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Wooden leg of Gouverneur Morris (1752–1816)

Object Name: Wooden leg
Date: ca. 1780
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Medium: Oak, leather, metal
Dimensions: Overall: 42 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. ( 108 x 36.8 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, Philadelphia
Description: Turned and carved oak prosthetic leg made in two sections; lower section tapers downward and has knob at base; upper section attached with metal ring and screws and forms U-shape with one side twice as long as the other; center of U lined with green leather; short side has slots for tie to secure leg; mounted on circular wooden base with metal rods.
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frederick Menzies
Object Number: 1954.148
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This artifical limb was used by Founding Father Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), who lost his left leg in a carriage accident at the age of twenty-eight. The gallant statesman was notorious for his many affairs, and rumors persisted that his injury resulted from jumping out a window to escape a jealous husband.


"Fit for the King (Gouverneur Morris: Statesman and Connoisseur)," New-York Historical Society, July 14–October 2, 2000.

"Gouverneur Morris Treasures," New-York Historical Society, November 5, 2002–March, 2003.