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Full text of "Mary White-- Mrs. Robert Morris : an address delivered by request at Sophia's Dairy near Perrymansville Harford Co. Maryland, June 7th 1877, on the occasion of the reinterment of the remains of Colonel Thomas White before a reunion of his descendants, Halls, Whites, Morrises"

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MARY WHITE-MRS ROBERT MORRIS 

AN ADDRESS 

i>i:i.ivi;i:i:i> r.v i;i;<iri:sT v r 
r^nl'lIIA'.-^ DAIIIV XEAI! I'KliliVMANSVll.l.F, llAl;K(il;l> ( 1 1 M Ai: VI.A.M) 

June yth 1877 

ON THE OCCASION OF THE REINTERMENT OF THE REMAINS 

OF 

COLONEL THOMAS WHITE 

P.KFORK A RKUXION OF HIS DKSCEXDAXTS 

II A L L S — W II I T E S — M R II I S E S 



BY 

CHARLES HENRY HART 



r II I L A D E L P n I A 

1878 



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One Iliindreil Cnjiien 
Iteprintcdfrom The rcititsylvanin Magazine of Ilixtvry and Bioijraphy. 






COLLINS, PRISTEK. 



TO 



MY MOTHER 



THESE PAGES 



AFFECTTDXATELY IXSCUIP.ED 



mrmntTfltmn aBaBnggg wvwnnimwiiTnB iiaBBH B Ii n ri r ririll f irnilll llWWIIWn 



(V-^T-oT.'^ f%Cy^ 






MARY WHITE-MRS. ROBERT MORRIS. 



I liavo liecii invited licre to-day to perfonn not .in oasj- task. 
'J'lit' lite of a Wdinau Axliose cliiefdi.stinction is tlie iimniinence 
ot'lier liuslianil, is not likely to lie jiossessed ot' eliaraeteristies 
and events, aiiart from iiim, of sutfieient moment and inlerest 
to be preserved alivi' for half a eentnry after iier decease, and 
bear repeatiiii;' at the end of tliat time. And yet this is a 
grateful task ; for by iierforminij: it 1 hope to trratify that 
most laudable desire of man's heart, to know something of his 
progenitors, that, by imitating their virtues and transmitting 
the same to his successors, he may help to impi'ove and bene- 
fit the human race. \Vitb this end and aim in view, I will 
relate all T know of Mrs. Ilobert Morris — Mary, youngest 
child of Thonias and Esther |I[eullnLi;s] White. She Avas 
born in the city of I'hiladelphia on the I'-'dh dny of April, 
1740, and on the ilst of May was baptized at Christ Church. 
C)f her maidenhood, no incidents, even by tradition, arc jire- 
served, save in the opening verse of Colonel Shijipcn's '• /,iin .■< 
irritti II in mi As.<i iiihhj I{i»>m^'^ to commemoi-ate tlie l.icauty 
and charms of J*hiladelphia's belles, where he says: — 

"111 lovely Wliitu'.-^ iiuist pleasing rorm, 
W luit variou.s graces meet I 
How bk'st with every striUiiig cliarni ! 
How laiiguishiugly sweet I" 

She must, however, have lieen carefully trained and educated 
in all womanly accomplishments to have enabled her to fill, 

' Sliipiieii Papers, edited by 'I'lioiiias Jjalcli. Pliila. I.s."i5. 



2Lirij Wlilt,- — Mrs. llvbrrt Morrif. 

wir]i so iiiii.'li easo, ana tliu-uity, nnd o-raee, the position in 
wliidi slio was aftcnvards jilaccd. 

(Ju tlio scooii,! ,,r :^^al■.•ll, HOlt, l,cfore slie was twenty, she 
was unitoil in niarriago liy the iieverend Richard Peters, to 
Eohert Morris, the futnre fiuanrier of tlie American Revoki- 
ti..ii. Mr. M, .rris was a native of Great Britain, havint? been 
born in Liverpool on the 31st oC Jannary, 17;J-1. Ilis father 
also Robert -Aforris, eanio to this eonntry and settled at Ox- 
fnrd, <,n the Eastern Shore of .Maryland, where he died Jnly 
12tli, 1750, wlien his son was in ids seventeentli year. Robert 
came to Philadelphia, and entered the conntinu'-house of Mr. 
diaries Willing, the first niereiiant of his day"] and in 1754^ 
iit tl,e age of twc-nty, f,,rn...d a, copartnership with his son' 
Thomas ^\ dlnig, widch lastcl a pcri,,d of t],irtv-nine years' 
and the firm of Willing & Morris l,ecame the best known and 
largest inii»,rting house in the olonies. Early takino- an 
active interest in the welfare of tlie clonics, Mr. Morris^was 
appointed by the Assenddy of Pennsylvania one of the dele- 
gates to the second Congress, an,l entercl npon a pnldic career 
so w(dl known as to ren.ler a relati,,n of its details on this 
occasion unnecessarv. 

Towards (he close of the year 177G, when tlie British ai> 
pronched Philadelphia, and Congress retired to Baltimore 
-Mr. Morns remained in the city as one of the committee in- 
trusted witli plenary power to perform all public acts I^Irs 
Morns followed the Congress, an.l took np licr abode at this 
very house where we are now assembled, an,l where her 
inotlicr an.l lather v\'erc visiting her steivsister, Mrs H-dJ 
and iiere she renudnd until the early part of tlie following 
Mar..],. On tlie 2<)th of December she writes to Mr. Morris* 
" I b.ng to give y.,n an a.x-.;.niit of the many diffienltv's and 
nneasyness we have experienced in this jonrney. In.lJed my 
spirits were very nnal,le to the task after that greatest con 
f i.-t flying fr.un h.u,.,. : the snftVrings of our poor little Tom 
distressed i^ all, an.l ^^•ith..ut the afiecti.^nate assistance of Mr 
Hall an.l the skilfuhu'ss of Dr. Cle, wliose services I shali 
never h.rget, T don't know wliat might Jiavc been the conse- 
<picn..c, as it was a lu-il of an uncommon nature, and required 



M'lrij HV'/Zr— J/,-.v. llnhni Morris. 



tlio sni'ixc'on's IiuihI. AVe liml I'casoii to jipjiivliiiid, ton, wo 
should lose our j^-oods ; the uiaiiy ciivumstaucrs of this atliiir 
I must It'uvc till 1 see you, us neither inj jiatieuee nor paper 
will hold out. 'July that Mr. Hall was ohliged, wlieu in a 
tew miles of liis li(.iuse, to return to Christiana and retake his 
Vessel, whieli he aet'oniplished hy the assistanee of Mr. Ihin- 
eoek ; .... hut after all the danuvrs, I've the }ileasure to 
inform yon we are safely housed in this hospitahle mansion." 
In another part of the letter she writes: " [ thought I was 
prepari'd for e\-ery misfortunt' ; for, as you nhserve, of late we 
have little else. Yet Asdu'ii Lee is taken prisoner, who is 
proof ai^'ainst those feelings his loss iinist oc<-asion, and add 
to that the triumph of our enemy's and the mortifieation his 
sensilnlit_y nnist sutler. Mi-. Hall has heard it eontradieted 
at Bush, and that Mr. llaneork thinks from the t'ireumstance 
it's a false report. God send it may he so, hut I"ve oliser\'eil 
pieces of had news are seldom eontradieted." 

On the SOtli of the same month, upon recei])t of the "news 
of the victory at Trenton, she writes t<.) INfr. Morris: " \\'e 
had lieen for many days imiiatiently wishing foi- a letter 
from you, as the news wo hear from any other quarter is not 
to liedepended on; lint when the weleonied one arrived, which 
brought those glad tidings, it more than eonipensateit tor 
Mdiat our late mifortunate eireumstanees prepared our minds 
to e.\[ieet, whieh was nothing more than our Army's being 
on the defensive, and fearing h/ast their numbers were not 
even equal to that, but retreat as usual ; but I hope, indeed, 
the tide is tiu'neil, and that our gi-eat Washington will ha\'e 
the sueeess his virtues deserve, and rout that impious army 
who, from no other prinei]ile l:>ut that of enslaving this once 
haiipy eonntry, have prosecuted this Crnell AVar. My liither 
was gi'catl_y, Ihii aijrcctdihj, affected at such good news, and I 
was the hajijiy means of making many joyfull hearts, as we 
had many guests added to onr large Family to celebrate 
Christmas. Mr. TTall is snrjinsed lie has not received orders 
to March with his P.attalion, but only to hold himself in 
readiness." Slie again writes to him on the ].')th of January, 
after hearing of the Battle at rrinccLon: "I have received 



M'iri/ }yhil, — Mrs. Jt'uhrri Ml 



orris. 



livf of your letters .-iiK-o my last, I_,fsick-s Mr. IlalPs, tlie eon- 
tents nf \vJii,/h alliiKist jietriiieil us ;— happy had we been liad 
tlie jietrilaetinn rea<-he(l our lu'arfs, and made them proof 
a--ahist our feelin-s in this .h.y of Triad. 1 suppressed mine 
all in njy power, as I \\\A\ to make myself as aiireeabJe as 
possible to this liimily, and as they had invited a jiarty of 
youn- folks t<. a. Twelfth Cake, I f ryed to be eheerful : liow 
<-Ould r be really so when liourly in expectation of ]iearin<r 
the determination of so important a liattle, and w],en the 
express arrived and pronounced Washin,o-ton victorious, would 
you beiievcMt, your Molly eould not Join in tlie treneral re- 
.i"i'-nii;-'.' Xo ! nor m-ver can at a victory so dearly bous;ht." 
In her last letter to him before her return, written on the 
.journey, she writes: - We are all well in health, and in want 
only ot your Dear Company to be as happy as the state of our 
country will admit off."" 

