Paul Morphy TIMELINES
Father: Alonzo Morphy
Mother: Louise Thérèse Felicite Thelcide Le Carpentier (known as Telcide)
Malvina on February 5, 1830
Edward on December 26, 1834
Paul on June 22, 1837
Helena on October 21, 1839
Uncle- Earnest Morphy; Diego Morphy, Jr.
Grandfather- Joseph Esau Le Carpentier
Childhood and life long friend- Charles Amedee de Maurian
Brother-in-law (husband to Malvina) and executor of Alonzo Morphy’s estate:
John D. Sybrandt
-June 22, 1837: Born in New Orleans.
-1841: The Morphy’s moved from Le Carpentier ( maternal grandfather) house to 89 Royal Street, his primary residence for 43 years. batgirl.atspace.com
-1845: Morphy witnessed the first US chess championship match won by Charles Stanley over New Orleans master Eugene Rousseau.
-1846: Morphy played General Winfield Scott (War of 1812 and Mexican-American War hero and Commanding General of US Army) who during his visit requested to play someone who would present a challenge to him. Eight year old Paul Morphy won two boards against the General. By nine years of age, Paul was considered one of the strongest players in New Orleans.
-May 1850: Johann J. Lowenthal visited New Orleans. He played and lost 3 games to Paul Morphy who was one month shy of his 13th year.
-1850: Morphy attends Spring Hill College (the Jesuit College of St Joseph at Spring Hill), Mobile, Alabama at age 13.
-1854: Graduated (BA degree) from Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama at age 17. Several sites report that Paul Morphy delivered a commencement address on the conditions of a just war from his essay, “War.” Reportedly, he did not view secession as a just cause for war. He stayed one more year, studied math and philosophy and received his MA degree in May 1855.
-August 30, 1856: Earnest Morphy, Paul’s paternal uncle, took out an ad in “Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper” challenging anyone to come to New Orleans to play Paul Morphy (age 19) for the stakes of $300 ($7,271 in today’s currency). No takers.
-November 22, 1856: Alonso Morphy, Paul’s father, died from an eye injury that became infected. In September of 1856, Alonzo Morphy had received an eye injury when he had turned to speak to someone and the brim of a panama hat cut his eye. The injury became infected and ultimately fatal. His estate was valued at $146,162.54 (over $3.5 million in today’s currency).
-April 7 1857: Paul Morphy received his law degree (L.L.B.) from the University of Louisiana at age 19. Some sources have him testing for and being admitted to the Louisiana State Bar at the age of 19 and others at the age of 20. By law, he could not practice until age 21. So during this waiting period, he plays chess- at the highest levels.
-October 4, 1857: Paul Morphy arrived in New York City to attend the American Chess Congress Tournament. He won the event on November 10, 1857.
-December 17, 1857: Morphy left New York and arrived in New Orleans at the end of the month. Morphy enjoyed tremendous success in New York. Bill Wall reports Morphy went 85-4-8 in even games and in the 159 games with odds he was 104-36-19.
Of note is Morphy’s desire to play British Master Howard Staunton, considered the world’s best player at the time. This becomes a major chapter in Morphy’s life. Morphy’s friends at the New Orleans Chess Club sent Staunton a challenge to come to America to play Morphy. Staunton declined but left the door open for a match should Morphy travel to Europe.
-June 20, 1858: Morphy arrived in Liverpool and went on to London the following day. After winning the American Chess Congress’ Tournament, Paul Morphy was invited to attend a chess tournament in Birmingham England. He did not play in the tournament but did play a series of matches against leading English masters, including H. E. Bird.
-July 10, 1858: Staunton published his agreement with Morphy in the "Illustrated London News." The match would be for 21 games at a stake of 500 pounds (over $335,000 in today’s dollars).
-August 28, 1858: Staunton chastises Morphy for lacking sufficient funds in his chess column titled, 'Bunkum' Morphy comes unfurnished.
-August 31, 1858: Morphy travelled to Callais, France and then on to Paris. Played a series of matches that included Harrwitz and Anderssen.
-October 6, 1858: Morphy writes Staunton in regard to his “Bumkin” article stating that he has the cash.
-April 6, 1859: Morphy, his brother-in-law Sybrandt and Riviere left Paris for England.
-April 13, 20 and 24, 1859: Morphy gave 8 board blindfold exhibitions.
-April 26, 1859 Morphy played a simultaneous exhibition against Rivière, Boden, Barnes, Bird and Löwenthal. Morphy won 2 (Rivière and Bird), lost 1 (Barnes) and drew 2 (Boden and Löwenthal).
