Gouverneur Morris (January 31, 1752 – November 6, 1816) was an American statesman and a native of New York who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was also an author of large sections of the Constitution of the United States and was one of its signers.
He is widely credited as the author of the document's preamble: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union ... " and has been called the 'Penman of the Constitution. In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states.
A gifted scholar, Morris enrolled at King's College (now Columbia University) at age twelve, in 1764. He graduated in 1768 and received a master's degree in 1771.
In 1780, at age twenty-eight, Morris's left leg was shattered and replaced with a wooden pegleg. Reportedly, he liked to dance, and he managed to dance well on his wooden leg. Morris' public account for the loss of his leg was that it happened in a carriage accident, but there is evidence that this story was a false, concocted to cover for a dalliance with a woman, during which he jumped from a window to escape a jealous husband.
Morris was well-known throughout much of his life for having many affairs, with both married and unmarried women, and he recorded many of these adventures and misadventures in his diary.