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Joseph Morgan

Born: 4-Jan-1780
Birthplace: Holyoke, MA
Died: 23-Jul-1847
Location of death: Hartford, CT
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Whig

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Patriarch of the Morgan family of millionaires

The House of Morgan, one of America's wealthiest families, began with Joseph Morgan. He worked as a farmer until his father's death, and then, with a substantial inheritance from his father's estate, he bought a tavern, then a stagecoach line, a second tavern, and a fifty-room hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. He invested his profits in industries that boomed as America began its transition from rural to urban -- banks, canals, railroads, and steamship lines. In 1819 he was one of the founders of the Aetna Fire Insurance Company, and purchased Aetna's first insurance policy for his property. Unlike earlier insurance companies that had been primarily local concerns, Aetna made itself a major player by opening branch offices in numerous cities beyond Hartford. Aetna made Morgan a millionaire several times over, in an era when America had few millionaires.

(Though related to the company that sells insurance in the 21st century, Morgan's Aetna is technically not the same company. In 1853, several years after his death, executives at Morgan's Aetna started a second business, the Aetna Life Insurance Company -- as a separate company under separate ownership, in order to keep Aetna Fire legally unfettered from Aetna Life's risks.)

Father: Joseph Morgan, Jr. (b. circa 1735, d. 1813)
Mother: Experience Smith Morgan (b. 1741, m. 1765, d. 1821)
Wife: Sarah Spencer Morgan (b. 6-May-1787, m. 20-Sep-1807, d. 6-Aug-1859, two daughters, one son)
Daughter: Mary Morgan Smith (b. 1808)
Daughter: Lucy Morgan Goodwin (b. 1811)
Son: Junius Spencer Morgan (banker, b. 1813, d. 1890)

    Welsh Ancestry
    Morgan Family

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