ISAAC C. MORRIS
Isaac C. Morris (1857-1937): St. John's businessman, politician, writer and public speaker. He was born in St. John's, where he operated a sail-making business and served on the Municipal Commission and the city Council. He was a prolific writer for the St. John's newspapers on the social and political issues of the day, and it was in this capacity that he became "one of the important people in Bell Island's history never to have lived there." There were no newspapers published on Bell Island in the first few decades of the iron ore operations, and no newspaper correspondents living on Bell Island to report on all the mining and other activity going on there. Morris liked to travel outside St. John's on summer weekends and holidays, visiting communities and chatting with locals about their history and culture. You might say he was an early folklorist because he would make notes of who he met and what they told him. When he returned home, he would write up these experiences for publication in the St. John's periodicals. He visited Bell Island on at least 5 occasions between 1897 and 1911 and reported in The Daily News on the mining activity and social life, and changes he had observed over that time period. There is an uncredited article entitled "Bell Island" in the first edition of The Newfoundland Quarterly, July 1901, which, judging by the writing style, may have been written by Morris.