Levi Parsons Morton (May 16, 1824 – May 16, 1920) was the 22nd vice president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He also served as United States Ambassador to France, as a representative from New York, and as the 31st governor of New York.
The son of a Congregational minister, Morton was born and educated in Vermont, and trained for a business career by clerking in stores and working in mercantile establishments in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. After relocating to New York City, Morton became a successful merchant, cotton broker, and investment banker.
Active in politics as a Republican, Morton was an ally of Roscoe Conkling. He was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives, and he served one full term, and one partial one (March 4, 1879 – March 21, 1881). In 1880, Republican presidential nominee James A. Garfield offered Morton the vice presidential nomination in an effort to win over Conkling loyalists who were disappointed that their choice for president, Ulysses S. Grant, had lost to Garfield. Conkling advised Morton to decline, which he did. Garfield then offered the nomination to another Conkling ally, Chester A. Arthur, who accepted.
After Garfield and Arthur were elected, Garfield nominated Morton to be Minister Plenipotentiary to France, and Morton served in Paris until 1885. In 1888, Morton was nominated for vice president on the Republican ticket with presidential nominee Benjamin Harrison; they were elected, and Morton served as Vice President from 1889 to 1893. In 1894, Morton was the successful Republican nominee for Governor of New York, and he served one term, 1895 to 1896.
In retirement, Morton resided in New York City and Rhinebeck, New York. He died in 1920, and was buried at Rhinebeck Cemetery.
|22nd Vice President of the United States|
March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
|Preceded by||Thomas A. Hendricks|
|Succeeded by||Adlai Stevenson|
|31st Governor of New York|
January 1, 1895 – December 31, 1896
|Lieutenant||Charles T. Saxton|
|Preceded by||Roswell P. Flower|
|Succeeded by||Frank S. Black|
|United States Minister to France|
August 5, 1881 – May 14, 1885
|Appointed by||James A. Garfield|
|Preceded by||Edward Follansbee Noyes|
|Succeeded by||Robert Milligan McLane|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New York's 11th district
March 4, 1879 – March 21, 1881
|Preceded by||Benjamin A. Willis|
|Succeeded by||Roswell P. Flower|
Levi Parsons Morton
May 16, 1824
Shoreham, Vermont, U.S.
|Died||May 16, 1920 (aged 96)|
Rhinebeck, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lucy Young Kimball|
Anna Livingston Reade Street
Morton was born in Shoreham, Vermont. His parents were the Reverend Daniel Oliver Morton (1788–1852), a Congregational minister and Lucretia Parsons (1789–1862). His older brother, Daniel O. Morton (1815–59), was Mayor of Toledo, Ohio from 1849 to 1850.
Morton's family moved to Springfield, Vermont in 1832 when his father became the minister of the Congregational church there. Rev. Morton headed the congregation during the construction of the brick colonial revival style church on Main Street that is still in use today. Levi P. Morton was considered by his Springfield peers to be a "leader in all affairs in which schoolboys usually engage." The family moved away when Rev. Morton was reassigned in 1836.
Morton attended the public schools of Vermont and Shoreham Academy. He decided on a business career, and worked as a general store clerk in Enfield, Massachusetts. Morton also taught school in Boscawen, New Hampshire, engaged in mercantile pursuits in Hanover, New Hampshire, and moved to Boston to work in the Beebe & Co. importing business. He eventually settled in New York City, where he entered the dry goods business, became a successful cotton broker, and established himself as one of the country's top investment bankers in a firm he founded, Morton, Bliss & Co. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the 45th Congress, and was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes to be an honorary commissioner to the Paris Exhibition of 1878.
Morton was elected, as a Republican, to the 46th and 47th Congresses representing Manhattan. He served from March 4, 1879, until his resignation, effective March 21, 1881. The 1880 Republican presidential nominee, James A. Garfield, asked Morton to be his vice presidential running mate, attempting to win over disappointed supporters of Ulysses S. Grant's candidacy for a third term. Morton was loyal to Senator Roscoe Conkling, who was Grant's campaign manager; unhappy that Grant had not been nominated, Conkling advised Morton to decline; Morton followed Conkling's advice. Garfield's supporters then turned to Chester A. Arthur, another Conkling supporter. Conkling advised Arthur to decline, but Arthur accepted; Garfield and he were narrowly elected over their Democratic opponents.
After Garfield's election, Morton asked to be appointed United States ambassador to either the United Kingdom or France. He was U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to France from 1881 to 1885. (A deluded Charles J. Guiteau reportedly decided to assassinate Garfield after he was "passed over" as minister to France.)
