William Penn was able to secure a land grant from Charles II as a form of payment that was owed to his father. In the early 1680’s Penn traveled to America and secured a “great Treaty” with the American Indians so that he could establish a government that would offer safe haven to the Quakers that were fleeing English persecution. Anthony Morris, sailed to America in 1682 and initially settled in New Jersey. He was attracted to the Philadelphia area since he was a fellow Quaker and ended up becoming the provincial councilor and Philadelphia’s second mayor.
In the Philadelphia area, many breweries were established because of the availability of brewing materials. The Morris family opened one the first breweries which was also one of the first businesses to be founded in the city. The most notable one with the longest lasting power was founded by Anthony Morris in 1687. It was opened on the river bank and was dubbed the Morris Brewery. The business was a family run business and endured the test of time as it endured into the 1960’s claiming the right to call itself the oldest continuously running business in the United States.
Training of Junior
There’s a lot to be said about indentured servitude when it comes to the brewery business. The elder Morris sent his son Anthony to work for the famous Babcock Brewery in Philadelphia. He spent 7 hard years learning everything he needed to learn about the fine art of making a good beer. He established the Morris Brewery Company at Second and Arch Streets, but eventually took over the family brewery until his death in 1763.
Anthony Morris III was born in 1705 and took over the family brewing business in 1763, after the death of his father. He was well known for his ownership of family properties in Southwark. The birth of his son Samuel would change and diversify the family dynasty. He began the Morris & Miercken Company that operated as a mercantile and sugar refinery. Active in the local militia, he was made second lieutenant of the Light Horse of the City of Philadelphia in 1774. This later became what was named the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. They were famous for crossing the Delaware River with George Washington to partake in the Battle of Trenton. He was also provably involved in battles at Germantown, Brandywine and Princeton. He eventually resigned from service in 1786. The family went on to diversify into fields such as Lumber and coal and even include a famous Philadelphia physician and many affluent family members in the field of law.
Morris House Hotel
The house where the Morris family lived is now a historic home in the Washington Square west neighborhood in Philadelphia. The family completed the construction of their iconic 3.5 story house in 1787 and they occupied it for over a century. It has been declared a NHL (National Historic Landmark) and has been renovated into one of Philadelphia’s finest luxury boutique hotels.