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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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This report was accompanied with a resolution, offered by Mr. Morris, which provided that no one article should be considered so essential to the others, as to exclude the idea of accommodation without such article, and that no part of the report should be obligatory on the representatives in the Continental Congress.  Hence the report was reduced to a mere expression of opinion, which he avows to he the design of his resolution, since to send such an instrument in the nature of instructions would embarrass rather than aid their exertions in that body.  There is room to believe, that Mr. Morris was not well satisfied with the articles themselves, nor with the project of drawing up a series of propositions, in the nature of a creed, on this subject by a colonial Assembly, and that he took this method of neutralizing any ill effects, which might possibly grow out of them, if left in their original meaning and purpose.

In the letter to their delegates, enclosing the above report, the Congress write; ‘We must now repeat to you the common and just observation, that contests for liberty, fostered in their infancy by the virtuous and wise, become sources of power to wicked and designing men.  Whence it follows, that such controversies, as we are now engaged in, frequently end in the demolition of those rights and privileges, which they were instituted to defend.  We pray you, therefore, to use every effort for the compromising of this unnatural quarrel between the parent and child, and, if such terms as you may think best shall not be complied with, earnestly to labor, that at least some terms may be held up, whereby a treaty shall be set on foot to restore peace and harmony to our country, and spare the further effusion of human blood.’

The representatives in reply, after acknowledging the receipt of this letter, with the enclosed plan of accommodation, add; ‘Deeply sensible of the calamities of a civil war, we have nothing more at heart than to be instrumental in compromising this unnatural quarrel between the two countries, on the solid basis of mutual justice and constitutional liberty, and


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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 49. 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