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THE

LIFE

OF

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS,

WITH

SELECTIONS FROM HIS CORRESPONDENCE

AND

MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS;

DETAILING EVENTS IN THE AMERICAN REVOLU.
TION, THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, AND IN
THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE

UNITED STATES

BY JARED SPARKS.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

BOS TON:
PUBLISHED BY GRAY & BOWEN.

diSaSAINN HOINNI QYOJNVIS ONV737

эн. 30 dovy917 : A6990

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1831, by GRAY AND BOWEN,

in the Clerk's office of the District Court of Massachusetts,

BOSTON:
Waitt & Dow's Power Prcas

PREFACE.

The materials for this work have been derived from various sources, but chiefly from the manuscripts left by Gouverneur Morris at Morrisania, and furnished by his widow, Mrs Anne C. Morris. I have been indebted, for several interesting particulars in the memoir, to the politeness of General Morgan Lewis, Dr David Hosack, and M. Leray de Chaumont, who were intimately acquainted with Mr Morris at different periods of his life. Acknowledgments are due, also, to the Secretary of the State of New York, who very obligingly opened to my inspection the archives in his office, from which some important facts were obtained respecting Mr Morris's early political services.

In its general arrangement the work is divided into two parts, the first containing a biographical sketch, and the other a selection of letters and miscellaneous articles. During the American Revolution, and indeed down to the time of his departure for Europe, he gave little attention to his papers, but from that date to the end of his life they were preserved with remarkable care. It would seem, that every important letter was copied into his letter books. Within this space, his published correspondence affords so complete an account of his life and opinions, that it has been thought best to allot a large portion of the memoir to earlier events. Previous researches had furnished me with copious materials, from which collater

lac

al facts have occasionally been drawn, with the view of supplying the deficiencies in his papers, and illustrating some of the less familiar parts of our revolutionary history, in which he was a prominent actor. • While Mr Morris resided in Europe he kept a Diary, which affords much curious matter, particularly respecting the Revolution in France, and extracts from which have been woven into the narrative in such proportions, as the limits of the work would admit.

The letters and other papers, selected for publication in these volumes, have been transcribed from the original manuscripts, none of them having before been printed, except the speeches in the Senate of the United States, the Essay on the Bank of North America, and perhaps half a dozen letters. The correspondence with Washington, which was continued for many years, is probably the most valuable part of the collection. Washington's own letters are printed from the originals, which, in every instance, exist in the handwriting of the author.

It has not been my aim to write a panegyric, to conceal defects, or emblazon good qualities, but rather to present traits of character, acts, and opinions, in their genuine light and just bearings, and leave them to make their proper impressions. Such is doubtless the legitimate purpose of biography. Indiscriminate eulogy is seldom sincere, never true, contributing little to accurate history, or to the stock of valuable knowledge either of men or things.

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