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Robert Morris's FollyThe Architectural and Financial Failures of an American Founder$
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Ryan K. Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196047

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196047.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
Robert Morris's Folly

Ryan K. Smith

Yale University Press

This chapter describes George Washington's friendship with Robert Morris and the circumstances that landed Morris in debtors' prison in 1798. Rash speculation and the resulting debt led to Morris's imprisonment. His failure also impoverished countless others, threatening the entire economy. Another element in his downfall was an unfinished building dubbed as Morris's Folly. Morris had broken ground for it at the height of his power, and poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into its unique plan. It was intended to be his crowning achievement, a proud home where his family could reap the rewards of his long labor and service.

Keywords:   Robert Morris, George Washington, debtors' prison, Morris's Folly

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