The following article was originally published as "A Many-Sided Man" in the September 1902 issue of Florida Magazine.

We have produced in this magazine the portraits of politicians, financiers, and men prominent in their professions and lines of work. We present in this issue a many-sided man and one who has achieved success in more different lines than perhaps any other citizen of the state.

Mr. Richard Jameson Morgan has become known to our readers as a polished and versatile writer, his latest contribution to these columns being The Iron Republic which is running in current issues. Mr. Morgan has the entrée1In this context: the right to enter or join. to the great periodicals of the country and is at present engaged in bringing out several books, the results of his labors for some years past. But, while he has achieved success in literature in the sense of doing good work and getting good pay for it, he seems to have found time for many other things as well. For years he has been a hardworking newspaper man and in this line has gained a reputation as one among the most incisive editorial writers, and by far the most original humorist in the south. He is also a popular lecturer on scientific, literary, and economic subjects, has appeared before the most cultured audiences north and south, and is in demand as a star attraction at Chautauquas2Chautauqua is an adult education and social movement that spread throughout rural America and peaked in popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bringing entertainment and culture to communities, with speakers, teachers, musicians, showmen, preachers, and specialists of the day. and before learned bodies where his services are secured. He has many times been pressed by friends to devote himself entirely to the lecture platform, but says he cannot spare the time.

He is a diligent student, a classical scholar, and his work on antiquities and Biblical research have attracted attention. As an Egyptologist he is a recognized authority. He has also been a valuable contributor to the literature of the lost races of America, and his researches in that line have been extensive.

In addition to these things Mr. Morgan is a thorough mechanic and an inventor. His latest success in this line is the “New Century” printing press which he has perfected within the past year or two and which is now being manufactured by the Mugge-Morgan Co. at Tampa where they have a fine manufacturing establishment and turn out a complete printing press a day.

Mr. Morgan’s inventions include printing presses, a telegraphic apparatus, a telegraphic writing apparatus, typewriter and matrix making machine, and an electrical express and mail delivery scheme, besides a number of mechanical movements and minor articles of utility.

So much for the subject of this sketch. The purpose of it is to point a moral as well as adorn a tale. This man whose life has been so full of labor and purpose was left an orphan at two years of age and has been on his own resources ever since he can remember. Without opportunities for an education in his youth, he has taken care of himself ever since he was large enough to carry a hoe to the cotton field, has educated himself, reared an accomplished family, and is yet but in the prime life and intellectual vigor. With it all he is a quiet modest citizen, content to take the lowest seat at feast or synagogue, and his neighbors know him only as an unassuming worker and a burner of midnight oil.

Such an example ought to be an inspiration to young men everywhere and illustrates the possibilities of this great, free country to the poorest boy who tackles the problem of life seriously and with a determination to win.


If you liked this article, be sure to check out The Iron Republic.

Richard Jameson Morgan

Richard Jameson Morgan