Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 3 November 1787

From John Jay

Office for foreign Affairs 3d. November 1787

Dr. Sir

Since the Date of my last which was the 24th. Ult., Congress has been pleased to pass an Act of which the enclosed is a Copy. It contains Instructions to you relative to the Demands of the United States against the Court of Denmark. As they are express and particular, Remarks upon them would be unnecessary. I am persuaded that the Manner in which the Business will be conducted and concluded, will evince the Propriety of its being committed to your Direction.

Advices from Georgia represent that State as much distressed by the Indians. It is said that the Apprehensions of the People there are so greatly alarmed that they are even fortifying Savannah. There doubtless is Reason to fear that their frontier Settlements will be ravaged. The Indians are numerous and they are exasperated,1 and will probably be put to no Difficulties on Account of military Stores. These Embarrassments result from want of a proper Government, to guard good Faith and punish Violations of it.

With very sincere Esteem and Regard I have the Honor to be &ca:,

John jay

FC (DNA: PCC, No. 121). Dft (NK-Iselin). Recorded in SJL as received 19 Dec. 1787. Enclosure (DLC): Tr of the resolution of Congress of 25 Oct. 1787, signed by Charles Thomson, authorizing TJ to settle with the king of Denmark for compensation equivalent to the value of the prizes of the United States which were delivered to Great Britain by Denmark, and to appoint John Paul Jones or any other person to act as agent for the negotiations, provided the final settlement “be not made by the Agent without the previous approbation of the said Minister,” and that the person so employed shall receive “five per Cent for all expences and demands whatever on that account” (printed in full in JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xxxiii, 705–6; an incomplete Tr of the above resolution, in the hand of William Short, is in DLC: John Paul Jones Papers).

1Following this, Jay first wrote in Dft: “and I fear not without Reason nor is it probable that they will be put to any Difficulties,” then altered the sentence to read as above.

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