Jeremiah Morrow

From Ohio History Central
Morrow, Jeremiah.jpg
Jeremiah Morrow (1771-1852) was the ninth governor of Ohio, serving from 1822 to 1826.

Jeremiah Morrow was a legislator, political leader and the ninth Governor of Ohio.

Jeremiah Morrow was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1771. The oldest of nine children of a Scotch-Irish family, he grew up on a farm only a few miles from Gettysburg. Morrow moved to the Northwest Territory in 1795 and settled first in the small community of Columbia. In 1799, he moved with his bride, Mary Parkhill, to a log home in Warren County.

Morrow became a well-respected member of his community. His neighbors elected him to the territorial legislature in 1801 as Ohio was preparing for statehood. Morrow allied himself with Thomas Worthington and his supporters, who opposed Governor Arthur St. Clair's plans to delay Ohio's statehood. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1802 as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party.

After Ohio became a state, he was elected to the Ohio Senate. He did not serve in this position long as the state soon selected him to serve as Ohio's only Congressman in the United States House of Representatives. Morrow served in the House from 1803 to 1813, when the state legislature appointed him to the United States Senate. He continued to serve in Congress until 1819, when he decided to return home to Ohio. While in Congress, Morrow gained a reputation for his knowledge about public land policies and he helped reduce both the cost and required acreage for public land sales. Morrow voted in favor of the United States entering the War of 1812.

Once back in Ohio, Morrow served on the Ohio Board of Canal Commissioners with Benjamin Tappan, Alfred Kelley, Thomas Worthington, Ethan Allen Brown, Isaac Minor, and Ebenezer Buckingham, Jr. This group studied the possibility of linking the Ohio River with Lake Erie through the construction of a series of canals. As a result of their work, the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal were begun in 1825

Morrow ran for governor in 1822 against Allen Trimble and William W. Irwin and won. He was re-elected in 1824. During Morrow's two terms as governor, the economy of the state grew significantly. Ohio finally emerged from the Banking Crisis of 1819 and dramatically increased its transportation infrastructure. In addition to canals, the National Road reached Ohio at this time and greatly improved Ohio's connections with the East. The state legislature also passed a law providing state support for public education during Morrow's tenure as governor.

After leaving the governorship, Morrow returned to state politics in 1827. He served in the state senate for one term and then in Ohio's House of Representatives in 1829-1830 and 1835-1836. He also returned to Washington, D.C., as a representative in December 1840, completing Thomas Corwin's term and then running for one final time in 1841. Morrow refused to run for reelection in 1843 because he felt that a new generation of leadership was emerging in the country. During the late 1820s and 1830s, Morrow became one of the founding members of the Whig Party in Ohio. He was a member of the Electoral College three times as a representative of the state.

Morrow was the first president of the Little Miami Railroad from 1837 to 1845. He spent his final years at his home near Lebanon, Ohio, running a saw and gristmill and participating in local politics as a township trustee, school director, and superintendent of roads. He died at his home on March 22, 1852, at the age of eighty.

See Also


  1. Cayton, Andrew R.L. Frontier Republic: Ideology and Politics in the Ohio Country, 1780-1825. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1986.  
  2. Feller, Daniel. The Public Lands in Jacksonian Politics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.  
  3. Fess, Simeon D., ed. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company, 1937 
  4. The Governors of Ohio. Columbus: The Ohio History Connection, 1954