George Perrott Macculloch Award for Leadership

Born in Bombay, India in 1775, George Perrott Macculloch, a Morristown immigrant entrpreneur, must be given the credit for conceiving the idea for the Morris Canal and ultimately carrying it through to completion. In 1822 he took the lead and brought a group of interested citizens together at Morristown, including Governor Isaac Williamson, to discuss his idea. His proposal was received favorably. On November 15, 1822, an act was passed by the New Jersey legislature appointing canal commissioners, one of which was Macculloch, to employ technical help to investigate the feasibility of a canal, possible route location, and estimate costs. The canal was constructed by private investors. An act was passed on December 31, 1824, incorporating the Morris Canal and Banking Company to form an artificial waterway capable of navigation between the Passaic and Delaware rivers. Twenty thousand shares of stock at one hundred dollars a share provided two million dollars of capital – one million for building the canal and one million for banking privileges.  On November 4, 1831, the first trip from Newark to Phillipsburg was completed. The canal was 90 miles long, and the trip from Newark to Phillipsburg took about five days. The first full boating season was 1832.


This award is presented to an immigrant owned and operated business that has:

  • An inspirational visionary who leads by example of commitment, strong ethical values, and integrity.
  • Demonstrated a strong ability to create win-win relationships.
  • A positive mentor who empowers others in his or her industry and community to achieve success.

Nominate an immigrant entrepreneur for the George Perrott Macculloch Award for Leadership

Previous winners of the George Perrott Macculloch Award for Leadership