Morrisania is a neighborhood in the southwestern section of the Bronx in New York City.

From 1670, the land of the neighborhood was the estate of the Morris family in Westchester County, New York.

In 1790, Lewis Morris, owner of the estate and signer of the Declaration of Independence, proposed the land as the site of the federal capital.

The land of Morrisania was sparsely populated until 1840, when Gouverneur Morris Jr., son of the famous congressional delegate and grandson of Lewis, allowed a railroad to be built across the property. In 1848, he sold the land next to the line for the development of a new town called Morrisania Village. In 1855, additional settlements along the rail line became the town of Morrisania, with its political center in the original 1840 village. At first the village was an early forerunner of today's bedroom communities, populated by people who worked in Manhattan, but it quickly developed their own local industries and craftsmen as it developed into a full-fledged town (Jackson, 1995).

In 1874, the land was annexed to New York City as part of the Twenty-Third Ward. In 1887, the 3rd Avenue elevated line was extended to area and provided easy and quick access to and from Manhattan. By the time the subway was extended to the area in 1904, a large influx of immigrants had given the neighborhood an urban character, with tenements replacing houses as the dominant form of dwellling (Jackson, 1995).


Kenneth T. Jackson (editor); The Encyclopedia of New York City; (Yale University Press, 1995).