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Source & Citation Info

title:“Gouverneur Morris to Henry W. Livingston”
authors:Gouverneur Morris
date written:1803-12-4

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:43 a.m. UTC
retrieved:May 11, 2021, 7:33 p.m. UTC

Morris, Gouverneur. "Letter to Henry W. Livingston." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Gouverneur Morris to Henry W. Livingston (December 4, 1803)

Morrisania, December 4th, 1803.
A circumstance, which turned up in conversation yesterday, has led me again to read over your letter of the third of November, and my answer of the twenty-eighth.1 I perceive now, that I mistook the drift of your inquiry, which is substantially whether the Congress can admit, as a new State, territory, which did not belong to the United States when the Constitution was mad1e. In my opinion they cannot.
I always thought that, when we should acquire Canada and Louisiana it would be proper to govern them as provinces, and allow them no voice in our councils. In wording the third section of the fourth article, I went as far as circumstances would permit to establish the exclusion. Candor obliges me to add my belief, that, had it been more pointedly expressed, a strong opposition would have been made.2
[Footnotes as included or written by Farrand]
  • 1 See CCCI above.
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