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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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they shall do? No, they come from the King. We have no business with the King. We did not quarrel with the King. He has officiously trade himself a party in the dispute against us. And now he pretends to be the umpire. Trust crocodiles, trust the hungry wolf in your flock, or a rattlesnak nei [MSOffice1] your bosom, you may yet be something wise. But trust the King, his Ministers, his Commissioners, it is madness in the extreme! Remember, I conjure you to remember! You have no legal check upon that legislature. They are not bound in interest, duty, or affection to watch over your preservation, as over that of their constituents; and those constituents are daily betrayed. What can you expect? You are not quite mad. Why will you trust them? Why force yourselves to make a daily resort to arms? Shall we never again see peace! Is this miserable country to be plunged in an endless wa? Must each revolving year come heavy laden with those dismal scenes, which we have already witnessed? If so, farewell liberty, farewell virtue, farewell happiness!

Immediately after making this speech, Mr Morris was sent on a special mission to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. For some reason not explained, the New England troops during the last campaign had been receiving higher wages, than those of New York and the other middle colonies. This discrimination of course created uneasiness, and produced an early remonstrance from the New York Congress, which seems not to have met with due attention. At all events, the evil was not corrected, and when levies of militia in the middle and eastern colonies were requested by the continental Congress for the defences of New York, and to strengthen the army, and this without any new provisions for regulating the amount of payment, the New York Congress thought it necessary to come to an immediate and explicit understanding on the subject.

Accordingly a letter was written to the Continental Congress, setting forth the grounds of complaint, and referring to Mr. Morris as their authorized agent to make further explana-


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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 107. 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