April 30, 1859 Morhy boarded the “Persia” bound for New York, never to return to England. He arrived in New York May 11, 1859.
-May 25, 1859: Testimonial held in Morphy’s honor in New York City. Col Mead gave welcoming address. C. A. Buck reported that Mead made reference to chess as a profession and that Morphy took exception to the inference. Lawson says this never happened. Most sources back Lawson.
-May 28 to June 3, 1859: Morphy traveled to Boston and Cambridge where he met Professor H. W. Longfellow and returned to New York. It was during this time that Morphy accepted the position of Chess Editor for the "New York Ledger" newspaper. He was paid $3,000 in advance ($73,551 in today’s dollars). Numerous receptions.
-October 30, 1859: Morphy left New York City for Philadelphia and then Baltimore and on to New Orleans.
-December 12, 1859: Morphy arrives in New Orleans (on or about).
-December 17, 1859: "Illustrated London" publishes purported games between Morphy and Deacon as an advertisement for Staunton’s soon-to-be released “Guide to Chess”. Morphy denies the games which are later disregarded. But Sergeant, subscribing to B. Goulding Brown's theory, claims the games took place and attributes Morphy's not remembering them to the beginnings of his mental illness.
-March through May, 1860: Sergeant has Morphy opening up a law office and closing it within two months to go to Paris. Lawson claims Morphy opened his law office after he returned from Paris.
-June 1860: Morphy arrives in New York for passage to Paris to visit his mother and sister Helena who were there visiting his sister Malvina. Stays through October 1860. It seems he did not continue on to Paris. ???
-August 1860: Morphy’s association with “The Ledger” newspaper and Robert Bonner ends according to Lawson.
-October 24 or 26, 1860: Morphy returns to New Orleans.
-November 1860: Abraham Lincoln wins the US Presidential election.
December 20, 1860 South Carolina secedes from the Union
January 9, 1861 Mississippi secedes from the Union
January 10, 1861 Florida secedes from the Union
January 11, 1861 Alabama secedes from the Union
January 19, 1861 Georgia secedes from the Union
January 26, 1861 Louisiana Ordanance for Secession from the Union
-April 12,1861: Attack on Fort Sumpter. American Civil War hostilities begin.
-October 1861: Morphy sought appointment in the diplomatic service for the Confederacy.
-April 25, 1862: Union forces capture New Orleans. Occupation under General Butler begins in May 1862.
-October 10, 1862: Morphy, along with his life time friend, Charles Maurian, went to Havana and after a couple of weeks sailed to Cadiz, Spain. From there they went to Paris, arriving in early December. His mother and sister, Helena, were already there.
-January 1864: Morphy left Paris to return to New Orleans via Cuba. He arrived in New Orleans in late February 1864.
-1864: Lawson reports that it was after his return in 1864 that he opened up his law office at 12 Exchange Street. It survived only a few months.
-April 9, 1865: Lee surrenders Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse.
-November 14, 1865: Paul Morphy was elected president of the New Orleans Chess Club.
-1866: Paul believes his brother-in-law John Sybrandt was defrauding him out of his inheritance and he brought several law suits against him; all of which failed.
-July 1867: Morphy’s mental state was alarming (Bill Wall). His mother persuade Paul to accompany her and his sister, Helena, to Paris. He stayed 14 months.
-September 1868: Morphy returns to America, arriving in New York
-1869: Played no competitive chess after.
-1871: Rumors of his malady abounded (this is from C. A. Buck and this date is widely disputed).
-1872-1873: Morphy partnered with established attorney E. T. Fellows. Most information about this venture is speculation.
-March 14, 1873: Brooklyn Eagle publishes letter by C. J. Woodbury, “The Eccentricity of Paul Morphy”.
-1874: Uncle Ernest Morphy dies.
-1875: Lawson reports Morphy “suspected a barber of being in collusion with one of his friends, Mr. Binder, whom he attacked, actually trying to provoke a duel…” The Morphy family feared further aggressive behavior and was unsuccessful at admitting Paul into the Louisiana Retreat, a sanitarium.
-December 5, 1875: Charles Maurian states in a letter that “Mr. Morphy's mind has been deranged of late but not to the extent that the New York Sun would have us believe…” He refers to “petty persecutions directed against him by unknown persons” but also speaks of Morphy’s ability to otherwise function well.
-January 15, 1876: Charles Maurian in a letter to a Mr. Prèti confirms certain rumors about Paul Morphy not being mentally right.
-May 2, 1877: Charles Maurian in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun disputes “...the oft-told lie about the insanity of Paul Morphy”. Maurian states that Paul is practicing law and that by agreement with his mother, he no longer plays chess competitively for money or public acclaim nor promotes chess publications.