On Mareh l^th, 1777, slic writes to her " manuna" f,-om 
J hda.lelphia, addressed "To Mrs. AVhite, at A-piila IhdKs 
Mr near Bush T<,wn, Mai-yland."-" Last Wednesdav noo.i 
1 iiad the pleasure to arrive safe in dear T'hiladelphia, after a 
luuch plcasauter journey than I expeete.l from our settin<^oft- 
and It made me very happy to find mvself at home after so 
i-ng an absence, with the terrible apprehensions we fled with 
ot never seemo; it again." In the same letter slie writes • " I 
Huppose Jemn.y JIall has told you how everybody cxclainas at 
my tnnness; several of my ae,piaintances did not know me 
"11 t-vlia.l tune to recollect, and then declared there was 
veiy ht le traces of my f.rn.er self She concludes with: 
Duty to_m3- lather, and love to sister and Mr. Hall and all 
tlie Ilosiutab e Family, whose kindness to me and mv exiled 
h.nuy I shall never fcu^et." In a postscript sl^ adds: 
Ldly has been told that the Congress appoinfd him their 
Chaphunwhenm Baltimore, but has not vet lu^ard it from 
tliem, and begs it may not be mentioned.-' The " Billv " 
here reterred to Avas none other than her brother, the futm'e 
enunent prelate and f dher of the Protestant Episcop C ^h 
tn t ns eouutry. Bishop ^Vhite. In a letter or April 1st she 
-ntes: ^- Mr. Ihrneoek intends resigning his sat in Co^ 



Jlny ^yh;t':—JIrs. ]iuh,rt Jl.rris. 

grc?s, niid o-oin;; limiu'; it is iiiiai;'in(.'il he Avill Ijo uiquiinicil 
Govornur of Jjoston. They incaiit to \\:\\c. coiiijiliniriitcil .Mr. 
^Lirris witii tlic l'r<'~i(K'iitshi]i, Iml, lie told ihc u:<'iii Imn'ii 
M'lio iulorinotl liiiii ot' it lu? cuiili! not, si'i-\c, ;i> it woiiM inicr- 
forc riitii'cly witli liis private luisinrss, and so liei^-giMl it iiii<ilit 

lie (lfo]i]ie(l ])o!rt yon led i|nite important '{ 1 as- 

SlllV yon i do, and l>e;j;ill ti> lie re<-oneiled to rndependenee.'' 

Mrs. .Morris liad not lieeii at lionie a montk liel'ore I'ears of 
tlie aiiproacli of Howe iieeessifateil ]ii-e]iarations, at Kast, lor 
st'ekin^c sat'er refiiLi'e. She writes to her mother <in llie 14th 
of April: •• AVe are prejiariiiii: for aiKitlier llight in paekinn; 
up otir fiifiiitniv and removing:; them to a new purehase Mr. 
jMorris has made ten mili's from Laneasier, no other tliaii the 
famous House that lielonu'ed to Stedman and Stei^-el at the 
Iron "Works, -wdiere, ymi know, T spent six weeks; >o am per- 
fectly Well aeipiaintt'd with tlie !j:oodness ot' the Ifonse ami 
sitnatioii. 'Idie reason .Mr. .Morris made this ]>urehase, he 
looks ujion the otlier not seeurt^ if they eoiiie hy A\ai<r. I 
think myself wry hieky in haviiiL;' this Asylum, it lieiinj,- lait 
S miles, tine r<iad, from Laneaster, Avere I expeet Mr. Morris 
will he il' he units this, liesides many of my friends and ae- 
ipiaintani'es. So I now solieit the pU'asiire of yonr eompany 
at this onee famous place, Tn.<t((/i/ <</ Mdnui, where, ]ierhaps, 
we may yet trace some vostasres of the late owner's folly, and 
may prove a useful lesson to us his successors."' A forlnin'ht 
later she writis: '• [ am yet on dear I'liiladelphia ii'round, 
Imt ex[u'ct soon to iidiahit the Hills, wheiv we shall renjain, 
if possihle, in the enjoyment of all that's lieautiftd to the eye 
and g-ratcful to the taste; for, as if to add to our mortifica- 
tion, are we ohliu-ed to leave it ; nature never a]>peared there 
so lov(_'ly, nor promised such a profusion of her ii'ifts. We 
intend sending oif our hest t'urnitiire to T.ancaster, with all 
the linen we can spare, and stores of all kind, that our llight 
may he attended with as few incumhrances as possihle." 

"The Hills'" spoken of hy .ATrs. Morris in this last letter, 
with so much fervor an<l admiration, was her summer resi- 
dence wliich Mr. Morris had ]iurcha>ed in 17T'\ and laid out 
in a st\le and maimer unknown in this emmtrv at tliat da v. 



M<ir^ Wlulc—3Irs. Itdni Jlorris. 

After it passcJ out of liis Immls, it av.is called Lemon Hill, 
iiiid iinw fdrin.s that ^lart of Fainiioniit I'ark, situate on the 
cast side of the yehiiylkill river snvith of the Girard Avenue 
liridge, and ni>rth of the old water-wui-ks. Here he erected 
tlie large hnuse still stantling on the knoll of the hill over- 
looking the hoat honses of the Schuylkill Xavy, together 
■with extensive hot-houses where he raised all kinds ol" trop- 
ical iVuit, a fish-pond, and an ice-house. The " liotdioirses"' 
and the "iccdiouse" weiv the first introduced into the colo- 
nies. The ''fiiiniiis liniisc" near Lancaster, which Mr. ^^lorris 
bought, was none other than that huilt hy the eccentric and 
doubtful Baron Henry AVilliaiu Stcigol, who came to Americii 
aliout 1757, from iManheim, in C!ei-!nany, and the following 
year ]iLn'chased iVoni Charles and Alexander Stedman, of 
I'hiladclphia, a portion of u largo tract in Lancaster County, 
AN-here he laid out a, town Axlii.-h he called from liis native city, 
Manheim. Here he built an iron iiirnacc and extensive glass 
Avorks, and erected the magnificent mansion which Mrs. Mor- 
ris mentions as her jii-oposed reluge from the enemy should 
they enter Philadelphia. " The Castle," as it was ,.allcd, was 
very large, and contained a chai^el, where the " JJaron" held 
daily service. The wainscotings, mantcl-i-ieccs, ami crnices 
are described as having been very massive and rich, while 
the arras-tajK-stry which covered the walls of the i)arlor, and 
the p.-rcelain tiles encircling the lire-place, were of the tinest 
order, specimens of each of wldcli have been pi-eserved to the 
l.rcsent tinje. To this " fiimons house," then, Mr. and ]\L-s. 
iSforris repaired, when in Scptend,er, 1777, the near approach 
oi' the British army oldiged Congress to ivmove from Phila- 
delphia, tirst to Lancaster, and afterward to York as a more 
convenient ],la.'e, and here they remained nntil after the 
evaenation of the city by 8ir Henry Clinton and his troops 
early in the sununer of 177,9. 

< In the second of July, 1779. Congress reassembled in Phila- 
del],hia. At this period Benedict Arnold had command in 
the city. :\Irs. Morris, Avritiiig to lier mother in Xovember, 
Pays: "T know of no news, unless to tell yon that we are 
very gay is such. We have a great many balls and enter- 



3Iary Wlti/r—3Irs. Ribai Murris. 

tnhmients, and soon tlic Assomlilys will begin. Tell ls\\: Hall 
even our military gentlemen here are too liljeral to make any 
distinetions between AVliig and Tory ladyes — if they make 
any, it's in tiivor of the latti'r, sneli, strange as it may seem, 
is the way those things are eondncted at present in this eity. 
It ori-rinates at llead-uuarters, and that I may make some 

11*1 

aiioloiij for sueh strange eondiicl, I must tell you that Cuind 
has o-iven our little (ieneral a more mortal wound than all the 
host of Britons eould, unless his present conduet ean expiate 
for his past — Miss I'eggy Ship[ien is the fair one." This 
lady, I need hardly say, became Airs. Benedict Arnold, and 
sutfered with her liusband all the ignominy his subsopient 
actions heaped upon liis wretehed head. 

