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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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is a never failing source of national debt, and that there are no bounds to national debt but national ruin.'

In regard to this last remark, it must be remembered, that it does not necessarily apply to all kinds of 'paper currency,' but only to the particular kind which be has been considering, that is, certificates of loans issued by the government oil the strength of its own credit, merely for the purpose of obtaining a temporary relief; and on such terms as to afford an undue temptation to adventurous borrowers.

In another paper our young financier takes on himself the part of a legislator, and criticises the forms of the bill, and points out with a good deal of acuteness various defects and unsound principles, which he conceives it to contain.  The following extract may serve as a specimen.  'Whether former acts,' says he, 'authorize such a method of proceeding I cannot tell, but by this the jurisdiction of the supreme court, which is according to the rules of the common law, and the dictates of common sense, confined within the bounds of the colony, is nevertheless by a legislature, whose jurisdiction is the same, extended to the trial of felonies therein named, though committed in a different province; which is indeed giving to others what does not belong to themselves; like that little Prince of Italy, who gave away the whole continent of America and the richest provinces of Asia to the Kings of Spain and Portugal.'

In October, 1771, Mr. Morris was licensed to practise as an attorney at law, full three months before he was twenty years of age.  His financial discussions, and some other proofs of his abilities, lead made him known to .he principal men of the province; and a volunteer address to a jury about the time of his being licensed, on some occasion in which the community took a deep interest, was represented by the hearers as an extraordinary display of eloquence and skilful reasoning in so young a man.  With the advantages of his family name, a fine person, an agreeable elocution, active and industrious habits, talents, and ambition, no young roan in the province

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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 15. 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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