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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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involved in a new difficulty, for they got into a debate about the disposition, which should be shade of the troops on their arrival. Some were for having them stopped in their march, till a conference could be had with the committee of Congress, but this was carried in the negative; and finally it was decided, that the troops should be received, and lodged in the city barracks, on conditions that they were to be under the direction of the Committee of Safety, till General Lee should arrive, and the matter should be finally arranged by a conference between him and the two committees. To this proposal the committee of the Continental Congress replied, that they could not undertake to put these troops under the direction of the Provincial Committee, or Congress, having no such power lodged in their hands by the Continental Congress. In the mean time Colonel Waterberry pot an end to one part of the difficulty, for he informed them, that the troops were hourly expected, and that he should on their arrival march diem immediately into the barracks, declaring that he had no authority to give up the control. of the troops to the Committee, without orders from General Lee. It was at last agreed, that. by the credentials of the committee from the Continental Congress all the troops in New York were properly in the charge of the gentlemen of that committee, till General Lee's arrival. This event occurred on the fourth of February, when he wrote again to General Washington as follows.

I arrived here yesterday, but not without some difficulty. My disorder increased, rather than diminished, so that I was under the necessity of being carrier, in a litter a considerable part of the way. I consider it as a piece of the greatest good fortune that the Congress have detached a committee to this place, otherwise I should have made a most ridiculous figure, besides bringing on myself the enmity of the whole province. My hands were effectually tied up, from taking any steps necessary for the public service, by the late resolve of the Congress, putting every detachment of the continental troops under the command of the Provincial Congress, where such detachment is.


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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 80. 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