Colonial Hall -- Biographies of America's Founding Fathers

-Signers of the Declaration
-Signers of the A. O. C.
-Signers of the U. S. Constitution
-Wives of the Signers
-Other Founders

Follow colonialhall on Twitter

The Life of Gouverneur Morris

< Prev      Page 50      Next >

the most strenuous efforts on our part shall be exerted with unremitting ardor to accomplish this salutary purpose.  We acknowledge, with the utmost gratitude, the deference you are pleased to pay to our judgment, and your delicacy in leaving us unrestrained in a point of all others the most essential to yourselves and your posterity, to the continent of America, and to the whole British Empire; and happy shall we esteem ourselves, if, in the discharge of this difficult and arduous trust, we shall merit your approbation, and the confidence of the country.’

A postscript is added to this letter, in the hand writing of Mr. Jay, but signed by all the delegates, respecting the clause on ecclesiastical concerns.  ‘As the inhabitants of the colonies,’ say they, ‘are happily united in a political creed, we are of opinion that it would be highly imprudent to run the risk of dividing them by the introduction of disputes foreign, to the present controversy, especially as the discussion of them can be attended with no one single advantage.  They are points about which man will forever differ, and therefore should always, and at least in times like these, be kept out of sight.  We are the more confirmed in these sentiments by this circumstance, that both this and the former Congress have cautiously avoided the least hint on subjects of this kind, all the members concurring in a design of burying all disputes on ecclesiastical points, which have for ages had no other tendency, than that of banishing peace and charity from the world.’  On these considerations the delegates state, that they have unanimously agreed to be silent as to that article.

It may be thought strange, that any one should be alarmed at the idea of I the indulgence and the establishment of popery, all along the interior confines of the old Protestant colonies.’  But this alludes to a bill, which had been recently passed by the British Parliament for the government of Canada, commonly called the ‘Quebec Bill granting extraordinary privileges to the Catholic clergy, and of which the obvious policy was to conciliate the Canadians through the influence of the priests, and unite them against the other

< Prev      Page 50      Next >

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 50. 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


Designed and Edited by John Vinci
Last modified August 20, 2006