This chapter describes how Morris's lavish lifestyle were built on something of a lie. Many saw in him the personification of wealth, and Morris himself had done all he could to foster this image. But the reality was that Morris had labored under crushing debts since the mid-1780s, debts that threatened to strip his family of everything. When he returned to private life in 1784, he brought a renewed confidence to his entrepreneurial activities, along with an expanded worldview. He developed an appetite for action that would make his prewar mercantile risk-taking seem tame. His prime enterprise became land speculation.
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