Morton was very popular in France. He helped commercial relations between the two countries run smoothly during his term, and, in Paris on October 24, 1881, he placed the first rivet in the construction of the Statue of Liberty. (It was driven into the big toe of Lady Liberty's left foot.) After completion of the statue, he accepted Liberty on behalf of the United States in a ceremony on July 4, 1884 by signing the Union Franco Americaine contract with that date.
Morton was elected Vice President of the United States, on the Republican ticket with President Benjamin Harrison, in which capacity he served from March 4, 1889, to March 4, 1893. During his term, Harrison tried to pass the Lodge Bill, an election law enforcing the voting rights of blacks in the South; the billed failed because Morton did little in his role as the Senate's presiding officer to support the bill against a Democratic filibuster. Harrison blamed Morton for the bill's eventual failure, and, at the Republican convention prior to the 1892 election, Morton decided not to run for a second term and was replaced by Whitelaw Reid as the vice-presidential candidate. Harrison and Reid went on to lose the 1892 election, to Grover Cleveland and Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic candidates.
Levi Morton was Governor of New York in 1895 and 1896. He was considered for the Republican presidential nomination in 1896, but the Republican Party chose William McKinley instead. After his public career was over, he became a real estate investor.
Morton married his first wife, Lucy Young Kimball (July 22, 1836 – July 11, 1871) on October 15, 1856, in Flatlands, Brooklyn. They had one child, a daughter who died in infancy, in 1857.
His first wife died in 1871, and in 1873 Morton married Anna Livingston Reade Street. She was Second Lady of the United States during her husband's vice–presidency, and often handled entertaining duties for the administration due to First Lady Caroline Harrison's ill health. She had five daughters with Morton, and a son who died in infancy.
In 1890 he became one of the first members of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was assigned national society membership number 1838 and district society number 38. He was also a member of the General Society of Colonial Wars.
In retirement, he served as President of the Metropolitan Club at One East Sixtieth Street, New York, between 1900 and 1911. He was preceded in that office by J. Pierpont Morgan; and succeeded by Frank Knight Sturgis. He was also a member of the Union League Club of New York, and served as President of the New York Zoological Society from 1897 to 1909.
Morton became ill during the winter of 1919–1920; a cold developed into bronchitis, and Morton eventually contracted pneumonia, which proved fatal. He died in Rhinebeck, New York on May 16, 1920. His death occurred on his 96th birthday. He is interred at Rhinebeck Cemetery.
Morton was the second longest-lived Vice President of the United States. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Vice President, John Nance Garner (who died 15 days before his 99th birthday), lived longer. Morton survived five of his successors in the vice presidency: Adlai E. Stevenson, Garret Hobart, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles W. Fairbanks, and James S. Sherman.
The Village of Morton Grove, Illinois, is named after Morton. He provided the funding necessary to allow Miller's Mill (now Lincoln Avenue) to pass through the upstart neighborhood, and provide goods to trade and sell. Morton Grove was incorporated in December 1895.
Morton owned property in Newport, Rhode Island, spending his summers on Bellevue Avenue in his mansion called "Fairlawn", built 1852-1853, which is currently owned by Salve Regina University, housing the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy. He left a nearby property to the city of Newport for use as a park. The park is at the corner of Coggeshall and Morton avenues (the latter formerly Brenton Road), and is named Morton Park.
Morton sold or donated property he owned in Hanover, New Hampshire, to Dartmouth College, and the college built Webster Hall on the land. Morton was considered an honorary alumnus at alumni gatherings in New York. He also owned a summer retreat in the Adirondack Park, on Eagle Island. The architecture is of the Great Camps style, designed by the notable architect William L. Coulter. Over the years, the island found its way into the ownership of the Girl Scouts of the USA, where it remains today as Camp Eagle Island.
Seven presidents have presided over the club: J. Pierpont Morgan, L. P. Morton, F. K. Sturgis...
