Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 Back to the Exhibit

Sen. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania to Governeur Morris, March 4, 1789

New York March 4th. 1789

My dear Gouverneur

    I got to this place about seven o’clock this morning and did intend to have written a long letter, but the day has been consumed in firing of Guns, ringing of Bells, an receiving and paying visits, and in meeting at the new Federal Building (called the Trap) such of the Senators and Deputies to the Assembly as have found their way hither--in the senate we counted eight Members and in the Assembly thirteen, and it requires twelve of the first and thirty of the last to make a Quorum so as to entitle us to count the Votes for President & Vice President--We hope to have a sufficient number for this purpose in a day or two--Expresses will then be dispatched to General Washington and Mr. Adams (for there is no doubt but they are elected, the first unanimously we beleive & the latter by a sufficient majority) When that is done there is little else to be done untill they join us, at least untill General Washington comes hither and at present it is my intention to return to Philada. and come here in company with the General--The public expectation seems to be so highly wound up that I think disappointment must inevitably follow after a while, notwithstanding that I beleive there will be inclination and abilities in the two houses to do every thing that reasonable and sensible men can promise to themselves, but you know well how impossible it is for public measures to keep pace with the sanguine desires of the interested, the ignorant, and the inconsiderate parts of the Community.

    The question about residence is in full view--I beleive it will be conducted with good temper, but I beleive the Philadelphians had better look to the permanent residence than to the temporary one--The former being of more consequence to Pensylvania & more in their power.

    I brought with me my Colleague and four of our Delegates, and from present appearances I think we shall draw well together--New York has not chosen senators--The election of Members for the Federal Assembly is now holding, and although in a former letter I said the New Jersey election was closed, yet I found afterwards it was only closed in some of the Counties, in others it is yet open.

    Major L’enfant has not finished his work, although we met to day in the Room intended for the senate--The ship this goes by is on the point of departure--therefore I cannot say more of Politics.

    Upon further enquiry and investigation I find that all the voyages for Cotton that have failed has been entirely owing to bad choice of the article, and bringing away that which had grown untill it was too ripe, when it gets so entangled with seeds & Husks that it is impossible to clean it--You may rely therefore that everything in this undertaking depends upon choosing Cotton that is clean & white, without mixture of seeds husks and Dirt, or yellow colour.

           God bless you, I am in haste, but alway,



(Letter courtesy of the Cornell University Library)

digitized from DHFFC transcription   
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