In the month of September, 1771:', Airs. Morris was called 
upon to mourn the loss ol' her father, — Col. Thomas White, 
who died on the twenty-ninth instant, and to do reverence to 
wliose memory we are assemfiled here to-ilay. Tlie event was 
communicated to her in a letter' enclosed in the following from 
her brother to Mr. Morris: — 

My Dear Sir — The event wli. I prepared you to exiiect in 
my letter of this iiKM'inng to(d< place at 8 oV-lock this evening. 
My dear Father's stupor returned at 4, and wlien he expired 
it was without ye least [lain. The endoseil you will deliver 
whenever you think proper. You know your presence would 
be a consolation to us ; but should you have leisure, there 
will hardly be time for you to jiay your respects to his re- 
mains. They talk of Saturday. 
I am. Dear Sii-, 

Yciur ati'ectionate Friend and Drotln'r, 

W. ^V1I1TE. 

Wepxesdav F^venixo, 10 o'clock. 

Three weeks later her mother wrote to lier : — 

My Dear CuiLn— Yr. \v\\vy was d,-,ul)ly wdconie, as it is a, 
long time since I had one from you, ami my much altered 
circumstances makes tlic lilial notice of my children more 

' Fov letter to Mi-s. Morris, see Vol. I., p. 43G, Pa. Mag. of Hist, and I>ioq. 



J/oy Wink—Mrs. Robert Morris. 

nm'iitahk^ to hr. tli:m over, but, you d^u't tell whether yr. 
little lellnxvs are cM.ine (nnn Frederick. I think you said last 
suuiujer tiiey were to eoiiie home in Oetoher. 'l should he; 
very sorry to uiiss seeini; theui, as it is not likely I shall o-o 
up so soon as was expeeted, tor Tounny Hall will not L 
read\. It seems repugnant to ye laws ,,f nature for me to 
seek a home out of i'hila.lelphia, and yet it is natural f ,r 
me to enquire how I shall he ahle to live there, the lu'eessa- 
ries of lile here are exorhitaut, an.l with you we are told they 
are mueh higher, the two articles of house rent mid liriu- 
woul.l be saved here, whic^h is a great matter; but there is u 
providence who governs the w., rid, and to be told we m^.y 
have a reliance on it, is so great a privilege that nothing hut 
Its being a Duty, could cause mankind to revolt from it 

I did not think that the. late great event, as it was so lon«- 
expected, would have atiected my spirits so much as it ki^ 
•I'Hie. I dont know whether it is nu.st wise or foolish to 
Av.sh you may never experience the same trial, as it is the 
general lot to one to he the survivor. I woul.l not have any- 
body see the al,ovc, as it may cause a laugh at what was wrote 
by one m tears. I was ali.dd some time ago yr. sister would 
not_h,ng survive Mr. Hall, but, she seems now out of dan<-er 
tho n. a bad state of la.,!,!,. May you have all the blesshi-^s 
his world can bestow, an.l when it has an end ten thousa.;.! 
times ten thousand more than it is capable of givin- is the 
jirayer " ^' 

Of your affectionate, 

n October, 1779, ^- ^HITE. 

nive my love to Mr. Morris, y,-. brotlior, and Polly ^Hdte. 
ce^ilv'r" ^'".^■'■'"; 1 '^"''^'""^'•^- 1>ecamo sensil,le of the ne- 

Mnnla to those wln.-h now exist, in order to give c.reatei- 

^ -ngth an,l .,fH,^i..n. .v to their executive authorin-, and ^Sl^ 

t Moms was j.la,....] .f t],,, l,„,a of n,at of finan;o, with the 

^ • ■;' '''' "^"•" ''' ''^^^^-''- ^^- ^-y^ -n hearing 

the appomtment, wrote to Mrs. Morris from Spain: " Xo 



3Iar>j ^yIllk—Ml•s. linlnrt Munis. 

circinnstancc of a juiKlie iiatui-L' since my ahscnec iVom ^Vuie- 
riea lias given nie greater satisfaetiuu tliau Mr. ^Inrris's ae- 
c-eptauce nf that iiiipurtaut niKee which he at present hulds; 
ncir Wduld ymi, my dear madam, even regret heing so I're- 
quently ohiiged to dispense with his cnni[iany, if ymi cuidd 
he witness to the universal salisractiou it has ditt'useil amnng 
the ti'iends of lUir country, hut w "d (were you as malicious as 
mvselt') even enji>_y the coutiision of our enemirs njxin the 
occasion, liesides the [luidic utility which must arise from the 
measure, I have a jieculiar [ileasure, which results from the 
more freipient mention of the person, fi'om \\ hose ahilitics and 
integrity so mui-h is expected, in terms the most grateful to 
friendshi[i. Your fears for Mr. ALirrisV hcaltli are, I own, 
too wt'll founded, and I tliink a little address to dra\v him 
into the country, at least of evenings, would he patriotic."' 

Thi;^ is not tlu' place to depict the arduous duties whii'h 
this appointment im|iosed, Imt the wisdom of tjie choi<'e was 
amply justitieil liy the result; i'or it is very certain that no 
other individual in the country condiined so comprehensive a. 
knowledge of the subject with which he had to grapple, with 
that Urmness and decision of characti'r ami keen sense of 
honor, which at onci' attract unix'crsal contidiiH'c. In con- 
senting to accejit the ottice, Mr. Morris made it a condition 
thai: he should liave the power to appoint and remove at his 
pleasure all suhordinates conne<'teil in any way with his lU'- 
partment,and it is a strking evidence of the respect in whieli 
his personal qualities were lield, that these terms were reailily 
complied with. Xo one requires to he informed of the effect 
of his elforts in restoring the puhlie credit,— no person < (udd 
have acc<miplished more than he did : the only real cause of 
wonder is, that with means s.. limited— in fact without any 
puhlie means at all-he could have done so much ; hut he put 
his shouhhn- to the wheel, an.l the much nee.led end \N-as gamed. 

The prominence which this ai^pointmcnt gave to Mr. ^lov- 
ris, hi. wealth, ahilitv. and social ].osition, made Ins homo 
the centre of all th.' amenitv and civility of the (h,y, and it i. 
as the h.^stess presiding over this estahlislnnent that we have 
some of the rao.*t pleasing pictures of his wite. 



Mary W hit,— Mrs. Bohirt M 



(irns. 



Ai'tvv tin' alliance \\irli France, this country was visited hj 
many Frencluncn of distinction, diplomats, officers, and citi- 
zens, and all of them brought letters of introduction to .Mr. 
Morris, who ^vas esteemed the repi-esentiitive man of the city. 
Froui many of these foreigners wo have pul.lislied accounts 
of their travels, and from them gain vivid pictures of society 
in I'hiladelphia and other cities. There were Le Marquis do 
Chastellux, L'Ahbe Kohin, Citizen Mazzei, Lo Prince do 
liroglie, Le Chevalier do la Luzerne, and many others. The 
tii-st (if these, who was here in 17S0, in sjieaking of .Air. .Al,,r- 
ris says: ^^^h-. Morris is a largo man, very "simple in his 
manners, hut his mind is subtle and acute, liis head perfectly 
well organized, and he is as well verscMl in public affiurs as iu 

^"*""'" I^i^ 1j<»»'^>' i.'^ handsome, resembling perfectly 

the h(,„ses in London. He lives there without ostentation 
but uot withont expense, for he spares uothing which can 
contrdnite to his happiness and that of Mrs. Mon-is, to whom 
hi-' is nuich attached." Li another place, in describiuo- an 
c'Utertamment at the Chevalier de la Luzerne-s, ho s^vs- 
"Un passing into the dining-room, ,]»■ Chevalier de la Lu- 
zerne presented his hand to Mrs. Morris, and gave her the 
precedence, an honor pretty generallv bestowed on her " 

lie I'rm.e de Broglie, whoso narrative was procured ro- 
c-cutly m 1 ranee by the late Mr. Thomas Balch, dosci^ibes a 
visit he made to Mrs. Morris in 1782, with considerable mi- 
nuteness. _'^M. do la Luzerne conducted mc to the house of 
Mrs. Morns to take tea. She is the wiie of the Comptroller 
Wial ot the United States. The house is simple kit well 
tui nshed and vc.y neat. The .loors and tables are of a su- 
perb mah,.gany, and bcautitully polished. The locks and 
nnges m br=u.s were curiously bright. Tho porcelain cups 
Ncie arranged with great precision. Tho mistress of the 
l-"se had an agreeable expression, and was dressed altogether 
ai white; m tact, everything appeared charming to me. I 
par ook o most^ excellent tea, and I should be oven now 
aki g It, I be leve, if the Ambassador had not charitably 

o^ tied me at tK.twclttb cup tlu.tr must put mvs^ 
ac.o.. It when I wi.hed to iini.h with this sort of Jarm 



3Liry White— 3Ir». BJini Morris. 

water. He said to lue: ir is almost as ill la-cd tn refuse a 
cup of tea Avheii it is oUei-eil to _v<mi, as it \V(_)ulil lie I'm- ijio 
mistress oi the house to propose a i'resli one when the eere- 
mony of the spoou has notitied her that we no hunger wish to 
partake of it."' 

