Robert H. Morris (mayor)

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Robert H. Morris
Robert H. Morris.jpg
64th Mayor of New York City
In office
Preceded byIsaac Varian
Succeeded byJames Harper
Personal details
BornFebruary 15, 1808
New York City, New York
DiedOctober 24, 1855(1855-10-24) (aged 47)
New York City, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materWashington Seminary

Robert Hunter Morris (February 15, 1808 – October 24, 1855) was an attorney and the 64th Mayor of New York City.

Early political career[edit]

Morris was born in New York City. His father Robert Morris, a prominent judge, moved the family to Claverack, New York, where Morris was raised. He attended Washington Seminary, afterwards studying law and attaining admission to the bar. He initially practiced in Columbia County before moving to New York City.

He served as an assistant to U.S. Attorney James A. Hamilton and as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1833 and 1834. In 1838, New York Governor William L. Marcy appointed Morris Recorder of New York City, a position equivalent to a deputy mayor. He served in that capacity until 1841, when Governor William H. Seward removed him from office in connection with the Glentworth scandal.

Glentworth incident[edit]

The Glentworth conspiracy involved a plot by tobacco inspector James B. Glentworth to send workers from Pennsylvania to New York under the guise of laying pipes for the city, but in reality to cast votes for Whig Presidential candidate William Henry Harrison. Morris, the district attorney, and then-Mayor Isaac Varian feared that documents essential to the ensuing grand jury would be destroyed, and so went personally to seize the documents. Governor Seward removed Morris from office for his actions.

Election as New York mayor[edit]

Morris, a Democrat, became involved in the Tammany Hall political machine in the early 1840s. He was elected mayor in 1841 by a slim margin, and again in 1842 and 1843 by more substantial margins. While serving as mayor in 1841, Morris took part in the investigation and arrest of John C. Colt for the murder of Samuel Adams.[1][2]

Later career[edit]

In 1845 Morris was appointed Postmaster of New York City, and he served until 1849. In 1852 he became a justice of the New York Supreme Court.

Morris died in New York City on October 24, 1855. He was buried at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in South Bronx.[3]


  1. ^ Schecter, Harold (2010). Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend. Random House. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-345-47681-4.
  2. ^ Tucher, Andie (1994). Froth and Scum: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and the Ax Murder in America's First Mass Medium. The University of North Carolina Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-0-8078-4472-4.
  3. ^ Walsh, Kevin (November 3, 2013). "Mott Haven—Port Morris, Bronx". Forgotten New York. Greater Astoria Historical Society.

External links[edit]


  • Wilson, James Grant (1892). The Memorial History of the City of New-York: From Its First Settlement to the Year 1892. New York History Company.
  • "Death of Hon. Judge Morris". Obituaries. The New York Times. 1855-10-26.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Riker
Recorder of New York City
Succeeded by
Frederick A. Tallmadge
Political offices
Preceded by
Isaac Varian
Mayor of New York City
Succeeded by
James Harper