About the Morgan Family

The Morgan Family History

The Morgan Mansion was built in 1897 by Junius Spencer Morgan and Josephine Perry Morgan. Together they had three children: Sarah Spencer Morgan, Alexander Perry Morgan and Lucrutia Morgan who died at birth.

Sarah Spencer Morgan (1893–1949), married Henry B. Gardner (1891–1932) in 1913. Alexander Perry Morgan (1900–1968), married Janet Croll (1901–1985) in 1921.

One of Alexander Morgan and Janet Croll’s children was Perry Morgan, the planner and architect of the neighborhood, now known as Constitution Hill.

Junius Spencer Morgan II
Junius Spencer Morgan was born on June 5, 1867 in Irvington, New York to George Hale Morgan ( 1840–1911) and Sarah Spencer Morgan (1839–1896), who were distant cousins. When Junius he was 8-years old he was sent to England for schooling, he then returned to the United States to attend St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire (Class of 1884) and then went on to attend Princeton University.

Junius graduated from Princeton University with the class of 1888. While attending Princeton, Junius started collecting early editions of the Latin poet Virgil, a collection he donated to the Princeton University Library in 1896. Junius became the Assistant Librarian at Princeton University where he continued to add new volumes as until his death in Switzerland in 1932. His lifetime collection of over 700 titles of the Roman poet, Virgil, bears his name at the Princeton University Library.

Junius became a banker and a partner in the firm of Cuyler, Morgan & Co., but he had no fundamental interest in banking and business. Junius was a very serious and methodical collector so he retired from banking in 1906 and devoted the rest of his life to his art and literature collection. Junius left Princeton and moved to Paris in 1910. Between Paris, Princeton and NYC he continued to pursue his art collections. He donated hundreds of prints and drawing to the Princeton Art Museum.

Junius was a generous benefactor of the New York Public Library as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1919, he gave many works to the (future) Department of Drawings and Prints dating mainly from the sixteenth century, including 2 woodblocks and many prints by Albrecht Dürer. In 1921. Other graphic works were sold at Anderson Galleries in New York. In addition Junius encouraged his uncle, J.P. Morgan, to collect, organize and form the Morgan Library.

Junius married Josephine Adams Perry (1869–1963), the daughter of Brig. Gen. Alexander James Perry (1828–1913) and Josephine Adams (1834–1917), and the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hazard Perry (1803–1832). The Adams family is the same Adams family as our country’s founding father, John Adams. 

Josephine Perry Morgan
Josephine Perry Morgan (1869-1962) was the daughter of General Alexander J. Perry (1828-1913) and Josephine Adams Perry (1834-1917). Josie’s ancestors included the illustrious naval officers Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, leader of the American force in the battle of Lake Erie (1813), and Commodore Matthew Perry, who first opened up Japan.  After Junius went to Paris, Josephine stayed in Princeton to raise her children. While in Princeton she was a member of the Present Day Club, the Anti Billboard Movement and the Infirmary of Princeton. She was involved with the Garden Club of Princeton and the Land Army during the Great War (WW I).

Alexander Perry Morgan
Alexander Perry Morgan, Perry’s father, was raised in Princeton, and in 1921 married Janet Croll. He graduated in the class of 1922 at Princeton University. In 1924, Alexander moved to Paris to study architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts. Beaux Arts style was modeled on classical “antiquities”, preserving these idealized forms and passing the style on to future generations. The school has a history spanning more than 350 years, training many of the great artists in Europe. Students from the U.S. went on to design the Boston Public Library and the New York Public Library. Alexander himself designed, among many things, the top of the Empire State building which was designed as a Zeppelin docking station.

Perry Morgan
Perry Morgan was born in Paris in 1924. He remembers being in his parents’ arms, and maybe even on his dad’s shoulders, watching a parade given by Lindbergh after he had completed his first transatlantic flight on May 21st, 1927. One October day, Perry remembers hearing screaming on the streets below his family’s NYC apartment and thought it signaled the death of his hero, Lindbergh. In fact, it was in reaction to the great stock market crash, known as “Black Tuesday” on October 24th, 1929. He graduated from Princeton in the class of 1946. Perry went on to study architecture at Princeton University graduating in 1952 and subsequently developed Constitution Hill (see videos).

Elisabeth Morgan
Elisabeth (Liz) Harrison Morgan was the child of Ida Parkinson (maiden name) and Henry Alexander Harrison born on Aug 7th , 1930 in New York City and later moved to Greenwich Connecticut. She attended Miss Porters and Colby College. Liz’s father, Henry Harrison was a business man. Born in LaPaz, Bolivia, he was sent to boarding school in Dresden Germanyat the age of 8. While working in banking in London he met his future wife, Ida. Ida Parkinson was a dancer with the Charlot Review in London. Associates of the Review were Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence and other famous actors, musicians and dancers. Liz was introduced to Perry by her roommates who went to Austria to go skiing at St Anton (Liz’s recommendation). While skiing, her roommates met Perry. Perry joined the group on their return to the U.S. The rest, they say, is history.