The Religious Affiliation of U.S. Vice-President
Levi P. Morton
Levi P. Morton served as U.S. Vice-President from 1889-93 under Pres. Harrison.
Levi Parsons Morton was a Protestant from Vermont. He was the son of a Protestant Christian minister. Further research is needed in order to identify Morton's religious denomination.
From: "Levi P. Morton--Forerunner to Joseph Lieberman?", posted 26 August 2000 on Jewhoo website (http://www.jewhoo.com/editor/columns/082600.html; viewed 28 November 2005):
Two visitors have written me since Joseph Lieberman's nomination and asked me if Levi Parsons Morton, who served as vice president under Republican President Benjamin Harrison, (1889-1893), was Jewish. Obviously, these visitors thought that someone with the first name of "Levi" might be Jewish or part Jewish. I immediately knew that the answer was "No". A Jewish vice-president would have been huge news in the late 19th century and Morton would have been an important footnote in American history. Frankly, no major party would have put a Jewish candidate on its ticket in the 19th century. Many 19th century American Christians had biblical names like "Levi" or "Abraham". There was nothing Jewish connected with such names other than a sense that Americans were the heirs to a new promised land. Morton was, in fact, the New England born son of a Christian minister.
This note on the Jewhoo website is followed by a fictional, satirical account of Morton's conversion to Judaism.
Levi P. Morton
b. Shoreham, VT, May 16, 1824
d. Rhinebeck, NY, May 16, 1920
...Banker and public official, U.S. Minster to France, Vice President of the United States under President Benjamin Harrison, Governor of New York.
The son of a minister, moved often as a youth. Grew up in Shoreham (VT), Springfield (VT) and Winchendon (MA).
Introduction to business in mid-teens as a clerk in country store. Over the next 20 years he became one of the leaders in American finance. Some of his companies included: Morton, Grinnell and Company; and Morton Bliss and Company.
Remarried in 1873, eventually had five daughters. Very wealthy, Morton would rise to new heights. He did in fact have an earlier business failure and failed political campaigns, but he managed to be elected to Congress as a Republican from New York in 1879.
Appointed U.S. Minister to France. In Paris on October 24, 1881, in commemoration of 100th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown, he ceremoniously hammered in the first rivet in the first piece of the Statue of Liberty. (It was driven into the big toe of Lady Liberty's left foot.)
Three years later, on July 4, 1884, once again in Paris, Morton accepted the statue on behalf of the U.S. Government. On that day, he becomes the first American to climb the Statue of Liberty.
He served in the capacity of Minister to France until 1885 when his political aspirations took him to the office of Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and then to become the Governor of New York (1895-1896). His political career ended with that office.
Note: The religious affiliation of U.S. Vice-Presidents is generally well-documented. The sources cited on this page are not the only sources used to classify this individual's religious affiliation. We are always pleased to add additional information to provide a fuller picture of the religious affiliation, practice, and beliefs of these individuals. If you have additional suggestions, please email us with relevent information and references.
Webpage created 28 November 2005. Last modified 28 November 2005.
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