Folio, approx. 220 pages of accounts, including a tabbed alphabetically index (lacking a few pages of the index), scattered pages removed from the ledger, affecting original pagination. Full leather, worn, front board detached, spine partly perished. An undated note on the first page of the ledger, signed by Morris, states that he has made allowance of $300 out of his estate for his daughter Tacy Roberts for "sundry articles funished her at the time of going to house keeping." Entries in a clear, legible hand, beginning with the first account record for Jacob Yunker on Feb. 28, 1789, and continuing through the year 1802. A few scattered entries between 1803-1844, some apparently by Morris' sons Jesse and Robert Owen Morris. A few newspaper articles from a later period laid down, and ms. copies, in another hand, of poetry from the mid-19th century on the blank pages in the second half of the ledger, as well as a copy of a brief related to a land deed originally patented in Bristol township in 1684 and reviewed by Nicholas Waln in 1768.
Morris' ledger records numerous transactions with local merchants and residents in Bristol Township, providing a variety of grains from his grist mill on the Delaware River northeast of Philadelphia. His primary business was grinding corn, rye, buckwheat, summer wheat, etc., and producing both common and superfine flour. He also mentions quarrying stone, and dealing in plaster of paris, loads of dung, cords of wood, etc. His customers included Poultney & Wistar [ironmongers of Philadelphia], Jesse and Robert Waln, Clement Biddle, Clement Penrose, Patterson Hartshorn, the firms of Burgess & Chalk, and Champney & Clay, and many others. Item #63885
Robert Morris, a Quaker, was born to Daniel and Tacy Morris in Abington, Pennsylvania on April 8, 1746. His birth is recorded in the Abington Monthly Quaker Meeting minutes which also note his marriage, in 1771, to Mary Tyson. By 1773, Robert and Mary Morris are living in Bristol Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and Robert is the owner of 65 acres, with a dwelling and grist mill on the property. Clarence Robert and Warren Ely, in their book "Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks, with Some Accounts of Their Descendants," [Genealogical Pub. Co: 1975] record a deed on October 5, 1773, from Robert Morris, of Bristol Township, miller and his wife Mary, and her sister Elizabeth Tyson, to their brother Matthew Tyson, selling him a tract of land that had belonged to their father Reiner Tyson, also a miller, in Abington, known as the Old Swamp Mill. By 1798, Bristol Township tax records show Morris' two story stone dwelling and grist mill there valued at $1800.
Bristol Township had been founded on the Delaware River in 1681, when Samuel Clift began operating a ferry there. A community of Quakers grew up around the ferry site, and the town was also a way station on the stagecoach line between Philadelphia and New York. Between 1790 and 1800 Philadelphia was also capital of the newly formed United States. These factors and the burgeoning Bath Springs spa near Bristol, where between the 1780s and the 1820s, wealthy people came to "take the water," helped the small town flourish.