Gouverneur Morris: Constitutional Titan
Gouverneur Morris is not a household name like Washington, Hamilton, Adams, or Jefferson. Forgotten by history and ignored by most historians, Morris is the man to whom all Americans owe a great deal of gratitude. He was the principal author of that unique, living document, one that could expand and contract with changing times to maintain and nourish the ideals and principals of this nation’s founders—the Constitution. Morris was born at his family’s massive estate Morrisania, present day southern Bronx, in 1752. The Morrises were wealthy, aristocratic in an American sense, with a lengthy record of public service; his grandfather and uncle were colonial governors. A bright and active child who enjoyed out-door sports, Morris attended school at the Huguenot settlement in New Rochelle, where he attained fluency in French. A year after his father died, 12-year-old Morris entered King’s College—subsequently renamed Columbia University.