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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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Were founded all their deliberations, resolves, and acts.† Nor did it ever occur to them, that such a deed would be the greatest folly the British could commit, that the wanton burning of the town would kindle a flame of indignant feeling throughout the nation, which oculd not be quenched, and that it was not their purpose to multiply and exasperate enemies, but to preserve and conciliate friends.† We are now arrived at a period, in which this feeble and fallacious policy of the New York congress will be seen in still bolder relief.

In the month of December, it was discovered by certain indications in the British army at Boston, that preparations were making for fitting out a fleet, and sending off a detachment of soldiers, from that place.† Their destination could only be conjectured, but as at that season it must necessarily be to the southward, it was supposed the most likely point was New York.† As soon as General Washington was satisfied, that the embarkation would speedily take place, he resolved to despatch general Charles Lee to New York, with orders to take command of such for4ces as he could collect in Connecticut, and in that city, and prepare for such a defence as he should be able to make, against any hostile attempts of the enemy.† Captain Sears, who had now found his way to Washingtonís camp, was sent forward to explain to Governor Trumbull the nature of the enterprise, and collect volunteers in Connecticut.† General Lee left Cambridge on the 11th of January, with instructions from the commander in chief to repair to New York with such forces as he could rally on the way, and, when there, to call on the commander of the New Jersey troups for his aid, to put the city in the best posture of defence, which the season and circumstances† would admit, to disarm persons on Long Island and elsewhere, known to be disaffected to the view of Congress, and to look into the condition of the fortifications on the North River.† On the 16th of January, General Lee wrote to General Washington from New Haven.

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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 74. 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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