Robert Morris was born in January 1734, in Liverpool, England. Robert Morris' father was a Liverpool merchant, and was interested in the American trade. While Robert was young, his father left for America, leaving Robert behind. A short time later, Mr. Morris came back to England for Robert. He arrived in America at age 13.

Robert Morris was put into a school in Philadelphia, where he made little progress. During his time in school, he sadly lost his father, and was left an orphan at age 15. Mr. Charles Willing, who owned a shipping-banking firm, took Robert in to be his apprentice. After his term expired with Mr. Willing, Robert went into a partnership with Mr. Thomas Willing for the long period of 39 years. Robert married Mary White in 1769 and together they had seven children. They lived on an estate called "The Hills" outside Philadelphia.

Mr. Morris was always worried about the public's good. The massacre at Lexington and Concord in 1775 changed his feelings about the British. He knew then that some things needed to change. On Nov. 3, 1775, Mr. Morris was elected as a member of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

For a long time he did not want independence from England. He just wanted England and America to resolve their differences. Due to this view, on July 2, 1776, Morris, and fellow Pennsylvanian delegate John Dickinson, did not cast a vote for America's independence. This, however, allowed America to gain independence.


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Once America was independent, Mr. Morris signed the Declaration of Independence. He was given the job of superintendent of finance. He needed to raise money to support the war.

Mr. Morris started the Bank of North America in Philadelphia. It was the first successful bank and helped finance the war. Morris personally paid for supplies and soldier salaries, as well. It has been said that Morris gave up more than a million dollars of his own money to help prepare for the Battle of Yorktown. He was nicknamed "Financier of the Revolution."

In the years 1777-78 the British took over Philadelphia, forcing Congress to flee the city. Congress started meeting in York, Pa. During this time, the Congress signed the "Articles of Confederation" on Nov. 15, 1777.

When the British took over Philadelphia, they wrecked Robert's home. After the war, Robert made some bad land investments and in the end owed loads of money. Back then, people could be sent to prison for being in debt. Robert found himself in debtors prison for 3½ years. He was released in 1801 at age 67. He lived his last five years of life very poor. He died in 1806 at age 73. It was written that America couldn't have gained independence without three men. They were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris.

Megan Martin, Dover, is a fifth-grade homeschooled student.