Robert Morris, The Original Bailer Out

The town of Morrisville, NJ, is named after Robert Morris, “The Financier of the American Revolution.” He signed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. By raising money and putting his own credit on the line he helped to bail out Washington’s continental army, and later the newly established government, again and again. In one instance he put down $1.5 million dollars of his own cash, twice as much money as all thirteen colonies combined had contributed in taxes. Ironically, despite a slew of titles and offices held in his lifetime, and owning the lands which would become known as upstate New York and Washington, DC, he over-leveraged his company and went bankrupt in the Panic of 1797. He ended up bankrupt and in prison.
Three things… 1. the story of his rise and crash resonates in today’s economic climate… 2. he’s not to be confused with Haym Solomon, the *other* Financier of the American Revolution… and 3. if his estate in Philadelphia had been chosen (or I should say, remained) for the seat of the nation’s capital, I sure would have had a lot less miles to walk!
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