Howland and related families

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  • ID: I0262
  • Name: William MORRISON 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 4 MAR 1763 1
  • Death: 19 APR 1837 in Kaskaskia, Illinois 1
  • Burial: Kaskaskia, Illinois
  • Religion: Quaker 3
  • Note:
    In the History of Randolph County, Illinois by E. J. Montague there are a number of historical sketches and brief notes of pioneer settlers. The history was published in 1859.

    William Morrison was one of the distinguished characters who came to Kaskaskia, Illinois in 1790. He came from Philadelphia, as the representative of the mercantile house of Bryant & Morrison, of that city, and established a branch of the business in Kaskaskia. Under his sagacious management the transactions of the house rapidly extended throughout the Mississippi Valley. The field of his operations was vast, but the capacity of his mind was fully adequate to cover it. From his store in Kaskaskia, the merchants of St. Louis, St. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and Madrid supplied themselves with goods.

    But the mighty machinery of commerce which he managed, did not claim the exclusive control of his capacious mind. Home was never crowded out by the pressure of business. He found plenty of time to enjoy the affectionate society of his family. Sociable and fond of company, his house was the welcome resort of every visitor to Kaskaskia.

    Much of his time was devoted to public enterprise. Every project that promised to advance the prosperity of the country, found in him an energetic advocate. He was the moving spirit in constructing a bridge across the river at Kaskaskia, the piers of which are still standing, and form an excellent monument to his public spirit.

    He died in 1837. His remains were deposited in the old graveyard at Kaskaskia. His descendants have occupied respectable positions in the community. Joseph was his oldest son. He went to Ohio and resided there for several years, then returned, and died at Prarie du Rocher in 1845.

    James, the second son, moved to Wisconsin where he lived for many years.

    William located in Belleville, and died there in 1843.

    Lewis located in Covington, Cashington County, and practiced medicine there until 1851, when he removed to Chester, and engaged in the mercantile business. He died in 1856.

    George was the youngest son, and lived in Kaskaskia where he was born.

    "The First Chouteaus - River Barons of Early St. Louis" by William E. Foley and C. David Rice.

    p. 66 footnote #40.

    Houck, History of Missouri, II 89n20. The other Morrison brothers were William, Robert, Samuel and Guy. William, who had come to Kaskaskia in 1790, formed with his uncle, Guy Bryan of Philadelphia, a trading partnership known as Bryan and Morrison. That powerful mercantile firm operated from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from Pittsburgh to the Rockies. The Chouteaus often conducted business with William Morrison and his brothers. In 1809 William Morrison and his fellow Kaskaskia trader Pierre Menard joined Manuel Lisa, Pierre Chouteau, Chouteau's son Auguste Pierre, and several other well-know merchants to form the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company. For the story of Morrison's trading operations consult John L. Tevebaugh, "Merchant of the Western Frontier: William Morrison of Kaskaskia, 1790 - 1837 (Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1962)

    p. 44 of previously mentioned book says

    With four small children to rear, Pierre Sr. did not remain single any longer than custom demanded. On February 17, 1794, he married Brigitte Saucier. Once again Pierre's choice of brides strengthened his connections within the close-knit Mississippi River mercantile community. Two of Brigitte's sisters were married to James and Jesse Morrison, members of the powerful Kaskaskia trading family, while another was wed to the well-known trader and future business associate of Chouteau, Pierre Menard.

    Much of the everyday life of the early settlers of old Kaskaskia is interestingly reflected in the accounts of the old day books kepts by the clerks of the morrison Brothers Store in that city during the fore part of the 1800's. Several of these day books and ledgers are now in possession of the Chester Public Library.

    According to these accounts, the Morrison store was not only one of the largest businesses then in kaskaskia, but it also served as a wholesale distributing point for other stores at Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, Ste. Genevieve, Vincennes, Ft. Madison and Camp Bellefontaine. Accounts totaling thousands of dollarsare on record for tese outlying stores.

    The day books are now preserved begin in the year 1804 and run intermittantly through the period to about 1820.

