Dr. Millie DeRiggi, PhD, a fifty-year resident and former First Lady of Glen Cove, spent the evening of January 30 with a roomful of residents talking about one of Glen Cove’s early settlers.
Colonel Richard Morris resided in what is now called “The Dosoris Woods” area, where Dr. DeRiggi lived when she first came to Glen Cove. Her curiosity led her to research the history of the Morris family.
Through his involvement in the mills of Glen Cove as well as purchasing large parcels of land that made Mr. Morris one of Glen Cove’s key founders.
Mrs. DeRiggi’s project began as what she considered to be a simple one: to find the first settler of the land in Dosoris Woods where her family had their first home in Glen Cove. She found the name Colonel Lewis Morris and also learned that his property, later called Dosoris, was named Matinnecock. It was not part of Musketa Cove, and only later became part of Glen Cove.
Although unknown in Glen Cove today, Colonel Morris was a powerful figure in his day. He began as a privateer, became a merchant and built a commercial empire. In addition to the 1,500 acres he acquired in Matinnecock in 1665, he owned a 400-acre sugar plantation In Barbados, with about 200 slaves. His 19,000-acre estate along the Harlem River is known today as the Morrisania section of the Bronx.