Morris, Gouverneur

Morris, Gouverneur an eminent statesman and orator, who was born at Morrisania, near the city of New York, in 1752, was educated at Columbia (then King's) College, and licensed to practice law in 1771; and thereafter held several prominent civic positions, among these, in 1777, representing the people of New York in the Continental Congress, and in 1787 was a member of the convention which framed the Constitution of the United States. He also represented the American republic in France. He is stated by Thomas Jefferson to have been a disbeliever in Christianity. But this is a mistake; or, if at one time true, his views altered. He delivered two months before his death (which occurred in 1835) an address to the Historical Society, in which he points out the superiority of scriptural history to all other history. He regarded religious principle, indeed, as necessary to national independence and peace. "There must be something more to hope than pleasure, wealth, and power. Something more to fear than poverty and pain. Something after death more terrible than death. There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish." See Allen, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Sparks, Amer. Biog. s.v.

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