Item Details

Robert Morris's Folly: The Architectural and Financial Failures of an American Founder

Ryan K. Smith
Format
Book
Published
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2014]
Language
English
Series
Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History
ISBN
9780300196047 (hardback), 0300196040 (hardback)
Summary
"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"--
Contents
  • His capital
  • His family
  • His plans
  • His house
  • His architect
  • His folly
  • His entreaties
  • His ruins
  • His release.
Description
346 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 213-335) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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