The Chevalier de la Tjiizerne sjioken of in eaeh of these 
iiari-atives, -who was the Anihassador from France, was on 
terms of most familiar intereoiirse with the family of ]\lr. 
Morris. I have lietiire me an evidenee of this in an in\itation 
to Mr. and ^Mrs. ALorris and Miss Livingston, '^ tiujdlur iritit, 
the yovng famibj of ]\[rs. j]/(vv7'>'," to dine at Shoemaker's Plaee 
on the following Sal nrday afternoon ; and it -was Irom this 
nolilemau that Mr. Morris, on his personal credit, ol)taine(l 
the twenty thousand jiounds in specie which he sent to AVash- 
ington, and enahled him to <'ompel the capitulation of C'oi'ii- 
wallis at Yorktown. 'J'lie Miss Jjivingstou mentioneil in the 
invitation was Catharine, daughter of Governor William Liv- 
ingston, of Xew Jersey, and younger sister of the hcautiful 
Sarah Van Lrugh Living>lon, who hecanie the wife of John 
Jay. She afterwards married ^Litthew Eidley, an English- 
niaii residing in Baltimore, a jiarticular friend of ^Iv. ilorris, 
and under whose roof she most prohably met him, as she 
made one of the Morris I'amily for several 3'ears, during the 
ubsence of her sister in Europe, when ^Iv. Jay represented 
the Confederation, iirst as ^Linistcr to Spain, and snlisecpiently 
iu Paris as one of the Commissi<iners to arrange the dctiniti\-e 
treaty of ])eace. Mrs. Ja_\-, -wi-iting to Mrs. Morris from 
Madrid, mider date of Sept. L 17S0, says: "When I left 
I'hiladclphia I did not also leave the rememlirance of the 
repeated instances of friendship which has endeared you to 
me: l)Ut liad I het'U less sensilije of them, surely your recent 
kindness to my dear Kitty cou]<l not fail of awakening my 
gratitude. Accept, my (h-ar Mr. and AL's. jSIorris, of my sin- 
cere thanks for your kindness to my sister; helieve me, 
nothing lias given me moiv ]ileasure than tlie hai)piness she 
has enjoyed under your lios|)ital)le roof." 

These heartfelt words of Mrs. Jay were doubtless called 
forth l)y the letter she had received from her sister writteu 



tlie previous July, in wliicli slie says: '• In our last distressos 
from tlie invasion of the British troops, Air. and Mrs. Alorris 
sent for me to eome and live Avith them. It was exeeedingly 
friend!}- ; and it is eertainly no small alleviation to our in- 
felieities to have sueh friends as ean feel for us, and hy their 
kind t-ndeavors soothe our trouliled hosonis to peaee and 
tranfpiillity. They liave at present a deli!j;htfnl situation — 
Springsherr}-. Air. Morris has enlarged the huildings, and 
converted the greendiouse into a dining-room, which far ex- 
ceeds their expeetations in heauty and ei.)nvenience." 

The last day of sunnner, 17S1, was a gala day in Philadel- 
phia. Tlie military were out and the whole city astir. Gen- 
eral AVashingt(.in was coming, and \\\x\\ him the Count de 
Roehamheau and other foreign and Ameriean officers of eon- 
nideration, who were all on tlu-ir way to join Lafayette near 
Yorktown, hoping, -with the aid of I)e (irasse, who was 
houi'ly expected with his tleet, to cajiturc C'ornwallis and his 
army. At mid-day the general reaehed the snhurl.)s, where 
he was rnet hy a large munher of ]ieo]ile and escorted to the 
City Tavern, where he held an impri>m[itu reception. From 
thence he went to the residence of Air. Alorris, who enter- 
tained the eminent officers and their staffs, together with 
many eitizens, at dimu'r. In the evening the city was illumi- 
nated in honor of the distinguished \isitoi-s. A recent writer 
has said: ".Justly fell to llohert Alorris the honor of enter- 
taining (Jeneral AVashington on this occasion ; for it. was to 
him the general owe<l the possiltility of this sudden transfer 

of the army to A'irginia Xext to AVashington the 

country owes the trium])h at A'orktown to Rol)ert Alorris." 

lu the fall of this same year Air. Alorris sent his two elder 
sons, Iiolx'rt and Thomas, ageil rcsjjectivcly twelve and ten 
years, to Europe, under the care of Air. Alathew Ridley, be- 
fore mentioned, for the purpose of licing educate<l. They 
took with them a letter from their father to Pr. Franklin 
at Paris, in which Air. Alorris gives his reason for sending 
them to he that "the interruption given to the progress of 
learning, the distresses which the several seminaries in this 
country have undergone the various lucrative employments 



3Linj ir////c— J7/-.V. Rohrrt Morris. 

to -wiricli inastcrs ami tiiturs have liccii iiixitfil in the pr(ii;'r('ss of 
tliu present \var, are eireuiustauee.s wliieli operate powerl'ully 
to the disailvanta<;'e cit'tlie present raee of Aiueiieau youth, and 
\\iiieh have imhieeil nie to take the deterniinatiou ot' e(U)eating 
1113' two eldest sous, Kohert and Thoiiias, in l->urope. " Idiey 
carried with theui also a letter fi-uui Mrs. Sarah iiadie, l)r. 
Fraukliu"s only daugjiter, to her son lienjamiu Franklin 
Baelie, who was lieini;' i^dueated aliroad, at the tender ai;'e of 
twelve, under his grandliitlier's care. In it she says: "My 
dear Benny : — Tiiis letter will he liauded to you hy tiie .\htster 
Morris's, who, you may reinenilK'r, came to take lea\e of you 
the laorninn- you left us. I. am particularly hajijiy in their 
e;oinij to Geneva, as 1 am sure it will give yon great ]ileasuro 
to see two <dd Friends, jnid ha\e them go to the same school 
with you. Tiieir Father and yours have the strongest Fi'ieud- 
ship for each other. 1 Ijope it will l)e the same with tiieir 
s(_)ns, and that you will let them Ijave a share in your heart 
witli [intitiJi /li'/ilili]. Voii will, 1 make wo douht, do I'Very- 
thing in your power, to make ( ieneva agreeal)Ie to them : they 
are very clever Ixiys, and will ho strangers there compared 
with you."' 

They were jilact'd to scliool in (ieneva, where they re- 
mained five years, making daring the vacations hricf \isits 
in the vicinity. One of these A'isits was to I'aris the ui.'xt 
year, which they passed with their mother's friend, Mrs. 
Jay, who wrote : "■ Your little sons, liy passing their holiday 
with me, made me very hapi)y. Roljcrt so exceedingly re- 
8end.iles Mr. Morris, that 1 fi,'el li>r him a respect mingletl w ith 
my love; tho' at the same time I regret his distance fnim his 
father's example and counsel. Tommy (who is likewise a 
line hoy) told me that !iis last letters mentioned Hetty's and 
Maria's illness. I \\i>]>r they arc imw quite recovered, as well 
as my dear Kitty. AViil you emliraie them for me'.'" 

In the sunniierof ITsii, under tiie tutelage of M. de Basse- 
ville, they went to (iermany, and entered the Fniversity of 
Leipsic, where they remained nearly two years, returning 
home in the spring of ITSR. The letters written during their 
absence, to them and to their tutor, hy their hither, are not 



Munj W/iilc — Jlrs. lidn'rt 2Jorris. 

<>\]\y fraught with godd parental advici,', but indicate and lay 
(Iciwn a c-our:<e and syr^teni nf s^tud}-, showing niature considera- 
tion, and a knowledge of the suliject tru'y reiiuirkable. 

Vn the 25th of May, 1787, there met in riiiladelphia the 
menioraljle Convention called together to frame a Constiaitiou 
for the United States. To this body Mr. Morris, who had 
eleven years before affixed his bold signature to the Declara- 
tion of Independence, was a delegate, and it Avas upon his 
motion that George Washington was imaniniously chosen to 
jirt'side over its del ibi-rat ions. To his sons at Leijisic Mr. 
Ah)rris wrote June 2o : '•(icneral AVashington is now^ our 
guest, having taken up his aliode at my liouse during the 
time he is to remain in this city. lie is rresident of a con- 
AX'iition of I)elcgates from the Thirteen States of America, 
who h;iv(.' mt't licre for the purpose of revising, amending, 
and altering the Federal (iovernment. There are gentlemen 
of great abilities cnqiloycd in this Convention, many of whom 
were in the first Congress, and several that were concerned in 
forming the Articles of Confederation now aljont to be altered 
and amended. You, my children, ought ti» pray for a successful 
issue to their labours, as the result is to l)e a form of Covern- 
nu'nt under which you are to live, and in the administration 
of whirh you may hereafter probably have a share, provided 
you (pialify yourselves by application to your studies. The 
laws of nations, a knowledge of the Germanic System, and 
the constitutions of the several governments in Europe, and 
an intimate ac'i[Uaintance with anticnt and modern histor}', 
are essentially necessary to entitle yon to participate in the 
honor of serving a Free I'eople in the administratimi of their 
Government." 

