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Roger Morris

Morris, Roger, 1727–94, Loyalist in the American Revolution, b. Yorkshire, England. He came (1755) to America as aide-de-camp to Gen. Edward Braddock and fought under James Wolfe at Quebec. After his service in the British army he settled (1764) in New York City with his wife, Mary Philipse. They lived in the famous Morris Mansion (later the Jumel Mansion). At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Morris was sympathetic to the British but refused to fight against the patriots. His wife, Mary Philipse Morris, 1730–1825, inherited her wealth from her father, Frederick Philipse. Handsome and imperious, she is said to have attracted numerous suitors, among them George Washington. After her marriage (1758) her property holdings—including a large estate in Putnam co., N.Y.—were passed on to Roger Morris. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution the family's property was confiscated by an act of attainder of the New York state legislature. Subsequently, she left (1783) for England with her husband and four children. Her heirs (who by Mary Philipse's marriage settlement had a right to those estates and had not themselves been attainted) sold their reversionary interests to John Jacob Astor for £20,000. To this the British government added £17,000 in compensation for Morris's losses incurred by New York state's confiscation.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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