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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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assembled again, the subject came before there, and a resolution was passed disapproving the measure.

Another event of some magnitude: occurred, during the adjournment of the Congress.  The Mayor of New York attended at the door of the Committee, and, being admitted, gave information that Governor Tryon had sent for hint the day before, and told him, that lee had just received a letter from Lord Dartmouth, notifying him that orders had been given to the commanders of the King's ships in America, that, in case any more troops were raised, or fortifications erected, or the King’s stores taken, they must consider such places as in a state of rebellion.  This intelligence caused alarm, for his Majesty's ship of war Asia lay in the harbor, and had already been an object of terror to the inhabitants, from an apprehension, that the town would be set on fire by it.  A serious affray had recently happened, between the commander of that ship, and a body of men sent by the Provincial Congress to withdraw the cannon at the battery.  While engaged in this act the man-of-war fired upon them, and three persons were wounded.  The Captain vindicated his conduct on the ground, that it was his duty to protect the property of the King; but the inhabitants affirmed, that the guns at the battery belonged to the province, and not to the King.  The people were angry at what they deemed a wanton outrage, and seized two of the Asia’s boats, which came ashore at different times, and destroyed them.  One of them the Congress ordered to be rebuilt and restored, but, before it could be finished, it was secretly sawed in pieces by persons unknown.

But notwithstanding the exasperated state of public feeling, the Congress still allowed provisions to be carried to the Asia, which increased the irritation, and caused hard things to be said against them, for it was not easily discovered, by what rules of equity or policy those persons should be punished, who were detected in supplying the enemy's ships in Boston and other places, and at the same time the government itself should openly abet this practice in New York.  General

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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 64. 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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