Manuscript Group 16, Lewis Morris (1671-1746), Royal Governor of New Jersey Papers, 1704-1750




Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 16, Lewis Morris
(1671-1746), Royal Governor of New Jersey

Papers, 1704-1750, 0.5 linear feet / 103 items

Call Number: MG 16 + folder number



Accounts of money received and paid for the West New Jersey Society, 1704-1730;
correspondence with the Board of Trade and Plantations, 1739-1745; correspondence with
John Clark, George Clinton, Arthur Forrest, William Gooch, James Hooper, Richard
Partridge, William Shirley, Benjamin Smith, Richard Smith, Alexander Spotswood, George
Thomas, and Charles Wager.  See Papers of Lewis Morris, Collections of The
New Jersey Historical Society, Vol. 4 (New York, 1852).

Gift of Charles s. Boggs and Robert Davidson, 1845, 1849.


Lewis Morris was born on
October 15, 1671 in New York City.  At the age of twenty, Morris inherited
wealthy estates that placed him among the elites of New Jersey and New
York.  His fortune was based on these estates which had a labor force of
about sixty-six slaves, perhaps making him the greatest slaveholder in the
Middle Colonies.  On November 3, 1691 Lewis Morris married Isabella Graham,
daughter of James Graham, attorney-general of the province of New York.
With his new wife, Morris established his home at what was then called Tintern,
now called Tinton.

As a result of his wealth and
elitist status, Morris believed he had the right to be involved in
politics.  Morris first served as a member of Governor Cornbury’s Council
for the province of New Jersey.  Due to conflict with Cornbury, Morris was
removed and, later, elected to the New Jersey Assembly.  Under the
administration of Robert Hunter, Morris became chief spokesman for the New York
Assembly in 1710 and was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the
province of New York in 1715.  While serving as chief justice, Morris
continued to serve on the Governor’s Council under Burnet and Montgomerie.
As a result of a dispute with Governor William Cosby, Morris lost his Chief
Justice position and was, once again, elected to the Assembly.  Upon the
political split of New Jersey and New York, Morris became Governor of the
province of New Jersey in 1738.  Although Morris challenged previous
governors, he was staunch against any question of his authority and often
quarreled with the Assembly.

Morris was active in the
church, serving as a vestryman of Trinity Church from 1697-1700 and becoming the
first American member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts.  Lewis Morris died May 21, 1746 near Trenton.


The Lewis Morris papers,
1704-1750, have been an original part of the New Jersey Historical Society’s
Manuscript Collection as a gift of Charles S. Boggs and Robert Davidson in 1845.

and Content Note:

The Lewis Morris papers,
1704-1750, contain letters of correspondence either kept by Morris or copied for
the purpose of records.  A majority of the papers in the collection are
from his service as governor, 1740-1746, and were organized with an index by
Charles S. Boggs and Robert Davidson.  There are also personal papers that
record meetings, speeches, and Morris’ accounts.

Within this collection there
is correspondence between Morris and Governors Clinton and Shirley as well as
other important persons of the time.  The subjects of many letters between
the governors of the colonial provinces pertain to policies and strategies of
the French and Indian War or the Seven Years War.  The joint colonial
expedition on the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island was the subject
most written about in this collection. There are also letters depicting the
measures of war against Spain, called the Jenkin’s Ear War, 1739-1743.
Naval strategies against Spain are detailed in Governor Morris’ correspondence
with King George II and the Duke of Newcastle.  Morris communicated often
with royal officials in England.  Many letters from officials are
instructions and inquires made to the events in the provincial New Jersey
government.  Morris’ role in exercising royal authority is evident in
these letters.  Evidence of Morris’ conflict with the Assembly is shown
by his letters asking the Lords of Trade for assistance.  Other officials
who corresponded with Morris and had an influence were the Lords Justices and
the Admiralty.

This collection consists of
eighteen folders in one box with documents dating from 1704 to 1750.  The
documents are arranged by type and left in their original arrangement cited in
the inventory of papers by Boggs and Davidson.


