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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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‘I should apprize you, that General Clinton arrived almost at the same instant with myself.  He has brought no troops with him, and pledges his honor that none are coming.  He says he is merely on a visit to his friend Tryon.  If it is really so, it is the most whimsical piece of civility I ever heard of.  he informs us, that his intention is for North Carolina, where he expects five regiments from England; that be only brought.  two regiments of light infantry from Boston.  This is certainly a droll way of proceeding.  To communicate his full plan to the enemy is too novel to be credited.

‘The Congress committee, a certain number of the Committee of Safety, and your humble servant, have had two conferences.  The result will agreeably surprise you.  It is, in the first place, agreed, and justly, that to fortify the town against shipping is impracticable; but we are to fortify lodgements, in some commanding part of the city, for two thousand men.  We are to erect enclosed batteries on both sides of the water near Hell Gate, which will answer the double purpose of securing the town against piracies through the Sound, and secure our communication with Long Island, now become a more capital point than ever, as it is determined to form a strong fortified camp of three thousand men in that Island, immediately opposite to New York.  The pass in the Highlands is to be made as respectable as possible, and guarded by a battalion.  In short, I think the plan judicious and complete.  The two brass pieces, and other articles, will be sent down as you request.  You have heard of the fate of the cannon near Kingsbridge.’

After his arrival in New York, General Lee lost no time in entering upon measures to put.  the city in a state of defence, both by a suitable arrangement of the troops, and by selecting positions for fortified posts.  The committee of the Continental Congress retuned to Philadelphia, but he had frequent conferences with persons, delegated from the New York Congress, who manifested less reluctance than formerly at the idea of assuming a defensive attitude, especially as the arrival of Clinton on an uncertain expedition made it more likely that an attack from the enemy was to be apprehended.  Considering the differ-

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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 81. 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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