Anne Justus Morton

Anne Justus Morton
Wife of John Morton – Signer of the Declaration of Independence

When Anne Justus married John Morton in 1745, or 1746, she probably had little idea of the honours [sic] the future held in store for her youthful husband, even though he was already looked upon in their little community as a young man with a promising future.

John MortonThey were of neighboruring [sic] farmer folk in Chester County, now Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Both were of Swedish extraction, their forebears having been of that tide of immigration which poured into the “lower counties” about the opening of the eighteenth century. John Morton cultivated his own patrimonial acres, but was unable to alternate is farm labours [sic] with surveying new lands, having been taught that branch mathematics along with “accompting” [sic] by his step-father, John Sketchley, and English gentleman who married the Widow Morton while John was yet and infant in arms.

We find nothing more of Anne Justus for many years. Her husband, grown wealthy, seems to ave won the respect and confidence of his neighbours [sic], for he was commissioned as Justice of the Peace in 1764, and within a few months elected to the Provincial Legislature, of which body he was Speaker for a number of years. Later e was High Sheriff of the county for three years, afterward presiding judge of the Provincial Court, and then one of the judges of the Supreme Court.

During all these years, Anne Justus was looking after their estate and rearing their family of children, of whom there were eight, three sons and five daughters. In 1774, Mr. Morton was sent as a delegate to the Congress of the colonies in Philadelphia, and was re-elected in 1775 and again in 1776. It was the vote of John Morton, when the delegates of Pennsylvania were equally divided, that broke the tie and threw the voice of the delegation for independence. The labours [sic] and responsibilities of his career through this trying period broke down his health, and in April, 1777, he died in the fifty-fourth year of his age.

When the British Army passed through the neighbourhood [sic] of his late residence, after the Battle of Brandywine, they despoiled his widow and children of property to the value of about one thousand dollars. Mr. and Mrs. Morton were members of St. James Church in the town of Chester, and their remains are said to be interred at the old church yard.

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Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.