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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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signed by William Henry Drayton, Arthur Middleton, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and others, enclosing a curious intercepted letter from General Gage to Governor Martin of North Carolina.  ‘We are to thank you,' say the above gentlemen, for your intelligence of the fifth ultimo, and do most heartily congratulate you upon that proper spirit, which now appears in your colony.  The apprehension of a defection in you, which we are happy to find was unjustly formed, occasioned in us, and must undoubtedly have given to all America, inexpressible anxiety, and at the same time have encouraged the Ministry to proceed in their measures, as a proof of the confidence, which our enemies placed in you.’  The intercepted letter from General Gage to Governor Martin was dated at Boston, April twelfth, that is, six days before the affair at Lexington, and was in the words following.


‘Your letter of the 16th of March I have had the pleasure to receive, and am glad to hear that many of the people in your province are beginning to find they have been misled, and that they seem inclined to disengage themselves from the arbitrary power of the Continental Congress, and of their committees.  I wish I could say as much for the people of this province, who are more cool than they were, but their leaders, by their arts and artifices, still keep up that seditious and licentious spirit, that has led them on all occasions to oppose government, and even to acts of rebellion.  The late accounts from England have embarrassed their councils much.  They have applied to the New England governments, and doubtless will to those at the southward, to assist them, but I hope the madness of the latter is wearing off, and that they will get no encouragement from thence.

‘This province has some time been, and now is, in the new-fangled legislature, termed a Provincial Congress, who seem to have taken the government into their hands.  What they intend to do I cannot pretend to say, but they are much puzzled how to act.  Fear in some, and a want of inclination

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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 44. 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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