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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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ren in Massachusetts, threatening to involve this continent in all the horrors of a civil war, obliges us to call for the united aid and counsel of the colony at this dangerous crisis.’

The committee at the same time drew up a paper in the form of an association, to be signed by the inhabitants at large, in which, after declaring themselves ‘persuaded, that the salvation of the rights and liberties of America depend, under God, on the firm union of its inhabitants in a vigorous prosecution of the measures necessary for its safety, and convinced of the necessity of preventing the anarchy and confusion, which attend a dissolution of the powers of government,’ they resolve ‘in the most solemn manner never to become slaves, and to associate, under all the ties of religion, honor, and love to their country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution whatever measures may be recommended by the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by the Provincial Convention, for the purpose of preserving their constitution, and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British Parliament, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America, on constitutional principles, which is most ardently desired, can be obtained.’  Thus stimulated there was no delay with the committees in appointing delegates to the proposed Congress, and they met in New York on the 22d of May.  The mode of election was nearly the same as in the preceding Convention.  Eighty-one members were returned, of whom about seventy attended.  Among this number were Richard Montgomery of Dutchess country, afterwards the immortal hero of Quebec, and Gouverneur Morris, elected from the county of Westchester.  Thu in three weeks from the time when the circular letters were written from New York, the elections had been completed, and the members were all at their post.

The first act of the Congress, after organizing themselves, was to decide on their rules of proceeding.  The most important of these was the plan of voting, which they adopted.  It was agreed that all questions should be determined by a ma-

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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 35. 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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