As Charles Stephen Morgan further recorded in his family Bible, Col. Morgan left his native homeland and immigrated to
America “during the reign of Queen Anne, or probably about the commencement of George I” (1). This would place
Morgan's voyage across the Atlantic Ocean around 1713, being that George I was crowned in 1714, and Morgan is known to have
been within the colonies by at least 1715. It is, however, impossible to know exactly what year Morgan made his exodus from
Wales as he has not been found in any immigration records. It should be stated, however, that some believe he may have arrived
as early as 1707, though there are no records to support that idea.
There is an old Morgan legend claiming that he was once a young British soldier, stationed within the new world, and ultimately,
chose to remain in America for the rest of his life. Some of his descendants even go as far to say that he had fought in the
War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), but there is no evidence of this. However, if Morgan had sailed to America
aboard a military vessel, then this would account for the missing immigration record, as one simply would not have been made.
Nonetheless, while it is true that Queen Anne's War (1702 - 1713), an offshoot of the War of Spanish Succession, was
proceeding in North America at that time, it is important to note that no such military record has ever been found. Although
it is possible for Morgan to have served in the conflict, no claim of military association prior to his involvement with the
Virginian militia can be proven.
Actually, this idea of Morgan’s involvement with the British military seems to arise from the ignorance of when he
was granted the rank of colonel. Morgan’s military rank is not evidence of any association with the English forces,
and the belief that he had been given the rank prior to reaching America’s shores is incorrect. Morgan was not granted
the rank of full colonel until the age of sixty-nine, which was a position he earned among the Virginian militia that he organized.
Simply, it is also quite possible, and perhaps more likely, that his immigration record was either lost or destroyed.
Upon his arrival in America, Morgan established his first home within the settlement of Christiana, New Castle County,
Delaware, probably residing “within a few miles thereof, if not within the city” itself (Report… 42). This
region was a portion of the lands ceded to William Penn by the Duke of York, but although Welsh Quakers were the largest group
migrating to Penn's colony in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Morgan does not appear to have shared a similar credence.
He was rather a staunch “member of the Church of England” (Report… 43), and therefore, religious persecution
would not have been a trigger for Morgan's withdrawal from Britain.
Further, despite the fact that forty thousand acres of southeastern Pennsylvania were intended to become a Welsh Barony,
Morgan chose not to journey farther inland, ignoring the huge “Welsh Tract” and the flow of Welsh settlers into
towns like Gwynedd, or Buck and Berks Counties. Additionally, as Wayland Dunaway wrote in his work, A History of Pennsylvania,
he relates that these Welsh immigrants were:
Influenced by the belief that, purchasing a large tract of land and settling thereon in a
body, they could establish in the New World a community of their own in which they could perpetuate their distinctive language
and institutions. (74)
Thus, it does not appear that establishing a type of “new Wales,” or preserving Welsh culture, was part of
Morgan's agenda either. Rather, he seems to have been a particularly self-propelled, independent individual, whose personal
ambitions were not necessarily centered on anyone other than himself and his family. He was a man whom, after considering
his success in Delaware, with his later audacious role among the Virginian frontier, had few limitations, and was ready and
determined to become an honorable leader within the New World.
While it is certain that Morgan first set foot in American soil as a young, single man, it is impossible to know whether
or not he voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean alone. If he did indeed come as a Welsh immigrant, then one cannot further examine
the other persons among the ship record as none seems to exist. However, although there certainly is no evidence that he directly
immigrated with any other kinsman, nor is there any proof that he was closely aquatinted with any members of his native family
after his migration from Wales, it has been indicated by one grandson, James Morgan, son of Zackquill, that other relations
had settled within the Delaware Colony at an early date.
In Now and Long Ago, John Glenn published an interview of James Morgan, conducted by Joseph H. Powell in 1850, in
which James referenced a John and William Merrill, along with his father, Zackquill, and uncle, David. James stated that,
“there was some blood tie with the Merrills that began in Delaware,” who accordingly, “got their first land”
in Monongalia County, Virginia, from his “father and Uncle Dave” (341). He further stated that he had “heard
Uncle Dave say that William Merrill married a Morgan cousin of ours” (341), and as James explains, she was supposedly
the same celebrated Mrs. Merrill of Nelson County Kentucky – the woman of popular frontier folklore who is famed for
the violent axing of Indians as they raided her family’s cabin.
