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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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‘Dear General

‘We have been so baffled by the weather, that we only arrived here last night.  I Believe we shall find no difficulties in procuring a sufficient body of volunteers for the New York expedition.  The unhappy accounts form Canada seem to animate these people, rather than depress them.  We have now occasion for  exertion and decision.  I am apprehensive that the Congress must be inspired by you  They have just given a strong, and, I think, unfortunate instance of indecision.  Colonel Waterberry had raised a regiment.  The regiment was equipped and ready for embarkation.  They were to have landed in Oyster Bayk, and to have attacked the tories on Long Island.  Lord Stirling was to have attacked them on the other side,--all this by order of Congress; when suddenly colonel Waterberry received an order to disband his regiment, and the tories ar to rmain unmolested, till they are joined by the King’s assassins.  Governor Trumbull, like a man of sense and spirit, has ordered this regiment to be reassembled.  I believe it will be ready on Sunday, the day on which I shall march from this town.

‘I shall send immediately an express to the Congress, informing them of my situation, an dat the same time conjuring them, not to suffer the accursed provincial Congress of New York to defeat measures, so absolutely necessary to our salvation.  The affairs of Canaday I suppose will very soon, if not instantly, require a very considerable force from this province.  Neither will the circumstances of New York admit of its being too much stripped of men, for which reason I should think it advisable, immediately, to raise some additional regiments in Massachusetts Bay.  Adieu, dear General; God prosper you, and the arms of virtue.  Yours most affectionately,

‘Charles Lee’

The intelligence of General Lee’s destination reached New York, about the time of his arrival in New Haven, and it created a panic scarcely less agitating, than would have been produced by a discharge of fire rockets and hot shot from the

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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 75. 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