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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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The temper and sentiments of this letter were in direct opposition to the views of the persons, to whom it was addressed.  They had several clays before passed strong resolves, disapproving and disavowing any hostile intentions against Canada, and, with a warmth not usual in deliberative bodies, had ‘declared to the world, that they considered every such step as infamous, and highly inimical to all the American colonies,’ and they appointed a committee, of whom Gouverneur Morris was chairman, to draw up a letter to be sent to the Canadians, assuring them that no hostile designs were entertained against their persons, liberty, or property.

The Continental Congress, also, made a similar declaration, and ordered it to be transmitted to Canada.  It may be imagined, therefore, that Ethan Allen’s letter met with no welcome reception.  And yet, within two months and a half after it was written, a formidable expedition was ordered into Canada, under the command of the brave and ill-fated Montgomery, and on grounds precisely similar to those stated by Allen.  His advice, as events turned out, although looked upon at the time as wild and visionary, was the best that could be followed.  Had such forces, as could easily have been gathered from Connecticut and Massachusetts, been marched into Canada immediately after the reduction of the posts on Lake Champlain, they would have made an easy conquest of the

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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 58. 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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Last modified August 20, 2006