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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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mittee of thirteen was appointed, with instructions to draft and report a plan.  John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, and Robert R. Livingston, were members of this committee.  Another important committee was also instituted, about the same time, for devising means to establish a state fund.  Mr. Morris was chairman; and, indeed, he was usually made the leader in all financial concerns.

CHAPTER VII.

Regulations respecting Tories.--Draft of a Constitution reported to the Convention.--Debated in Convention.--Council of Appointment.--Views of Jay, Morris, and Livingston.--Council of Revision.--Toleration.--Slavery.--Constitution adopted.

AMONG the most perplexing topics, which came from time to time under the notice of the New York Congress and Convention, was the case of the tories.  So large a portion of the inhabitants, and many of them sustaining the first rank in society, were infected with principles deemed hostile to the interests of the country, that the manner in which they were to be dealt with, became a question of peculiar delicacy.  When is was found, however, that these disaffected persons held correspondence with the enemy, refused to send delegates to the Congress, and were secretly arming themselves, prudence would not permit further delay, and resolves were passed authorizing, the county committees to apprehend persons of this character, examine them, and decide on their guilt.  The committees were likewise empowered to call on the militia, to aid in executing these resolves; but they were to sit in jud ment under oath, and the witnesses were also to be sworn.  The punishment was left to the discretion of the judges, provided it did not exceed three months' imprisonment at the expense of the offender.  In some cases it was a banishment of seven years from the colony.


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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 115. 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