Born in Bethel, Ohio, Morris attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Warsaw, Illinois, in 1836. He moved to Quincy, Illinois in 1838 and continued the practice of law. He was appointed secretary of state of Illinois in 1840, but declined. He served as president of the Illinois & Michigan Canal Co. in 1841. He served as member of the State house of representatives 1846-1848.
Morris was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1860. He was appointed commissioner for the Union Pacific Railroad by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1869. He died in Quincy, Illinois on October 29, 1879 and was interred in Woodland Cemetery.