The darkness was oppressive in the small, windowless cell. The dense, moist air pressed in around the prisoner as he sat in the corner, only a thin army blanket to keep him warm. Suddenly the door swung open, and warm light poured into the room, pushing out the blackness and illuminating the face of the captive. “Come with me” said the guard who held the door open. A few moments later, the prisoner, clad in the rags that had once been a fine suit of clothes, stood before a panel of British officers, decked out in their finest military regalia.
The black of the July night pressed around the small frame of Abraham Clark as he sat before the desk and gazed at the open letter. The room was empty, save for the simple desk upon which the letter and a lone candlestick sat. The flame of the candle danced and flickered, chasing the shadows away from Clark’s solemn face, lost in deep reflection.
Those who saw him forever remembered the dignified portrait of the gentleman from New York. His build was tall and lean, and his countenance was calm and collected as he rose to address the congress. “The chair recognizes the Honorable Mr. Morris of the New York delegation” the chairman announced as the representative stood.
As the early morning mist rolled off the Hudson, it silhouetted the dark shape of the delegate’s carriage as it rattled down the winding country road to Albany. The carriage was traveling at a high speed, and would have made the ride an uncomfortable one for the two men who sat inside, had they not been so engrossed in the issue at hand. Their voices rose, barely audible above the racket of the thundering horse’s hooves. One of the men argued loudly; “The King has yet to show any progression in bringing these colonial wars to an end, yet the Crown continues it’s refusal to fund it’s own exploits!” He was a younger man, and was doing most of the talking. His audience of one, an older, dignified man of some 50 years, sat across from him in silence. Continue reading “Philip Livingston: Reluctant Revolutionary”