What is important to note, is that while Col. Morgan and his family were still residing in Delaware, all of his children
were too young to have married or had issue. In other words, if this blood tie between the Merrills and Morgans was established
within that colony, it must have come from a source outside of Morgan’s immediate family. This is particularly interesting,
being that if it were possible to prove and locate other Morgan kinsman within historical records, then it may lead to some
insight regarding Morgan’s ancestry.
It is unfortunate, however, that very little is known of this John and William Merrill, and one has not been able to ascertain
any real evidence of their ancestry, or from where they came. Especially in regards to this William, no record of his name
has ever been found in exception to James’ deposition. Further, in contradiction to James’ story, accounts of
the Mrs. Merrill event generally give her husband’s name as John, rather than William. Although James does also talk
of a John Merrill, believed to be William’s brother, he could not have been Mrs. Merrill’s husband, as he had
instead married Jemima, a triplet daughter of Henry Batten’s. Furthermore, John does not appear to have ever migrated
out of Virginia.
In regards to legends such as the one of Mrs. Merrill, however, it is not uncommon for them to have been seriously embellished
and the stories to be greatly inaccurate. Such is the case with David Morgan’s famous fight with the Indians at his
homestead, in which James even claimed that, “about Uncle Dave’s fight with the Indians here, a pack of lies has
been told and printed” (Glenn 341). Thus, it should not be surprising to find that details regarding the Mrs. Merrill
legend may be false.
Coinciding with James’ deposition, it seems possible that the husband of Mrs. Merrill was indeed, William, rather
than John. This would explain that while John remained in Virginia, William and his wife migrated further west into the Kentucky
frontier at an early date, explaining why his name has not been found among Virginia records. Also, as James additionally
stated that he had been “there to visit” Mrs. Merrill’s family, and that he even recalled her nickname to
be “Miff” (Glenn 341), it seems probable that he was certain about who the woman was. However, despite James’
claim, it is certainly unfortunate that we will doubtfully ever know the real name of the legendary Mrs. Merrill, or her connection
to the Morgan family.
This Morgan-Merrill relationship was not the only blood tie to be mentioned by James, however. As he spoke of the famous
Captain John Brady, and son, Captain Samuel Brady, James stated:
There was a blood tie between the Bradys and the Morgans. Sam Brady married ‘Indian Van’ Swearingen’s
daughter (Drusilla). John Swearingen everybody called ‘Bible John,’ and was ‘Indian Van’s’ father.
They lived below Cheat on the old Cheat Road when I was growing up. I was there many times with my father and others. They
were some kin of ours through the Maryland Morgans and Springers. (Glenn 342)
As to when exactly the Morgan and Swearingen families first became acquainted cannot be certain, but it does appear that
they were close for much of David Morgan’s life. The progenitor of this Swearingen line was one Gerrett Van Swearingen,
a Dutchman who sailed to New Castle, Delaware, as the supercargo aboard the ill-fated Prins Maurits. Notably, one Jan
Garritsen, who was also a sailor aboard that vessel, is commonly believed to have been the brother of Hendrik Gerritsen, David’s
grandfather. Thus, this leaves little doubt that the Swearingens and the family of David’s mother were well associated
with one another from the earliest days of their settlings.
However, Gerrett Swearingen moved his family to St. Mary’s County, Maryland, around 1665, predating Col. Morgan’s
arrival in America by roughly fifty years. Therefore, whether or not Morgan was actually acquainted with Garrett is unknown.
Nevertheless, it is known that David also settled in Maryland for at least a short time, as his son Evan declared that “I
was born in Town Creek, now in Allegany County, Maryland, in 1753” (Report… 70). Therefore, it seems possible
that David and the Swearingens had known each other during his residence there. Additionally, it appears that David and the
Swearingens both left Maryland around the same time, migrating to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and became some of the earliest
settlers within that region.
By 1770, it is doubtless that David and the Swearingens had become acquainted, as he, along with “Bible John”
Swearingen, “Indian Van” Swearingen, several Springers, and the aforementioned Henry Batten, were all settled
in Bedford, now present day Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Further, in James Veech’s The Monongahela of Old, all
of these men, along with one “Morgan Morgan,” perhaps David’s oldest son, are shown to have been in the
1772 tax lists for the southwestern portion of that state.
