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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew York

Gouverneur MORRIS

(1752-1816)
Senate Years of Service:
1800-1803
Party:
Federalist

MORRIS, Gouverneur, (half brother of Lewis Morris and uncle of Lewis Richard Morris), a Delegate and a Senator from New York; born in Morrisania (now a part of New York City), N.Y., January 31, 1752; instructed by private tutors; graduated from King’s College (now Columbia University), New York, in 1768; studied law; admitted to the colonial bar in 1771 and commenced practice in New York City; member, New York provincial congress 1775-1777; lieutenant colonel in the State militia in 1776; member of the committee to prepare a form of government for the State of New York in 1776; member of the first State council of safety in 1777; member, first State assembly 1777-1778; Member of the Continental Congress in 1778 and 1779; signer of the Articles of Confederation in 1778; moved to Philadelphia in 1779; appointed assistant superintendent of finance 1781-1785; Pennsylvania delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States in 1787; returned to live in New York in 1788; went to Europe on business in 1789; Minister Plenipotentiary to France 1792-1794; returned to the United States in 1798; elected in 1800 as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Watson and served from April 3, 1800, to March 3, 1803; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1802; chairman of the Erie Canal Commission 1810-1813; author on legal and political subjects; died in Morrisania, N.Y., November 6, 1816; interment in St. Anne’s Episcopal Churchyard, Bronx, N.Y.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Morris, Gouverneur. The Diary of Gouverneur Morris. Edited by Anne Morris. 2 vols. 1888. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970; Brookhiser, Richard. Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, The Rake Who Wrote the Constitution. New York: Free Press, 2003; Adams, William Howard. Gouverneur Morris: An Independent Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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