Charles Manigault Morris

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Charles Manigault Morris
First Lt. Charles Manigault Morris, CSN
Born(1820-05-07)May 7, 1820
DiedMarch 22, 1895(1895-03-22) (aged 74)
Hannah Heyward Troup
(died 1854)
Clementina McAllister
(m. 1861)
RelativesGabriel Manigault (grandfather)

Charles Manigault Morris (May 7, 1820 – March 22, 1895)[1] was an officer in the United States Navy and later in the Confederate States Navy. Morris was a descendant of several of the most prominent Northern and Southern families in colonial America.

Early life[edit]

Morris was born in Adams Run, South Carolina on May 7, 1820. He was the youngest son of Col. Lewis Morris (1785–1863) of New York and his wife Elizabeth (née Manigault) Morris (1785–1822) of South Carolina, who married in 1807.[2] Among his siblings was Gabriella Manigault Morris (wife of John Mease Butler and sister-in-law of Pierce Mease Butler),[3] Margaret Ann Morris (wife of John Berkley Grimball),[4] Henry Manigault Morris (who married M. Georgia Edwards),[5] and Richard Lewis Morris (who married Anne Elizabeth Dunwoodie).[6] In 1822, when Charles was just two years old, his mother and older brother Lewis were killed during a hurricane on Sullivan's Island.[7] In 1837, his father remarried to Amarinthia Lowndes, a daughter of James Lowndes and granddaughter of Gov. Rawlins Lowndes.[7] From his father's second marriage, he had three half-siblings, including Lewis Morris (b. 1842), who lived in Paris.[6] Although they lived in the South, his father maintained control of Morris family property around Morrisania in New York.[4]

His paternal grandparents were Maj. and Brevet Lt. Col. of the Continental Army Lewis V. Morris (eldest son of Continental Congressman and signer of the Declaration of Independence Lewis Morris who was the third and last Lord of Morrisania Manor)[8][9] and Ann B. (née Elliott) Morris (a sister-in-law of U.S. Representative Daniel Huger).[7] His maternal grandparents were architect Gabriel Manigault (a son of Peter Manigault, the wealthiest person in British North America in 1770)[10] and Margaret (née Izard) Manigault (a daughter of Continental Congressman and U.S. Senator from South Carolina Ralph Izard).[11] He was also distant cousin of Confederate General Arthur Middleton Manigault, and a great-nephew of Arthur Middleton.[12]


Morris' command, the CSS Florida.

In December 1837, he entered the United States Navy as a midshipman.[1] He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1851, serving "with honor during the Mexican War."[9] In 1853, he was Lieutenant on the USS Mississippi with Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan.[13] While in Japan, Morris received gifts from Emperor Kōmei.[13] In 1860, he was First Lt. of the USS Marion with the Africa Squadron off the coast of Africa.[9]

He resigned his commission on January 29, 1861, following South Carolina's secession and was ordered to the command of the CSS Huntress, side-wheel steamer, in Savannah.[14] In March, he was appointed a First Lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy. From 1861 to 1863, Morris served on the Savannah, Georgia Station where he married his second wife.[15]

After John Newland Maffitt became ill at Brest, France, Morris took over in January 1864 as commander of the CSS Florida.[9] As commander, he captured Electric Spark, Harriet Stevens, Golconda, Margaret Y. Davis, and USS Mondamin along the coast of the United States. Morris then crossed the ocean to Tenerife in the Canary Islands before cruising back to Brazil capturing the B.X. Hoxie, Cairaissanne, David Lapsey, USS Estella, George Latimer, Southern Rights, Greenland, Windward, William C. Clark, and Zelinda.[9] In October 1864, however, his ship was illegally captured in a Brazilian harbor by the Union Navy. Morris and most of his crew were ashore when his ship was boarded in the middle of the night while at anchor in neutral waters.[16] During the remainder of the American Civil War, he served abroad as an agent of the Confederate States government.[12]

Later life[edit]

Following the war, Morris and his family settled in England. After the War, his wife took an interest in the education of President Jefferson Davis' daughter, Margaret "Maggie" Davis at the convent in France.[17] In 1880, he returned to the United States and lived the rest of his life in Baltimore, Maryland.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Morris family portraits by John Wollaston
A Gentleman of the Morris Family and Mary Walton Morris, both of which Charles inherited from his elder brother's widow. After his death, they passed to Charles' son Lewis. Today they are both owned by the National Gallery of Art.[5]
A Morris family punch bowl, c. 1751, donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1950 by Morris' daughter-in-law.[8]

Morris was twice married. His first wife was Hannah Heyward Troup (1830–1854), a daughter of Camilla Heyward Brailsford and James McGilvary Troup.[18] After her death in 1854, he married Clementina Hansen McAllister (1832–1907), a daughter of George Washington McAllister of Strathy Hall, Georgia (and namesake of Fort McAllister), in November 1861.[6] His second wife was a first cousin of Archibald McAllister, a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Together, they were the parents of:[19]