-1883: Meeting with Steinitz; strained as chess was a topic not to be discussed. The meeting was rather brief, 10 minutes or so.
-July 10, 1884: Died of a stroke while in his bath after returning from a mid afternoon walk.
oops! here are the references
www.chesscafe.com [an excellent critique on C. A. Buck’s pamphlet]
batgirl.atspace.com [best on the net!]
www.chesshistory.com [a specific discourse on the “Englishman”
www.geocities.com [excellent timeline]
www.scribd.com [a better link to C.A. Buck]
Deleted by cyna on 16-Apr-09, 23:40.
Good work, JC...
On July 10, 1884 Paul died of a stroke while taking a cold bath after an afternoon walk on Canal Street. He died at 89 Royal Street, New Orleans. He was just 47 years old. Paul’s mother was concerned that Paul was taking a bath for over an hour. He did not respond to here and the door was locked. She called a neighbor, Mollo, who forced the door open. They found Paul unconscious and called a doctor. The doctor pronounced Paul Morphy dead from “congestion of the brain” at 2:30 pm.
Paul Morphy’s funeral was on July 11, 1884 and held at Saint Louis Cathedral, the oldest church in Louisiana. The pall bearers were his brother Edward, his cousins Edgar Hincks, E.A. Morphy, Leonce Percy, Henry Percy, and Charles de Maurian. Charles de Maurian wrote his obituary for the New Orleans Times Democrat.
The Morphys' are buried in an above-ground tomb at Saint Louis Cemetery Number One, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The cemetery is located near the St. Louis Cathedral, a few blocks north of the French Quarter. It is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans.
The Morphy tomb reads:
Paul Morphy 1837-1884
Emma Merlin Morphy 1862-1947
Paul H. Morphy 1886-1951
Juanita Morphy 1889-1972
Elmina Morphy 1890-1978
Paul H. Morphy, Jr. 1925-1991
Yevkine Morphy Prados 1901-1993
Edward Rene Morphy 1928-1994
The New York Sun in its obituary notice on Morphy said that blindfold chess had made him insane and killed him. “The strain in his brain produced a brain fever, from which he never recovered.”
Paul Morphy played 227 competitive games during his lifetime, winning 83 percent of his games. He played 59 serious games in matches and the 1857 New York tournament. He won 42, drew 9, and lost 8.
Morphy stood 5 feet, 4 inches in height and was slim. He never married. He wore a cloak, kid gloves, a monocle (he was nearsighted at an early age), and always had a walking stick. He was always particular about how he dressed. He was a dandy.
Paul Morphy's mother, Thelcide, died on January 11, 1885.
Paul Morphy’s sister, Helena, died in 1886.
In 1890, a fire at the New Orleans Chess, Checkers and Whist Club lost most of their records and Morphy memorabilia.
On October 18, 1893, Edward Morphy, Paul’s brother, died in New Orleans.
In 1926, Regina Morphy-Voiter wrote The Life of Paul Morphy in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans and Abroad. She was the daughter of Paul Morphy’s brother, Edward. She was born in 1870 and was 14 when here uncle Paul died.
In an interview in former Yugoslavia, International Grandmaster Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) commented on Paul Morphy saying "Morphy ... I think everyone agrees.... was probably the greatest of them all."
In 1964, Fischer wrote an article in Chessworld, naming Morphy as one of the 10 greatest chess players of all time and “the most accurate chess player who ever lived.”
In 1976, David Lawson (1886-1980), born Charles Whipple, wrote Paul Morphy, the Pride and Sorrow of Chess. Lawson was 90 years old at the time the book was published. The book was published by David McKay and is 424 pages.
Source (with even more "timelines"): www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/morphy.htm
Link to some of his games: www.chessgames.com Paul Morphy.
PAUL MORPHY'S Death Notice in The New York Times
Paul Morphy, Attorney At Law
Paul Morphy, Attorney in Supreme Court Case
Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana. pp.503-
NEW ORLEANS, NOVEMBER, 1867.
[Chief Justice: Hon. Wm. B. Hyman
Associate Justices: Hon. Zenon Labauve, Hon. J. H. Ilsley, Hon. R. K. Howell, Hon. J. G. Тaliaferro ]
Bellocq vs. Dhones and Penent.
No. 823.—H. BELLOCQ v. A. DHONES AND A. PENENT.
