Robert Morris; American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence and financier of the Revolutionary War was a prominent figure in American history. So dedicated to the fight for independence, Morris, known to be one of the wealthiest men in the country, financed Washington's army to the point of his own bankruptcy. Later Morris partitioned congress to make what is now Morrisville, capital of the United States. After some political maneuvering by Alexander Hamilton, Morrisville lost by two votes.
In 2004 Morrisville celebrated its two hundredth birthday. In anticipation of this event, the Morrisville 200 Committee was formed. The committee was spearheaded by Pat Brofman and Andy Thompson. With help from Morrisville historians Jim and Jane Murray, Mayor Thomas Wisnoski and countless other Morrisville volunteers, the celebration took shape. The highlight of the celebration was the dedication of the Robert Morris plaza and the unveiling of the seven foot bronze statue of Robert Morris.
All the hard work by all the Morrisville residents that made this celebration possible is a testament to the town and its people, but the best part of this whole endeavor is the fact that the statue of Robert Morris was sculpted by a Morrisville native. Artist, sculptor and life long Morrisville resident James Gafgen was given the task of sculpting the seven foot bronze statue. So not only do we take pride in our community awareness, but we also take great pride in having this outstanding artist as being one of our own. Thank you Jim for this wonderful statue and all your community involvement.
We have all seen statues of famous people all over the country, but to have this statue of our town's namesake, crafted by one of our neighbors is truly a source of great pride. Next time you are down town, park your car and get a good like at this statue, the incredible detail and craftsmanship is awe inspiring.
You may have recognized Jim Gafgen from the cover of the book, "MORRISVILLE Yesterday and Today", written by James Murray. This is Jim Murray's second book on Morrisville history; both books are a must for every Morrisville household.
The landscape doesn't look the same as it did when Robert Morris lived here, but Morrisville is still a great little town with a lot of pride. Walk around the plaza at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Bridge Street; I'm sure you will recognize some of the names etched into the brick walkway.