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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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equal number of both parties, but with a preponderance on the liberal side.[7]

Mr. Morris was present at this meeting, and on the next day he wrote an account of it to his friend Mr. Penn, together with some of his own opinions on the political aspect of the times.

New York, May 20th, 1774.

‘Dear Sir,

‘You have heard, and you will hear, a great deal about politics, and in the heap of chaff you may find some grains of good sense.  Believe me, Sir, freedom and religion are only watch words.  We have appointed a Committee, or rather we have nominated one.  Let me give you the history of it.  It is needless to premise, that the lower orders of mankind are more easily led by specious appearances; than those of a more exalted station.  This and many similar propositions you know better than your humble servant.

‘The troubles in America during Grenville’s administration put our gentry upon this finesse.  They stimulated some daring coxcombs to rouse the mob into an attack upon the bounds of order and decency.  These fellows became the Jack Cades of the day, the leaders in all riots, the belwethers of the flock.  The reason of the manoeuvre in those, who wished to keep fair with government, and at the same time to receive the incense of popular applause, you will readily perceive.  On the whole, the shepherds were not much to blame in a politic point of view.  The belwethers jingled merrily, and roared out liberty, and property, and religion, and a multitude of cant terms,


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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 23. 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 jvinci@colonialhall.com.

 
 


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Last modified August 20, 2006