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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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gress, not finding the temperament of public feeling in New York to rise fast enough for the warmth of his own, had retired into Connecticut, and joined himself to the more sanguine partizans of freedom in that colony.  About this time, Rivington, the publisher of a newspaper in New York, ventured to make his journal the vehicle of sentiments extremely offensive to the liberal party, and this without receiving any check, or drawing down any rebukes, from the Congress, or any other constituted authority.  Such a tame submission to the impudence and insult of a printer, was more than Sears and his Connecticut associates could brook.  On the twenty-third of November, a company of light-horse from Connecticut, seventy-five in number, armed with muskets and bayonets, with Captain Sears at their head, marched into New York at noonday, proceeded to Rivington’s house, broke his presses, and seized and carried off in triumph the guilty types, which had been the passive instruments of the printer’s insolence, nor stopped with them till safely deposited within the Connecticut borders, where they were melted into bullets.  In returning through Westchester county, these men seized also upon the clergyman of the parish, and one of the justices of the peace, suspected of tory principles, and made them the unwilling companions of their journey, during the rest of their retreat.

This effort of the Connecticut knight-errants gave deep umbrage to the New York Congress, who fancied it to be not only a trampling upon their authority, but a reproach to their vigilance.  They addressed a letter of solemn remonstrance to the Governor of Connecticut, and wrote to their delegates in Philadelphia, requesting that the affair might be brought before the Continental Congress.  They complain to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, ‘that they cannot but consider such intrusions, as an invasion of their essential rights as a distinct colony,’ and add, ‘that common justice obliges them to request, that all the types should be returned to the chairman of the General Committee of the city and county of New York.’  They add again, ‘we beg you will not consider this requisition

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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 66. 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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