Plaintiff sues defendant for a settlement of the partnership account, and for damages against the managing partner. A third party intervenes, and claims a schooner as his own property, which he had purchased from the defendant, the managing partner, by notarial act, prior to the institution of the suit. Plaintiff remets his demand on the grounds, 1st: that the act of sale was not recorded, as required by acts of Congress; 2d, that it is not expressed on the face of the act of sale that he acted for himself and partners ; 3d, that the price was not a good one, and the purchaser had notice of the claims of the other partners. The notarial act of sale, which informed the intervenor of the interest of plaintiffs, also informed him that the legal title was in defendant, and that the defendants have full authority to sell the vessel: Held— That, under the terms of this agreement and authority, the transfer of the schooner, by defendant to intervenor, of the legal title, carried with it the equitable title also.
APPEAL from the Sixth District Court of New Orleans, Duplantier, J. G. Schmidt, for plaintiff. C. W. Hornor, for intervenor. Paul Morphy, for curator ad hoc.
HOWELL, J. [Probably Justice R. K. Howell] This is a suit to dissolve a partnership, sell and distribute the proceeds of a vessel belonging to the partnership, and to recover damages from the managing partner for negligence, unskillfnlness, etc.
One of the defendants, A. Penent, joins the plaintiff in his demand. The other is represented by a curator ad hoc.
The only question before us is raised on the intervention of Christoval Espinóla, who claims the vessel as owner, by purchase for a valuable consideration from the defendant, A. Dhones, as sole owner, and having the right to sell.
By a notarial act between the parties, Dhones, Bellocq and Penent, it is declared, that they are the joint owners of the schooner Glacier, bought and registered in the name of A. Dhones, who is appointed master, and vested with authority to sell, at his discretion, for " a good price."
On the 9th of August, 1864, he sold to the intervenor, by act, acknowledged before J. M. Day, Notary, and on the next day this suit was filed, and the schooner sequestered. Plaintiff, who alone complains of the judgment, contends that the title of the intervenor is not good, because it was not recorded as required by act of Congress, July 29th, 1850, (Stat. at Large, vol. 9, p. 440;) because there was no delivery; because it is not expressed on the face of the act of sale, that Dhones acted for himself and his partners; because the price was not a good one; and because the purchaser had notice of the claims of the other partners."
We consider it necessary to examine the third and last grounds only, which may be thus stated:
The intervenor, having knowledge through his agent, that Bellocq & Penent were partners, the act of sale to him by Dhones, in whom the legal title existed, should have expressed that he acted under his mandate in selling their interest.
The rule invoked by plaintiff is undoubtedly correct: "Nothing is better settled than the rule, that the purchaser with notice of a trust stands in no better situation than the seller, and it is equally settled that notice to the agent is notice to the principal."
But this rule, as quoted by plaintiff, appears in a dissenting opinion, and was not considered by a majority of the Supreme Court of the United States, to apply to the case decided, which on this point is quite similar to the one now before us. See 2 Black., page 372. The notarial act which informed intervenor of the interest of Bellocq & Penent, also informed that the legal title was in Dhones, and that the latter had full authority to sell the vessel. Under the peculiar terms of this agreement and authority, the transfer by Dhones of the legal title carried with it, in our opinion, the equitable title. The proof adduced by plaintiff of knowledge in the intervenor of his rights, is also proof of his authorization to transfer those rights, which were carried in the name of the transferrer.
The evidence does not satisfy us, that the District Judge erred. It is therefore ordered that the judgment be affirmed, with costs.
Paul Morphy, Notary
"New Orleans Notarial Archives have compiled a list of New Orleans notaries. The listing includes each notary's name, years of service, and "novols," which indicates the number of volumes that the notary has in the collection. The listing is alphabetical, based on the notaries' last names."
Notary Beginning Date Ending Date NOVOLS
Morphy, Paul 1/1/58 1/1/68 41
The Civil Law Notary:
"The notary at civil law is a highly trained public official who drafts private agreements into documentary language and then functions as an archivist of the document he or she creates. The properly signed contract executed before a notary public at civil law is an "authentic act," deemed to be proof of its contents."
"By law he had to maintain an office open to the public during regular hours. He had to have his notarial acts bound at least every second year. As a precaution against fire, his office had to be in a brick building with a tile roof."
NOTE: Paul Morphy was not the only attorney-at-law to engage in practice as a civil law notary, in addition to practicing law. Many of his contemporaries are listed in these notarial archives. For example, J. M. Queyrouze, attorney-at-law, is listed, as well as several others. Paul Morphy's 41 volumes is more than the majority of his peers, as you will notice, which proves he did not simply spend his time in New Orleans dallying in idleness or promenading about town, as some writers have claimed. It seems clear to me that Paul Morphy dressed in his suit and went to work everyday, walking to his office. Feel free to comment or add your own contributions here, regarding Paul Morphy's law career. And please let me know if you have any questions, as I have more information and I'm always researching.