Gouverneur Morris thought that Congress ought to be able to suggest constitutional amendments, too.


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as a reference and just get things more wrong (or hilariously wrong when they apparently don’t even bother using a historical reference, like that sculpture of the Hamilton-Burr duel at the NY Historical Society.)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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