    In those days, the books indicate, shopping was done rather infrequently, except probably, in the case of such items as liquors and wines, which items seemed to require a purchase about every other day by some of the citizens. And at that time purchases of whiskey ran in gallon lots, seldom in quarts, going for $1.00 per gallon. Some varieties of wine sold for $3.00 a gallon, while the favorite brandy of the prominent John Edgar - he bought every few days - cost $1.00 per quart.

    While most of the shopping was done on infrequent occasions, the quantities purchased at one time usually wer pretty large, and the amount spent for necessities then would equal or even better a lot of out present-day accounts.

    For instance, coffe cost an even dollar per pound, and it seemed nevertheless, to be an important product for it appeared on many of the orders. While coffee was selling for $1.00 per pound, Imperial tea, which must have been pretty much of a luxury drink in those days, sold for $4.00 per pound.

    Sugarusually sold for 25 cents per pound, and, incidently, more time than not, it was purchased in one pound quantities. Apparently, our early ninetheenth century forefathers possessed little in the way of a sweet tooth.

    The Morrison store not only sold goods to the Kaskaskia population out the firm also served as a receiving point for such trade items as furs, packs of which were brought in large numbers and purchased by the store for subsequent shipping. aand this business establishement further served as a bank, it is apparent.

    Other history accounts tell us that the people of Kaskaskia took pride in their dress, which as nearly as possible was patterned after the most modern styles of the more settled East, and the mother country. Juding from the old store's accounts this lust for stylish dress must have been an even greater burden for poor father then than today, for at that time the residents were paying as much as $1.00 for two dozen small buttons.

    Linen cloth cost as much as $1.00 and more per yard; home made cotton was 75 cents a yard; fine callico was listed at $1.00 a yard, and ribbon, which was an important item in women's dress, cost as much as $1.00 per yeard. A fancy hair ribbon sold for $1.10. The settlers paid $2.00 a pair for black worsted stockings, and "2 yards of fine chintze to complete the quantity for a petecoat" was itemized at $4.00.

    And spectctales were going for $1.30 a pair.

    The men dudes of those days spent a pretty penny for some of their clothing articles, too. For instance, some silk hankerchiefs were selling at $2.50 and one pair of elastic suspenders cost $2.00. Men's fine shoes, howver, could be bought for $3.00 a pair.

    Perhaps one of the factors accounting for so many beards worn by the settlers in those days was the price of shaving soap - 25 cents a cake.

    Other misscellaneous articles picked from dandom out of tese store accounts include: blankets, $4.00 to $6.00 each; rifle, $25; one axe, $4.50; 3 "tommy haws" at $4.21; cake of sastell soap, 25 cents; screws, 25 cents dozen; one snuff box, $1.50; one quire of paper, 50 cents; 2 brass candlesticks, $3.00; and 6 fish hooks $1.00.

    Archibald McNabb on one occasion brought into the Morrison store 2,819 pounds of port for which he received 4 cents per pound.

    Father: John MORRISON b: 1729 in Ireland
    Mother: Rebecca BRYANT

    Marriage 1 Euphrasia HUBERDEAU b: 3 JUL 1780
    • Married: 29 NOV 1798 in Kaskaskia, Illinois 1 4
    1. Has No Children Joseph MORRISON b: ABT. 1795
    2. Has No Children James MORRISON b: ABT. 1797 in Kaskaskia, Illinois
    3. Has No Children William MORRISON b: ABT. 1799 in Kaskaskia, Illinois
    4. Has Children Henry Lewis MORRISON b: 1801 in Kaskaskia, Illinois
    5. Has No Children George MORRISON b: ABT. 1805

    1. Title: Daughters of the American Revolution, Application papers of Mary Jane Morrison
    2. Title: National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol 11, Jul 1922
      Page: page 18, Register of marriages of Non-Catholics Living in the District of Ste. Genevieve Sept 26th, 1796 to 1812
    3. Title: National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol 11, Jul 1922
      Page: page 18, Register of marriages of Non-Catholics Living in the District of Ste. Genevieve Sept. 26th 1796 to 1812
    4. Title: National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol 11, Jul 1922
      Page: page 18, Register of Marriages of Non-Catholics Living in the district of Ste. Geneview Sept 26th 1796 to 1812
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