Morris, Richard Valentine

Morris, Richard Valentine,

1768–1815, American naval officer, b. Morrisania, N.Y. (now part of the Bronx); son of Lewis Morris (1726–98). After the American Revolution he entered the navy and was commissioned captain in 1798. As commander of a squadron in 1802, he was sent to the Mediterranean to undertake negotiations with Tripoli and the other Barbary States to end the Tripolitan WarTripolitan War
, 1800–1815, conflict between the United States and the Barbary States. Piracy had become a normal source of income in the N African Barbary States long before the United States came into existence.
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. Unsuccessful in concluding peace with Tripoli and unfortunate in dealing with the other powers, Morris was relieved of his command (1803), and his commission was revoked. His pamphlet, A Defense of the Conduct of Commodore Morris during His Command in the Mediterranean (1804), is valuable for its official documents on the negotiations.
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