Gouverneur Morris Jr. Lived His Later Years, and Died, in Bartow-on-the-Sound in the Town of Pelham
Gouverneur Morris Jr. became a major railroad entrepreneur and a tireless cheerleader for industrialization in the Bronx in his own right. He was born on February 9, 1813, the son of his namesake father and of Anne Cary Randolph Gouverneur. Gouverneur Morris Jr. was known by the nickname "Gouverno" for much of his life. He married a distant cousin named Martha Jefferson Cary, a daughter of Wilson Jefferson Cary and Virginia Randolph Cary. The couple had five children including one, Anne Cary Morris, who edited and published some of her grandfather's (Gouverneur Morris Sr.'s) papers.
Gouverno served as Vice President of the New York and Harlem River Railroad and oversaw the construction of the rail lines that run beneath Park Avenue in New York City. According to one source, in 1840 "he donated St. Ann's Church [in Morrisania] as a family memorial. 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 [in the Bronx]. He spent much of the later part of his career in Vermont, as president of the Vermont Valley Railroad." Gouverneur Morris Jr., Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia (visited Aug. 24, 2014).
Gouverneur Morris Jr. died the morning of August 20, 1888 in a family home in the area known as Bartow-on-the-Sound in the Town of Pelham. According to one of his many obituaries, when the area known today as Morrisania was annexed by New York City in 1874, Gouverno decided he did not want to live in New York City. According to that account:
"Mr. Morris, who had an inherent objection to being one of a million people in a city, left Morrisania and made his home in a quaint anti-revolutionary [sic] house at Pelham, belonging to members of his family. Here he lived quietly owing to failing health, among his books and papers, and surrounded by friends to whom he ever extended the heartiest welcome, for in him the purest and most perfect hospitality was exemplified."
Below are a number of obituaries that appeared shortly after the death of Gouverneur Morris Jr. at his home in Bartow-on-the-Sound on August 20, 1888.
"GOUVERNEUR MORRIS of Morrisania, was born February 9th, 1813, died at Bartow-on-the-Sound, the morning of August 20th, 1888. He was the only son of Gouverneur Morris of Morrisania, to whose active energies & far seeing intelligence the country, in its infancy, owed so much. Mr. Morris, his mission to France ended and the period of his wandering over, returned to America and when nearly fifty-five years old married Miss Anne Cary Randolph of Virginia, and died leaving to her care his son, not yet four years old. From his father Mr. Morris inherited a strong love of country and an earnest desire that she should take the first rank among nations. As his father had given the best years of his life to arduous labor, first in forming the government and then in opening the vast resources of the country by means of canals, so his son devoted the prime of his life to the development of his father's projects, by means of steam, and to perfecting as well as organizing the railway system of the United States.
Inheriting a large and beautiful estate in West Chester County from his father, Mr. Morris' early years were passed in the occupations of a gentleman farmer, inheriting with his estates a strong interest in nature and all her marvellous [sic] processes.
When the lower portion of West Chester County became a part of New York city, Mr. Morris, who had an inherent objection to being one of a million people in a city, left Morrisania and made his home in a quaint anti-revolutionary [sic] house at Pelham, belonging to members of his family. Here he lived quietly owing to failing health, among his books and papers, and surrounded by friends to whom he ever extended the heartiest welcome, for in him the purest and most perfect hospitality was exemplified.
Not sorry to be far away from the stir and weariness of life, Mr. Morris quietly waited for the end; and when, though attended by much suffering, it finally came, he met death fearlessly, and with the same heroic spirit that had been so strong a characteristic of his life. Gouverneur Morris married his cousin, Miss Martha Jefferson Cary, daughter of Wilson Jefferson Cary, of Carysbrooke, Virginia, whom he survived fifteen years, and he leaves five children, one of whom bears his name."
Source: Obituary . . . GOUVERNEUR MORRIS in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XIX, No. 4, Oct. 1888, pp. 177, 179 (NY, NY: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Oct. 1888).
Gouverneur Morris, the only son of the famous Gouverneur Morris, died on Monday Aug. 20, at Bartow-on-the-Sound, after a protracted illness. He was born in Morrisania in February, 1813, and was one of the pioneer railroad builders and projectors of the United States. Beginning his career in that line in the early days of the New York and Harlem Railroad, he finished it when he retired from the presidency of Vermont Valley railroad, about ten years ago. He was an original member of the republican party, having been a Whig until the dissolution of that organization. He leaves two sons, one of whom bears his name, and three daughters. One son is in Colorado, engaged in business, and one daughter, the wife of J. Alfred Davenport is abroad. An unmarried daughter is Miss Annie Carrie Morris who last year contributed two interesting papers to Scribner's Magazine on 'Glimpses of the Diary of Gouverneur Morris,' and who has done other literary work to perpetuate the memory of her distinguished grandfather.
