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Robert Morris, One of America's Founding Fathers & Financier of the American Revolution

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2019

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Robert Morris (1734-1806) was a Founding Father of the United States of America - Patriot, Statesman, and Financier.

Robert Morris: Patriot, Statesman, Pioneer

Morris risked his life, wealth, and reputation to help create the United States of America. A patriot, he signed The Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States.  Morris was one of only Six Founding Fathers who signed The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States along with George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, George Read, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson. Of that "gang of six,", only Morris and Sherman also signed the Articles of Confederation.

Morris was a Philadelphia merchant who helped finance the Revolutionary War, and he served as United States Senator representing Pennsylvania.  Morris also owned the Presidents’ House that is another featured stop along The Constitutional. Morris worshipped at Christ Church (an Episcopalian church that has been an active parish since 1695), which is often called the "Nation's Church," because it is where important figures worshipped including Benjamin Franklin, Absalom Jones, Betsy Ross, Benjamin Rush and George Washington.

An immigrant orphaned at 16, Morris became a partner in a leading Philadelphia mercantile firm, the Willing & Morris Company, by the age of 22. Willing & Morris Company traded throughout Europe, America, and the West Indies. Their cargo included grain, animal hides, and enslaved Africans.

During the Revolutionary War, Morris used his genius for finance and his maritime trading connections to secure vital funds and supplies for the Continental Army.

As Superintendent of Finance (1781-1784), Morris rescued the new nation from financial ruin. He stabilized the economy by creating the first national bank, a model for our modern banking system. As one of the first U.S. senators from Pennsylvania (1789-1795), Morris was instrumental in making Philadelphia the temporary capital during the construction of Washington, D.C.

One of the wealthiest men in America, Morris speculated heavily in land. Overextended, he fell into bankruptcy and spent three years in debtors' prison. Robert Morris then lived modestly until his death in 1806, while the new nation he did so much to create prospered and grew.

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