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MORRISTOWN, a town and the county-seat of Morris county, New Jersey, U.S.A., on the Whippany river, 31 m. (by rail) W. of New York City. Pop. (1890) 8156; (1900) 11,267; (1910 census) 12,507. It is served by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the New Jersey & Pennsylvania and the Morristown & Erie railways. Morristown is situated on a table-land surrounded by picturesque hills. It is primarily a residential suburb of New York, and has many handsome residences and a number of large estates. Near its centre is a public park, in which is a soldiers' monument (59 ft. in height). At Morris Plains, about 4 m. to the north, is a state hospital for the insane (1876).

Morristown, officially named in 1740 in honour of Lewis Morris (1671-1746), then governor of New Jersey, and grandfather of Gouverneur Morris, was settled about 1710, under the name of West Hanover, by Puritans, who were attracted here by the presence of iron ore. From January to May 1777, and again from December 1779 to June 1780, Morristown was occupied by the American army under Washington. Behind the court-house is the site of Fort Nonsense, built at Washington's orders, largely to keep his soldiers employed. In December I77o-January 1780 General Benedict Arnold was tried before a court martial presided over by General Robert Howe (1732-1785) in the Dickerson tavern here, still standing. In Morristown, at the old Speedwell ironworks (almost completely destroyed by fire in 1909), was made a part of the machinery of the " Savannah," the first steamboat that crossed the Atlantic, and here Samuel F. B. Morse and Alfred Vail completed the invention of the electric telegraph. Morristown was incorporated as a town in 1865.

See A. M. Sherman, Historic Morristown, New Jersey; The Story of its First Century (Morristown, 1905) and Julia K. Colics, Authors and Writers Associated with Morristown (Morristown, 1893).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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