Soon after the adjournment of the Convention, Mr. Morris 
visited A'irginia in company with Mr. Gouverneur ilorris, ou 
matters of private Imsincss, where he was absent more than 
six months. The letters Avhich passed between Mr. and Mi-s. 
Mon-is during this jieriod have fortimately been preserved, 
and >how a cultivation and ease in epistolary composition 
now comparatively unknown. His first letter, written from 
bialtimore on his journey south\vard, contains a reference of 



3Inry While— Mrs. ]i<,hid Morris. 

considoral lie interest mi this ocrasidii. lie ^\■|■ites: "We 
arrived liere last iii^-ht all well, after a pleasant journey with- 
out any aeeident, and with tine weather and i^-ood roads. 
I saw J. Hall at Havre de (Jraee. Chai'Iotte Ilall was at his 
house, hut being dark and our journey having t'atitfued, wc 
did not go thither. Tliey were all \i-v\ well, and next niorn- 
inng we visited the mansion of Mr. Hall ; injluekily he had 
gone oti" (half au liour liefore we arrived) to a I'lantation of 
his ou tlie otlier .side of Bush liiver. We were verv t;ra- 
ciously, I may say ati'eetionately, reeelxed hy tluve eliarniing 
young ladies, Miss Molly, J'atty, ami Sophia. They u'ave us 
good breakfast and a hearty weleome, inquired jiartieularlv 
after you, and I pressed Molly to go up immediately with 
one of lier sisters, and pass the winter witli \du, assuring 
them that was y<iur wisli, and tliat you would lie exeeeil- 
ingly glad of their <'ompany. I Hatter myself you will have 
them for eompanions for this winter, and I need not tell you 
how nuieh I liiil them weli'onie on my part. If Molly Hall 
does go u]i, I desire that you will engage Mr. Keinagle to 
teaeli iu^r on the Ilarpsiehoi'd, and that you )iay the exjiense ; 
do this in the most delicate manner, sueh as 1 am sure your 
goodness of heart will dietate." 

During her husliand's ahseuee, Mrs. Morris was made glad 
by the return from Europe of hei' sons Kohcrt and Thomas, 
and it was during this same jieriod that tin.' clouds hegan to 
gather around tlie horizon of Mr. Morris's successful financial 
career. In CK-toher, 17S8, he was again calk'd into ]iuhli 
life, hy lieing elect(.'d hy the Assemlily to i'epr(_'sent J'ennsyl- 
vania in the first Senate of the I'liited States, ^\■|lic]l was con- 
vened in Xew York on the 4th of March, 17<S1'. < Jn tlie \cry 
day <:if the meeting he writes to Mrs. Morris : " I arrived safe 
here at 7 o'clock this morning, liefore Mr. ('oiistahle was u|i. 
.... We met the mendiers tliat are now in this city from 
the other States, opened the two housi's hy entering on the 
minutes the names of those who appeart'd. and adjourned 
imtil to-morrow at Eleven OVlock. There were oidy Eight 
Senators and thirteen assembly men, and before we can pro- 
ceed to business there must be twelve Senators and thirtv 



c 



Munj While — Mrs. liohirl Morris. 

members of usseiiiLly Lust night tliey Hred 13 canuoii 

IVcim the iSuttery here u\er the Funeral of the Confederation, 
ami this morning tiiey saluted the new Government with 11 
Cannon, l)eing one tor eaeh of the States that have adopted 
the Constitution. The Flag was hoisted on the Fort, and 
Federal Colours were disjilayed on the teip of the Xew Editiee 
and at several other plaees of the City; this, with ringing of 
Uells and Crowds of iVopIe at the meeting of C(-)ngress, gave 
the air of a grand Festival to the 4th of Mareh, 1780, whieh, 
no doulit, will hereafter he eelebrated as a new Era in the 
Annals of the AV'orld."' 

Congress did not organize for business until the eighth of 
April, and on the thirtietli, "Washington was inaugurated the 
first I'resident of the United States. Mrs. "Washington did 
not accompany the general to Xcw York, but on Tuesday, 
tlie nineteenth of May, accomiianied by her grandchildren 
Eleanor and (icorge Washington Parke Custis, set i:)ut in her 
private carriage for the seat of government. She received 
ovations all along the route, and on Thursday, wlien she 
reached (Jray's Ferry, just outside of the city, she was met 
by Mrs. Morris, whose guest she was to be, and accompanied 
by her, entered the citj- escorted by a large concourse of mili- 
tary and citizens. Cn reaching High (Market) Street, near 
the residence of Mrs. Morris, she was greeted by the ringing 
of bells, the discharge of thirteen guns from a park of artil- 
lery, and the cheering shouts of an immense concourse of 
Joyons people. Mrs. Washington remained with Mrs. Morris 
until the following Monday, and then departed for Xew 
York, taking with her Mrs. Morris and her daughter ^laria 
in her carriage, as her guests. They were met on Wednesday 
at Elizabethtown by the President and Mr. Morris, and 
crossed over to New York on the I'resident's barge. On Fri- 
day, the '2lHh of ^lay, Mrs. Washington gave her first levee, 
at which Mrs. Morris was ]iresent, occupying the first place, 
on her right, and at all of her subsequent levees in New York 
and afterA\'ards in Philadelphia, when present, Mrs. Morris 
C)ceupied the honored yilace, as also did Mr. Morris when a 
guest at the pul.ilic or ^irivate dinners given by Washington. 



JiLiry W/ulc—3Irs. ]l„l,ni M 



orris. 



Mrs. ^lorris iviuaiiifil in New York with hw liii.-liaud 
until the liftli of July, when she returned Louie, he heinn" de- 
tained at the seat of government by his senatorial duties. On 
the ITtli he writes to her: " I have reeeiwd your very [ileas- 
ing letter of the lUth inst., and was made very hapiiy in read- 
ing the narrative of your journey, of your reeejition at Gen- 
eral I)iekinson"s, the Delaware Works, and, above all, in 
Market Street." A few days later he w rites: " I paid a \isit 
at the I'resident's on Friday Evening (it is the only nne I 
have paid since we ]iarted). He is mended nuich in apjiear- 
anee and reality, — the Doctors, howevt'r, have had another cut 
at him, which has been very useful, — both he and Mrs. Wash- 
ington were very particular in their en(|uiries after you, about 
your journey, and weiv pleased to hear that j'ou had got safe 
home. Nelly C'ustis asked after Maria, and Mrs. Washing- 
ton and the J'resident after lioth Hetty and Maria." 

Mainly through Mr. Morris's exertions the seat of g(.ivern- 
na^ntwas reniovcil the iK'xt year to riiiladelphia. As soon as 
it was settled detiniti'ly that the removal should take jilace, 
Mr. Morris, whose residence on High Street east of Sixth Strec^t 
was the tinest jirivate residence in the city, otlered it Ibr the 
presidential mansion. It was built of lu'ick, three stories 
high, and the main liuilding was forty-live feet six inches 
wide by tifty-two feet deeji, and the kitchen and wash-honso 
twenty feet wide by fifty-tive fei't dccji, while tlie stables 
would accommodate twelve liorses. The front of the liniise 
displayed tour windows on the second and third iloors, two 
on either side of the main hall, and on the first tloor three 
windows, and a single ddor approached by three heavy gray 
stone steps. On each side ot' the Ikmisc were vacant l^ts used 
as a garden, and containing trees and shrubbery. This prop- 
erty Mr. Miirris bought in August, ITS.'), and rebuilt the 
house, which had been destroyed by tire New Year's da\', 
1780. When comiileteil, he removed from his residence on 
Front Street below I)i>ck Street, which he had occui)ied be- 
fore and din'ing the dark days dt' t]\r revolutionary strugi^-le. 
Washington wrote from riiiladclpliia, on Ins way to Mt. 
A^ernon, to his Secretary, Tolnas Lear, at New York: " The 



3I'ir>j Wliik—Mrs. liobai Morris. 