In his day Gouverneur Morris, Sr., of Morrisania was among the distinguished statesman [sic] and orators. Graduated from King's College in 1768, he studied law and was admitted to practice in 1771. His rise was rapid. He was a delegate to the New York Provincial congress in 1775, and was one of the committee that drafted the state constitution in 1776. He was a member of the continental congress in 1777-80, serving on several important committees. In 1781 he was the colleague of Robert Morris as assistant superintendent of finance. In 1786 he purchased from his brother the estate of Morrisania and made it his future residence. He was one of the committee that drafted the federal constitution in the convention of 1787. He was United States Minister to France from 1792 to October 1794, and was United States senator in 1800-03, acting with the Federalists, and actively opposed the abolition of the judiciary system in 1801 in speeches of great ability. He was chairman of the canal commission from 1810 until his death in 1816. He was the author of a series of essays on the continental currency and finance, of eulogies on Washington, Hamilton, and George Clinton, and published numerous pamphlets. He was the second president of the New York Historical Society."
Source: GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, The Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Sep. 1, 1888, Vol. XLIV, No. 22, p. 2, col. 4.
Gouverneur Morris died at his home at Bartow-on-the-Sound at 9 A.M. Monday. He had been a sufferer from rheumatic gout, and was practically confined to his house for the last year. Last week he grew steadily worse, and his death was not unexpected. He was a son of Gouverneur Morris, of Morrisania, who was a member of Congress from New York, Chief Clerk to the Revolutionary Department of the Treasury, Minister to France, Senator from New York, and one of the projectors of the Erie Canal. The subject of this notice was born in Morrisania in 1813, and became one of the earliest railway projectors and constructors of the United States. His railroad career began in the early days of the New York and Harlem Railroad, about 1830, and terminated with his resignation of the presidency of the Vermont Valley Railroad in 1880.
During these years he was connected with the Erie and New York Central roads; he served as president of the Harlem, and built the Port Morris of that road. He was one of the originators of the Illinois Central and the Iowa system of roads, and an original suggestor of the Union Pacific road. As a hereditary Federalist, he naturally became first a Whig, then a Republican of the anti-slavery type, and until the time of his death, remained an ardent supporter of the Republican party. His mother was a niece of Thomas Jefferson; and in early life he married Patsey Jefferson Carey, of Virginia, a grand-niece of Jefferson. His second wife,, who died about four years ago, was Miss Annie Morris, also a cousin. The children, all from his first marriage, who survive him are two sons, Gouverneur and Randolph, and three daughters, Anne Cary, Mary Fairfax (Mrs. J. A. Davenport) who is travelling in Europe at the present time, and Maragaret Ruth.
Gouverneur Morris was a large real estate owner in Morrisania, at Bartow and other localities; and until about a year ago was actively engaged in the management of his property. Owing to his failing health a division of the estate among the heirs was made some months ago. The funeral occurred at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Morrisania."
Source: Gouverneur Morris, New Rochelle Pioneer, Aug. 25, 1888, Vol. XXIX, No. 22, p. 3, col. 5.
"Gouverneur Morris Dead.
NEW YORK, August 21.--Gouverneur Morris, the only son of the famous Gouverneur Morris, died yesterday morning at Bartow, after a protracted illness. He was born in Morrisania in February, 1813, and was one of the pioneer railroad builders and projectors of the United States. He was an original member of the Republican party, having been a Whig until the dissolution of that party. He leaves two sons, one of whom bears his name, and three daughters."
Source: Gouverneur Morris Dead, The Auburn Bulletin [Auburn, NY], Aug. 21, 1888, Vol. 37, No. 5721, p. 1, col. 2. See also Gouverneur Morris Dead, The Newtown Register [Newtown, Long Island], Aug. 22, 1888, Vol. XVI, No. 34, p. 1, col. 2 (same text).
"Death of Gouverneur Morris.
BARTOW, N. Y., August 20.-Gouverneur Morris, one of the oldest residents of Westchester county, died at this place this morning, aged 75. He was a large real estate owner here and in New York. His grandfather was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence."
Source: Death of Gouverneur Morris, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 21, 1888, p. 3, col. 6.
"Death of a Prominent Railroad Builder.
NEW YORK, Aug. 21.-Gouverneur Morris, who died yesterday at Bartow-on-the-Sound after a protracted illness, was the only son of the famous Gouverneur Morris. He was born in Morrisania in February, 1813, and was one of the pioneer railroad builders and projectors of the United States. He was an original member of the Republican Party, having been a Whig until the dissolution of that organization. He leaves two sons, one of whom bears his name, and three daughters."
Source: Death of a Prominent Railroad Builder, Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen [Rome, NY}, Aug. 22, 1888, Vol. XLIX, No. 21, p. 3, col. 1.