1826 Estate Financial Inventory and Accounts of 19th-Century New Orleans Banker and Millionaire Benjamin Morgan, formerly of the firm of Price and Morgan.
Financial statements and accounts reveal Morgan’s wealth to be “one Million of Dollars clear of incumbrance”
Three manuscripts pertaining to the estate of Benjamin Morgan (?–1826), Philadelphia merchant and sugar planter, later President of the Bank of Orleans at New Orleans, and Thomas Jefferson correspondent. These financial statements and accounts reveal Morgan’s wealth—“one Million of Dollars clear of incumbrance”—as well as his close business association with Chandler Price.
Thomas Jefferson wrote to Chandler Price from Monticello June 27, 1825, in part: “...the house of Chandler Price and Morgan, a house with which I have been acquainted upwards of 20. years, and know it to be one of the solidest of Philadelphia.”
Seen here are a “Statement of C. Price & Morgan and Chand. Price’s affairs” and a statement Holders of Benjamin Morgan’s notes and endorsements for C. Price & Morgan. The former includes lists of stock valuations, ships (including the Franklin, the R.H. Douglass, and the “new” Ohio), and loans including “endorsements Bank [of the] United States.” The latter lists such banks or firms as “Pennsylvania Bank,” “American fire Insurance Co.,” and “Bank of North America.” The third manuscript here comprises a list of individual names, companies, and banks; adjoining many of these entries are large dollar amounts in the thousands or even tens of thousands.
Price and Morgan’s friendship and business dealings allowed for a close, mutual support in case either of them fell into debt or financial ruin. “Many years afterwards Mr. Chandler Price failed in Philadelphia, and Mr, Benjamin Morgan transferred to him a fine row of buildings in New Orleans. Some years after, and about the time of Mr. Morgan’s death; the latter became embarrassed by endorsements for his acquaintances, Mr. Price having in the meantime accumulated another fortune, after the death of his old partner re-conveyed the same valuable property in New Orleans to Mr. Morgan’s children.”¹ One of the present documents lists houses, real estate, dock side property etc. from Price’s “individual estate.”
After the dissolution of the firm of Price and Morgan, Morgan removed to New Orleans. In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson appointed him to the Legislative Council of Orleans Territory. Morgan was subsequently elected to the territorial House of Representatives and in the winter of 1810–1811 he helped to quell a slave insurrection. “President James Madison appointed him a commissary officer in 1812, and he collected supplies for American forces and served on the committee of defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Morgan was also one of the directors of the New Orleans branch of the Bank of the United States, 1805–11, and the first president of the newly created Bank of Orleans in the latter year…”²
Description: 1826 Estate Financial Inventory and Accounts of 19th-Century New Orleans Banker and Millionaire Benjamin Morgan, formerly of the firm of Price and Morgan.
[New Orleans?] 1826. Three manuscripts. 1. “Statement of E. Price & Morgan and Chand: Price’s affairs.” Large sheet (opened: 13¼ x 16¾ inches) folded and hand-ruled with approximately 3 pages of manuscript. Splits at fold lines; fragile. 2. Docketed: “Price & Morgan Statement January 1826.” Quarto bifolium, two pages. 3. On a single sheet about 8 x 6¼ inches, one page.
Notes. 1. Reading Times of Reading, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1867, p3. 2. Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Morgan, 3 January 1810 accessed online.