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MORGAN, SIMPSON HARRIS

MORGAN, SIMPSON HARRIS (1821–1864). Simpson Harris Morgan, Confederate congressman, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in 1821. He moved to Texas in 1844 with R. K. Clark from Shelbyville, Tennessee, and practiced law, first in Paris and eventually in Clarksville, Red River County. He acquired land in several counties and rapidly became one of the city's most prominent citizens. He married a woman from the Garland family of LaFayette County, Arkansas, on September 7, 1852. She died on March 1, 1853. He evidently married a young lady named Laura from Tennessee in 1859. The 1860 census lists Morgan, his wife, and a one-month old baby. Morgan was a railroad promoter and became president of the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Railway, a forerunner of the Texas and Pacific. In November 1863 he defeated William B. Wright in the race for the Second Confederate Congress, where he served on the Impressment and Judiciary committees. He attended only one session and seldom took part in debate. Although he strongly opposed special taxes on agriculture, he was in general a supporter of the Jefferson Davis administration, which was committed to strengthening the central government's war-making powers. While returning to Richmond for the second session of Congress, Morgan contracted pneumonia at Monticello, Arkansas, where he died on December 15, 1864. His body was returned to Clarksville for burial in the family cemetery on his plantation, now named Simpson H. Morgan Memorial Park. His grave, however, is now unmarked except by a pipe fence enclosing the burial ground. He and his second wife had one daughter, who married Albert B. Fall, Warren G. Harding's secretary of the interior, who became notorious for instigating the Teapot Dome scandal. Both of Morgan's brothers-in-law, Augustus H. and Rufus K. Garland, were members of the Confederate Congress from Arkansas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jon L. Wakelyn, Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1977). Ezra J. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1975).

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas W. Cutrer, "MORGAN, SIMPSON HARRIS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmobp), accessed December 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.