Louse of Mr. Robert Morris had, previous to my arrival, been 
taken l>y tlie corporation for iny residence. It is the l)est 
they could get. It is, I I.ielieve, the Ix-st single house in the 
city. Yet without additions it is inadequate to tlie commo- 
dious accommodation of my family." He sulise(|uently wrote 
to Lear from Mt. Vernon: "Mr. and Mrs. Morris have in- 
sisted upon leaving the two large looking-glasses w hidi are 
in their best rooms, because theyi have no place, thi'y say, 
proper to remove them to, and because they are unwilling to 
hazzard taking them down. You will therefore k't them 

have, instead, the choice of mine Mrs. Morris has a 

mangle (I think it is called) for ironing clothes, which, as it 
is tixed in the jilace where it is commonly used, she proposes 
to leave and take mine. To this I have no objection, ]ir(> 
vided mine is a/wdti/ (jood and coiu\riiciit ; but if I should ob- 
tain any advantages besides that of its being up and ready I'or 

use, I am not inclined to receive it j\Irs. Morris, who 

is a notable lady in family arrangement, can give you much 
information on all the conveniences about the house and 
liuildings, and I dare say would I'ather consider it as a com- 
[iliment to be consulted in those matters, as she is near, than 
a trouble to give her opinion of them." Ou 3'ielding up his 
own residence to the President, Mr. Morris removed into the 
house at the southeast corner of t^ixth and ^larket Streets, 
which had been built by the loyalist Joseph Galloway, and 
confiscated to the State on account of liis adhesion to the 
ISritish crown. Mr. Morris purchased it from the Executive 
C(.)uncil of I'eimsylvania shortly after he had iiurchaseil the 
pri'siihutiiil mansion, to which it ad/ioined. 

The Presi<lent and Mrs. Washington arrived in riiiladel- 
phia from JSIt. Vernon towards the end of November, and 
took possession of their luiuse, where on Christmas night the 
first levee in Philadelphia was given. The close friendship 
which existed between Mr. Morris and the chief soon spread 
to their res|iective families, and an intimacy was engendtTcd 
which neitlier misfi)rtune nor time t'ould diminish. That 
Pobert Morris was Washington's most intimate friend — the 
man who entered nearest to his heart, and to whom he most 



3L(rii WIntc—Mrs. liohcrt lUvrris. 

iuiIu'IuIlmI — is provcrli'utlly \\v\\ kiuiwn, and the fullowiiiii; 
incident uf liis last levee, held u lew (.lays bei'urc his ivtirinir 
iruni the luvsideney, has been preserwd and handed down \>y 
an eye-witness :' "Washington reeeiveil his gnests, standing 
Ix'tween the windnws in his haek drawing-rodnj. Tiie eoni- 
jiany, entering a front ronni and jiassing through an unlnlding 
(hxir, made their saliitatii>ns to the I'resident, and turning 
oti', stood on OIK' side. His nunnu.'r was iMiurteous, ot' t'oui'se, 
l.iut always on tliese oeeasions somewhat reserveth He did 
not give his liand, Imt mert'ly howe(h which was the mode 
for that day. Mr. Morris came in, and w lien the I'resident 
saw liim entering tlie room, lu' ad\ani-ed to meet him, and 
shook him heartily liy the hand: Mr. Morris, in allusion 
jiartly, peiliajis, to the day which may have been clouily, hut 
more to the event, repeating as he came forward the lines: — 

' Tlio il;vy is uvci'cast, tlie ninniiiig: lowers, 
Ami lu'iivily in cluiuls liriiijrs (in the day — 
The great, the iiniKirtant ilay.'" 

On the 4th of March, IT'.'T, AVashington's second term ex- 
]iirc(l with the installation ot'.lohn Adams into the executive 
chair. The day preceding he had given a farewell dinner, at 
which lioth y\y. and Mrs. ^Morris were present. IVishop 
White, M'ho was also one of the guests, says: "During the 
dinner mucli hilarity prevailcil ; hnt on the ^cmo^■al of the 
cloth it was ])nt an end to by the I'residt'iit, certainly without 
design. Having tilled his glass, he addressed the company, 
with a smile on liis comitenance, saying : 'Toadies and gentle- 
men, this is the last time I shall drink your health as a jiublic 
man ; I do it with sincerity, wishing you all jiossilile hajipi- 
ness.' There was an end to all pleasantry, and there was not a 
dry eye among the comjiany." He showeil his esteem for Mrs. 
Morris by presenting her with a small pi-otile portrait of him- 
self, liy the Marchioness de Brchan, with this autogra}ih pre- 
sentation: "TIk' 1 'resident's compliments aeeompan}' the in- 
closed to Mrs. Morris." 

We now approach near to the jieriod of her husband's great 
financial misfortmu's, brought on by his striving after largo 
possessions and his misplaced confidence in one of his usso- 

' Thi- hite IldM. Ji.hn 1!. Wallace. 



M<iry Whitr—Mrs. liukri 31 



orns. 



ciiitts. He jiUR'hased, at iiicruly iidiniiial prices, varyiii<^ fiYnu 
a few ec'iit.s t(j a dollai" an acre, many iiiillioiis of acres of iin- 
seuted lauds iu the several States of tliu Union, some indi- 
vidually and others in conjunction with J(.ilin JS'icholson and 
Junies Greenleaf, vvitli whom he suhsci^uently ort^'anizcd the 
Korth American Land Company in February, ITU.j. Early 
ill the following year Morris and ^N'icholsoii found that they 
hail jciiiied their lortuues with the wrong man, and endeavored 
to exti'icate themselves by jiurchasiiig his interest, liut alas! 
too late ; the evil seed jilaiitcil hy Greenleaf was too wide- 
spread, and had taken too deep root, tt) be killed out and 
eradicated, and thus by his dishonest and rascally conduct 
was Robert Morris dragged under and sacriticed. In the 
autumn of ITOti, Mr. Morris passed some time in A\'ashington, 
or, as ir was then called, "The Federal City," — where Major 
L"Kiifaiit, who liad been the architect of the enormous jiile, 
l)artly erected, on the square hounded hy Seventh Street, 
Eighth Street, Chestnut Street, and Walnut Street, and 
known as "Morris's Folly," was engaged in laying out the 
city plans, — endeavoring to dispose of lots, a large number of 
wdiich Mr. Morris had purchased when it was decided that 
i/iov should be the iiermanent capitol of the country. 

Finally the crisis came on the fifteenth of Feliruary, 1708. 
On that day he was arrested at the suit of one Charles Eddy, 
and IVom " the Hills'' he writes to Nicholson : "■ I am liere in 
custody cif a slieritf's officer. Charles Eddy is the most hard- 
ened villain God ever made. I believe if 1 had bank hills to 
pay him with lie \\'ould refuse them on the ground of their 
not being a legal tender." The next day he was taken to the 
debtor's a|iartment of the old I'runo Street Prison, where he 
was conliiK'd until liberated biy the operation of the General 
Bankrupt Law on the twenty-sixth of August, 1801, after 
lUHlergoing an imprisonment of three years, six months, and 
ten days. The country for whose independence, safety, and 
salvation he had jiledgcd and given liis }irivate fortune in the 
hour of its deepest (le]iression and most desperate nt'cd, i'or- 
got biiu when adversity crowded upon him, and neither hy 
word, act, or deed helpcil to alleviate the liurden of his un- 
fortunate situation. The Congress which, without his aid, 



M.irii W'hiU—Mrs. Jl„l,ni M>rris. 

never would liuve lunl :in existenc'c to Imld a session, sat 
witliin tlie sliadow of liis |ii'isoii walls, Iml WWvA not. a 
V()iee or liand to save him. \\'\ oir', iidhle ahnve all, ilid iint 
i'orget liiiu. Jlis great eoini)eer, with Trenton and 'S'lirktow n 
fresh in his mind, renienihered who had i;i\rn liini I hi' iiuhl 
whirh i;-ave tin' two decisive eonlliets of the war. in a letter 
written liy \Vashint;1(in to Mrs. Eliza I'owell, he says: '' i'oor 
Mrs. Morris! 1 feel much tor her situatiou; and earnestly 
in'aythat Mr. Morris may, and soon, woi-k lliron;:;li all his 
ilillicultics ; in which 1 am jiersuadei.l that all who know jiim 
heartily join me; as they do, that their ease, ([uiet, and domes- 
tie enjoyments may he pcri'eetly restored." Late in IT'.'S, 
when Washinti'ton visited l'liilailel[ihia to collect and organize 
an army, at tlie time that the relations with Fi-aiU'e made 
such a measure necessary, '"he jiaid liis tirst visit to the 
prisondiouse of Rohert Morris." Nor was liiis all. The fol- 
hjwing year Mrs. Monis, with liei- daughter Maria, visiteil 
her eldest daughter Hetty— Mrs. .lames Maivhall, <if \'ir- 
ginia, and \vhile there receiveil the following corilial and 
gratifying j'-'iid letter: — 

'■ MocNT Vekxox, So|itL'nilit'r ".'I, 17'.)',), 
" Oi'R T)e.\R Mai'.vm — "We never Icai'ut with certainty, until 
\ve had the pleasure of seeing ^Ir. Wdjite (since his return 
from Frederiek), that you were at Winchester. 

We hope it is nmiecessary to rc'iieat in this pla<'e how 
hapjiy we shonld he to see you and Miss Mori'is uiiih'r onr 
roof for as long a stay as you shall liud convi'iiicnt hcjoivyou 
return to l'hiladcl|iliia : for he assured we e\'er have and still 
do retain tlu- most atfectionate regard for 3'ou. Mr. Moi'ris, ,nid 
the family. 

