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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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Washington, and all the patriots out of New York, were indignant at this singular inconsistency, to call it by no worse name.  It arose in part from timidity, but as much, perhaps, with some of the principal citizens, from the belief, that the cause would in the end suffer less by keeping in good humor with the ships of war ‘in the harbor, than by running the hazard of having the town burned down, the lives of the inhabitants endangered, and their property destroyed.  This is the only shadow of excuse, that can be conceived, for the pusillanimity of the Congress in tolerating such a procedure, and acting in contradiction to themselves.[16]

Captain Sears, who had been so conspicuous for his zeal and activity, and who was a member of the Provincial Con

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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 65. 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