Additionally, although David is known to have moved further south into present day West Virginia before 1787, the Fayette
Archives Will Records show that he, along with Colonel Theophilus Phillips and Thomas Berry, were witnesses to the will
of Henry Batten’s father, Thomas, in Fayette of that year. In addition, Thomas Batten named John Swearingen Jr., and
Samuel Rubal as executers, and left to his son, Henry, a tract of land “on Paw Paw Creek bounded on the Monongahela
River” (BATTON…). This tract is doubtless the same piece of land adjacent to the property then owned by Zackquill
Morgan, which his son, James, claimed to have “joined Henry Batten at Longwell Spring Run” (Glenn 341). Notably,
it was a piece of this same land that Zackquill had sold to the aforementioned John and William Merrill.
It is further interesting to note that southwestern Pennsylvania, of where present day Fayette County is located, was then
disputed by Virginia to be part of its territory. Thus, it seems possible that David believed that this settlement was actually
in northwestern Virginia. Further, as Eva Carnes wrote in “The Courthouse Wars,” during the time of David’s
settlement there, the county seat of Monongalia County, Virginia, was actually set “at the farm of Theophilus Phillips,
about two miles of present day Geneva, Pennsylvania” (29). It wasn’t until after the southwestern boundary of
Pennsylvania was established that it officially showed Monongalia’s county seat to have been founded outside of its
jurisdiction. Subsequently, the county seat was moved to Morgantown, where it was set at the home of David’s brother,
As James Morgan correctly stated, the thousand-acre Swearingen homestead was located near the mouth of the Cheat River,
where Fort Swearingen was built around 1774. It was near here that Bible John’s son, Marmaduke, was captured by Indians,
and consequently never seen again. Indian Van, who had come to Fayette County from Maryland with his father, however, did
not remain there for long. As Franklin Ellis’ History of Fayette County relates, “Van Swearingen…
removed to a new location on the east side of the Monongahela” (764), and it was while living in Washington County,
Pennsylvania, that he and Samuel Brady, who had married Indian Van’s daughter, Drusilla, were both made captains in
the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment.
In 1744, Indian Van’s uncle, Van Swearingen, had purchased a tract of land from one Richard Morgan, just north of
Pack Horse Ford in Frederick County, Virginia. Another uncle, “Thomas of the ferry,” soon followed, initially
purchasing land from Richard Paulson and William Spurgin in 1748, but later, as Dan Everson’s “Timeline: 1748-1768”
shows, “received a Fairfax grant of 278 acres next to his brother,” Van’s property, in 1754. Additionally,
the Richard Morgan mentioned here appears to have migrated into Frederick County with the party of Joist Hite, and after Thomas
of the Ferry had secured his Fairfax land, it constituted that they, and Thomas’ brother, Van, were neighbors. Consequently,
children of Richard Morgan’s and Thomas Swearingen’s would later intermarry.
This is the same Richard Morgan told of by Lewis Walkinshaw in his Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania, of whom
Richard Morgan… was born in Wales in 1700, and when a young man came to America. He received large grants of land
from Thomas Lord Fairfax under King George II in the year 1734. He settled on this land near Shepherdstown, Virginia. He
built one of the first houses ever erected in the Shenandoah Valley. He was a captain in the French and Indian War. His
sons and grandsons were officers and soldiers in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars… His eldest son, Colonel
William… married Drusilla Swearingen. (6)
Although Col. Morgan Morgan had also migrated to Frederick County, Virginia, predating Richard’s arrival by at least
three years, no definitive relationship between the two men has ever been found. However, as James Morgan said that there
was a blood tie with the Swearingens, established by the “Maryland Morgans and Springers” (Glenn 341), it seems
possible that the unities between Richard and Thomas Swearingen’s children were the relationships referred to in James’
It should also be said in this chapter, that General Daniel Morgan of Revolutionary War fame, is also often speculated
to have been a relative of Col. Morgan’s family. In the earliest known account of David Morgan’s famous Indian
fight, analyzed by Jack B. Moore in an article titled “The Earliest Printed Version of David Morgan and the Two Indians,”
an anonymous writer sent a letter to the American periodical, the “United States Magazine,” and it was accordingly
published in 1779, describing David as “a kinsman to Col. Morgan of the rifle battalion.” Additionally, in an
interview of one David Crouch, transcribed from the Kentucky Papers of the Draper Manuscripts and published in an article
by Linda Cassidy Lewis in 2005, Crouch is quoted as having said, “Old David Morgan, brother of Gen. Morgan, lived
on the West Fork of Monongahela, not only about thirty miles from us.” However, while it is possible that David and
Daniel were related, Crouch was incorrect to their relationship, as they definitely were not brothers.
