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Page 3

Lewis Morris

1726-1798

   In the spring of 1775, it was no longer doubtful that a resort must be had to arms. Indeed, the battle of Lexington had opened the war; Shortly after which the New York convention of deputies were assembled to appoint delegates to the general congress. Men of a zealous, bold, and independent stamp, appeared now to be required. It was not singular, therefore, that Mr. Morris should have been elected.

   On the 15th of May, he took his seat in that body, and eminently contributed, by his indefatigable zeal, to promote the interests of the country. He was placed on a committee of which Washington was the chairman, to devise ways and means to supply the colonies with ammunition and military stores, of which they were nearly destitute. The labors of this committee were exceedingly arduous.

   During this session of congress, Mr. Morris was appointed to this delicate and difficult task of detaching the western Indians from a coalition with the British government, and securing their cooperation with the American colonies. Soon after his appointment to this duty, he repaired to Pittsburgh, in which place, and the vicinity, he continued for some time zealously engaged in accomplishing the object of his mission. In the beginning of the year 1776, he resumed his seat in congress, and was a member of several committees, which were appointed to purchase muskets and bayonets, and to encourage the manufacture of salt-peter and gunpowder.

   During the winter of 1775 and 1776, the subject of a Declaration of Independence began to occupy the thoughts of many in all parts of the country. Such a declaration seemed manifestly desirable to the leading patriots of the day, but an unwillingness prevailed extensively in the country, to destroy all connection with Great Britain. In none of the colonies was this unwillingness more apparent than in New York.

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