Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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MORTON, Levi Parsons, banker, born in Shore-ham, Vermont, 16 May, 1824. He became a clerk in a country store, soon developed aptitude for business, and rose rapidly. In 1850 he was made a member of the firm of Beebe, Morgan and Co., merchants of Boston, and in 1.854 he removed to New York, where he established the firm of Morton and Grinnell. In 1863 he founded the banking-house of Morton, Bliss and Co., in New York, and that of Morton, Rose and Co., in London. The latter were the fiscal agents of the United States government from 1873 till 1884. The firms of which Mr. Morton is the head were active in the syndicates that negotiated United States bonds and in the payment of the Geneva award of $15,500,000 and the Halifax fishery award of $5,500,000. Mr. Morton was appointed honorary commissioner to the Paris exposition in 1878. In the same year he was elected to congress as a Republican, and he was re-elected in 1880. In the latter year he declined the nomination for vice-president on the Republican ticket. President Garfield offered to nominate Mr. Morton for secretary of the navy or minister to France. He chose the latter post, and filled it from 1881 to 1885. Through his intercession the restrictions upon the importation of American pork were removed, and American corporations obtained a legal status in France. He was American com-missioner-general t<) the Paris electrical exposition, the representative of the United States at the submarine cable convention, and publicly received, in the name of the people of the United States, the Bartholdi statue of Liberty enlightening the world.
Mr. Morton, in 1887, purchased "Ellerslie." the estate of William Kelly, at Rhinebeck on the Hudson. The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Dartmouth in 1881 and by Middlebury in 1882. In 1887 he was a candidate for United States senator.
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