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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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fears, mingled perhaps with some slight chiding s of conscience on his part, that he had been over zealous in what he called his official duty, were the only grounds of his alarm.  The part he chose to take with the Indians, is shown in a letter from the Reverend Samuel Kirkland to the committee of Albany, dated at Cherry Valley, on the ninth of June.  Mr. Kirkland had been for many years a laborious and faithful missionary among the Oneida Indians, understood their language and character perfectly, and was greatly beloved by them.

‘I am much embarrassed,’ says he, ‘at present.  You have doubtless heard that Colonel Johnson has orders from government to remove the dissenting missionaries from the Six Nations, till the difficulties between Great Britain and the colonies are settled; in consequence of which he has forbidden my return to my people at Oneida.  He has since given encouragement, that I may revisit them after the Congress is closed; but to be plain, I have no dependence at all on his promises of this kind.  [to appears unreasonably jealous of me, and has forbidden my speaking a word to the Indians, and threatened me with confinement if I transgress.  All he has against me I suppose to be a suspicion, that I have interpreted to the Indians the doings of the Continental Congress, which has undeceived there, and too much opened their eyes for Colonel Johnson's purposes.  I confess to you, gentlemen, that I have been guilty of this, if it be a transgression: The Indians found out that I had received the abstracts of said Congress, and insisted upon knowing the contents.  I could not deny them, notwithstanding my cloth, though in all other respects I have been extremely cautious not to meddle in matters of a political nature.  I apprehend that my interpreting the doings of the Congress to a number of their sachems has done more real good to the cause of the country, or the cause of truth and justice, than five hundred pounds in presents would have effected.’

About the same time the New York Congress received a letter from the Provincial Congress of South Carolina,


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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 43. 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