declaration of independece

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

—  Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence, written between Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and John Adams

July 2, 1776: After fierce debate, the Continental Congress passes the resolution declaring the colonies independent of Great Britain. The Congress also passed the “Stop it, Ben Franklin” resolution. The resolution, introduced by Franklin’s fellow Pennsylvanian John Dickinson reads: “Heretofore, the Congressional member known as Benjamin Franklin shall (a): Cease showing members his nasty, messed-up feet; (b): Refrain from asking fellow members to pull his finger; ©: Also, would it kill you to put on some pants?” There was no debate and the resolution passed unanimously.

The Short Version of The Epic Life of Gouverneur Morris

Born on January 30 1752 to a wealthy New York familly, Gouverneur Morris started a life so epic that very few of us can ever hope to recreate it. As an adult Morris was described as being superficial, witty, and very popular with the ladies. Because who can resist a face like his? His bonnie friend Alexander Hamilton called him “a man of great genius, liable however to be influenced by his fancy, which sometimes outruns his discretion.” Such a ladiesman.

Morris got his education at King’s College and completed the bar in 1771. From there he worked as a lawyer until 1775 when he got elected to New York’s Provincial Congress. Morris later served on a committee that selected delegates to the Second Continental Congress in favor of the Declaration of Independece. Morris also signed the Articles of Confederation in 1778.

In 1780, Gouverneur Morris lost his leg in an accident. Some say he got into a carriage accident and others that he jumped out of a window when being chased by an angry husband to a lady he tried to flirt with. Yet another version is a combination of the two. Whatever the truth, the reslut was the same. A bad fracture that led to an amputation of the right leg. Walking around with a cane on a peg leg did however not stop Morris (in his romantic pursuits nor his political life) and the same year he became the Confederation’s assistant superintendent of finance.

I can’t really find any reccords of exactly when Morris met his equal in Alexander Hamilton. They were in correspondence by 1777 and I assume that they came into contact either through work ( seeing as Hamilton frequently wrote to Congress and congressional committees) or through Mutual aquaintances in New York. If anyone knows exactly when and how please tell me.

At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Morris spoke more than most. Arguing for granting Congress veto power over state laws, a direct election of the president (thank you Gouv), and a proportional representation in Congress based on taxation. Morris was also the guy who authored the famous line “We the people of the United States” on the Constitution!

Another fun story about Morris takes place at the time of the Convention. Morris was having dinner with Alexander Hamilton one day and let it slip that he could be “as familliar with Washington as any of his other friends” to which Hamilton replied that if that was the case, Morris should go up to Washington the next time he saw him, give him a slap on the back and greet him like a friend. Morris did take up on the dare and won, but it was Hamilton who got to prove his point. After having recieved a slap on the shoulder and a “my dear General how glad I am you look so well” from Morris, Washington gave him a glare that made Morris  want to sink into the floor, and kindly asked him never to repeat the action. At least poor Morris got a free dinner party out of the ordeal.

In 1792 Morris was chosen for the possition of the American abassador to France. He managed not only to do the job well, but also have a whole lot of affairs with a whole lot of women in the meantime. There is one story from Morris’ s time in France that have a lot of versions of itself and that I doubt rings much truth, but is rather hillarious which is why I will tell it anyway. The story goes like this: Gouverneur Morris is on his way through France in a carriage with one of his lady friends, when an angry mob attacks thinking it’s a rich french guy inside the carriage. Ever so quick to action, Morris ripps off his peg leg, shoves it out of a window, waves it around and shouts “I got this in the Revolutionary War!” The mob is so impressed that they back off and so the carriage is on it’s merry way again. Morris made it back to America in 1794 without any other incidents of the same proportion.

In 1804 Morris held the eulogy at Alexander Hamilton’s funeral. Two days prior he had arrived at the house that held his wounded best friend (at first thinking he had come to late) and had sat with him until he died. The eulogy is very beautiful and speaks not only of their close relationship but also of Morris’s skills as a writer. Feel free to look it up for yourselves because I don’t have room to include it here.

Five years after losing his best friend , Gouverneur Morris, the long-time Bachelor, finally settled down. He got married to Anne Cary Randolph, and in 1813 Morris became a father for the first time, at the age of 61, to a son he named after himself.  

Sadly the little boy did not get to have his father around for very long because Gouverneur Morris decided to out do his best friend in stupid deaths, by shoving a whale bone up his dick. After having suffered from gout throughout the fall of 1816, Morris’ s health complaints grew worse as he contracted a urinary tract blockage. From the don’t-try-this-at-home department, Morris then attempted to clear the blockage by using a whale bone as a catheter. It failed misserably, and led to internal injuries and an infection. Morris passed away like a legend on November 6 1816.

From extraordinary political accomplishments to living 57 years as a bachelor. from having slept with probably hundreds of women, and surving a friendship with Alexander Hamilton, to dying of a failed at home surgery with a whale bone. Gouverneur Morris lived one hell of a life. You could never be as awesome as he was if you tried. Long live Gouverneur Morris, may he rest in peace.


Our class really loved this!