To James Jay8
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society
Passy April 18. 78
The Affair of the Officers last Winter had this Relation to the Matter of your Letter. If you are convinc’d you ought to have believ’d me then; that might induce you to give me a little Credit now.9 Your Character and Conduct respecting the Welfare of America are not at present in question. When they are, they will doubtless speak for themselves. Having little time, This Correspondence appearing to me useless, I beg it may be here ended. I am Sir Your most humble Servant
8. We have considered the possibility that this is one more draft of BF’s letter of the 17th, where “the Affair of the Officers” appears for the first time. But the relevance of that affair was not at issue until the preceding letter, which, as noted there, was Jay’s response to BF’s of the day before. Hence this is the answer to that response.
9. This sentence condenses a longer passage that BF deleted: “You quarrel’d with us supposing we told you an Untruth. The Votes of Congress, and Mr. Adams’s Testimony which you have receiv’d lately, must convince you of your Error. And this may be a Motive with you, if you attend to it, to give me a little Credit.”