The estate of ex-Governor Levi P. Morton will probably Day to the State of New York only the inheritance tax due from the estate of a non-resident, as Mr. Morton had made Washington, D.C., his residence for ten years.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Benjamin A. Willis
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district
Roswell P. Flower
| United States Minister to France
Robert Milligan McLane
|Party political offices|
John A. Logan
| Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States
| Republican nominee for Governor of New York
Frank S. Black
Thomas A. Hendricks
| Vice President of the United States
Roswell P. Flower
| Governor of New York
Frank S. Black
The 1881 United States Senate election in New York was held on January 18, 1881, by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.1887 United States Senate election in New York
The 1887 United States Senate election in New York was held from January 18 to 20, 1887, by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.1888 Republican National Convention
The 1888 Republican National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held at the Auditorium Building in Chicago, Illinois, on June 19–25, 1888. It resulted in the nomination of former Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana for President and Levi P. Morton of New York, a former Congressman and Minister to France, for Vice President. During the convention, Frederick Douglass was invited to speak and became the first African-American to have his name put forward for a presidential nomination in a major party's roll call vote; he received one vote from Kentucky on the fourth ballot.
The ticket won in the election of 1888, defeating President Grover Cleveland and former Senator Allen G. Thurman from Ohio.1888 United States presidential election in Michigan
The 1888 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. Michigan voters chose thirteen electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
Michigan voted for Republican nominees Benjamin Harrison of Indiana and his running mate Levi P. Morton of New York over Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland.1888 United States presidential election in New York
The 1888 United States presidential election in New York took place on November 6, 1888. All contemporary 38 states were part of the 1888 United States presidential election. New York voters chose 36 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
New York was won by the Republican nominees, former Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana and his running mate former Congressman Levi P. Morton of New York. Harrison and Morton defeated the Democratic nominees, incumbent President Grover Cleveland of New York and his running mate former Senator Allen G. Thurman of Ohio.
Harrison narrowly carried New York State with a plurality of 49.28% of the vote to Cleveland's 48.19%, a victory margin of 1.09%. In a distant third came the Prohibition Party candidate Clinton B. Fisk with 2.29%.
New York weighed in for this election as less than 2% more Republican than the national average.
Cleveland's narrow defeat in his home state, losing its 36 electoral votes, ultimately cost him the 1888 election, despite the fact that Cleveland won the nationwide popular vote by nearly a point. Cleveland had narrowly won New York State four years earlier in his initial 1884 presidential campaign, but strong opposition to Cleveland from the corrupt Tammany Hall machine, which held significant influence over New York's politics, helped to narrowly tip the state to Harrison in 1888.
Cleveland performed most strongly downstate in the New York City area, where he won New York County, Kings County, Queens County, and Richmond County. Cleveland also won nearby Westchester County and Rockland County. Harrison, however, dominated in much of upstate New York, including a victory in Erie County, home to the city of Buffalo, although Cleveland did manage to win Albany County, home to the state capital of Albany, along with several rural upstate counties.1888 United States presidential election in North Carolina
The 1888 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. North Carolina voters chose eleven representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
North Carolina was won by the incumbent President Grover Cleveland (D–New York), running with the former Senator and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Allen G. Thurman, with 51.79% of the popular vote, against former Senator Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana), running with Levi P. Morton, the 31st governor of New York, with 47.20% of the vote.The Union Labor Party chose Alson Streeter, a former Illinois state representative, and Charles E. Cunningham as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates and received 0.01% of the vote. The Prohibition Party ran brigadier general Clinton B. Fisk and John A. Brooks and received 0.99% of the vote.1888 United States presidential election in Tennessee
The 1888 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. Tennessee voters chose twelve representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.Tennessee was won by the incumbent President Grover Cleveland (D–New York), running with the former Senator and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Allen G. Thurman, with 52.26% of the popular vote, against former Senator Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana), running with Levi P. Morton, the 31st governor of New York, with 45.76% of the vote.The Union Labor Party chose Alson Streeter, a former Illinois state representative, and Charles E. Cunningham as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates and received 0.02% of the vote. The Prohibition Party ran brigadier general Clinton B. Fisk and John A. Brooks and received 1.97% of the vote.1888 United States presidential election in Texas
The 1888 United States presidential election in Texas took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. Texas voters chose thirteen representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.Texas was won by the incumbent President Grover Cleveland (D–New York), running with the former Senator and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Allen G. Thurman, with 65.70% of the popular vote, against former Senator Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana), running with Levi P. Morton, the 31st governor of New York, with 24.73% of the vote and former Illinois state representative Alson Streeter (L–Illinois), running with Charles E. Cunningham, with 8.24% of the vote.The Prohibition Party ran brigadier general Clinton B. Fisk and John A. Brooks and received 1.33% of the vote.1888 United States presidential election in Vermont
The 1888 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Vermont voted for the Republican nominee, Benjamin Harrison, over the Democratic nominee, incumbent President Grover Cleveland. Harrison won Vermont by a margin of 43.40 percentage points.