In 1909, William Allen Daily published a sketch titled “History of the Descendants of David Morgan,” which
was later represented by the Morgan Society in the year 2000. In the brief section titled “Daniel Morgan and the French
and Indian War,” Daily wrote that:
Daniel, on his return home from the Saratoga campaign early in 1778, visited his brother David near their old home in New
Jersey; David having been compelled to flee from his home near Red Stone Fort owing to Indian depredations, when the year
before he had engaged in a deadly combat with three Indians.
To the descendants of David Morgan, it is easily seen whom Daily was writing of. However, although it is true that David
Morgan, son of Col. Morgan Morgan, had at one time lived near the mouth of Redstone Creek, so close to the Swearingens and
Battens, Daily was, like Crouch, seriously mistaken about David and Daniel’s relationship.
Firstly, there are no records to indicate that David had ever lived in New Jersey, especially throughout the 1770’s,
where he is found to have been living in present day Marion County, West Virginia. Thus, if he had ever settled within New
Jersey, it would have likely been prior to 1769. Daily may have been correct, however, in his claim that David had retreated
from Pennsylvania due to Indian troubles, as Robert Dilger wrote in his “Fayette County History,” that in 1772,
“a series of incidents between settlers and Indians… ended what had been nearly eight years of peace.”
One of these incidents was the killing of Chief Bald Eagle, told of in McWhorter’s The Border Settlers of Northwestern
Virginia. This is the same famous Indian chief who is so often attributed to the murder of Captain Samuel Brady’s
younger brother, James. However, this cannot be true, since James was killed in 1778, six years after Bald Eagle’s death.
Additionally, the claim that Samuel Brady had killed the old Indian in vengeance for his young brother is also false. Rather,
accounts within McWhorter’s work attributes the killing to Jacob Scott, William Hacker, and Elijah Runner, who had murdered
the old chief near the mouth of the Cheat, and after thrusting a piece of johnnycake in his mouth, sent him afloat down the
river in a canoe. He was later found by one Mrs. William Yard Provance, who “buried him on the Fayette shore”
(McWhorter 125). It was a series of crimes such as this, committed by both settlers and Indians alike, which had lead to the
natives making a string of attacks into the western frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and sending many settlers to retreat
farther east for protection.
It was in 1772 that David retired to present day Fairmont, where Dilger wrote in his “Early History of Marion County,”
that David and “Nicholas Woods had constructed cabins” during that year. This date for David’s Virginia
settlement correlates perfectly with his disappearance from southwestern Pennsylvania records. Thus, while Indian havoc may
have forced David to leave his Pennsylvania lands, he had not moved into New Jersey, as stated by Daily, but rather into western
Virginia. Interestingly, this was also same year that Indian Van Swearingen had claimed a tract of land in Ohio County, therefore
again showing that David and Indian Van’s migrations were exceptionally mirrored.
Also, Daily was further mistaken as he wrote that “the year before” 1778, David had “engaged in a deadly
combat with three Indians.” It was not until 1779, while living in Rivesville, Marion County, that the fight had taken
place. As his nephew, James, was telling of Captain John Brady’s murder by Indians in April of 1779, he claimed that
Brady’s death was only “the day after Uncle Dave fought the Indians at his place” (Glenn 342). This too,
further shows that it could not have been Col. Morgan’s son that was visited by General Daniel Morgan in New Jersey,
as David’s “place” was then in Rivesville, Marion County. Additionally, as David and his wife were subsequently
buried on this Rivesville land, it further suggests that David had remained in Marion County from 1772 up until the time of
William Daily also mistakenly wrote that:
About the year 1720, the parents of David, Sarah and Daniel Morgan, with about twenty other Quaker
families from Wales, emigrated to America and first settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. About 1725, they moved across the
Delaware river a few miles above Trenton and settled near its banks and opened up a farm in what is now Hunterdon County,
New Jersey. David was born in 1709 and Sarah 1711, while Daniel, the youngest child, was not born until 1736, a difference
of twenty-five years.
