-1828 (Correspondent)
Ridley, Matthew, 1749-1789 (Correspondent)
Sage, Alexander (Correspondent)
Tilghman, Tench, 1744-1786 (Correspondent)
Willing, Morris & Company (Correspondent)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1759 - 1802
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 2066
Topics
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806
Business enterprises -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Finance -- United States
Land speculation -- United States
Shipping -- United States
Merchants
Pennsylvania -- History
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
Genres
Stock certificates
Correspondence
legal documents
receipts
Notes
Biographical/historical: Robert Morris (1734-1806) was a Founding Father of the United States, a businessman, and statesman. As a Philadelphia merchant, Morris helped to finance the American Revolution with the wealth he acquired through his real estate and shipping business. He was one of the rare Founding Fathers to have signed all three of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. He went on to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1779 through 1785. In 1781, Congress appointed him the first Superintendent of Finance of the United States. He later invested much of his fortune in land speculation in western New York but went bankrupt after the Panic of 1796-1797. He was imprisoned for debt in Philadelphia from February, 1789 to August, 1801. His release was a result of Congress passing the Bankruptcy Act of 1800. Upon his release, Morris spent a quiet life of retirement until his death in 1806.
Content: The Robert Morris papers, dated 1751-1802, consist of correspondence, financial and legal papers. The bulk of the correspondence pertains to Morris's business affairs. Other correspondence within the collection concerns his Revolutionary War activities, his service as Superintendent of Finance of the United States and as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, and some personal matters. Financial and legal papers include receipts, accounts, land records, and a stock certificate for the Delaware and Schuylkill Navigation Company. Significant records of Morris's land ventures In Genessee County, NY are also included. Other items of note included papers pertaining to the Asylum Company, a company started by Robert Morris and John Nicholson that attempted to purchase and resell tracts of land in western Pennsylvania.
Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation.
Physical Description
Extent: 1.1 linear feet 4 boxes, 1 oversized folder
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11974876
MSS Unit ID: 2066
Archives collections id: archives_collections_2066
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 6036e800-e238-0133-e118-00505686d14e
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