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Draft of an Autograph Letter to an unknown recipient, regarding the primary role of Gouverneur Morris in the conception of the Erie Canal
Staatsburg, [New York], 1820. Working draft, with numerous corrections and strike-through. 3 pp., on 2 sheets of blank stationery. Docketed on verso in the hand of Margaret Lewis (wife of Maturin Livingston) attesting that this is a "draft of my father's". 4to. A few minor chips at edges, two small closed tears, and slight discoloration; overall, very good and perfectly legible. In quarter red morocco slipcase. Gouverneur Morris: the Moving Force behind the Erie Canal Morgan Lewis was a son of Signer of The Declaration of Independence, served in the Revolution, became Governor of New York, 1804-1807 and married Robert R. Livingston's daughter. Here he speaks of the Canal : "I cheerfully comply with the request respecting the early Opinions of the late Governeur (sic) Morris on the subject of a canal communication of uniting the Water of Lake Erie and the Hudson by means of a Canal. "After the evacuation of Tyconderoga, in the Northern Campaign of 1777, the scattered forces of the Army of the North having concentrated at Fort Edward Mr. Morris arrived at Gen. Schuyler's Head Quarters, on a Mission from the Committee of general Safety of this State, to inquire into and report the actual state of the Northern Army. During the time he remained with us ? he quartered in the same House with the General & myself. Our evenings were usually passed together; and the state of our affairs generally the Subject of Conversation. Mr. Morris was of a temperament which never indulged despondency for a moment; not even on the most trying occasions. He never doubted the final triumph of our Arms, and the attainments of our Independence, and frequently descanted with great Energy on, what he termed, 'the rising glories of the Western World ? he declared in language highly poetic, and to which I cannot do justice, that the day was not far off distant when the Waters of the great Western lakes would, by the Aid of man, break through their Barriers and mingle with those of the Hudson. ? It is evident that he never lost sight of this object for in 1810, he came to Albany for the express purpose of engaging, if possible, the Legislature, in his plans for attaining it, and it appeared that he had, previous to his departure from Europe, secured, conditionally, a Loan of five millions for its execution."While in Albany, Mr. Morris lodged in the same house with me ? and at his request, I accompanied him to that quarters of Mr. Clinton, Gen: Platt and Gen. Hull who were all at that time, as well as myself, members of the Senate. These gentlemen engaged with zeal in the project, and the ardour & perseverance with which the first named Gentleman [scored through] of them pursued it, and the merit he has justly acquired by the accomplishment of it, will never fail to do him honour. Nor has he I believe, on any occasion, done injustice to Mr. Morris by claiming to have been himself the original projector ?".
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller ]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      ABAA    

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