The Times West Virginian

In Today's TWV

August 5, 2007

Celebrating heritage

100th Morgan Reunion attracts more than 500



“It gives an extensive genealogy of the family,” Laishley said. “People would give their eyeteeth for it.”

The history of the family is interesting and goes beyond just Morgan Morgan, who himself created the militia that became the West Virginia National Guard. His son, Zackquill, founded Morgantown, and his son David, who settled in Rivesville, was known as an Indian negotiator after rescuing his two children from members of the Delaware tribe.

David also was friends with Daniel Boone, whose mother was a Morgan, said Raymond Morgan of Fairmont, president of the reunion committee.

“He’s gone down in history with the false idea that he was an Indian fighter, but he was a negotiator,” said Raymond Morgan. “He was a peaceful man, but one you wouldn’t want to cross.”

That’s because, in order to negotiate with Indians in the wake of the kidnapping of white settlers, Raymond Morgan said, David actually then would take some Indian braves and use them as bargaining chips.

Lexie Sue Morgan, almost 10, of Meriden, Conn., has heard the David Morgan as an Indian negotiator stories from her father, who was born in North Central West Virginia but moved to Connecticut at the age of 2.

On Saturday, she was enjoying her first trip to West Virginia after listening to Morgan lore all of her life.

“It tells a lot about my family,” she said. “It’s good to meet other people in your family. Then you have more friends and more variety of people that you know.”

Other famous Morgan descendants include Francis Harrison Pierpont, considered the father of West Virginia and a former Virginia governor. And Kelly Morgan believes Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., may be a descendant, but not well-known financier J.P. Morgan — although the “P” in his name stands for “Pierpont.”

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