From John Jay
London 18 July [– August 5]1 1794
My dear Sir
I thank you for the printed paper you sent me, and for your Letter2 by Monsr. Cadignan.3 On maturely considering the latter I took an opportunity in an informal conversation with Ld. Grenville to communicate it to him.
Still I am unable to say any thing decisive relative to the objects of my mission—appearances continue to be singularly favorable; but appearances merit only a certain degree of circumspect Reliance. The Delays occasioned by the new arrangemt. of the Ministry4 cannot be of long continuance—circumstances must soon constrain them to form some ultimate5 System relative to the U.S. and altho’ I have much Reason to hope it will be favorable to our wishes, yet I confess I am not without apprehensions that certain points not by us to be yeilded will occasion Difficulties hard to surmount. Personally I have every Reason to be satisfied; and officially I have as yet no Reason to complain.
Shortly after my arrival I dined with Lord Grenville; the cabinet Minister were present, but not a Single Foreigner. On Monday next I am to dine with the Lord Chancellor,6 & on next Friday with Mr. Pitt. I mention these Facts to explain what I mean by favorable appearances. I think it best that they should remain unmentioned for the present and they make no part of my Communications to Mr. Randolph or others. This is not the Season for such communications—they may be misinterpreted, tho’ not by you. I fear the Posts may labor—but they must not be left—we must not make a delusive Settlement that would disunite our People and leave Seeds of Discord to germinate. I will do every thing that Prudence and Integrity may dictate and permit. I will endeavor to accommodate rather than dispute—and if this plan shd. fail, decent and firm Representations must conclude the Business of my mission. As yet I do not regret any Step that I have taken. I wish I may be able to say the same thing at the Conclusion.
Mr and Mrs. Church7 are out of Town. We are much indebted to their Civilities and friendly attentions. She looks as well as when you saw her, and thinks as much about America and her Friends in it as ever. She certainly is an amiable agreable Woman. Remember me to Mrs. Hamilton.
5 Augt. This Letter was inadvertently omitted to be sent when written. Appearances mend—give us a fair chance
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. In Henry Johnston, ed., The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (New York, 1890–1893), IV, 29–30, this letter is dated July 11, 1794.
3. Charles de Cadignan, a French émigré in America, had gone abroad to sell lands for the Asylum Company, a French refugee settlement in Pennsylvania.
4. July, 1794, marks the beginning of the second period of William Pitt’s first administration. The Portland Whigs transferred their allegiance from Charles James Fox to Pitt because of their support of the war against France, which had broken out in 1793. The Duke of Portland, William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, then became the Home Secretary.
5. In MS this word reads “untimate.”
6. Alexander Wedderburn, first Baron Loughborough and first Earl of Rosslyn.
7. John B. and Angelica Church, the brother-in-law and sister of Elizabeth Hamilton.