The Incredible Story of The North American Land Company and Its Founder Robert Morris

The Players:

    • Robert Morris
      • Signer of the Declaration of Independence
      • Signer of the US Constitution
      • Signer of the Articles of Confederation
      • Helped finance the American Revolution
      • Founder of the first commercial bank in the United States
    • James Greenleaf
      • Former consulate of the United States at Amsterdam
    • John Nicholson
      • Comptroller General of Pennsylvania

Purpose of N.A.L.C.:
A real estate venture intended to sell shares of stock secured by 6,000,000 acres of real estate in 6 states.  Cash received helped pay the mounting debts owed to creditors.

Pennsylvania:  647,046 acres
North Carolina: 717,299 acres
South Carolina: 957,238 acres
Virginia: 932,621 acres
Georgia: 2,314,796 acres
Kentucky: 431,043 acres

Total: 6,000,043 acres


Intention of Investment:

    • To sell 30,000 shares of stock for $1.00/share and a 6% dividend with a land sale distribution after 15 years.

Why it is important:

    • This is one of the 1st publicly traded real estate companies in America (the first R.E.I.T.).
    • Many players in the land company were prominent colonial Americans and their signatures appear in this collection.
      1. Clement Biddle – Revolutionary War General
      2. William Bingham -US Senator, Speaker of the House of Representatives
      3. AJ Dallas – Secretary of Treasury under President Madison
      4. Thomas Fitzimmons – Signer of the U.S. Constitution
      5. John Lawrence – Congressman from New York City
      6. Thomas Mifflin – Governor of Pennsylvania, Signer of the U.S. Constitution and President of the Continental Congress
      7. Robert Morris – Financer of the American Revolution, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Signer of the Article of Confederation and Signer of the U.S. Constitution
      8. Richard Rush – Secretary of the Treasury from 1825-1828
      9. Benjamin Say – U.S. Congressman and General from Pennsylvania
      10. Richard Dobbs Spaight – Signer of the U.S. Constitution and a North Carolina Governor
      11. Walter Stewart – Revolutionary War General
      12. James Trimble – Governor of Pennsylvania


A synapses of the collection includes the following:

    • Original deeds, plans and mortgages going into land company
    • Stock Certificates
    • Investor Prospectus or Plan of Association
    • Letters or documents relating to the land company
    • Letters from prison
    • Other interesting Morris documents