- Historic Sites
Robert Morris and the “Art Magick”
Skillful money-juggling by America’s first financier aided the new nation but led Morris himself to utter ruin
October 1956 | Volume 7, Issue 6
Even in failure and disgrace Robert Morris’ friends thought of him with a certain indulgent affection. Gouverneur Morris and Alexander Hamilton always visited him at Prune Street when they passed through Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson, no friend of financiers, who had bitterly fought the Morris tobacco monopoly when he was in France as American minister, while he was planning his cabinet with the help of Madison and Gallatin after his election to the presidency, still had enough regard for Morris’ ability and patriotism to consider him for secretary of the navy. The chief obstacle was that no one could imagine any way of getting him out of the Prune Street Jail.