Morris (1752-1816) is a man to be admired. He suffered the
loss of his left leg in a carriage accident while young, yet,
peg leg and all, kept a cheerful attitude towards life. He was
land speculator and a promoter of canals, figuring that canals
would both open up the western lands (Ohio) and cause the
interior trade to flow through his city, New York ( smart man,
canals did both of those things, but more on that later). He was
a deist, "his God was all-powerful, beneficent, and otherwise
unknowable", who believed in religious liberty for all and was
Besides being the principal writer of our Constitution, he
also said the following:
Slavery "was the curse of heaven on the States where it
"Religion is the relation between God and man, therefore
it is not within the reach of human authority."
"It is always my opinion that matters of conscience and
faith, whether political or religious, are as much out of the
province, as they are beyond the ken, of human
When Lafayette partially stiffed Morris on a debt of
100,000 livres, Morris wrote, "I only wish them a clear
conscience. Unhappily, that they will never have, and will
ever bear me, in consequence, a sincere hatred. The
ungrateful man never thinks of his benefactor without a
pang, and how should one not detest the object that causes
such suffering and lowers one in one's own eyes."
"Americans need never fear their government because of
the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess
over the people of almost every other nation."
"Religion is the solid basis of good morals; therefore
education should teach the precepts of religion, and the
duties of man toward God."
"This magistrate is not the king. The people are the king."