John Jay Papers

From John Jay to Robert R. Livingston and Gouverneur Morris, 29 September 1779

To Robert R. Livingston and Gouverneur Morris

Philadelphia 29 Septr. 1779

My dear Friends

I address this Letter to you both because I have not time by this opportunity to write to each separately. In a few Days I shall write you both particularly. Mr. Gerards being about to sail happily prevailed upon Congress to proceed rapidly & unanimously in arranging their foreign Affairs— Young Coll Laurens is going Secretary to Doctr Franklin, and had the general approbation of Congress for that office— Mr. Adams is appointed to manage the Business of Pacification with Britain, and Mr. Dana has been chosen his Secretary— I am going to Spain to treat with that Court on the Subject of Alliance amity Commerce &c and Mr. Carmichael is my Secretary—1 On all these Matters I wish to write particularly because the Knowledge of them will be useful particularly ^especially^ to Morris. I exceedingly regret his not being sent to your ^Europe^ where his Abilities would have done Honor as well as Service to his Country—but it seems that Period is not yet arrived, & Congress must for some time longer remain his Field. I shall write a long Letter to the Governor on the Subject of the Delegation from New York and the Settlement of our New England and Vermont Disputes, which are now in a good Train, and if prudently managed must terminate to our satisfaction. Of this I am certain— In my opinion Duane Hobart and yourselves ought to be sent— The first is well acquainted with the minutiae of the Controversy and his Information from time to time on the different Points that may be the Subjects of Investigation will be useful— Hobart is very agreable to the People of New England and this Circumstance independent of his other Qualifications, merits Attention— Your Manners Abilities & Address will give New York great advantages in contested Matters, and if Morris governs his Imagination will conciliate Friends—2

I wont bid you farewel in this Letter having much to say in the others which I shall certainly write— I shall conclude therefore with an Assurance which it gives me Pleasure to repeat that I am Your Friend

John Jay

The honble Robt R. Livingston & Govr Morris Esqrs

ALS, NHi: Livingston. Addressed: “The Hon’ble Robt. R. Livingston Esqr. / Chancellor of the State of New York / Kingston / John Jay.” In George Clinton’s hand: “Forwarded by your / Humble Servt. Geo. Clinton.” Endorsed. Tr, NN: Bancroft (EJ: 4635).

1On 29 Sept. 1779 William Carmichael was elected secretary to the Spanish mission, Francis Dana to the English, and Colonel John Laurens (1754–82), son of Henry, to the French. JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1904–37) description ends , 15: 1127–28. See also editorial note entitled “Congress Appoints John Jay Minister to Spain” on p. 709.

2On the selection of the New York delegation and the exclusion of Gouverneur Morris from it, see JJ to George Clinton, 27 Aug., above, and Clinton to JJ, 5 Oct. 1779, below.

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