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Robert Morris's folly : the architectural and financial failures of an American founder

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"In 1798 Robert Morris-"financier of the American Revolution," confidant of George Washington, former U.S. senator-plunged from the peaks of wealth and prestige into debtors' prison and public contempt. How could one of the richest men in the United States, one of only two Founders who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, suffer such a downfall? This book examines for the first time the fabulously extravagant Philadelphia townhouse Robert Morris built and its role in bringing about his ruin. Part biography, part architectural history, the book recounts Morris's wild successes as a merchant, his recklessness as a land speculator, and his unrestrained passion in building his palatial, doomed mansion, once hailed as the grandest and most expensive private building in the United States but later known as "Morris's Folly." Setting Morris's tale in the context of the nation's founding, this volume refocuses attention on an essential yet nearly forgotten American figure while also illuminating the origins of America's ongoing, ambivalent attitudes toward the superwealthy and their sensational excesses"--

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  • 1 of 1 copy available at OWWL.

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0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Location Call Number /
Shelving Location
Barcode Status /
Due Date
Geneva Public Library 973.3 SMI (Text)
Second Floor Nonfiction
52118300914246
Available
-

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780300196047 (hardback)
  • ISBN: 0300196040 (hardback)
  • Physical Description: 346 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.
  • Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [2014]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 231-335) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
His capital -- His family -- His family -- His plans -- His house -- His architect -- His folly -- His entreaties -- His ruins -- His release.
Summary, etc.:
"In 1798 Robert Morris-"financier of the American Revolution," confidant of George Washington, former U.S. senator-plunged from the peaks of wealth and prestige into debtors' prison and public contempt. How could one of the richest men in the United States, one of only two Founders who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, suffer such a downfall? This book examines for the first time the fabulously extravagant Philadelphia townhouse Robert Morris built and its role in bringing about his ruin. Part biography, part architectural history, the book recounts Morris's wild successes as a merchant, his recklessness as a land speculator, and his unrestrained passion in building his palatial, doomed mansion, once hailed as the grandest and most expensive private building in the United States but later known as "Morris's Folly." Setting Morris's tale in the context of the nation's founding, this volume refocuses attention on an essential yet nearly forgotten American figure while also illuminating the origins of America's ongoing, ambivalent attitudes toward the superwealthy and their sensational excesses"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject: Morris, Robert, 1734-1806 > Finance, Personal.
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806 > Homes and haunts > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia.
Founding Fathers of the United States > Finance, Personal.
Founding Fathers of the United States > Homes and haunts > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical.
HISTORY / United States / 19th Century.
HISTORY / Social History.


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