Anthony Morris papers, ca. 1690-1830


Date: Circa 1690-1830 | Size: 1 Linear feet, Ca. 250 items


This collection is primarily correspondence, accounts, bills, and receipts of Anthony Morris, but also included is older material on the Morris family (deeds, indentures, etc.). The correspondence centers on two major topics: the settlement of the estate of a Baron de Kalb, and information concerning Morris' proposal to set up the Fellenberg Institution for agricultural education, on his estate at Bolton Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Background note

A member of a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family, Anthony Morris (1766-1860) was a merchant, a lawyer, a legislator, a banker, and a Presidential envoy. His father, Samuel Morris (1734-1812) was a Revolutionary war veteran and member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. His mother was Rebecca Wistar Morris (1736-1791), daughter of Caspar Wistar (1696-1752), one of the largest landowners in Pennsylvania.

Anthony Morris was educated in Quaker schools and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1783. Upon graduation, he became involved with trade, particularly the East India trade. He also studied law and joined the Philadelphia bar in 1787.

In 1790, Morris married Mary Smith Pemberton (1770-1808), who was herself a member of a well-connected Philadelphia mercantile family. Together, the couple had four children: Phebe Morris (b. 1791); Rebecca Wistar Morris Nourse (1793-1885); James Pemberton Morris (1795-1834); and, Louisa Morris (b. 1798).

From 1792-1794, Anthony Morris served in the Pennsylvania Senate. For a brief period of time at the end of his tenure, he acted as that legislative body's Speaker. During an extraordinary session in his last year of office, he signed a bill assenting to President Washington's military action against the Whiskey Rebellion.

Following his stint in political office, Morris turned to banking. From 1800 to 1806, he was director of the Bank of North America. At this time he also took up an advisory role at his alma mater, sitting on the board of trustees at the University of Pennsylvania from 1806-1817.

During this period of time, Morris suffered some hardships. His wife died in 1808. That same year, he was forced to sell a large Montgomery County estate, The Highlands, due to economic difficulties. His financial woes continued for a few years.

In order to remedy the situation, he turned to old family friends, Dolley and James Madison, for help. President Madison appointed Morris as a special envoy to the Court of Spain in 1813-1814, charging him with persuading the Spanish government to cede Florida to the United States. Morris' mission ended in disappointment as a resurgent Spanish crown sought to keep hold of its possession in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, and a newly appointed American ambassador to Spain resented his presence.

Collection Information

Physical description

Ca. 250 items.


Presented by Edward Barnsley and accessioned, 05/--/1976 (1976 819ms).

Early American History Note

The Anthony Morris Papers are a miscellaneous collection of materials relating to the life of this Philadelphia businessman. The collection includes some correspondence, many receipts, various business records, and a few deeds, one of which dates to 1681. Most of the documents come from the early to mid nineteenth century. There is a particularly large collection of Anthony Morris's correspondence, dating mostly to the early nineteenth century. There are also architectural drawings of the Fellenberg Institution, a school that the utilized the educational techniques created by a Swiss educator. The Institution was proposed to be built on Morris' property. Anthony Morris (1766-1860) was from a prominent Philadelphia family and served as a merchant and legislator.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Fellenberg Institution.

Family Name(s)

  • Morris family.


  • Bills.
  • Business Records and Accounts
  • Deeds.
  • Educational Material
  • General Correspondence
  • Indentures.
  • Receipts.
  • Sketchbooks

Geographic Name(s)

  • Bucks County (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Barlow, Joel, 1754-1812
  • De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780
  • Fellenberg, Emanuel von, 1771-1844
  • Morris, Anthony,1766-1860.
  • Price, Isaac
  • Roberts, Samuel
  • Skinner, John S. (John Stuart), 1788-1851
  • Vaux, Roberts,1786-1836.


  • Agricultural colleges -- Pennsylvania.
  • Business and Skilled Trades
  • Education
  • Quaker businesspeople
  • Trade

Detailed Inventory

 Address sheets and endorsement sheets
 American Farmer. Seeds. Garden seeds

Other Descriptive Information: Broadside

 Ball, Joseph, 1752-1821
 Ball, Joseph, 1752-1821. Deed to Robert Leslie
1801 April 28 
 Barlow, Joel, 1754-1812
 Beitler, Abraham, 1785-1866
 Bells, Thomas D.
 Biddle, Charles
 Biddle, George W.
 Biddle, Sarah Kempe, 1665-1709. Deed to William Deane
1691 August 15 
 Blake, James Heighe, 1768-1819
 Bob, Peter
 Booz, S. S.
 Breck, Samuel, 1771-1862

