John Jay Papers
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From John Jay to John Vaughan, 15 February 1783

To John Vaughan

Paris 15 Feb. 1783

Dear Sir

The only letter I have had the Pleasure of recieving from you is dated the 3d. of Novemb. last—1 I regret the miscarriage of the others, as well because they were from you, as because they doubtless contained Information which either on domestic or public accounts, and perhaps on both, was interesting.

Your elder Brother has spent much Time here— I need not add, usefully, he is at present in England.2 Your younger Brother is here still & well3 an acquaintance with those Gentlemen is among the agreable Circumstances I have met with in this Country—they both possess my cordial Esteem and good wishes, and I shall be happy to number them with my fellow Citizens.

Accept my thanks for the Intelligence contained in your Letter—it was more circumstantial and satisfactory than what I recd from my other Correspondents. You seem pleased with America, and I am glad of it. it affords ample Field to a mind turned like yours to observation; I find you are cultivating it, and already begin to reap.4

I congratulate you on the Peace— I hope America will not think the Terms very exceptionable—all things considered, we certainly have Reason to think they were not to be refused.

a Treaty of Commerce has lately been concluded with Sweden;5 and other Nations will probably follow the Example of that Kingdom—much remains to be done—it is often less difficult to acquire than to preserve and enjoy.

England has yet to make Peace with the turbulent Spirit of Faction—the Minister it is thought has a precarious as well as uneasy Seat.

Mr Dickenson has Talents and good Intentions; and I think it will not be his Fault if Pensylvania does not derive Advantages from his Administration—6 Parties must be expected in Republics, and provided the People are well informed, their Errors are seldom of very long Duration. News Papers will sometimes be licentious, but they had better be so than in the contrary extreme.

I am still an Invalid—a little Excursion lately made into Normandy has by giving me Exercise and a Change of Air, been of some Use to me. Mrs. Jay is tolerably well—she is obliged by your Attention, and presents you her best Compts.—my best wishes attend you. I am Dr Sir, your obt Servt

John Jay

Mr Jon Vaughan

ALS, PPAmP: Madeira-Vaughan (EJ: 2563). Endorsed. FC, NNC (EJ: 8164); Dft, NNC (EJ: 8128).

1See John Vaughan to JJ, 3 Nov. 1782, ALS, NNC (EJ: 8127). Vaughan began by thanking the Jays for their assistance to him while he was in Spain.

2Benjamin Vaughan, who had served as an intermediary without formal credentials during the peace negotiations. Soon after the preliminaries were signed, he began to discuss establishing diplomatic relations between the two former belligerents and inquired whether BF would be willing to serve as the United States minister to the Court of St. James. Should BF decline, Vaughan suggested, JJ would “do very well.” “Mr. Jay,” he informed Shelburne, “is good and manly; can respect and be respected, and has a wife of good sense, who can be received in the best companies, and be made an object of civilities and even of friendship.” See Vaughan to Shelburne, 10 Dec. 1782, Tr, MiU-C: Vaughan; Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d ser., 17 (1903): 426; JJUP, 2 description begins Richard B. Morris et al., eds., John Jay, vol. 2, The Winning of the Peace: Unpublished Papers, 1780–1784 (New York, 1980) description ends : 431, 432n12.

3Samuel Vaughan Jr.

4John Vaughan reported on the Jay family members and friends at Elizabeth, New Jersey, and on a three-month trip in “the Country”, where he had found surprising evidence of the “Nationality which pervades every rank of people” to a degree that would have convinced British policy makers that there was no possibility of either conquest or rapprochement with its former colonies. As noted below, he also reported on Pennsylvania politics.

5The Swedish-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed by BF and the Swedish plenipotentiary, count Gustav Philip Creutz on 5 Feb. 1783. Over the next two months the treaty underwent minor changes in wording and was finally assigned the date of 3 Apr. although it was not finished until the middle of that month. See PBF description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (40 vols. to date; New Haven, Conn., 1959–) description ends , 39: 250–85.

6In the elections of 1782 Pennsylvania’s Republicans ousted their radical Constitutionalist opponents from power. John Dickinson, returning to Pennsylvania politics, was elected to the Supreme Executive Council, and on 7 Nov., was chosen president of the Supreme Executive Council over his opponent, James Potter. Robert L. Brunhouse, The Counter-Revolution in Pennsylvania, 1776–1790 (Harrisburg, 1942), 123.

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