He was the son of Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Appointed as Captain on 7 June 1798, Morris was in command of Adams, during the Quasi-War with France and made several successful captures of French vessels. At the reduction of the US Navy after the war with France, Morris was retained as fifth in rank and recalled to command the Mediterranean Squadron in 1802 during the First Barbary War. In command of Chesapeake, Morris led an unsuccessful blockade of Tripoli, mostly remaining in Gibraltar for the better part of 1803. Morris was relieved of duty and command of the squadron would turn over to Edward Preble in Constitution. Recalled to the United States, Morris faced a court of inquiry and was dismissed from the naval service on May 14, 1804. Morris was a Federalist member of the New York State Assembly (Westchester Co.) in 1814.
- Cooper, James Fenimore (1847). History of the Navy of the United States of America. I. H & E Phinney. p. 217.
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