Robert Morris

R. Gustason, 07 Jul 2011

The first person I am going to detail in the "We the People" series is a gentleman named Robert Morris. Mr. Morris was known as the Financier of the Revolution. He was born in Lancashire England on January 20th, 1734. He died on May 9th 1806 as a poor man. He came to Chesapeake Bay in 1744 as an eleven year old boy. His father had come earlier and once settled in America, he called for his son to come. At the age of 16 he had started his apprenticeship under Charles Willing.
At the age of 35 Mr. Morris married Mary White who at the time was 20 years old. Mrs. Morris' brother was a well known Bishop, the Reverend William White who was the Bishop of Pennsylvania and the first and fourth presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was also the second United States Senate Chaplain. Mr. Morris worshiped at St. Peter's Church and also at Christ Church who the Pastor of both was his brother-in-law, Mr. White.
Mrs. Morris was described as "elegant, accomplished, and rich, and well qualified to carry the felicity of connubial life to its highest perfection." She was also a very sensible and conservative woman who obtained a life annuity of $2000.00 which provided for a small conservative home when her husband had made some ill choices in his financial dealings. George Washington and his wife had signed a letter offering for her to stay in Mt. Vernon with them while her husband was in debtor's prison, and the first National Bankruptcy Law was passed by congress almost exclusively to get Mr. Morris out of prison. Mr. Morris remained secluded after his release from debtors prison (He stayed for 3 years) and lived a quiet life.
Although he made poor choices later in life regarding land speculating, he had almost single-handedly ensured the Continental Congress and Army remained financed and was able to set the structure for the financial system today. He was asked by President Washington to be the first Secretary of the Treasury but declined and instead offered the name of Alexander Hamilton in his place. He died in Philadelphia and is interned in the family vault of Mr. William White.
As we can see from his life, he was a devout Anglican worshipping God in the church of his Brother-in-Law. He married a sensible young lady who grew up in a pious and God-fearing home. Hardly a cool atheist who wished to separate church from the state. This man was a Christian. He might not have known the full truth of the nature of the Godhead, but there can be little doubt that he enjoyed worshipping as a Christian and very little doubt indeed that his wife kept anything other than a Christian home for him to come home too.
I'll be gone over the next few weeks, so while I'm away I'll try and dig up some more history for you all as I intend to showcase each of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and reveal what they though about God and the Christian lifestyle.

Filed under: history