Not only does Daily’s story fail to match up with the immigration of Col. Morgan, but simply, David was not born
in 1709. As the records show, David was instead born in Christana, New Castle, Delaware, in May of 1721, and subsequently,
baptized at Old Swedes (Holy Trinity) Church in Wilmington. Thus, at this point, is has become evident that Daily was simply
mistaking Col. Morgan’s son for another David.
Additionally, David never had a sister named Sarah, though there was a Sarah Morgan, daughter of Edward and Margaret
Morgan, wife of Squire Boone, who later became the mother of the famous Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone. It became clear that
this was the same Sarah of whom Daily attributed as David’s sister, when he further wrote that:
David and Sarah evidently were born in Wales. Squire Boone, who married Sarah Morgan in 1727, accounts for this difference
that three of their children died of scarlet fever, and a baby on ship board on voyage to America.
The family of Sarah Morgan (Boone) is also often believed by many of Col. Morgan’s descendants to share a common
kinship with Col. Morgan’s family, due mostly to the fact that Sarah had an older brother named Morgan Morgan, and her
son, Daniel Boone, is known to have been an acquaintance of David and Zackquill’s. However, just as David had no siblings
named Sarah, neither did she have any siblings named David. Thus, while they may have shared a common ancestor, they certainly
were not brother and sister.
Further, in Stewart Baldwin’s “The Family of Edward Morgan of Pennsylvania,” he convincingly shows that
Sarah did have an older brother named Daniel. However, while this Daniel Morgan was supposedly born in 1691, he could not
have been the famous General who was born on July 06, 1736. Nonetheless, Baldwin gives further evidence to suggest that Sarah’s
brother, Daniel, may have actually been the father of General Daniel Morgan.
Baldwin writes that a grandson of Sarah Morgan’s, Daniel Bryan, “stated in two letters to (Lyman C.)
Draper that Sarah Morgan was sister to the father of Daniel Morgan” (113). This relationship was made more explicit
in notes taken from a conversation between Daniel Bryan and Rev. John D. Shaw, in about 1844, when he apparently stated that
“Squire Boone ‘married Sarah Morgan, sister of Danl. Morgan, the father of Genl. Danl. Morgan’” (Baldwin
113). Additionally, another one of her grandchildren, Samuel Boone, apparently stated that he “always understood that
there was a relationship with General Daniel Morgan, but was unsure of the details” (Baldwin 113).
Thus, by these depositions, it would seem that Sarah was actually an aunt of General Daniel Morgan’s, rather
than a much older sister as designated by Daily. However, in spite of these claims, Baldwin also points out that Lyman Draper
had too interviewed a granddaughter of General Daniel Morgan, Winifred Kerns, and in affect, her deposition was “at
odds with the claim that General Daniel Morgan was the son of Daniel Morgan” (114). Thus, unless better evidence surfaces,
the question of whether or not General Daniel was related to the family of Sarah Morgan must be left unsettled.
Concisely, in respects to any believed relationship between the families of General Daniel and Col. Morgan, the Report
of the Col. Morgan Monument Commission was earnest enough to write:
General Daniel Morgan, “Hero of Cowpens,” one of General Washington’s staunchest supporters – both
for some years immediate neighbors and contemporaries of Col. Morgan Morgan, too old for active military duty – left
shrouded in uncertainty all traces of his ancestry. An unkind stepmother – ‘res augusta domi’ –
tradition has it. Nor was it recorded whether he was related to the subject of this sketch. (34)
In other words, no records connecting Gen. Daniel Morgan to the family of Col. Morgan has ever surfaced, and the truth
of their relationship cannot yet be determined at this time.
