Main content

Elliston P. Morris family papers


Held at: Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library [Contact Us]Penn's Landing on the Delaware River, 211 South Columbus Blvd. and Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Morris family papers consist of one folder documenting the history, ownership and sinking of the Schooner Marjorie Brown, one volume documenting Marriott C. Morris's involvement in the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association, and five volumes documenting the Morris family's travels to Europe and the Caribbean from 1925 to 1938.

Information regarding the Schooner Marjorie Brown includes letters from Captain Marion A. Osborn, master and managing owner, to Marriott C. Morris, trip statements, receipts and accounts from 1898 to 1899. A certificate for enrollment and license for Schooner Marjorie Brown from 1907 indicates a new master and Managing owner, A.P. Thomas. In 1913, Schooner Marjorie Brown sank 100 miles east of Montauk Point. Information regarding the sinking includes a copy of a telegraph, a newspaper clipping from the Evening Bulletin, letters from A. Sydney Logan and A.P. Thomas, and a photgraph by Charles W. Ward of Philadelphia taken from the Steamer Berlin while the Marjorie Brown was sinking. This folder also includes two documents from 1915, a letter from Marriott C. Morris to his mother and a description by his son, Elliston P. Morris, regarding the German sea raider Prinz Eitel Friedrich.

Marriott C. Morris's involvement with the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association is well documented in a scrapbook dating from 1912 to 1938. Included in this scrapbook are maps, tickets to events, programs, postcards, excerpts from the Bulletin of the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association, newspaper clippings, menus and a history of the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association. In addition to annual meetings, some of the events include an expedition to celebrate the completion of the 12-foot Delaware River channel between Philadelphia and Trenton in 1913, and the celebration of the opening to the public the C & O Canal in 1927. This scrapbook is fascinating because it documents not only the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association business and meeting history, but it also documents the cities visited, generally, as a result of the annual meetings. Therefore, there are interesting articles about the history of the cities visited as well as events occurring in those cities. Notably, there are several articles on a Ku Klux Klan meeting which took place in Miami in November 1925. Marriott C. Morris was a talented photographer and his photographs document the ships on which they sailed, both exterior images and images on board, the people traveling, and the cities he visited. Some of the ships photographed are Steamers St. Clyde, Crosswicks Creek, Persian, Berkshire, Nantucket, City of Atlanta, City of Chester, John Cadwalader, Howard and Calvin Austin.

In the summer of 1925, the Morris family consisting of Marriott C. Morris, his sister or sister-in-law E.C. Morris, his son, Elliston P. Morris, and his daughter, Janet Morris, traveled to England and Europe aboard the R.M.S. Mauretania. Three volumes are dedicated to this trip, a scrapbook, a photograph album, and a travel journal.

The scrapbook was created by Elliston P. Morris and documents only the trip from New York to England aboard the Cunard Lines the R.M.S. Mauretania. This volume includes a daily journal of Morris's experiences "at sea." Also included are preparations for the trip, such as application for leave of absense from job, vaccination record, and lists of materials to be packed; ship ephemera, such as clippings from the ship's brochures, menus, and ship newspapers; humerous postcards regarding sea travel; sketches by Elliston P. Morris; and photographs taken by the Morris family. Of note is the description and photographs of the engine and boiler room which Morris visited, as well as detailed descriptions of games played by the passengers on board. For researchers interested in the "lifestyle" of ocean travel in 1925, this volume will be extremely valuable. Morris was clearly a keen observer who enjoyed documenting his experiences. This volume is extremely brittle and should be handled with care.

The photograph album for the 1925 trip to Europe also appears to have been created by Elliston P. Morris. There are some clippings from ship's brochures, but the majority of the album consists of photographs taken by Elliston P. Morris. Only a few of the photographs focus on the voyage aboard the R.M.S. Mauretania, and the remainder of the photographs document the family's travels through England. The photographs on board the ship mainly document the sports and games in which passengers took part, the Morris family, and a few broad photographs of life on the ship. Once in England, the photographs, clippings from travel brochures and postcards follow the family's route through England to: London, Great Marlow, Henley-on-Thames, Wantage, Kingstone Lisle, Asbury, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Upton-on-Severn, Malvern, Worcester, Evesham, Broadway, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth, Lichtfield, Bakewell, Castleton, the English Lake District, Grassmere, Thirlmere, Helvellynk, Keswick, Buttermere, Middleham, York, Chesterfield, Ashburne, Dovedale, Rugby, Sulgrave, Oxoford, Wallingford, Goring, and Buckinghamshire. The family visited the birth places, homes and death places of several authors including William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth and John Milton. They also paid close attention to their Quaker heritage and Pennsylvania and America's ties to England by visiting areas associated with George Fox, George Washington and William Penn. Of note are the cricket games which the Morris family attend in Cheltenham and Rugby, probably because Haverford College's cricket team was playing. Also of note, is their attending the Henley-on-Thames Regatta Day.

Janet Morris's travel journal, entitled "My Trip Abroad," provides a different perspective on the same trip across the Atlantic and throughout England. However, her trip seems to have extended to France. It is possible that Elliston P. Morris was not able to travel as extensively as a result of his job. At the beginning of August, the family traveled to France via air and spent time in Paris, Vichy, Le Pay, [T]arn Valley, Le Rosier, Dargillou, Nimes, Avignon, Grenoble, and Chamouix.

The last two volumes include photographs and almost no addition information regarding trips to France in September 1934 and Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti in February 1938. It is unclear who created the photographs. For the album regarding the France trip, almost all text and captions are written in French. It appears that the ship that took the Morris family to France in 1945 was the Bremen, but there are no photographs of either the ship or the voyage. The trip to Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti in 1938 started in Miami, Florida. There are a few photographs taken aboard the S.S. Vandyck, however, the vast majority of photographs are of sightseeing on the islands.

This collection will prove extremely valuable for those researching ocean travel and ocean liner culture in the 1920s and 1930s. Researchers interested in the Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association will also find this collection to be of value. Additionally, researchers looking for perspectives of American travelers in England and France will unquestionably find fresh and refreshing points of view from the Morris family.

This collection was donated to Independence Seaport Museum by Mrs. Elliston P. Morris. Two accession numbers are associated with the papers: 1985.081 and 1986.026.

Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

History of, ownership by Marriott C. Morris of, and sinking of the Schooner Marjory Brown, 1889-1913.
Box 1 Folder 1
Marriott C. Morris scrapbook regarding the Atlantic Deeper Waterway Association, 1912-1938.
Box 1 Volume 1
Scrapbook regarding trip to England aboard the RMS Mauretania, 1925 June. [Oversized].
Volume 2
Physical Description


Photograph album of trip to England aboard the RMS Mauretania, 1925 June-July.
Box 2 Volume 3
"My Trip Abroad," travel journal of Janet Morris during trip to Europe, 1925 June-September.
Box 2 Volume 4
Photograph album of trip to France aboard the S.S. Bremen, 1934 September.
Box 2 Volume 5
Photograph album of trip to Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti aboard the S.S. Vandyck, 1938 February.
Box 2 Volume 6

Print, Suggest