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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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and Morris was Judge of Vice Admiralty, and afterwards Chief Justice of New York.

Gouverneur Morris, the subject of the present memoir, was the youngest son by a second marriage, and born at Morrisania January thirty-first, 1752.  Very little is known of his early years, and whether as a boy he was remarkable for precocity, or dulness, or mischief, there is neither record nor tradition to inform us.  Rumor speaks of his fondness for rural sports, and the delights he enjoyed in rambling over his paternal domains in that species of exercise and amusement.  When quite a child he was put to live in the family of a French teacher, M. Tetar, at New Rochelle, where he acquired the basis of the French language, which in after life he wrote and spoke with nearly as much fluency and correctness as his native tongue.  His father died before he was twelve years old, leaving him to the care of his mother.

The second marriage of his father seems not to have been well received by the family, and especially by the elder children.  Hence a breach was made in the bonds oŁ family union and sympathy, which was not healed for many years, and which contributed to estrange the second wife and her young charge from the interests of the other branches of the family.  But as she was left with ample provisions by her husband, neither she nor her children experienced any other inconvenience from these dissentions, than the privation of those endearments, which are the result of reciprocal good feeling and kindness between those, who are bound together by the ties of consanguinity.  She applied herself to the management of her affairs, and the education of her son.[2]

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From The Life of Gouverneur Morris: With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers; Detailing Events in the American Revolution, The French Revolution, and in the Political History of the United States, by Jared Sparks, Volume 1, Boston: Gray & Bowen, 1832, p 4. Some minor edits may have been made, but an attempt has been made to preserve the original spelling. Although some effort has been made to correct the limitations of OCR technology, if you find an error please report it to


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