  • Elizabeth Manigault Morris (1863–1910),[6] who never married and died while abroad with her sister.[20]
  • Henry Manigault Morris (1865–1884), who was born in Caen, France and died unmarried.[6]
  • Lewis Morris (1867–1940),[13] a doctor and Captain in the United States Navy who married Mary Gibbs Murphy,[21] a daughter of Thomas and Mary (née Gibbs) Murphy of New York, in 1906. After his first wife's death, he married Ella Willard (née Bingham) Duffy (c. 1863–1953),[22] a daughter of Jacob Willard Bingham,[19] in 1911.[23]
  • Clementina Rosalie Morris (1873–1919), who was born in Brighton, England.[6][24] She died unmarried in 1919 and left her dog, Tommy Moonface, a legacy of $10 month of the rest of his life for his "board and keep".[25]

Morris died at his home, 908 St. Paul Street in Baltimore, on March 22, 1895.[26] His funeral service, led by the Rev. Dr. John Sebastian Bach Hodges, was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore.[27] His pall-bearers were Gen. John Gill, Henry Thompson, Capt. Fitzhugh Carter, John Carey, Capt. Yates Stirling, John W. Williams, John I. Middleton and Gen. Joseph Lancaster Brent. After the funeral, his body was sent to New York where was laid to rest in the family vault at St. Ann's Church in Morrisania.[27] His widow died on August 24, 1907.[28]


  1. ^ a b "DEATH OF CAPT. MORRIS. He Commanded the Confederate Cruiser Florida. CAPTURED MANY VESSELS AS PRIZES". The Baltimore Sun. 25 March 1895. p. 10. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ W. W. Spooner, The Morris Family of Morrisania, American Historical Magazine I, nos. 1-5 (1906), 136-142, 321-323, 427-428.
  3. ^ Dusinberre, William (2000). Them Dark Days: Slavery in the American Rice Swamps. University of Georgia Press. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-8203-2210-0. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "John Berkley Grimball Diaries,1832-1883". Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b "A Gentleman of the Morris Family". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Americana: (American Historical Magazine). American Historical Company, Incorporated. 1906. p. 428. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Reynolds, Cuyler; Cutter, William Richard (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation | Vol. III. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2013. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-1-58839-491-0. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland (1897). Register of the Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland Brought Down to February 22nd, 1897. Press of A. Hoen & Company. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  10. ^ The North Carolina Historical Review. Vol. 47. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Historical Commission. 1970. p. 17.
  11. ^ "Manigault, Morris, and Grimball Family Papers, 1795-1832". Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b First Lieutenant Charles Manigault Morris, CSN at the U.S. Naval Historical Center
  13. ^ a b c "LEWIS MORRIS, 73, A NAVAL SURGEON; Joined Medical Corps in 1892, Serving 28 Years, 14 at Sea--Dies in Hospital Here WAS OF NOTED ANCESTRY Kin of Declaration Signer-- Grandfather Last Owner of Morrisania in the Bronx". The New York Times. 16 November 1940. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  14. ^ Evans, C.W. (13 July 1947). "Original Log of CSA Florida in Mariners' Museum Library". Daily Press. p. 7. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  15. ^ Melton, Maurice (2012). The Best Station of Them All: The Savannah Squadron, 1861-1865. University of Alabama Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-8173-1763-8. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  16. ^ McKenna, Joseph (2010). British Ships in the Confederate Navy. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-5827-1. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  17. ^ Davis, Jefferson (2008). The Papers of Jefferson Davis: June 1865–December 1870. LSU Press. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-8071-3341-5. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Hannah Troup (Mrs. Charles Manigault Morris)". Gibbes Museum of Art. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  19. ^ a b Prioleau, Horry Frost; Manigault, Edward Lining (2010). Register of Carolina Huguenots, Vol. 2, Dupre - Manigault. p. 1143. ISBN 978-0-557-24266-5. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  20. ^ "MISS ELIZABETH M. MORRIS". The Baltimore Sun. 6 October 1910. p. 9. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  21. ^ Army & Navy Life and the United Service. Army & Navy Press. 1906. p. 72. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Mrs. Lewis Morris". The New York Times. 11 January 1953. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  23. ^ "MORRIS--DUFFY". The New York Times. 2 August 1911. p. 7. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  24. ^ Maryland, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of (1915). Register of the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1891-1915. The Society. p. 72. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Will Gives God $10 Monthly For Life Miss Clementina R. Morris Provides For "Tommy Moonface" Canine Pet". The Evening Sun. 29 September 1919. p. 22. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Capt. Charles Manigault Morris". Saint Mary's Beacon. 28 March 1895. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Funeral Held for Capt. Chas. Manigault Morris". The Baltimore Sun. 26 March 1895. p. 8. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  28. ^ "WILL OF MRS. C. H. MORRIS. Bequeaths Realty, Jewelry, And Paintings to Relatives". The Baltimore Sun. 15 October 1907. p. 8. Retrieved 24 April 2020.

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