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[109] claim of Virginia barred against him the doors
Chap. XLVII.} 1775 Sept.
of congress, but the affection of the West flowed in a full current towards the Union.

The ‘inexpressibly distressing’ situation of Washington demanded instant and earnest attention; but the bias of the continental congress was to inactivity. The intercepted letters of John Adams, in which he had freely unbosomed his complaints of its tardiness, and had justly thrown blame on ‘the piddling genius,’ as he phrased it, of Dickinson, were approved by many; but Dickinson himself was unforgiving; wounded in his self-love and vexed by the ridicule thrown on his system, from this time he resisted independence with a morbid fixedness. He brushed past John Adams in the street without returning his salutation; and the New England statesman encountered also the hostility of the proprietary party and of social opinion in Philadelphia, and the distrust even of some of the delegates from the South. At times, an ‘unhappy jealousy of New England’ broke forth; but when a member insinuated distrust of its people, ‘as artful and designing men, altogether pursuing selfish purposes,’ Gadsden, of South Carolina, said in their defence: ‘I only wish we would imitate, instead of abusing, them. I thank God we have such a systematic body of men, as an asylum that honest men may resort to in the time of their last distress, if driven out of their own states; so far from being under any apprehensions, I bless God there is such a people in America.’

Harmony was maintained only by acquiescence in the policy of Dickinson. From Pittsburg, Lewis Morris of New York and James Wilson of Pennsylvania,

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