m. 3 Nov 1746
Facts and Events
Gouverneur Morris (January 31, 1752 – November 6, 1816) was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a native of New York City who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation. Morris was also an author of large sections of the Constitution of the United States and one of its signers. He is widely credited as the author of the document's preamble, and has been called the "Penman of the Constitution." In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states.
His first name came from his mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Gouverneur from a Huguenot family that had first moved to Holland then to New Amsterdam. According to Abigail Adams, it was pronounced "governeur." A gifted scholar, Morris enrolled in 1764, at age 12, at King's College, now Columbia College of Columbia University in New York City. He graduated in 1768 and received a Master's degree in 1771.
At the age of 57, he married Anne Cary ("Nancy") Randolph, who was the sister of Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., husband of Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. Morris and his wife had a son, Gouverneur Morris Jr., who eventually became a railroad executive.
Morris' half-brother, Lewis Morris (1726–1798), was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Another half-brother, Staats Long Morris, was a loyalist and major-general in the British army during the American Revolution. His nephew, Lewis Richard Morris, served in the Vermont legislature and in the United States Congress. His grandnephew was William M. Meredith, United States Secretary of the Treasury under Zachary Taylor. Morris' great-grandson, also named Gouverneur (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.)