(Mar. 22, 1804-Dec. 28, 1857).  Born in Bath, New York, Alexander Morrison came to Clark County, Indiana, circa 1818, where he published the Republican Statesman. Later in April 1830, he published the Indiana Democrat supporting President Andrew Jackson. Shortly thereafter, he purchased a share of the Indiana State Gazette, a pro-Democratic paper, and merged the two under the name Indiana Democrat and State Gazette. He later dropped “State Gazette” from the title.

As editor, Morrison was known for a sarcastic style that made opponents wary of challenging him. A four-page weekly, the Democrat printed political and foreign news and occasionally included local items, fiction, and poetry. Morrison sold and repurchased his share in the paper a few times before retiring to focus on politics in May 1836.

As a politician, Morrison served three terms in the Indiana General Assembly. He served Clark County in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1829-1830 before moving to Indianapolis to be closer to the seat of state politics. Later, he replaced Calvin Fletcher as Marion County’s member of the Indiana State Senate from 1833-1834. Morrison returned to the House of Representatives from 1837-1838.

In Indianapolis, Morrison returned to work in newspapers as editor of the Indiana Daily State Sentinel, another Jacksonian Democratic party mouthpiece. The Sentinel succeeded the Indiana Democrat, his former publication. Morrison used the paper to criticize former governor David Wallace’s policies that led to Indiana’s economic crisis during the late 1830s and early 1840s.

Militarily, Morrison served in both the Black Hawk War (April to August 1832) and the Mexican-American War (1842 to 1848).

Morrison remained politically active during the last years of his life. He served as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1851. During the convention, Morrison supported and advocated the idea to abolish the two-term limit for the governorship of Indiana. He also debated matters of legislative apportionment. Morrison served as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and as its secretary.

In 1855, President Franklin Pierce named Morrison the U.S. Pension agent for the state of Indiana.

Revised November 2023

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.