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Gouverneur MorrisAn Independent Life$
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William Howard Adams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099805

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099805.001.0001

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A Profession

A Profession

(p.21) Chapter 2 A Profession
Gouverneur Morris

William Howard Adams

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Gouverneur Morris's profession. Gouverneur Morris was brighter than his much older half-brothers, now settled with families and in unremarkable careers, and his intelligence seemed to operate on a totally different line. He was imaginative, skeptical, and disinterested. A few months before Morris became a law clerk in 1768, Livingston a seasoned controversialist, predicted in the pages of the new journal what amounted to a remarkable anticipation of Morris's destiny and that of his generation. During his legal apprenticeship, Morris was able to absorb the all-important manners and the art of cultivated, original conversation. Sociability became so central to the ideals of the age. He realistically saw how even the threat of chaos could easily provoke harsh retaliation by the crown, wiping out all the political gains the colonies had extracted from Parliament over the years. This was one of the deepest fears of most in Morris's circle.

Keywords:   Gouverneur Morris, clerk, legal apprenticeship, sociability, political gain, unremarkable careers

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