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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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ty on other accounts, are by no means prone to change their' form of government, so long as it is merely tolerable.  And this leads me, Sir, to consider the last objection to independence, which I shall take on me to mention.  It is, the reluctance which many Americans feel for this measure.

‘The reluctance, Sir, is laudable for the greater part.  It is a pratriotic emotion.  In some cases, religion has a share in the sentiment.  It is said, what check have we upon the members of Congress?  If they abuse their power and establish an oligarchy, where are the means of redress?  How shall we know, that they will return willingly into the ranks of citizens, after so great elevation?  Is there not great reason to fear, that the American army may choose a different kind of government, from the rest of the people?  And, say they, although Providence has kindly interfered so far for our preservation, how dare we expect his future assistance, when canceling the oaths of our allegiance, or staining  the cause with perjury ?

‘To most of these questions we may make a satisfactory answer, without seeming to know that they were ever asked.  As to danger arising from the love of power among ourselves, I cannot believe there is any.  Nor do I think it quite proper for us all to abandon the Senate House, and leave the business to entire new men, while the country continues in its present dangerous situation.  But the instant we are determined to cut off the small connexion, which remains with Great Britain, we ought by our conduct to convince our countrymen, that a fondness for power does not possess the smallest corner of our hearts.  And we should from this moment take care, that the gift of all commissions be reserved to this House.  This will cure the inquietudes of the patriotic breast.

Now let me earnestly ask, why should we hesitate?  Have you the least hope in treaty?  Will you even think of it, before certain acts of Parliament are repealed?  Have you heard of any such repeal? Will you trust these commissioners?  Is there any act of parliament passed to ratify what

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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 106. 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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