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Levi P. Morton

Interment LocationVisitedSequence in Graves I Have Visited
Rhinebeck, NYMay 22, 201026th Vice President visited

Photographed May 22, 2010.

Only Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first vice president — John Nance Garner — has surpassed Levi P. Morton in terms of longevity among VPs. The man who served under Benjamin Harrison died in 1920 on his 96th birthday, a then-record for vice presidents. Morton was laid to rest in the town of his residence, Rhinebeck, on the eastern side of the Hudson River.

Morton, whose grave is shown here marked with an American flag, is surrounded in his burial plot by his family. That includes his first wife, Lucy Kimball, and Second Lady Anna Street, whom he married after Lucy’s death in 1871. Five of the VP’s seven children are interred there as well, as is a five-year-old nephew.

Photographed May 22, 2010.
Photographed May 22, 2010.

Morton’s epitaph reads, “The Path Of The Just Is As The Shining Light That Shineth More And More Unto The Perfect Day.” Although the flag holder at the head of his slab indicates he was a veteran, I am unable to ascertain any information about Morton serving in the U.S. military.

Though Benjamin Harrison was defeated for re-election in 1892, Morton was not. He did not desire to serve a second term as vice president and was not on that year’s Republican Party ticket. Morton was replaced by former Minister to France Whitelaw Reid. Harrison and Reid lost to Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson I. Morton’s political career was not finished, however. Two years hence, he was elected governor of New York.

Photographed May 22, 2010.

Fast Facts

Born: May 16, 1824 in Shoreham, Vermont

Spouses: Lucy Young Kimball Morton (m. 1856-1871); Anna Livingston Reade Street Morton (m. 1873-1918)

Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Vice Presidential Tenure: 1889-1893 under Benjamin Harrison

Gubernatorial Tenure: 1895-1896

Died: May 16, 1920 in Rhinebeck, New York

Cause of Death: Bronchial Pneumonia

Age: 96

Interment: Rhinebeck Cemetery, Rhinebeck, New York

"Our present national disregard of the interests of those who seek a home in our land is a discredit to humanity and to the honor of the nation."
- Levi P. Morton

April 22, 1880 in a speech regarding immigration policy, delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
Photographed October 30, 2022.

On a Sunday morning in October 2022, I visited the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. As I walked along a corridor toward the columbarium, I saw a tablet, pictured here, mounted to the wall on my left. It is dedicated to the memory of Levi Parsons Morton and Anna Livingston Morton, “whose gifts made possible the building and the furnishing of the choir of this cathedral.” The Mortons had gifted $600,000 toward the completion of the house of worship in 1904. The equivalent of that sum in October 2022 was $20,009,528.09.

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Morton, Levi P. Immigration: Its National Character, and Importance to the Industries and Prosperities of the Country. Washington: Government Publication Office, 1880. https://www.loc.gov/item/mfd.39003/.

New York Times. “LEVI P. MORTON GAVE $600,000 TO CATHEDRAL.” January 11, 1905. 1. https://www.nytimes.com/1905/01/11/archives/levi-p-morton-gave-600000-to-cathedral-wife-shared-in-anonymous.html.

Sun and New York Herald. “Levi P. Morton is Dead on His 96th Birthday.” May 17, 1920. https://www.newspapers.com/image/64385651/.

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