With 69.05 percent of the popular vote, Vermont would be Harrison’s strongest victory in terms of percentage in the popular vote.Vice President-elect Levi P. Morton was born in Vermont, more specifically, in Shoreham.1888 United States presidential election in West Virginia
The 1888 United States presidential election in West Virginia took place on November 6, 1888, as part of the 1888 United States presidential election. West Virginia voters chose six representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.West Virginia was won by the incumbent President Grover Cleveland (D–New York), running with the former Senator and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Allen G. Thurman, with 49.35% of the popular vote, against former Senator Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana), running with Levi P. Morton, the 31st governor of New York, with 49.03% of the vote.The Union Labor Party chose Alson Streeter, a former Illinois state representative, and Charles E. Cunningham as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates and received 0.95% of the vote. The Prohibition Party ran brigadier general Clinton B. Fisk and John A. Brooks and received 0.68% of the vote.1896 Republican National Convention
The 1896 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in a temporary structure south of the St. Louis City Hall in Saint Louis, Missouri, from June 16 to June 18, 1896.
Former Governor William McKinley of Ohio was nominated on the first ballot with 661½ votes to 84½ for House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine, 61½ votes for Senator Matthew S. Quay of Pennsylvania, 58 votes for Governor Levi P. Morton of New York who was Vice President (1889–1893) under President Benjamin Harrison. New Jersey banker Garret A. Hobart was nominated for Vice President over Henry Clay Evans of Tennessee. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio placed McKinley's name in nomination.
The convention was originally slated for the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall. However it was determined that repairs and upgrading the Hall could not be done in time and so a temporary wood convention hall was built in 60 days at a cost of $60,000 on the lawn south of City Hall which was under construction. At the conclusion of the convention, both the temporary building as well as the original Exposition Hall were torn down and a new Coliseum was built.
The 1896 Convention was held in St. Louis less than a month after the infamous 1896 tornado that devastated a large swath of the city and killed at least 255 people. There was speculation that it might be unfeasible to hold the convention in the city, but, after a concerted cleanup effort was undertaken, the convention went ahead as planned.Anna Morton
Anna Livingston Reade Street Morton (May 18, 1846 – August 14, 1918) was the second wife of United States Vice President Levi P. Morton. She was known as Anna Street Morton.Brodhead-Bell-Morton Mansion
The Brodhead-Bell-Morton Mansion, also known as the Levi P. Morton House is an historic house, located at 1500 Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., in the Logan Circle neighborhood.Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison
The inauguration of Benjamin Harrison as the 23rd President of the United States took place on Monday, March 4, 1889. The inauguration marked the commencement of the four-year term of Benjamin Harrison as President and Levi P. Morton as Vice President. Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administered the Oath of office while rain poured down.Harrison was 5' 6" tall, he was only slightly taller than James Madison, the shortest president, but much heavier; he was the fourth (and last) president to sport a full beard. Harrison's Inauguration ceremony took place during a rainstorm in Washington D.C.. Outgoing U.S. President Grover Cleveland attended the ceremony and held an umbrella over Harrison's head as he took the oath of office.
His speech was brief – half as long as that of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, whose speech holds the record for the longest inaugural address of a U.S. president. In his speech, Benjamin Harrison credited the nation's growth to the influences of education and religion, urged the cotton states and mining territories to attain the industrial proportions of the eastern states and promised a protective tariff. Concerning commerce, he said, "If our great corporations would more scrupulously observe their legal obligations and duties, they would have less call to complain of the limitations of their rights or of interference with their operations." Harrison also urged early statehood for the territories and advocated pensions for veterans, a statement that was met with enthusiastic applause. In foreign affairs, Harrison reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine as a mainstay of foreign policy, while urging modernization of the Navy and a merchant marine force. He gave his commitment to international peace through noninterference in the affairs of foreign governments.
