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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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the usual mode, and in each county a majority of the polls were against an election of deputies, alleging as a reason, that they had been disappointed in the hopes they entertained of the former Congress, and in their confident belief, that a plan of reconciliation with Great Britain would before that time have been effected.  But the truth was, the inhabitants of these two counties had been tampered with, by the British men-of-war in the harbor of New York.  They had been supplied with arms and ammunition from the Asia, and after Governor Tryon retired on board an armed ship, driven .there, as he pretended, by the fear that his person was not.  safe on shore, he had an easy access through his influence, and by his local situation, to the people in those counties.

The Congress undertook to pass a censure upon the disaffected persons, who thus openly contemned their authority, and resolved that they had violated the general Association, that they should be put out of the protection of the Congress, that the names of the delinquents should be reported and published, and that all commercial intercourse between them and the other inhabitants should be cut off.  This was a kind of brutum fulmen, which could do no harm to one party, and of course no good to the other.  These persons neither expected nor desired any protection from the Congress, nor cared who knew their names; a commercial intercourse they wanted not, and the general Association they despised.  The true secret of these imbecile proceedings is contained in the letter of the Congress to their delegates at Philadelphia, in which they say, that they have gone as far as a ' prudent regard' to the circumstances of the city would permi

The terrific apparition of a burning town haunted them day and night.  They nourished the vipers in their bosom, and lived in a perpetual apprehension of their bite.  ‘The power which the King's ships have of destroying the property of the city,’--this was the pivot upon which the wheel of their policy turned, the star of ill omen, that never ceased to linger with portentous aspect in their vision, the axiom on which


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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 73. 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 jvinci@colonialhall.com.

 
 


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Last modified August 20, 2006