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have it in command from the king, to encourage, by every
and disinterestedness which few had it in their power to dis play. He was at this time in possession of an extensive domain, within a few miles of the city of New-York. A British army had already landed from their ships, which lay within cannon shot of the dwelling of his family. A signature to the Declaration of Independence would insure the devastation of the former, and the destruction of the latter. But, upon the ruin of his individual property, he could look with comparative indifference, while he knew that his honour was untarnished, and the interests of his country were safe. He voted, therefore, for a separation from the mother country, in the spirit of a man of honour, and of enlarged benevolence. It happened as was anticipated. The hostile army soon spread desolation over the beautiful and fertile manor of Morrisania. His tract of woodland of more than a thousand acres in extent, and, from its proximity to the city, of incalculable value, was destroyed; his house was greatly injured; his fences ruined; his stock driven away; and his family obliged to live in a state of exile. Few men during the revolution were called to make greater sacrifices than Mr. Morris; none made them more cheerfully. It made some amends for his losses and sacrifices, that the colony of New-York, which had been backward in agreeing to a Declaration of Independence, unanimously concurred in that measure by her convention, when it was learned that congress had taken that step. - It imparts pleasure to record, that the three eldest sons of Mr. Morris followed the noble example of their father, and gave their personal services to their country, during the revolutionary struggle. One served for a time as aid-de-camp to General Sullivan, but afterwards entered the family of General Greene, and was with that officer during his brilliant campaign in the Carolinas; the second son was appointed aid-de-camp to General Charles Lee, and was present at the gallant defence of Fort Moultrie, where he greatly distinguished himself. The youngest of these sons, though but a youth, entered the army as a lieutenant of artillery, and honourably served during the war.
Mr. Morris left congress in 1777, at which time, he received, together with his colleagues, the thanks of the prorincial convention, “for their long and faithful services rendered to the colony of New-York, and the said state."
In subsequent years, Mr. Morris served his state in various ways. He was often a member of the state legislature, and rose to the rank of major general of the militia.
The latter years of Mr. Morris were passed at his favourite residence at Morrisania, where he devoted himself to the n is less, but happy pursuit of agriculture; a kind of life to which he was much attached, and which was an appropriate Irode of closing a long life, devoted to the cause of his country. He died on his paternal estate at Morrisania, in the boson of his family, January, 1798, at the good old age of seventy-one years. -
The first of the New-Jersey delegation, who signed the Declaration of Independence, was Richard Stockton. He was born near Princeton, on the 1st day of October, 1730. His family was ancient and respectable. His great grandfather, who bore the same name, came from England, about the year 1670, and after residing a few years on Long Island, removed with a number of associates to an extensive tract of land, of which the present village of Princeton is nearly the centre. This tract consisted of six thousand and four hundred acres. This gentleman died in the year 1705, leaving handsome legacies to his several children; but the chief portion of his landed estate to his son, Richard. The death of Richard followed in 1720. He was succeeded in the family seat by his youngest son, John; a man distinguished for his moral and religious character, for his liberality to the college of New-Jersey, and for great fidelity in the discharge of the duties of public and private life.
Richard Stockton, the subject of the present memoir, was the eldest son of the last mentioned gentleman. His early education was highly respectable, being superintended by that accomplished scholar, Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley, in a celebrated academy at West-Nottingham. His preliminary studies being finished, he entered the college of New-Jersey, whose honours he received in 1748. He was even at this time greatly distinguished for intellectual superiority; giving promise of future eminence in any profession he might choose. On leaving college, he commenced the study of law with the honourable David Ogden, of Newark, at that time at the head of the legal profession in the province. At length, Mr. Stockton was admitted to the bar, and soon rose, as had been anticipated, to great distinction, both as a counsellor and an advocate. He was an able reasoner, and equally distinguished for an easy, and, at the same time, impressive eloquence. In 1766 and 1767, he relinquished his professional business, for the purpose of visiting England, Scotland, and Ireland. During his tour through those countries, he was received with that attention to which he was eminently entitled, by the estimable character which he had sustained at home, and his high professional reputation. He was presented at court, by a minister of the king, and had the honour of being consulted on American affairs, by the Marquis of Rockingham, by the Earl of Chatham, and many other distinguished personages. On visiting Edinburgh, he was received with still greater attention. He was complimented with a public dinner, by the authorities of that city, the freedom of which was unanimously conferred upon him, as a testimony of respect for his distinguished character. A short time previous, the presidency of New-Jersey col lege had been conferred upon the Reverend Dr. Witherspoon, a distinguished divine, of the town of Paisley, in the vicinity of Glasgow. This appointment Dr. Witherspoon had been induced to decline, by reason of the reluctance of the female members of his family to emigrate to America. At the request of the trustees of the college, Mr. Stockton visited Dr. Witherspoon, and was so fortunate in removing