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Page 4

Lewis Morris

1726-1798

   The reason which has been assigned for this strong reluctance in that colony, was the peculiar intimacy which existed between the people of the city and the officers of the royal government. The military officers, in particular, had rendered themselves very acceptable to the citizens, by their urbanity; and had even formed connections with some of the most respectable families.

   This intercourse continued even after the commencement of hostilities, and occasioned the reluctance which existed in that colony to separate from the mother country. Even as late as the middle of March, 1776, Governor Tryon, although he had been forced to retreat on board a British armed vessel in the harbor for safety, bad great influence over the citizens, by means of artful and insinuating addresses, which he caused to be published and spread through the city. The following extract from one of these addresses, will convey to the reader some idea of the art employed by this minister of the crown, to prevent the people of that colony from mingling in the struggle.

   "It is in the clemency and authority of Great Britain only that we can look for happiness, peace, and protection; and I have it in command from the king, to encourage, by every means in my power, the expectations in his majesty's well disposed subjects in this government, of every assistance and protection the state of Great Britain will enable his majesty to afford them, and to crush every appearance of a disposition, on their part, to withstand the tyranny and misrule, which accompany the acts of those who have but too well, hitherto, succeeded in the total subversion of legal government. Under such assurances, therefore, I exhort all the friends to good order, and our justly admired constitution, still to preserve that constancy of mind which is inherent in the breasts of virtuous and loyal citizens, and, I trust, a very few months will relieve them from their present oppressed, injured, and insulted condition.

   "I have the satisfaction to inform you, that a door is still open to such honest, but deluded people, as will avail themselves of the justice and benevolence, which the supreme legislature has held out to them, of being restored to the king's grace and peace; and that proper steps have been taken for passing a commission for that purpose, under the great seal of Great Britain, in conformity to a provision in a late act of parliament, the commissioners thereby to be appointed having. also, power to inquire into the state and condition of the colonies for effecting a restoration of the public tranquillity."

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Last modified January 2, 2004