Gouverneur Morris didn't like the Committee of Detail's draft, which only had the states ever being able to initiate an amendment. He proposed allowing Congress to do it as well. Both the states and Congress would of course be self-serving, but at least Congress would have the national interest in mind.

So if you go back and look at earlier pages where Morris makes an appearance here, he looks a lot older, pudgier… and with his wooden leg on the other side.

That is because I am a doof who apparently can’t subtract. He was 35 years old at the convention. Not 55.

And also because I forgot that the primary source rule applies to visual sources as well. Most historical paintings of the convention and the delegates were actually done decades later, and they got plenty wrong. Most modern paintings and sculptures tend to use those older paintings as a reference and just get things more wrong (or hilariously wrong when they apparently don’t even bother using a historical reference, like that sculpture of the Hamilton-Burr duel at the NY Historical Society.) Fortunately, I’ve found some more useful contemporary references. If I remember, I’ll go back and fix the older drawings once the rest of these are done.

Gov’neer was quite a character. As massive as Washington, if not more so, but far more charming and witty. The kind of guy who makes any party a pleasure. He was quite a hit with the ladies, too. The official story about that leg was he’d lost it in a boring carriage accident. The real story was that he was escaping a jealous husband. One of many. In fact, women seemed to like him more after he lost the leg. The great John Jay was one who openly wished Morris “had lost something else.” Oh yeah, and he was our minister to France during the Reign of Terror, during which time he added Talleyrand to the list.

What was his role in drafting the Constitution? Well, we’ve already seen that he was the one who wrote “We the People” — but as for the rest, that’s part of the story I’m telling right now, so no spoilers!

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Join the conversation! There are now 8 comments on “What were they thinking? pg 23
  1. Dana Smoot says

    But, but, but, that’s not what Article V says, so there must be more… why must we wait, darn it!

  2. Bill says

    The transition away from the long s had already stated by this point, such that Wikipedia’s picture of the original Constitution does not appear to use it (based on a cursory inspection). It was still used for a few decades after this, though, Is its use in the comic artistic license, or was it based on an actual document?

  3. armorsmith42 says

    Was he related to Robert Morris, the guy who served as financier for a lot of the revolutionary war? (The Youtube channel Extra Credits just did an episode on him as part of their series on the Articles of Confederation)

  4. Jerry Birchmore says

    So what is the little (yankee?) doodle fellow in the first panel saying? I can’t make it out.

    • “Hartless”

      Every now and then I doodle silly irrelevant details that probably won’t show at screen resolution, just for my own amusement. Simple mind, simple pleasures.

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