John Jay Papers
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From John Jay to John Laurens, 2 May 1781

To John Laurens

Madrid 2d. May 1781

Dear Sir

I have been favored with your very polite & obliging Letter by the Return of my Courier.1 None of the Letters for me from America, which you mention to have committed on your arrival to the Care of Doctr. Franklin have as yet reached me.

The nature of the Warrant under which your good Father is detained, is if I am rightly informed, such as that I fear his Enlargement on Parole will not be easily obtained. indeed I much doubt its being effected in any other Way than that of Retaliation. Whether we have among the Prisoners any of sufficient Importance, I am not informed—there were some Parliament Men taken with Gen. Burgoyne who might be recalled tho’ not perhaps imprisoned. From my Ideas of the Coasts and Disposition of many Parts of Britain & Ireland, I should think it practicable to surprize and take off some ministerial Men of Consequence in both Islands—but of this you are better able to judge than I am.

Your Remarks on our pecuniary Resources are exceedingly just, and the Conclusion you draw from them corresponds perfectly with my Sentiments on that Head.

When I did myself the Honor of writing to you last, I had been led to suppose that your Residence in Europe would probably be for a considerable Time, and therefore I wished to provide immediately for the Means of deriving advantage to our Country & Satisfaction to myself from a confidential Correspondence with you. Your speedy Return to America will disappoint these Views, but be assured that the same motives which induce me on this occasion to cultivate your Friendship will on all others, render me desirous of evincing the Esteem & Regards with which I am Dear Sir Your most obedient & h’ble Servant

John Jay

Mr Toscan who is appointed Vice Consul of France at Boston, & who set out from here for Bilboa last Week, is the Bearer of your Letters to America This opportunity is very seasonable, and the more so as few private ones offer from hence even to the Sea Coast— I have very little Reason to confide in the Post Office.

Mrs Jay is much obliged by your polite Attention & assures you of her Regard & best Wishes.

Col. J. Laurens

LS, PC (EJ: 12516); Dft, NNC (EJ: 7973).

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