Gouverneur Morris Jr.

Gouverneur Morris II (February 9, 1813 – August 20, 1888) was an American railroad executive and the son of a founding father of the United States, Gouverneur Morris.

Gouverneur Morris II
BornFebruary 9, 1813
DiedAugust 20, 1888(1888-08-20) (aged 75)
Bartow-on-the-Sound, Pelham, New York, U.S.
Resting placeSt. Ann's Episcopal Church (Bronx)
OccupationRailroad executive
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Martha Jefferson Cary
Parent(s)Gouverneur Morris
Anne Cary Randolph

Early life

Gouverneur Morris was born on February 9, 1813, Morrisania, Bronx, New York. He was the son of a founding father of the United States, Gouverneur Morris (1752–1816) and his wife, Anne Cary ("Nancy") Randolph (1774–1837).[1]


Morris was one of the major entrepreneurs of the 19th century Bronx. As Vice President of the New York and Harlem River Railroad, he built the railroad now running along Park Avenue in New York City. In 1840, he donated St. Ann's Church as a family memorial.[2] He promoted Port Morris as a commercial port, and donated land to skilled workers in 1848, to create an ideal workingman’s village if it were called Morrisania. That is today’s Morrisania neighborhood. He spent much of the later part of his career in Vermont, as president of the Vermont Valley Railroad.

He wasn't as active in politics as his famous father, but he was a founder of the Republican Party and attended its opening convention in 1854.

Personal life

He married his first cousin Martha Jefferson Cary, daughter of writer Virginia Randolph Cary (1786–1852).[1] Together they had three children. Gouverneur Morris III (1842–1897), Anne Cary Morris (1847–1926), who married Alfred Percival Maudslay (1850–1931), the British diplomat, explorer and archaeologist,[3] and Peter Randolph Morris (1865–1934), who helped to establish the Overland Stage Line in Denver, Colorado.[4]

After his death on August 20, 1888 in Bartow-on-the-Sound, Pelham, New York, Morris was buried at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in the Bronx.[5]


His grandson, Gouverneur Morris IV (1876–1953), was an author of pulp novels and short stories during the early-twentieth century. Several of his works were adapted into films, including the famous Lon Chaney film, The Penalty in 1920.[6]

His granddaughter, Henrietta Fairfax Morris, married Stephen Bonsal (1865–1921) a journalist and war correspondent who won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for History.[7]

His great-grandson, Philip Bonsal (1903–1995), was a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State who served as the United States Ambassador to Cuba from February 1959 until October 1960.[8]

See also


  1. Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families, p. 81,2
  2. Elizabeth Spencer-Ralph and Gloria McDarrah (April 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Riverdale Presbyterian Church Complex". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  3. "DR. ALFRED P. MAUDSLAY.: Archaeologist of Aztec and Maya Remains Dies at 80". The New York Times. January 24, 1931. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. "Wood-Morris-Bonfils House". www.historycolorado.org. History Colorado. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  5. "Obituary: Gouverneur Morris" (PDF). New York Times. August 21, 1888. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  6. "Browse By Author: M – Project Gutenberg". Gutenberg.org. 1916-07-01. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
  7. Leonard, John William et al. (1906). "Bonsal, Stephen" in Who's Who in America, Volume 4, page 177 at Google Books
  8. "Col. Bonsal Dead; Journalist was 86" (PDF). New York Times. June 9, 1951. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
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