DescriptionRobert Morris Promissory Note Signed, Accompanied by a Notarized Indictment against Morris. The promissory note is one partly-printed page, 6.75" x 4", signed in Philadelphia on May 12, 1795. It reads in part, "Three years after date I promise to pay Robt. Morris Esq. or order Four thousand Dollars," signed "Jno Nicholson." On the verso, Morris has signed "Robt. Morris" in very bold ink, causing ink burn through the "R" and "b" in "Robt." An endorsement on the verso in another hand reads, "Exhibited tous under the Commission Against Robert Morris Philad. Sept 12th AD 1801." It is signed by John Hallowell and Thomas Cumpston. The left edge is irregularly cut.
The indictment is one partly-printed page, 7.5" x 12.5", from Philadelphia on May 15, 1798 (dated on the verso). At the top of the document is a transcription of the promissory note from May 12, 1795. The document reads in part that Peter Lohra, "at the Request of W. Samuel Allen went to the Compting House of John Nicholson drawer of the original promissory note whereof the above is a true copy in order to demand payment, But found the same shut up and no person there to answer or pay the said note Wherefore I left notice of the nonpayment thereof at the Compting House of Robert Morris the Indorser." It is notarized and signed in the lower margin by "Peter Lohra, N. P." Endorsed on verso. Smoothed folds, with minor separation beginning at some folds. Robert Morris was one of only two men to sign the three most important documents in American history: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. In the 1790s, Morris participated in shady land speculation deals which sent him spiraling into debt. He avoided his debtors as often as possible until he was arrested and put into a Philadelphia prison three years after signing the above promissory note.
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