Home to one of the earliest judges of the DC Circuit Court, the Morsell House (John S. Williams House; Decatur-Gunther House) was built in 1813, and has been home to many of DC’s affluent and influential figures. James Sewall Morsell lived in the home and was appointed to the court in 1815. He also had his own private law practice. Other key owners of this Federal style home include Susan Decatur, widow of Naval Hero Stephen Decatur, who moved into the Morsell Home after her husband was killed in a duel in 1820 by Commodore Barron, a naval officer who served with Decatur but disagreed with him.
This historic house has only been sold twice. Once to Franklin Mott Gunther, who was the last United States Minister to Romania, before diplomatic relations were severed at the start of the Second World War. He and his wife would purchase the house in 1932, and reside there until 1984, when it was transferred to the second husband of Mrs. Louisa Gunther, Mihail Farcasanu. The house was bought for the second time around the late 1980s by Frederick H. Prince IV and his wife, who was co-trustee of the Frederick Henry Prince 1932 Trust.
In 2022, the Morsell House was sold again.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
Within the Georgetown Historic District