Group 674, Anthony Walton White (1750-1803) Papers




Folder Doc
Description Dates
1 Inventory
of papers
2 1 Instructions
to Gov. Montgomerie regarding the collection of hospital money
Feb. 2,
3 2 Letter
from the Duke of New Castle to Gov. Morris concerning the loss of
vessels in the West Indies at Spanish hands
Sept. 5,
3 3 Instructions
from Queen Caroline, regarding the introduction of royal family names to
the Liturgy (missing)
June 1730
3 4 Order to
Gov. Casby requiring him to give the reason for removing Lewis Morris
from his position as Chief Justice (copy)
Jan. 8,
3 5 Instructions
from Queen Caroline, regarding an appointment of Joseph Warrill as the
Attorney General of N. J.
June 10,
3 6, 7 Letter
from the Lords of Trade to Gov. Morris inquiring over members in the
Council (copy)
Nov. 2,
3 8-10 Letter
from the Lords of Trade concerning addresses from Parliament requiring
returns respecting the value of gold and silver and the amount of Bills
of Credit in the plantations (copy)
July 5,
3 11 Letter
from the Lords of Trade about his differences with the assembly
Mar. 7,
3 12 Letter
from the Lords of Trade requiring information concerning Bills of Credit
May 20,
4 13 Letter
from the Lords of Trade requiring copies of all laws
May 21,
4 14 Letter
from the Admiralty authorizing the granting of Letter of Marque or
May 28,
4 15 Copies of
Northy, Ryder, and Strange in their opinions in respect to the operation
of the American Act
July 17,
4 16 Letter
from the Lords of Trade with the names of Commissioners for setting the
boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Aug. 1,
4 17 Instructions
from the Lords Justices concerning the value of coin and Bills of Credit
in the plantations
Aug. 5,
4 18 Draft and
instructions by Gov. Morris for the Court of Admiralty to issue a Letter
of Marque or Commission
4 19 Draft by
Gov. Morris of a Commission to deal with the handling of Spanish vessels
4 20 Letter to
King George II inquiring over the terms of war with Spain on the seas
4 21 Instructions
to an unknown commander by Gov. Morris on type of naval strategy to
pursue with Spanish vessels
4 22 Letter
from the Lords of Trade transmitting two acts of Parliament
Apr. 17,
4 23 Appointment
of Archibald Home to be one of the Council
Apr. 29,
4 24 Letters
from Commanders of the royal navy stating the difficulties met in
procuring seamen
5 25 Letter
from the Lords of Trade in disagreement with the Assembly’s policy of
meeting in only one place
Aug. 20,
5 26 Copy of a
Letter of Marque or Commission to Stoop Hemming-Bird
Jan. 1742
5 27 Letter
from the Lords of Trade concerning the transmission of laws, paper
currency, and opposition of the Quakers to the Militia
Aug. 3,
5 28 Letter
from the King to the Governor in relation to Dutch complaints over
harassment of their vessels
Apr. 13,
5 29, 30 Copy of
letters from the Admiralty in relation to the power possessed Aug. 19,
1743, by Commanders in the colonies
Sept. 26,
5 31 Letter
from the Lords of Trade approving the Gov.’s actions concerning some
bills and advising the purchase of lands from the Indians
June 30,
5 32 Letter
from the Lords Justices enclosing items 15, 24, 29, and 30
Oct. 1,
5 33 Letter
from the Admiralty concerning the French captives
5 34 From the
Duke of Newcastle about the distribution of money taken from the
Apr. 26,
5 35 Letter
from the Lords of the Admiralty informing to respect Dutch vessels
May 2,
5 36 Letter
from Gov. Clinton of New York enclosing a piece from the London Gazette
announcing the declaration of war by France
May 13,
6 37 Letter
from the Royal Prize Commissioners appointed to distribute the Spanish
May 18,
6 38 Letter
from Gov. Clinton transmitting copies of the declaration of war between
England and France
May 21,
6 39 Letter
from the Duke of New Castle accompanying item 37
May 20,
6 40 Letter
from Gov. Clinton in relation to defense measures
May 28,
6 41 Copy of
suggestions by the Mass. Commissioners upon defense measures at their
meeting in Albany
June 21,
6 42 Letter
from Gov. Clinton citing current events
July 9,
6 43 Copy of
an order in Council encouraging settlement on the island of Rattan
July 19,
6 44 Letter
from Gov. Clinton relating to assembly measures and comments on the N.J.
July 23,
6 45 Letter
from the Lords of Trade in agreement with Gov. Morris’ happiness with
a new Assembly
Aug. 2,
6 46 Letter
from the Lords of Trade encouraging settlement of Rattan
Aug. 28,
6 47 Enclosed
examinations of Seamen assessing French power coming to America
Aug. 31,
6 48 Letter
from Gov. Clinton with an update and a counterfeit New Jersey Bill of
Credit for one shilling
Sept. 3,
7 49 Letter
from Gov. Clinton wishing Gov. Morris well
Nov. 19,
7 50 Copy of
an order from the Duke of Newcastle to the governors requiring them to
give assistance to Commodore Warren
Jan. 3,
7 51 Orders
from the King in Council forbidding the ransoming of prices
