Richard Morris (New York judge)

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Richard Morris
Chief Justice of the
New York Supreme Court
In office
1779–1790
Preceded by John Jay
Succeeded by Robert Yates
Member of the New York State Senate
In office
March 4, 1778 – October 23, 1779
Preceded by John Jones
Succeeded by Stephen Ward
Personal details
Born (1730-08-15)August 15, 1730
Morrisania, Province of New York, British America
Died April 11, 1810(1810-04-11) (aged 79)
Scarsdale, New York, New York, United States
Spouse(s)
Sarah Ludlow
(m. 1759; her death 1791)
Children 5, including Lewis Richard Morris
Parents Lewis Morris
Katrintje Staats
Education Yale University

Richard Morris (August 15, 1730 O.S. – April 11, 1810) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1779 to 1790.[1]

Early life

He was born on August 15, 1730,[2] in Morrisania, then located in Westchester County, New York, the third son of Lewis Morris (1698–1762) and Katrintje (Staats) Morris (1697–1731).[3]

His paternal grandfather was Governor of New Jersey Lewis Morris (1671–1746). His brothers included Continental Congressman Lewis Morris (1726–1798) and Gen. Staats Long Morris (1728–1800). His half-brother was U.S. Senator Gouverneur Morris (1752–1816) and Assemblyman Richard Valentine Morris (1768–1815) was his nephew.[4]

Morris was a graduate of Yale College in 1748. Then he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1752.[1]

Career

In 1762, he was appointed by Governor Robert Monckton to the New York Court of Vice-Admiralty. At the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War he sided with the Patriots, and resigned from the bench in 1775.

On March 4, 1778, he was appointed by the New York State Assembly to the New York State Senate as one of the representatives of the Southern District, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Dr. John Jones. He remained in the State Senate until October 1779, sitting in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd New York State Legislatures.[5]

On October 23, 1779, he was appointed by the Council of Appointment as Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, and remained on the bench until September 1790 when he reached the constitutional age limit.[6] In 1788, he was a delegate to the New York Convention to Ratify the U.S. Constitution. On October 19, 1789, he administered the oaths of office to Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Jay.[7]

In December 1794, he ran on the Federalist ticket for Congress in the Westchester–Richmond district, but was defeated by Democrtaic-Republican Philip Van Cortlandt.[8]

Personal life

On June 13, 1759, he married Sarah Ludlow (1730–1791), the daughter of Henry Ludlow (1701–1784) and Mary Corbett and the sister of William Henry Ludlow. Together, they had five children:[9]

  • Lewis Richard Morris (1760–1825), who married Theodosia Olcott (d. 1800), who died soon after. He later married Ellen Hunt (1781–1865), daughter of Jonathan Hunt.
  • Robert Morris (1762–1851), who married Frances Ludlum (1766–1852).[10][11]
  • Mary Morris (1763–1836), who married William Popham.[1]
  • Catherine Morris (1765–1765), who died in infancy.[1]
  • Catherine Morris (1766–1767), who also died in infancy.[1]

He owned estates in Westchester county at Mount Fordham and in Scarsdale. Mount Fordham was burned by the British during the American Revolution.[1]

He died on April 11, 1810, in Scarsdale, New York; and was buried at the Trinity Churchyard in New York City.

Descendants

His granddaughter, Mary Morris (1790–1869), married James Alexander Hamilton (1788–1878),[12] son of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.[13] His grandson, Lewis Gouverneur Morris (1808–1900), was married to Emily Lorillard (1819–1850), of the Lorillard Tobacco family.[11]

Sources

  1. ^ a b c d e f Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 1915. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Chief Justice Richard Morris" at Long Island Surnames
  3. ^ "Richard Morris (1730-1810)". www.nyhistory.org. New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler; Cutter, William Richard (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation | Vol. III. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  5. ^ The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pg. 55, 110f and 346; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
  6. ^ "Richard Morris" at the Historical Society of the Courts of New York
  7. ^ Oaths of Office Taken by the Chief Justices at U.S. Supreme Court
  8. ^ Election result NY Westchester-Richmond at "A New Nation Votes", compiled by Phil Lampi, hosted at Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives
  9. ^ "Richard Morris Family Bible"
  10. ^ Hamilton, James Alexander (1869). Reminiscences of James A. Hamilton: or, Men and events, at home and abroad, during three quarters of a century. New York: C. Scribner & Co.
  11. ^ a b Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York (1905). The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York: History, Customs, Record of Events, Constitution, Certain Genealogies, and Other Matters of Interest. V. 1-. p. 110. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  12. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  13. ^ Fell, A. London (1983). Origins of Legislative Sovereignty and the Legislative State, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Co. p. 395.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Jay
Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court
1779–1790
Succeeded by
Robert Yates
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