Gouverneur Morris Facts

Gouverneur Morris Facts
Gouverneur Morris was one of the Founding Fathers who served in a number of different capacities throughout his career, including: elected official, advisor, diplomat, and attorney. Although not as well known today as Jefferson, Madison, and Washington, Morris was instrumental in the formation of the early republic. He is best known for helping craft the Constitution and writing its preamble. He later served as ambassador to France, Senator from the state of New York, and was a key early member of the Federalist Party. Morris was born on January 30, 1752 in New York City to Lewis Morris Junior and Sarah Morris (nee Gouverneur), from whom he got his first name. His family's wealth and high position allowed him to attend King's College (now Columbia University), where he studied law. He married late in life, at the age of fifty-seven, to Ann Randolph. The couple had a son they named Gouverneur Morris II.
Interesting Gouverneur Morris Facts:
Perhaps indicative of New York, which was fiercely divided among Loyalists and Patriots, there were plenty of both in Gouverneur's family. His brother Lewis Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, while another brother, Staats Long Morris, was an ardent Loyalist who moved to Canada after the American Revolution.
Gouverneur's mother was a Loyalist. When the British occupied New York City after the Battle of Long Island in 1776, she allowed British troops to camp on their land.
Unlike many of the Founding Father, Morris never served in the British military.
He served as a member of the Provincial Congress and the New York State Assembly, but was an advocate for New York's independence.
He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778 for a year.
After losing his seat in the Continental Congress, Morris stayed on in Philadelphia in non-elected roles.
Morris was involved in a carriage accident in 1780 in Philadelphia that resulted in the amputation of his left leg from below the thigh.
Perhaps his greatest moment in the Continental Congress was when he cast the deciding vote to keep George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the military.
Although known as being an elitist and somewhat of a snob, Morris opposed allowing slavery in the new republic during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
After the war, Morris was appointed the Minister Plenipotentiary, which is just an archaic word for ambassador, to France from 1792 to 1794 by President Washington. While in France, he witnessed first-hand the Reign of Terror that sent thousands to the guillotine, including Queen Marie Antoinette.
Although Morris was one of the signatories to the Articles of Confederation, he believed in a fairly strong central government and thought of himself as an American first and then a New Yorker.
Morris' government philosophy brought him into political alliance with Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, who believed in a stronger central government, and in opposition to Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans.
Morris died on November 6, 1816 in the Bronx, New York of an infection at the age of sixty-four. His body was interred in St. Ann's Episcopal Church in the Bronx.

Related Links:
American Revolution Facts
Animals Facts