Around the year 1713, Col. Morgan Morgan married Catherine Garretson, “a daughter of a prominent Dutch family”
(Morgan 1), in New Castle County, Delaware. The Garretsons (Gerritsens) were closely associated with the famous Old Swedes
Church in Wilmington, Delaware, as their names are found throughout its records. This was the same church where Morgan’s
son, David, was baptized, as The Records of Holy Trinity Church states that, “Morgan Morgan and wife Catharina’s
child David, born May 12th, baptized May 28th” (265).
At the time of Morgan’s marriage, New Castle County was densely populated by the Dutch and Swedes who had quarreled
over the Delaware colony prior to its seizure by the English. Thus, it is no surprise that Morgan took a Dutch wife. In 1679,
Catherine’s father, Hendrik, and his younger brother, Pal, were living near Bread and Cheese Island with their stepfather,
“Swart” (Black) Jacob Jansen, and mother, Lysbet Hendrikson. According to Peter Craig’s 1671 Census of
the Delaware, Jansen “had been a soldier at Fort Amstel in 1660,” and was later an ensign “in 1675 when
he was shown as the owner of the tract of Hans Bones” (43). Jansen had been distinguished as the “father”
of Hendrik and Pal in Delaware records, where in November of 1677, he and the two sons were each fined twenty guilders for
refusing to work on Hans Block’s dike. However, it has been construed that Jansen was not the biological father of the
Garretson brothers, not because of their difference in surnames, but rather, because of Jansen’s forename. Just as the
Welsh had followed a patronymic system in which individuals were identified in relationship to their father, the Dutch had
followed a similar one. Hendrik’s surname, Garretson, would have meant literally, “Garret’s son,”
or “Garret’s child,” and thus, it is obvious that Hendrik’s father’s forename would have been
Garret, rather than Jacob. Additionally, it should be noted that it was not customary of the time for Dutch women to adopt
their husband’s surnames, which is simply why Lysbet Hendrikson had been designated in records as just that, rather
than “Lysbet Jansen.” Moreover, following this Dutch patronymic system, Lysbet’s father would have likewise
been named “Hendrik,” and thus shows that Hendrik Garretson was probably named after his maternal grandfather.
“Swart” Jacob Jansen died in 1681, and in the following year, Hendrik was approved to take up one hundred fifty
acres along White Clay Creek, in White Clay Creek Hundred, New Castle County. According to the “White Clay Creek Multiple
Resource Area,” composed by the National Register of Historic Places, White Clay and Christiana Creeks were “major
attractions for settlements and land speculation” (2) at the time. The navigability of the nearby Christiana River and
the county’s developed road system further placed White Clay Creek Hundred in a significant position for incoming commerce
as traders and travelers passed throughout. Consequently, it was here that Col. Morgan later became a prosperous merchant
In 1723, Morgan, described as a “merchant taylor,” purchased “245 acres on King’s Road between
White Clay and Christeen Creek in White Clay Creek Hundred” (Report… 40), located next to Garrett Garretson, Catherine’s
brother. The King’s Road was one of the first main thoroughfares established within America, and as it connected the
city of New Castle with Philadelphia and Baltimore, it was thus a staple of migration throughout the middle colonies. As the
sketch of the “White Clay Creek Multiple Resource Area” further explains:
During the first half of the eighteenth century, land speculators, who appear to have been merchants, were buying and building
large tracts of land… in the easternmost portion of the Hundred where White Clay and Christiana Creeks joined. (2)
Thus, as shown by this sketch, Morgan naturally was not the only businessman taking such an ardent advantage of the key
location, further relaying the importance of this position for New Castle businesses. Additionally, as Morgan was situated
in such a lively town, it is consequently understood that he was in operation of a flourishing enterprise.
