Monday, February 28, 2011 | By: Sherlock

National Science Day: A Confederate General, A Millionaire & The Author Of The National Anthem

With a title like that, I bet you're aching to know who this blog entry is about! Do you know who Thomas Hunt Morgan is? Not many people do.. but you should! Thomas Hunt Morgan's discoveries in science later formed the basis of modern genetics. Because of much of his research and teachings, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Thomas Hunt Morgan comes from very notable roots, which we're going to focus on. He was born on 25 Sep 1866 in Lexington, Fayette County, Tennessee. He was the son of Charlton Hunt Morgan and his wife Ellen Key Howard.

Charlton Hunt Morgan was the son of Calvin Cogswell Morgan and his wife Henrietta Hunt. Other than Charlton, Calvin and Henrietta gave birth to a son named John Hunt Morgan, who would eventually become a General during the American Civil War. It appears that the Morgan family seemed to be on "hard times" for quite a while. Calvin Morgan lost his home in 1831, from failing to pay property taxes on his pharmacy. Calvin's father Luther Morgan, had experienced a downward fall in the economy for cotton which resulted in him mortgaging his estate.

Charlton Hunt Morgan's wife, Henrietta Hunt, seems to have come from money, though. Her father was John Wesley Hunt, a very well-known businessman and early leader in Lexington, Kentucky. He was actually one of the founders of Lexington. During his lifetime, he became a successful businessman in hemp manufacturing, banking and also in horsebreeding. He was also known for introducing the 'Messenger' strain in horses, during the winter months of 1839 and 1840. John Wesley Hunt was one of the first self-made millionaires, living west of the Allegheny Mountains.

As mentioned above, Thomas Hunt Morgan's mother was Ellen Key Howard. She herself was the daughter of Charles Howard and his wife Elizabeth Phoebe Key. Charles Howard was a native of Maryland and the son of John Eagar Howard. Not many know the name, but John Eager Howard was once Governor and also Senator of Maryland. He had also served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, achieving the rank of captain and eventually colonel. He earned himself a silver medal from Congress because of his leadership skills at the Battle of Cowpens.

Elizabeth Phoebe Key is the daughter of an extremely famous man, known in every household in America. He was Francis Scott Key, author of The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem on the the United States of America. A lesser-known fact about Francis Scott Key, was that he was an accomplished lawyer. The father of Francis was John Ross Key, another Officer in the Continental Army, during the Revolutionary War.


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