John Jay Papers
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From John Jay to Richard Price, 27 September 1785

To Richard Price

New York 27 Sep 1785

Dr Sr.

I have ^had^ the Pleasure of recieving your the Letter of the 9 July last which you wrote me by Mr. Curtauld. Your Recommendation will be of great use to him and you may rely on my Readiness to do him any friendly offices in my Power.

His his ^being^ unacquainted with the Business of Husbandry is an unfavorable Circumstance; and to obviate the Inconveniences which must result from it, I have advised him to postpone settling on a Farm for the present, and to spend at least one Season in the Family of some able Farmer. He seems a little sanguine, and if I am not mistaken ^is^ rather inclined to set himself to work at once—I fear If that shd be the Case, I fear his Ignorance of the Business, of our Climate, of our Customs, Wages, Prices & Markets will ^for a while^ expose him to many ^mistakes &^ Impositions—I shall deal candidly & plainly with him, and he shall have my best Advice on every occasion—1

I hope my Letter in answer to the one you favored me with last you was so obliging as to ^in which^ inclosed a number of your valuable Pamphlets has reached you by this Time2 I do not recollect its ^the^ Date, but it went in one of the last Vessels. The Cause of Liberty like most other good Causes, will have its Difficulties and sometimes its Persecutions to struggle with—It has advanced more ^rapidly^ in this than any other Country^ies^, but it has not yet attained its Confirmmation ^all its objects are not yet attained^ and I much doubt whether it ^they^ ever will ^be^ in this or any other terrestrial Country State. That Men should pray and fight for Freedom their own Freedom & yet keep others in Slavery is certainly a little ^acting a very^ inconsistant as well as unjust & perhaps impious ^part^—but the History of Mankind is filled with similar Instances of human Improprieties—The Wise and the Good never form the Majority of any large Society and it seldom happens that they ^can either^ govern it ^their Measures are uniformly adopted or that they can always^ [illegible] are able or can prevent being overborne by their opposite Influence ^themselves by the strong and almost never ceasing union of the wicked & the weak.^ These Considerations ^circumstances^ teach me Patience, ^tell us to be patient^ & to repress ^moderate^ those Sanguine Expectations, which warm & good Hearts often ^mis^lead ^even^ wise Heads to entertain on these Subjects—Nothing remains for us but ^All that the best Men can do is^ to persevere in doing our ^their^ Duty to our ^their^ Country, & leave the Consequences to him who made it our ^their^ Duty; without being ^neither^ elated by Success ^however great^ nor depressed ^discouraged^ by Disappointments however frequent or mortifying—3 With sincere Esteem & Regard I am Dr. Sr your most obt Servt

The Revd Doctr. Price

Dft, NNC (EJ: 8859). Endorsed by JJ: “… in ansr to 9 July last”.

1See Price to JJ, 9 July 1785, above. During his residence in America Courtauld acquired farms in New York and Kentucky. He apparently lived for a time at or near Albany, New York, where his son Samuel was born in 1793; he appears in the 1790 census, under the spelling George Courteauld, as a resident of Caughnawaga, Montgomery County, New York. He returned to England and to his former profession of silk manufacturing in 1794, ultimately forming what became a prominent textile firm. See D. C. Coleman, Courtaulds: an Economic and Social History (3 vols.; Oxford: 1969–80), 1: 1–5, 8, 33–73.

2See Price’s letter of 22 Oct. 1784, JJSP, description begins Elizabeth M. Nuxoll et al., eds., The Selected Papers of John Jay (3 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 2010—) description ends 3: 619–20; and JJ’s reply of 24 Aug. 1785, above.

3For Price’s response to JJ’s comments, see his letter of 25 Nov. 1785, below.

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