Samuel Morris – Continental Army Officer – Pennsylvania


Samuel Morris (April 24, 1734 – July 7, 1812) was an American soldier in the American Revolutionary War.

The grandson of Anthony Morris (II), he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served several terms in the legislature.

He married Rebecca Wistar, daughter of Caspar Wistar (the elder).

In 1776, he was elected “governor” of the social club known as “The State in Schuylkill,” and re-elected annually until his death. He was also a founder and president for many years of the “Gloucester fox-hunting club.” When the first troop of Philadelphia city cavalry was organized, no fewer than twenty-two members of the club were enrolled in its ranks.

With Morris as its captain (because the first captain chosen, Abraham Markoe, was forbidden to fight because of his Danish citizenship), the troop reported for duty in the Continental Army and served through the campaign of 1776–77, seeing action in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, in which latter engagement Samuel’s brother, Anthony, ensign of the troop, was killed. On temporarily relieving the command from duty in January, 1777, Washington returned his “most sincere thanks to the captain,” and added that, although the troop was “composed of gentlemen of fortune,” its members had “shown a noble example of discipline and subordination.” For thus taking part in the Revolution, Captain Morris was disowned by the Quakers, but he continued until his death to wear the dress and use the language of that sect, worshiping with them regularly.

Morris died in Philadelphia, July 7, 1812.

The Reynolds-Morris House, built in 1787 and purchased in 1817 by Samuel’s son, Luke Wistar Morris, still stands in Philadelphia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967, it is currently operated as a hotel.