In 1716, six years prior to acquiring his White Clay Creek land, Morgan was appointed as a churchwarden for St. James Protestant
Episcopal Church, founded in present day Mill Creek Hundred. It was in that year that the original church, a log dwelling,
was replaced by a more sustainable structure, and designated as the “chapel-of-ease” for the Immanuel Protestant
Church, where Morgan’s first son, James, “had been baptized in the previous year” (Report… 40). The
site was originally deeded to Reverend Ericus Biorck and the Swedish Church in 1701, but after Biorck’s return to Sweden
became imminent, the property was deeded to one James Robinson. In turn, Robinson donated ten acres of the tract to St. James
This is the same James Robinson who was acting as a warden for the Immanuel Protestant Church in 1710, and who’s
daughter, Phoebe, was baptized with Morgan’s son, David, in 1721. As The Records of Holy Trinity states, “James
Robinson and wife Catharina’s child Phoebe, born April 15th, baptized May 28th” (265). This
note, and the one concerning David, are the only two entries within The Records of Holy Trinity regarding baptisms
on May 28th in that year. Later, in 1735, James Robinson’s son, James, would act as a juror with Morgan Morgan
in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Also, in 1730, Morgan and a fellow churchwarden, Jeremiah Ball, had received donations from one William Graham, “for
and towards the repairing of the Fabrick and Fences of the said Church and church yard” (Report… 40), for St.
James Protestant Episcopal Church. Named as an executor of Graham’s will was Reverend George Ross, who had baptized
Morgan’s oldest child, James, in 1715, and was a close acquaintance of James Robinson. Ross had been the first seated
Rector of Immanuel Church, and is well documented as having been an important figure in the religious history of New Castle
County. One of Ross’ own sons, George, would later become one of the signers of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration
By 1717, Morgan appears to have sat particularly well with the prior Lieutenant Governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania,
John Evans (1704-1709), since Morgan was made an executor of his will in that year. Governor Evans, although appointed
under Sir William Penn, was not a Quaker like most of the other Pennsylvania governors and magistrates, so it is further doubtless
that the Quaker population had caused much frustration to his agenda. In one instance, Evans had established a tax for the
security and military foundation of the colony, but many Quakers, being passive in nature, simply refused to pay the levy.
Additionally, in contrast to Quaker practices, the Protestant governor had been well known for frequenting taverns and publicly
conducting himself in lewd behavior, and as William Crawford Armor wrote in his Lives of the Governors of Pennsylvania,
Evans was not seen as “a man of exemplary morals” (118). While Evans’ actions did much to disgust the pious
Quaker citizens, Morgan, also sharing a distinctive faith from those of the Society of Friends, may not have been so critical
of his political or social manners. Morgan had, at least, shared the same credence, and judging by his later active role with
the Virginian militia, seems to have shared a similar avid opinion on the importance of a military presence. The depth of
their association cannot be determined, but it seems unlikely that Morgan abhorred the behaviors of the previous Governor.
In 1726, Morgan was elected as the coroner of New Castle County, and subsequently, was reelected in each of the following
three years. These elections, however, were not held as in the custom of today, but rather, at the office of the governor’s
in Philadelphia. “With an executive council present” (Report… 41), the Lieutenant Governor, being Patrick
Gordon at the time (1726-1736), chiefly appointed his choice of the city’s candidates to such magistrate positions.
It was in 1726 that Morgan was chosen over the aforementioned William Graham, and succeeded Peter Reverdy, who had held the
position since 1693.
In 1727, King George I died, and immediately upon George II’s ascension to the English thrown, Governor Gordon ordered
that “a congratulatory address… to the new king” (Armor 132), be drawn up and presented to the new monarch.
Among the twenty-seven magistrates who signed their allegiance and submission to the new king, we find that it is Morgan’s
name which heads the list. It should be remembered that this was several decades before the War for American Independence
had been fought, and the colonies were still under the order of the English crown, with Morgan and his associates still considered
This was a time when “George Washington was no yet born… Philadelphia, with a population of scarcely ten thousand,
was the second largest city in the British Empire, and London was not as large as Clarksburg, West Virginia” (Report…
34). The era considered in this chapter contained the earliest known years of Morgan’s life in America. Living in a
bustling Dutch colonial town, sheltered from the dangers of the western frontier, he had become an exemplary man of his city
and maintained devoted loyalty to the English crown. He had not been part of the Quaker society with hopes to found a Quaker
dominion, which so many other Welshman had sought. But rather, Morgan continued to serve the king and his religious doctrine
though public offices, cultivating his gentleman status and close alliances with the honorable citizens and magistrates of
New Castle in his day. This sterling character did not cease after his time in New Castle, however, but carried over into
the third and final chapter of his life, crossing the Blue Ridge, and making his home along the untamed Virginian frontier.
It is for his feats there that he has become most famous, and his descendants most undauntedly proud.