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Henry Morgan, ca. 1875 McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada/MP-1991.21

Henry Morgan, ca. 1875 McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada/MP-1991.21

In 1844 Henry Morgan left Glasgow to seek his fortune in Montreal. He was twenty-three years old and a veteran of the dry goods trade. Two years later he founded an enduring and successful family business, Henry Morgan & Co., that would last for four generations.

Henry Morgan never married, but his brother James had a son, also named James (James II), who followed his father into the family business in 1863. He was joined by his cousin Colin, son of a third Morgan brother, in 1869. Throughout the 1850s and 60s the business prospered. In 1877, under some financial pressure, Henry Morgan finally gave the younger generation a firm stake in its future. James II and Colin were each offered 5% ownership, Henry and James I retaining 45% apiece.

When Henry and James I died nine months apart in 1894, the business passed into the control of James II and Colin. In turn the control of the company would pass to James II's youngest son Harold and Colin's middle son Henry W. Morgan, though other family members pursued careers with Henry Morgan & Company.

James Morgan, ca. 1880-1890 McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada/M993.61.2

James Morgan, ca. 1880-1890 McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada/M993.61.2

J. Bartlett Morgan (Mr. Bart) was the younger son of F. Cleveland Morgan. He took control of the Company in 1956 and was the last Morgan to run the family business. In 1960 Henry Morgan & Company Ltd. was sold to Hudson's Bay Company, which operated the Montreal-area stores under the Morgan name until 1972.

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