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Lewis, Morgan

Lewis, Morgan

LEWIS, MORGAN. (1754–1844). Continental officer. New York. Born in New York City on 16 October 1754, Morgan Lewis was the son of Francis Lewis. After graduating from Princeton in 1773, he studied law with John Jay, and joined the army the summer of 1775. He was captain of a New York militia company at Cambridge, and was promoted to major when his unit became the Second New York Continentals in 1775. The following year he was named colonel and deputy quartermaster general of the Northern army. He was General Horatio Gates's chief of staff at Ticonderoga and Saratoga (19 September 1777), where he accepted the British surrender. He led the advance at Klock's Field on 19 October 1780.

After the war, Lewis returned to the law, passing the bar in 1783. He was elected to the New York Assembly in 1789, the same year that his volunteer militia company escorted the newly elected George Washington to his presidential inauguration. Lewis's marriage in 1779 to Robert R. Livingston's daughter, Gertrude, allied him with the Antifederalist and Republican parties, and he had a successful political career that led to his being elected governor of New York in 1804, beating Aaron Burr. Unable to cope with New York power politics, however, he was soundly defeated by his former supporters in a re-election bid in 1807. During the War of 1812 he served as brigadier general and quartermaster general of the army. He was promoted to major general on 2 March 1813 and served on the Niagara frontier. From 1813 to 1815 he commanded the New York City area. He died on 7 April 1844, in New York City.

SEE ALSO Livingston, Robert R.


Delafield, Julia. Biography of Francis Lewis and Morgan Lewis. 2 vols. New York: Anson, Randolph & Co., 1877.

                                  revised by Michael Bellesiles

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