Capt James Morris 1752-1820Leave a Comment
Biography of Capt. James Morris March-8-2012 by Atwood Collins III
Birth: 19 Jan 1752, South Farms (Litchfield County) CT [Genealogy of the Morris Family, Descendants of Thomas Morris of Connecticut, complied by Mrs. Lucy Ann (Morris) Carhart, (A.J. Barnes & Co 1911, Yale Biographies and Annals 1763-1778, 4th series, vol 3) pgs. 576-578]
Death: 20 April 1820, Goshen CT [Keefer, C. Murray (1947) Handbook of the James Morris Museum and the Aline Brothers Morris Reading Room, Yale University Press p.37]
Marriage: Elizabeth Hubbard, 20 Dec 1781 (died Sept 1814), Rhonda Farnam, March 1815.
Children: Abigail Morris (b 2 Aug 1783)
James Morris IV (b 4 Dec 1784)
Samuel Hubbard Morris (b 6 Feb 1788)
Robert Hubbard Morris (b 25 July 1789)
Jane Elizabeth Morris (b 30 Jan 1816)
Timothy Dwight Morris (b 22 Nov 1817)
Education: Yale University July 1775
Military: Ensign CT Militia 1776 [Strong, Barbara Nolan (1976) The Morris Academy: Pioneer in
Coeducation; Torrington: Morris Bicentennial Committee] First Lieutenant Continental Army Dec 1776 [Keefer, C. Murray (1947) Handbook of the James Morris Museum and Aline Brothers Morris
Reading Room, Morris: Yale University Press p.18] Captain, Continental Army Jan 1781 [Keefer
p.23] Major 1814 Second Regiment of Volunteers in the State of CT [Keefer p.14]
Cincinnati: Currently represented by Atwood Collins III
Occupation: Headmaster, Morris Academy, a coeducational school in Litchfield, CT.
Discussion: Soon after his graduation from Yale, James Morris was commissioned in Colonel Fisher Grey’s Connecticut Regiment. While in the service of the Connecticut Regiment, he fought in the Battle of Long Island and White Plains. In January of 1776, Morris was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in Colonel Phillip Bradley’s 5th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army. He served briefly as a recruiting officer in Litchfield, Connecticut before joining General George Washington at Peekskill, New York. On October 3, 1776, under the command of General Washington, the Continental Army engaged the British in the Battle of Germantown. The next day, James Morris was taken prisoner of war. Morris was subsequently taken to Philadelphia where he was placed in what can only be described as solitary confinement. Ever resourceful, Morris negotiated with his captors to borrow books from a circulating library established by Benjamin Franklin. In 1778, again Morris convinced his captors to release him to parole and was sent to Flatbush, Long Island. He was placed in the custody of a Mr. Clarkson, again continuing his studies utilizing Clarkson’s extensive library. On January 3, 1781, Morris was freed as part of a prisoner exchange. After three years in captivity, Morris, upon his release was promoted to Captain in Colonel A. Scammell’s Light Infantry Regiment back in White Plains. His company soon headed south to join up with General Washington in the Battle of Yorktown. In November of 1782, Morris was released from the Army, returning to South Farms, Connecticut. (In 1859, South Farms was incorporated as Morris, Connecticut in his honor.) During the War of 1812, at age 61, James Morris was commissioned as a First Major of the Second Regiment of Volunteers in the State of Connecticut.