"With the Iiighest esteem and regard, and hest wishes for 
the health and hapjiiness <if the i'amily _\du ar<.' in, we are, 
Dear Mailam, 

Your most ohedient and very 
llumhlu servants, 

00. WASHIXCTON. 
MARTHA WASIILNGTOX. 
To Mr,s. Morri.s, 

ill Wiiiclicster.'' 



ULirij U'A(7,— J/r.y. liobcd Murris. 

'i'liis tlatte'riiii;- iuvitatidii ruiK-hcd Mrs. Morris just as she 
Avas starting fur i'hikuU'liiliia, whitlier she Inul been called by 
the lireakiiiiT out of the iualii;-uaut fever of 1799. Mr. Morris 
Avrote to his son Thomas on the seventh of Septeniljer : " iNi j 
o-oihI health enatiiiues, altlio" our eity is again atHicteil \\itii 
sivkness. I have, however, gtit an onler of Court li)r iwy re- 
iniival into the enuntry whun I shall deem my jireseut situation 
dangi'riius; and in ei)nse(^uenrc' thereof 1 beliuve Rdbrrt will 
go next week to Winchester to bring back yur mother and 
ihiria." This was the third visit of the fever; during that of 
the previous year Mrs. Morris lost her third sou, William, who 
died Octol)er 9th, 1798, in his twenty-seventh year. ilr. Mor- 
ris communicates it to Thomas the next day in a letter full of 
feeling: "In the midst of grief and distress I write these 
lines, altho" they will make you a participator of it. C'oidd 
the event l)e ke])t fi'om your knowledge 1 would spare your 
friendly feelings for the loss of a worthy brother, i'oor Wil- 
liam, he has fallen the untimely victim of a billions remitting 
fever (not the luvvairmg Malignant Feverj which has been 
liangiug aliout him lor a month past; during that time he 
lived low and took medicine, but without cti'ect, and last 
Friday night he was seriously attacked : two able I'hysicians 
did all they could for him, but in vain. lie died yesterday 
in the forenoon, and his body was immediately deposited hi 
tlie Family A'aidt at Christ Cliurch. I have lost in him not 
only a dutiful son, but a frit'ud and companion; I have lost 
those hopes which were hung upon his sense, virtue, and 
talents. Had he been spared, he would have made a tine 
figure in this world. The only comfort left upon his subject, 
that he is translated pnro and nncontaminated from this 
Avorld of trouble to enjoy that Idiss which is promis(>d in 
another to the virtuous." This young man showed oonsidor- 
able promise, ii' an o]iinion may be formed from the letters 
he addressed to his parents from London and Paris in the 
years '94 and "9.5. They disclose an observins: and discrimi- 
nating mind, improved by no little taste and cultivation. 

louring the confinement ot' Mr. ilori'is, liis faithful and de- 
voted \\-ife and daughter, ^hu'ia, were his constant companions. 



J/'OV/ UV,;/,— .1//-.V. Ji,>h,rt Jinn-;.-: 

Day iit'lcr ilay Mi's. Mui-ris sisitt'd tlic jn-isdn, and diiird at, 
tlie cc'll-talik' of Ikt uid'oii unate hut iidblc liusliand, ami w hilc 
the iiialigiiaut Ivxcrs wliii'h ragt.'<l tcri'il)!)' in I'runc Stnrt 
iidl'stcHl the eity, she ne\ei- K'l't him, hut enutinued hi'i- daily 
visits until siic walked thrnuuh tw '> niws ol' cdllhis, |>ilrd IVeni 
ridor to eeiliu;;', in reai/hin^' his i-<»>ni. Willi death arnund 
him and heside liini, in this, its moi-e dii-efnl lurm, he had nn 
jiersoiud tear. To .lohn ^.'ii-holson lie w lites (Jelnhcr l.')th, 
17'JS : "it is wonderful, hill, notwithstanding- the danger is 
nnwat my ehandjur door, — I'm' llornri' is in the runni 1 I'or- 
iiieiiy <_>ecu[iied, — I feel im kind ol' a|'iin lien>ii m, :nid my 
only anxiety is for uiy wife and daiighti'i' and these imnr 
.siek people. I Lnpc my life will he spared, for the sake "f 
my family, until 1 get my affairs st'ttled." Three days later 
lie says to the same eorresp(UKleiit : "i think of mii\'iiig out 
of my room into that ibrmerly oeeiipied hy I'r. Uustun, in 
the haek part of the house; if I do this, it is to give some 
comfort to Mrs. Morris, whnse distress pieives my heart. As 
to mj'self, 1 eaniiot feel afraid or alarmed at the ueigiilKirliond 
of this disease, although i lia\e tried." V>y the care of a 
heiiefieeiit I'rovideiiee he was guarded and proteeted thrniigh 
the ravages (if this tell lU'stroyer. 

At hist Mr. Morris was released from prison, (hi " Men- 
day morning, August 'JTtli, isol," he writes to his sou 
Thomas: "As 1 kmiw the eouteiits of this letter v,\\\ he very 
pleasing to von and your family, 1 emhraee the first oppur- 
tunity to tell you that 1 .ihtaiued my liherly last evening, and 
liad the iuexiiressihle satisfaction to tind myself again reslereil 
1.1 mv home and family." Alas! what a far ditli'ivnt heme 
h.. .■ntered to the one he left. Mrs. Merris at this p..riod 
was livin.- in a small estal.li>hment on the east sale of 
Twelfth Street, mi.lwav hetw.'en Market and Chestnut 
Streets, whiel. she had heon cnahled to keep together tlimngh 
the instrumontalitv of Mr. r4ouvernenr Morns, who, unt a- 
relative, was the hest true friend Rohort Morris ever had. 
The title to the fnur traets eontaining three millinii three 
hundred thousand tuavs in the (U-\H'-r>' eountry, which had 
iieen conveyed to the ITollaud Land Cimiiaiiy hy >rr.Merri.-! 
in 1702 and IT'.'^n proved defective and rcpiired c.mtirmnig, 



3Linj ]Y/t;ti—3Irs. Itohni llorris. 

Ii>r whifli Gouvernour ^lorris compelled the company to jiuv 
Mrs. Morris an aimuity of tirteen luuidred dollars during- her 
lite, and this was all she had ii[iiin which to live. Compare 
this pictnre with those we have jiresented of a decade and a. 
score of years bef)re. //vc, a broken-down old man, in his 
sixty-eiglith year, ■without one cent that he can call his own, 
only protected from \]>v storms of ln'aveu by a roof preserwd 
through the thoughtltd insti'unientality of an old friend. 
Tln'rr, the first man of the city — the first in wealth, in intlu- 
ence,and in position — reci'iving and entertaining Washington 
and the otHccrs of the allied armies on their way to the 
crowning success of the war; and again Avhen the cit}' of his 
a(h)[)tion becomes the capital of the Union, yielding np his 
liri\-ate residence — the most magnificent in the city — for the 
[iresidential mansion. These \'ast changes lie survived not 
ijuite five years. On the seventh of May, 180G, he was re- 
leased from the harassing cares of tins mortal life, and found 
a resting-place in the tiimily vaidt, Christ Church, Second 
Street, Philadelphia. 

Mr. Morris was a man of rcmarkalile presence — large in 
stature, and with a coimlenance peculiarly open and noble; he 
impressed all who apiiroaehcd him with the force of his char- 
acter and the strength of his aliilit^'. There are portraits of him 
painted by Peale, Pine, Trumlmll, and Stuart. He possessed 
a mind as vigorous and strong as his body — iticns sana in cor- 
jiorc fcino. He wrote with a clearness, purity, and strength 
which is only ci|Ualled by the \-olume oi' his corrcs[iondence ; 
the numlter of letters which he wrote with his own hand, in 
the midst of the most engrossing public and private duties, 
being almost miraculous. He was a genial man, fond of good 
cheer, and delighted in siirightly conversation and sparkling 
wit. That he was warm-hearted, noble, and generous, his 
wliole life evideni-es. On this occasion, let me read to you the 
tender afiectionate words he wrote to Oouverneur ^lorris at 
Paris, informing him of Mrs. AVhite's death: — 

PiuT. uiKi.riii A, Jan 'y 2(1. 17!)I. 
My Dear FraExn— I havi- just ]iartcd from my family, 
who are all in mourning. Old ]\Irs. White, my wife's mother, 



il/-//-_y \VI,;i,~Mrs. I!uh,,i Mnrris. 

iiiiw I'u's n ('i>riiso ill Ium' own Iicmisc Slu> cxjiircil cin l-'i-idnv 
cNciiiii:;', flu' ;'ilsl lilt., nl'lcr ;i f-lmii illiu'ss, (n'casionrd 1>\ a. 
si'ViTc cnld taktii acciilcntall V, ami treated willi iieiileet until 
IcHi lale. She did im if siiU'er niiieli ]iaiii, and lieinn' in lier 71st 
year, lier (.■ml was to lie joolxeil t'nr: hnt nut witlistaiidini:' 
these eireiinistanees it eanu' niiex|ieetedly, and tlieret'ore has 
t;'i\'eii a <j;reater shoid^c f o I he leeHiiLi's of her two eiiildreii t han 
otherwise it wonlil. My wili' told nie a \\hile an'o, w hen 1 
inenfioned tliat i hail heeii writiiii;- toyoii,thaf she reeol- 

leeted yoll lia\ ilii;' ol'teli ]irot'eSM'(l a l'e_L:'a I'd and esteem lor liel' 
mother, and flierefore l'ei|llesfe(l me fomellfion the decease to 
yoll. The old lady was a selislhle, i;-ood Woman, and as siieh, 
exelusive ol'all eonsideraf ions of eonneetion, 1 \alned and re- 
fijieeted. her exeeediiii^'ly. 