Other Descriptive Information: Thanks

 Brown, D. Bryer
 Buckley & Abbatt
 Budd, David, 1712-1760. Deed to Robert Smith
1752 January 23 
 Budd, David, 1712-1760; Smith, Robert. Deed to Daniel Smith
1752 January 27 
 Census of the United States
 Cheston, James, 1779-1843
 Clark, John
 Combes, Nathan; Morris, Benjamin W.
 Currie, John
 De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780. Estate

Other Descriptive Information: Fragments

 Delaware Insurance Company
 Drinker, Henry
 Farmers National Bank of Bucks County (Bristol, Pa.)
 Fellenberg Institution. Architectural Drawings
 Foulke, Richard Parker, 1789-1860
 Fox, Michael
 Gaston, Peter
 Gibson, James
 Grant, William
 Hallowell, John, 1768-1839
 Howell, George J.
 Jenkin, George
 John Gardiner & Co.
 Kendall, Otis H.
 Kingston, Harry S.
 Kirkman, James Thomas
 Landreth, Cuthbert, 1746-1828; Landreth, David, 1752-1836
 La Roquette, _____ de
 Law Academy of Philadelphia
 Leeds, Daniel, 1757-1829
 Legal Notes
 Levy, Samson, 1761-1831
 Library of Congress

Other Descriptive Information: List of Books

 List of Books from Dr. James
 List of Books with Prices
 McMahon, T. P. M.
 Meade, David
 Meade, Richard H.
 Miller, E. Spencer (Elihu Spencer), 1817-1879
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Account Book
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Cancelled Checks on Account with Bank of North America
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Correspondence with George J. Howell
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Correspondence with James Widdifield, 1765-1845
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Estate Surveys
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Memoranda
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Promissory Notes
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Receipts, Bills, Etc.
 Morris, Anthony, 1766-1860. Tax Bills
 Morris, James Pemberton, 1795-1834. Plan of Wood Lots (Sale)

Other Descriptive Information: Broadside

 Morris, James Pemberton, 1795-1834. Receipts
 Morris, Miss. Receipts
 Murckin, Peter
 Norris, Joseph P. (Joseph Parker), 1763-1841
 Nourse, Charles Josephus, 1786-1851
 O'Bryan, Duross
 O'Neill, Thomas W.
 Paul, Philip. Lease and Release to Daniel Smith
1714 November 2 
 Pemberton, James, 1723-1809; Widdifield, James, 1765-1845
 Pemberton, Phebe, 1738-1812
 Pennsylvania Legislative Temperance Society
 Penrose, Clement Biddle, 1771-1829
 Peters, Richard, 1780-1848
 Philadelphia Inquirer
1967 March 12 
 Potty, John. Deed to William Deane
1716 March 7 
 Price, Isaac. Estate
 R., W.
 Rawle, William, 1788-1858
 Rawle, William Henry, 1823-1889
 Reynolds, Robert
 Richards, William
 Robert McMinn and Company
 Roberts, Samuel, 1763-1820
 Robinson, George
 Robinson, George; Robinson, Isaac
 Robinson, George; Robinson, Isaac vs. Leslie, Robert, & Price
 Rodney, C. A. (Caesar Augustus), 1772-1824
 Rogers, Isaac
 Rose, Robert H. (Robert Hutchinson), 1776-1842
 Samuel T. Fox and Company
 Sharswood, George, 1810-1883
 Simon, John. Receipts
 Skinner, John S. (John Stuart), 1788-1851
 Slater, Edward
 Smith, Daniel. Estate
 Smith, Robert. Deed to Daniel Smith
1742 February 1 
 Smoot, Samuel
 Spanish Publication

Other Descriptive Information: Explanation of plates

 Sparks, Richard F.
 Stevenson, Thomas. Deed to Daniel Smith
1714 August 25 
 Tucker, James. Accounts
 Vail, Eugene A.
 Vaux, Roberts, 1786-1836
 W. G. Garsed and Company
 Waln & Wilson vs. Morris & Tenants
 Warden, David Bailie, 1772-1845
 Watson, Joseph, 1784-1841
 Wetherill, Samuel, 1736-1816
 Wharton, Kearny, 1765 or 1766-1848. Deed to Anthony Morris
1799 May 14 
 Widdifield, James, 1765-1845
 Widdifield, James, 1765-1845. Accounts
 Widdifield, James, 1765-1845. Cancelled Checks on Account with Bank of North America
 Williams, Hannah
 Williams, Thomas
 Woodbridge, William C. (William Channing), 1794-1845
 Woodbridge, William C. (William Channing), 1794-1845. Broadside
 Woods, John
 Wright, Fretwell, 1714-1797. Deed to Daniel Smith
1745 February 19