Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Robert Morris's folly : the architectural and financial failures of an American founder / Ryan K. Smith

Catalog Data

Author:
Smith, Ryan K  Search this
Subject:
Morris, Robert 1734-1806 Finance, Personal  Search this
Morris, Robert 1734-1806 Homes and haunts  Search this
Physical description:
346 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Date:
2014
Contents:
His capital -- His family -- His family -- His plans -- His house -- His architect -- His folly -- His entreaties -- His ruins -- His release
Summary:
"In 1798 Robert Morris-"financier of the American Revolution," confidant of George Washington, former U.S. senator-plunged from the peaks of wealth and prestige into debtors' prison and public contempt. How could one of the richest men in the United States, one of only two Founders who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, suffer such a downfall? This book examines for the first time the fabulously extravagant Philadelphia townhouse Robert Morris built and its role in bringing about his ruin. Part biography, part architectural history, the book recounts Morris's wild successes as a merchant, his recklessness as a land speculator, and his unrestrained passion in building his palatial, doomed mansion, once hailed as the grandest and most expensive private building in the United States but later known as "Morris's Folly." Setting Morris's tale in the context of the nation's founding, this volume refocuses attention on an essential yet nearly forgotten American figure while also illuminating the origins of America's ongoing, ambivalent attitudes toward the superwealthy and their sensational excesses"-- Provided by publisher.
Topic:
Founding Fathers of the United States--Finance, Personal  Search this
Founding Fathers of the United States--Homes and haunts  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1038706