Henry Mason Morfit was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1793. After his capture at sea in 1810, Morfit escaped from his French captors and returned to the United States, where he became a lawyer and Andrew Jackson's commissioner to Texas in 1836. In 1857, he moved to Maryland, where he remained until his death. He and his wife, Catherine Campbell, had 15 children.
Campbell Morfit (1820-1897), the son of Henry M. Morfit, was a chemist and worked for a time as a professor of chemistry at the University of Maryland before moving to England during the Civil War. Morfit authored several notable works on the science throughout his life.
John Wright, the uncle of Wilbur and Orville Wright, lived in Chicago, Illinois, in the mid-1850s, and attempted to secure a patent for improvements in reaping knives and mining machines.