Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 147
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 147
matter into their own hands, so as not to be compromised by unwise and hasty action. Accordingly, to the chagrin of the extremists, they promptly disowned and repudiated the action of the vigilance committee. At the same time they thoroughly distrusted the zeal of their aristocratic legislature. They therefore convoked a meeting of the freeholders, who with due solemnity elected a Committee of Fifty-one to correspond with the other colonies. This committee was entirely in the hands of the moderate men, even containing in its ranks several Tories and very few of the radicals, and did a piece of work of which it is difficult to overestimate the importance; for it was the first authoritatively to suggest the idea of holding the first Continental Congress. This suggestion is said to have been adopted by the advice of John Jay, a young lawyer of good Huguenot family. Under the auspices of the committee the freeholders chose five delegates to this congress,—including John Jay, and as a matter of course, one of the Livingstons also. The radicals and extremists, the Sons of Liberty and the old Committee of Vigilance, with the Committee of Mechanics—the body supposed to represent most nearly the unenfranchised classes—were greatly discontented with the moderate measures of the Committee of Fifty-one; and there was very nearly a rupture between the two wings of the patriot party. By mutual



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