Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 23 September 1788

From John Jay

Office for foreign Affairs 23d. September 1788

Dr. Sir

My last to you was dated the 9th. June, since which I have been honored with yours of the 4th. 23d. and 30th. May last, which with the Papers that accompanied them were communicated to Congress.

Two Copies of the Ratification of Mr. Adams last Contract have been transmitted to you, under Cover to Messrs. Willinks and Van Staphorsts, by Vessels bound to Amsterdam. A Triplicate will be enclosed with this, together with the following Papers, Vizt. The Requisition of Congress for the present Year, passed the 20th. of last Month; a Copy of an Act of the 13th. Instant, enabling you to provide for the Subsistence of the american Captives at Algiers, and approving of your supplementary Instruction to Mr. Lamb on that Head; a Copy of an Act of the same Date for putting the Constitution into Operation, and also the printed Journals necessary to compleat your Set, and a Parcel of the latest Newspapers.

These Dispatches will go from Boston in a Vessel bound from thence to France. How far this Conveyance may be a safe one I am not well informed. I nevertheless think it best to postpone Details for the present, as well as the private Letter which you have Reason to expect from me on the Subject you also hinted to Mr. Madison with whom I have conferred respecting it. There is a Reluctance in some to adopt the Idea it suggests, and I apprehend that others will prefer Delay to a Decision upon it. With very sincere Esteem and Regard I have the Honor to be &ca:

John Jay

FC (DNA: PCC, No. 121). Dft (NK-Iselin). Enclosures: (1) Tripl of resolution of Congress of 2 July 1788 ratifying the contract for the loan of one million guilders negotiated by John Adams on 13 Mch. 1788. The TWO COPIES transmitted by vessels bound for Amsterdam were probably enclosed in the (missing) letter from Henry Remsen to TJ of 25 July 1788 (see note to TJ to Jay, 5 Sep. 1788). A copy of a translation of the contract, with a clause of the ratification, in the hand of Henry Remsen, dated 4 July 1788, signed by Cyrus Griffin and Charles Thomson, with seal attached, is in DNA: PCC, Miscellany. (2) Resolutions on the requisition for 1788 (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937, 34 vols. description ends , xxxiv, 433–42; 634, No. 611). (3) Resolutions of Congress of 13 Sep. 1788: “That out of the fund appropriated for the redemption of the American captives at Algiers or any other monies belonging to the United States in Europe, the Minister plenipotentiary of the United States at the Court of Versailles be and he is hereby authorised to make such provision for the maintenance and Comfortable subsistence of the American Captives at Algiers and to give such orders touching the same as shall to him appear right and proper. That Congress approve the instructions heretofore given to Mr. Lamb by Mr. Jefferson their Minister at the Court of France for supplying the said Captives”; “That the first Wednesday in Jany. next be the day for appointing Electors in the several states, which before the said day shall have ratified the said constitution; that the first Wednesday in feby. next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states and vote for a president; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time and the present seat of Congress the place for commencing proceedings under the said constitution” (same, p. 523, 524–5, 635, No. 613).

On the supplementary instruction to Mr. Lamb see Vol. 8: 616–7.

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