Sunday, March 24, 2013

Representative Milton Morris

Representative Milton Morris

            The greatest contributor to the Morris-Keller Klan is without a doubt the Honorable Milton Morris. Milton Morris was born under the weight of slavery about 1829 in Howard Country, Missouri. It is unknown whether he was set free or ran away like many others after the start of the Civil War in 1861.
            Milton joined the Union Colored Infantry, 80th Regiment in Louisiana. It was known as the Corps de Afrique Infantry. This unit was organized in April 4, 1864, though many served in other units. They serviced in Port Hudson and the District of Bonnet Carre. They also served in New Orleans, Shreveport, Alexandria, and later mustered out to Texas in 1867.

            After actively contributing to the success of the Civil War as a military serviceman, Milton set up residence as a free man in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Being a brave and ambitious man, he then pursued a career in politics as a Louisiana State Representative. He served as a Republican, fighting against the former Confederates’ racist schemes from 1868-1873. He served with only one other black on The Committee of Banking. He was arrested by a gang of white racists who tried to intimidate him. It did not work. He bravely continued his work fighting for civil rights as a free man.

            Milton was also a family man. His first wife was Lucy Ann Richard, also of Missouri. Together, they had three children: Madeline, Charles, and Susan.

After being pushed out of public service, due to racist push backs and the introduction of Jim Crow laws, Milton worked as a laborer in Donaldsonville.  By this time, Milton was a widower. He soon remarried a younger woman named Faith. They had one child together named Ruth.

The story of Milton is remarkable and real. Morris displayed guts which led to greatness. He dared not only to run from slavery, but to fight for freedom. He was successful in guaranteeing not only his own freedom, but the freedom of every black American born after him. He was laid to rest not only a free man and a landowner, but as a hero as well. To him we are forever indebted. 

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