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Richard Valentine Morris (March 8, 1768 – May 1815) was a United States Navy officer and politician.


He was born on March 8, 1768, in Morrisania, then a town in Westchester County, which became in 1898 a neighborhood in the borough of the Bronx, New York City. 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 which decided that he had not "discovered due diligence and activity in annoying the enemy".[1] On May 16, 1804, Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith, with the agreement of President Thomas Jefferson, revoked his captaincy in the U.S. Navy and dismissed him from the service.[1][2]

Morris was a Federalist member of the New York State Assembly (Westchester Co.) in 1814.

He died in May 1815 in New York City.


  1. ^ a b The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812: Or, Illustrations, by Pen and Pencil, of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics, and Traditions of the Last War for American Independence. Harper & Brothers. 1869. p. 119. 
  2. ^ David Smethurst (2006). Tripoli: The United States' First War on Terror. Random House Publishing Group. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-89141-859-7. 
  • Cooper, James Fenimore (1847). History of the Navy of the United States of America. I. H & E Phinney. p. 217.