Morrison, James L. D.

Born: 1816-04-12 Kaskaskia, Illinois

Died: 1888-08-14 Saint Louis, Missouri

Flourished: Saint Clair County, Illinois

James L. D. Morrison, attorney and politician, served as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy from 1832 to 1838. He returned to Illinois in the latter year and read law, ultimately resigning his commission at the end of 1839 and beginning a career as a lawyer in Belleville. During the Mexican War, Morrison raised a company that became part of the Second Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and was elected the regiment’s lieutenant colonel. He represented St. Clair County in the Illinois House of Representatives, 1844 to 1846 and in the Illinois Senate, 1849 to 1852. In 1850, Morrison and his family were living in Belleville, where he owned $10,000 in real estate. Following an unsuccessful run as the Whig candidate for lieutenant governor of Illinois in 1852, Morrison served again in the Illinois Senate, 1855 to 1856. After many years as a leading Illinois Whig, he ultimately transferred his allegiance to the Democratic Party when he felt the Know-Nothings were gaining too much power in his old party. Morrison won election as a Democrat to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1856 and served until 1857. He campaigned for Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 and 1860 and later resettled in St. Louis. By 1860, Morrison had amassed over $300,000 in real and personal property. Morrison married twice: first, in 1842 to Mary Ann Carlin, daughter of Illinois Governor Thomas Carlin, and after her 1855 death he married Julia A. Sarpy in 1861. Both marriages produced children.

Howard L. Conard, ed. Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri (New York: The Southern History Company, 1901), 4:491; Edward W. Callahan, ed., List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900 (New York: L. R. Hamersly, 1901), 393; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 229; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Adams County, 1 December 1842, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 213, 216, 217, 220; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Belleville, St. Clair County, IL, 426; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1557; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), St. Clair County, IL, 313; Missouri, U.S., Marriage Records, 1805-2002, 10 April 1861, St. Louis (Provo, UT: Operations, 2007); The New-York Times (NY), 15 August 1888, 5:3; Gravestone, Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, St. Louis, MO.