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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NORRIS, Thomas, senator, born in Augusta~ county, Virginia, 3 January, 1776; died in Bethel, Ohio, 7 December, 1844. His father was a Baptist clergyman of Welsh descent. The son removed to Columbia, Ohio, in 1795, entered the service, as a farm-hand, of Reverend John Smith, first United States senator from Ohio, and in 1800 settled in Clermont county. While engaged in farming he studied law, and in 1804 was admitted to the bar. He was elected to the legislature in 1806, was continuously a member for twenty-four years, became eminent in his profession, was a judge of the supreme court, and was chosen United States senator in 1832. He was an ardent opponent of slavery, engaged in important debates with John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay in defence of the right of petition and the duty of the government to favor abolition, and was active in support of the freedom of the press. His anti-slavery sentiments being distasteful to the Democratic party, by whom he was elected, he was not returned for a second term, and in March, 1839, he retired. He was nominated for vice-president by the Liberal party at the Buffalo convention in August, 1844. His death occurred a month after the election. , Mr. Morris was an energetic politician, and a fearless champion of liberty and the right of individual opinion. See his " Life and Letters," edited by his son, Benjamin F. Morris (Cincinnati, Ohio, 1855). --His son, Jonathan D., congressman, born in Clermont county, Ohio, in 1804; died in Connersville, Indiana, 16 May, 1875, became a lawyer, and for twenty years was clerk of the court of common pleas, and of the superior court of Clermont county, he was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1846, served in 1847-'51, and subsequently returned to the practice of his profession.--Another son, Isaac Newton, congressman, born in Bethel, Clermont County, Ohio, 22 January, 1812; died in Quincy, Illinois, 29 October, 1879, was educated at Miami university, was admitted to the bar in 1835, and the next year removed to Quincy, Illinois He was in the Illinois legislature in 1846-'8, and became president of the Illinois and Michigan canal board. He was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1856, and served in 1857-'61, opposing the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution, and offering a resolution that " under no circumstances shall the Union be dissolved." In 1870 he was appointed by President Grant a member of the Union Pacific railroad commission.
MORRIS, Thomas Armstrong, soldier, born in Nicholas county, Kentucky, 26 December, 1811. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1834, resigned in 1836 to follow the profession of civil engineering, and was appointed in that year resident engineer of canals and railroads in the state of Indiana. He was chief engineer of two railroads in 1847-'52, engineer in 1852-'4, and president in 1854-'7 of the Indianapolis and Cincinnati railroad, and president of the Indianapolis, Pittsburg and Cleveland railroad in 1859-'61. In April, 1861, he was appointed brigadier-general by the governor of Indiana, and served in the West Virginia campaign of that year, but, declining the commissions of brigadier-general and major-general of volunteers, he was mustered out of service in July, 1861. He then resumed the office of chief engineer of the Indianapolis and Cincinnati railroad, was president of the Indianapolis and St. Louis railroad in 1867-'70, and in 1870-'3 was receiver of the Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Lafayette railroad.
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