Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MORRIS, Samuel, lay preacher, born in Hanover county, Virginia, about 1700; died there after 1770. He had been educated in the established church, but became a Presbyterian, and did so much to advance the interests of his denomination that he was styled the "Father of Presbyterianism in Virginia." His house became the resort of all those that were dissatisfied with the teaching of the parish incumbent, and when at length it became too small to hold the congregations that assembled there to hear him teach and exhort, he built what he termed a "reading-room." The Episcopalians then made complaint against Morris and his followers, and called them up for trial; but they appealed to Governor William Gooch, who, on hearing the ease, and finding that their practices were identical with those of the Kirk of Scotland, in which he had been brought up, dismissed the charges against them.
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