"We have <.'\er la'cn on terms of the most friendly inlei'- 
eonrse, and 1 regret the loss of her as imieh as if she had heeii 
my own mother, lier daiighfer grieves at the loss, hut has 
too miK'h sense and too miieh integrity of mind to make pa- 
rade of grief. To-morrow we shall attend her remains to the 
a'ravo, at least myself and my ehljdren will ; hut I do not intend 
that Mrs. Morris shall, for the leather is extreanily eold, and 
] do not choose that she should ris([ue her health. I hi'iu', 
my dear (:!o\-erneiii', that yoii and [ may live long enough 
to meet again in this world. 1 deelare to yon, if \ were to 
indulge a douht of it, my haiipiness would he miieh dimin- 
isheil, and iiiv stoek of happiness has alreaily heeii so miieh 
eiirtaile<l hy adversity that I eaii spai'e very little of the little 
now left. 

] hope that you may long he spiared an ornament of your 
sjieeies ; an honor to humanity, anil he jiermitted the full (.'u- 
io\-ments of all tlie happiness that man is ea}ialile of. Fare- 
well. Yoll iie\er liad nor e\'er will have a more siiieero 

Frieml than 

IJOr.'T. MOintlS. 



^Fr. Morris jiossessed eonsiderahle taste for the tine arts, 
and eiieoiii'au'ed them liherally. For Eohert Kdge I'ine, the 
Fnij.-lish portrait iiainter, he hnilt a house on Eighth Street, 



Jli,y W/u-l,—JJr.<. llvhrrt Mums. 

lii'liiw Marki't, :Lil:i])tc(l lor the cxliilntion of lii^ pictures and 
the in-o.-eeutioii df his ])ainting. He ai(h'(l Jardelhi, an Italian 
senljitor of no UK'an merit, to estaMi.-sii himself in Philadel- 
]ihia, and durini;- the Fj'eneh la-s'olution he imported sc>me 
of the finest CiohiTiu tapestry and Fi'eneh niai'ipietry A\oi'k 
ever brought to this country. His will, written liy his own 
hand two vt'ars hefore his death, closes with these philo- 
sophical remarks : — 

"ITere I have to express my regret at hasing lost a. very 
large fortune acquired by honest industr\-, A\hich I had long 
hoped and expeci<_'d to enjoy with my family during my own 
life, aud then to distribute it among those,: ot' them that 
should outlive me. Fate has determined otherwi^e, and we 
must submit to the decree, ^\hich I ha\e endeavored to do 
with [latienee aud fiu'titude." 

Such is a portraiture of the man wh(.>m ^hiry A\diite mar- 
ried, and whom she survived twt_'nty-one year>. 

Alter the death t>f her husband, }ilrs. ^bu-ris removed to 
Chestnut [Street, aliove Tenth, on the s(juth side, and here she 
residetl when Lafayette maile his famous torn- through the 
ytates in 18:24. He arrived in I'liiladelphia on Tuesday 
moruiug, Septemlier i!',*th, and was tendered the grandest ova- 
tion he reeeived during his visit as tlie nation's guest. On 
the evening of his arrival he called upon Mrs. Morris, making 
her his first pri\'ate call in the eity, thus showing the (U'ep 
atfeetion aud respect which a si'paratii.>u of thirty-seven years, 
amid the vicissitudes of momentous times and the fearful 
events of the French Ilevolution, could not erase. At his 
especial personal request, she .attended the grand civic Ijall 
given in his lionor at the new Chestnut Street Theatre, on the 
night of Monday, October Ath. She was at this time in her 
seventy-sixth year. On Tuesday, the sixteenth of January, 
1S27, slie joined her beloved luisband in the unknown land 
of departed spirits, aud was buried in the family vault. 

■Without the attractions of beauty, ^[rs. Morris possessed 
the liighest ipudities of mind and heart. She was tall, grace- 
ful, and commanding, with a stately dignity of manner w hich 



Mn-i/ ]VI,;/r—Mrs. nvl.d JA-; 



over iiKuk' ;i cnutrdHiiig iiiipivssii'ii iiiimi all witli wliniii slio 
\va> liniiiglit ill iiiiiUii't. TIkti.^ aiv llii'ci.' imrt rails dl' lirr; 
oiii', an rxoiTaMc tliiiiii' liy C'liarirs \\ ilscni I'calc, in lihli.'|irii- 
(U'lU'o Hall; tlir mtdikI, a lioaiililul miniatiirc liy 'rriuiiliiill, 
jiainfcil aliiiiit IT'.K), in tlic |i(iss(.>ssiciii of hrr gi-aii(lilaii;;litri-, 
Mrs. Aiiililcr; ami I lio third, an unllni.-liril lirad, Kv (Jilhrrl 
Stuart, in tlir n'allcry ni'thu Lenox Lilirar_)-,^'ew ^'l)l•k, jiaiiitcd 
sliurllv licl'.ire her death, iiiid said to he the last Iriiiale head 
Stuart painted. Fmni an ohil nary wliieli ajipeared M)nie time 
at'ler lu'i' decease, I extraet the r(illii\\iiii;- : — 

•■On Tuesday, the Tilth iiist., de[iarfed this life, ill (lie YStJi 
year of her ai;-e, .Mrs. W-.wy Morris, relid nf JIolnil Morris, 
Esi|., torinerly a nii'inher of the Lei;islatiire of this ("oininon- 
wealth, a nieiiiher of ('on<;'ress lono- l)etiire the I>eclaration 
(if Inde|iendenee, of which instrument he was one of' the 
siii'iiers, the .Minister of 1*"1 nance duriii;^' the latter years ot' the 
lieNdlnlioiiary War, a niemherof the ('on\entioii which esial)- 
li>licd the |irescnl Constitution of the rniliMl States, and a 
Senator in the fir>t C'oniiress aftei- its adoption. 

" His deceased widow, after haxiiiu' enjoyed with him with- 
out arrim'anee the wealth and the ii<'iioursof ihe carlv and 
the middle years of his life, descended with him, without 
lepiniui^', to the privations incident to the reverses of his for- 
tune towards the dost' of it. Since his decease, some of the 
liveliest of her u'ratifieatious were the occasions frei|Uently 
occurrinic of ci\ilities ami services tendered to lier hy men 
who dated the lieirimiiiiii's <if their successes in their respect ivi' 
occupations to the patrmiac'e and the aids furnislu'd to them 
hy her deceased hushaiid in the coursi' of his successful pur- 
suits ol' commerce, some of whose names had hceii unknown 
to hei' until the occasions which called forth the expressions 
of their ii-ratitude. 

" Jlaxin-j.' li\'ed in the uuostentat ions pi'ofession o|' relii;-ion, 
iiiid in the faithful discharii'e of her relative duties, she met 
the event of death with entire resiiriiation ; and, as is trusted, 
with a well-LCronnded lio]ie of the mercy of (ioil, throuLCh thu 
merits of the Iledeemer."' 



3Lirii W],:t,'—Mrs. R,h,rf 3l,>ri.<:. 

Mv. and JNIrs. Morris liail sevoii cliildrcn, the roeonl of 
whose liirtlis T reml from tlie entries made li}- ^Ir. Morris in 
the family IVdde : — 

" Mareh lM,17I)'.1, lioljert ^forris was niari'ieil to Maryjiis 
wife. 

" Deeem'r T.Mli, lT(i'.>, was liorn Ilohert, their son, at I be- 
fore 11 o'eloek at nitilit. 

" Feh'y 20, 1771, Tlios., their second son, was l)orn at 7 
oVIoek in the evening. 

"Aug'sl lUh, 1772, AVilliam, tlieir thiid son, was horn at 
10 o'eloek in the evening. 

"duly 30, 1774, Hetty, their daughter, was horn at | past 
one o'clock at nigh^". 

•'.Jul}- lltli, 1777, Charles, their fourth son, was horn at 10 
o'clock at night. 

"April 24, 1770, ^Nfaria, their secoiiil daughter, was horn at 
7 o'clock in tin' morning. 

"duly 24, 17S4, Henry, their fil'th son, was horn at half 
after three o'clock in the morniiii;-." 



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