Jan. 3,
7 52 Proceedings
of Council and Assembly of Massachusetts authorizing an expedition
against Louisbourg-Cape Breton
Jan. 25,
7 53 Plan of
proposed expedition to Louisbourg
25-29, 1745
7 54 Letter
from Gov. Shirley of Mass. enclosing items 52 and 53
Jan. 29,
7 55, 56 Letter
from Gov. Shirley relating to the proposed invasion of Cape Jan. 29,
1744/45, Breton
Feb. 4,
7 57 Letter
from Gov. Clinton transmitting item 56 from Gov. Shirley (missing as of
April 1936)
Feb. 9,
7 58 Letter
from Gov. Thomas of Penn. In relation to the proposed expedition to
Feb. 12,
7 59, 60 Letter
from Gov. Clinton transmitting information of the arrival of a French
force in the West Indies
12-13, 1745
8 61 Letter
from Commodore Warren at Louisbourg giving information of the progress
of the blockade and siege
May 12,
8 62 Letter
from Gen. Pepperrell to Gov. Shirley on Louisbourg
May 12,
8 63 An
enclosed letter from Gov. Shirley with an update and call for men and
May 18,
8 64 Letter
from Gov. Shirley giving information from Louisbourg
June 15,
8 65 Letter
from John Casherwood, Gov. Clinton’s secretary, recommending an
embargo to supply the expedition to Cape Breton
June 10,
8 66 Letter
from Gov. Clinton transmitting dispatches from Gov. Shirley
June 24,
8 67 Letter
from Commodore Warren announcing the capture of Louisbourg
June 24,
8 68 Letter
from the Lords of Trade commenting on the course of Council and Assembly
and requests of commercial returns, copies of laws and transmitting, and
an act for the suppression of piracy
July 3,
8 69 Letter
from Gov. Shirley with information on the fall of Louisbourg
July 3,
8 70 Letter
from Gov. Clinton citing current events
July 10,
8 71 Letter
from John Casherwood, Gov. Clinton’s secretary with dispatches
July 17,
8 72, 73 Letter
from Commodore Warren relating to the capture of an East- India ship and
the sale of her cargo
July 25,
8 74 Proceedings
at a meeting of the Commissioners on Indian affairs at a conference in
Aug. 9-12,
8 75 Extract
of a letter from the Duke of Newcastle concerning the expenses of the
Louisbourg expedition
Aug. 10,
9 76 Copy of a
letter from the Commissioners on Indian affairs
9 77 Letter
from Lieut. Gov. Phips of Mass. with an update from Louisbourg
Aug. 14,
9 78 Letter
from the Lords of Trade making inquiries concerning fees
Aug. 15,
9 79 Letter
from Gov. Clinton respecting the detection of two “coiners”
and the escape of one of them into New Jersey
Aug. 19,
9 80 Letter
from Gov. Clinton on Indian affairs, transmitting items 74-76
Aug. 24,
9 81 Letter
from Gov. Shirley to Lieut. Gov. Phips with an update from Louisbourg
Sept. 6,
9 82 Letter
from Capt. Arthur Forrest on board the Wager at Sandy Hook requesting
supplies for Louisbourg
Sept. 10,
9 83 Letter
from Lieut. Gov. Phips in a pledge of loyalty
Sept. 10,
9 84 Letter
from Lieut. Gov. Phips enclosing item 81
Sept. 23,
9 85 Draft of
a dispatch to the Duke of Newcastle from Gov. Morris on public affairs
Oct. 22,
9 86 Letter
from Commodore Warren to Gov. Morris in relation to the state of affairs
at Louisbourg
Nov. 26,
9 87 Extract
of a letter from Minisink detailing a rumored attack by the French and
Dec. 2,
10 88 Letter
from Gov. Clinton with an update on recent events
10 89 Letter
from Gov. Shirley advising precautionary measures for the defense of
Anapolis Royal
Jan. 13,
10 90 Directions
of the Indian Commissioners at Albany to the Interpreters
Jan. 22,
10 91 Letter
from Commodore Warren and Gen. Pepperrell at Louisburgh in relation to
affairs there
Jan. 25,
10 92 Letter
from Gov. Clinton suggesting a convention of Commissioners from the
different colonies to devise measures of defense
Jan. 27,
10 93 Minutes
of a meeting of the Indian Commissioners at Albany
Feb. 25,
10 94 Gov.
Morris’ speech to the Assembly
Mar. 4,
10 95 Gov.
Clinton to Gov. Morris enclosing item 93 and informing him of the
appointment of Commissioners as for item 92
Mar. 31,
10 96 Letter
from the Duke of Newcastle informing Gov. Morris of the departure of
troops for the reduction of Canada and desiring his cooperation
Apr. 9,
10 97 Letter
from the Lords of Trade on disapproval of the Assembly’s behavior and
comments on the expedition to Cape-Breton
May 15,
11 98 Letterbook
of correspondence to Gov. Shirley
Feb. 20,
12 99 Letterbook
of correspondence to the Duke of Newcastle
Jan. 28,
13 100 Extract
or a Compendium of the instructions given to Gov. Montgomerie by King
Oct. 20,
13 101 Copy of
Gov. Morris’ letter to James Alexander
May 27,
14 Assembly’s
address to Gov. Morris Lewis
Apr. 1745
15 Dispatches
from the Lords of Trade
16 Commission Feb. 2,
17 Account
18 Memorial
to the King in Council
ca. 1734



Processed by Michael Colman, July 1999 as
part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National
Historical Publications and Records Commission.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email