John Philip Sousa's Marine Corps band played at the Inaugural Ball inside the Pension Building with a large crowd attending. After moving into the White House, Harrison noted, quite prophetically, "There is only a door – one that is never locked – between the president's office and what are not very accurately called his private apartments. There should be an executive office building, not too far away, but wholly distinct from the dwelling house. For everyone else in the public service there is an unroofed space between the bedroom and the desk."Levi (given name)
Levi is a masculine given name. It means "joined to" in Hebrew. Levi may refer to:
Levi Asher, American writer and web designer
Levi Addison Ault, Canadian/American businessman
Levi Bellfield (born 1968), British murderer
Levi Boone, American politician and mayor of Chicago
Levi Celerio, Filipino composer and lyricist
Levi Coffin, American educator and a white abolitionist
Levi Eshkol, Israeli politician and Prime Ministers of Israel
Levi Grant, American politician
Levi Johnson, American cornerback
Levi Johnston, American model and actor
Levi Leipheimer, American professional road bicycle racer
Levi Leiter, American businessman
Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary and statesman
Levi Lincoln, Jr., American lawyer and politician
Levi P. Morton, American politician and Vice President of the United States
Levi Psavkin, Israeli Olympic runner
Levi Ponce, American painter
Levi Porter, English football player
Levi Romero, Venezuelan baseball player
Levi Seacer, Jr., American musician
Levi Strauss, German-Jewish-American inventor of blue jeans
Levi Stubbs, American singer
Levi Twiggs, American officer
Levi Wallace (American football) (born 1995), American football player
Levi Woodbury, American politician and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Rabbi and Hasidic leaderList of Vice Presidents of the United States by place of primary affiliation
This is a list of Vice Presidents of the United States by place of primary affiliation. Some vice presidents have been born in one state, but are commonly associated with another. New York has produced eight vice presidents, the most of any state: George Clinton, Daniel D. Tompkins, Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Schuyler Colfax, William A. Wheeler, Theodore Roosevelt, and James S. Sherman. An additional three vice presidents—Aaron Burr, Chester A. Arthur, and Levi P. Morton—considered New York their home state.Lodge Bill
The Lodge Bill or Federal Elections Bill or Lodge Force Bill of 1890 was a bill drafted by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge (R) of Massachusetts, and sponsored in the Senate by George Frisbie Hoar; it was endorsed by President Benjamin Harrison. The bill would have authorized the federal government to ensure that elections were fair. In particular, it would have allowed federal circuit courts (after being petitioned by a small number of citizens from any precinct) to appoint federal supervisors of congressional elections. Said supervisors would have many duties, including: attending elections, inspecting registration lists, verifying doubtful voter information, administering oaths to challenged voters, stopping illegal aliens from voting, and certifying the vote count.The bill was created primarily to enforce the ability of blacks, predominantly Republican at the time, to vote in the South, as provided for in the constitution. The Fifteenth Amendment already formally guaranteed that right, but white southern Democrats had passed laws related to voter registration and electoral requirements, such as requiring payment of poll taxes and literacy tests (often waived if the prospective voter's grandfather had been a registered voter, the "grandfather clause"), that effectively prevented blacks from voting. That year Mississippi passed a new constitution that disfranchised most blacks, and other states would soon follow the "Mississippi plan".
After passing the House by just six votes, the Lodge bill was successfully filibustered in the Senate, with little action by the President of the Senate, Vice President Levi P. Morton, because Silver Republicans in the West traded it away for Southern support of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and Northern Republicans traded it away for Southern support of the McKinley Tariff.Julius Caesar Chappelle (1852–1904) was among the earliest black Republican legislators in the United States, representing Boston and serving from 1883–1886. In 1890, Chappelle gave a political speech for the right of blacks to vote at an "enthusiastic" meeting at Boston's Faneuil Hall to support the federal elections bill. He was featured in a front page article in The New York Age newspaper covering his support of the Lodge bill. (The Republican Party had been founded by abolitionists and other slavery opponents called Free Soilers, explaining why black voters were overwhelmingly Republican in this era.)Richard Crowley
Richard Crowley (December 14, 1836 – July 22, 1908) was a United States Representative from New York. He was born in Pendleton, New York. He attended the public schools and Lockport Union School. Later, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1860, and commenced practice in Lockport.
Crowley was City Attorney of Lockport from 1865 to 1866. He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1865, and was a member of the New York State Senate (29th D.) in 1866, 1867, 1868 and 1869. He was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York on March 23, 1871 and was reappointed March 3, 1875, and served in that capacity until March 3, 1879.
Crowley was elected as a Republican to the 46th and 47th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1879, to March 3, 1883. While in Congress, he was Chairman of the Committee on Claims (47th Congress). After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of law in Lockport. He was appointed by Governor Levi P. Morton in 1896 as counsel for the State of New York in American Civil War claims cases, in which capacity he was serving at the time of his death at Olcott Beach, New York in 1908. He was buried in Lockport's Glenwood Cemetery.Roswell P. Flower
Roswell Pettibone Flower (August 7, 1835 – May 12, 1899) was the 30th Governor of New York from 1892 to 1894.