John Jay Papers

From John Jay to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of New York, [4 October 1784]

To the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty
of the City of New York

[New York, 4 October 1784]

To the worshipful the Mayor Alderman &
Commonalty of the City of NYork


accept my warmest Thanks for your affecte. Congratulation and ^on^ my Return to my native Country, and ^for^ the particular mark of approbation with wh. you have honored my Endeavours to do my Duty in promoting its Welfare. I consider the Day on wh. I again landed on these Shores, as one of the happiest with which an indulgent Providence has blessed me; & that Satisfaction was increased by finding my fellow Citizens in the Enjoymt. of public Tranquility and private Security, under the auspices of magistrates who had given early Proof of attention to both.

I cannot omit this opporty. of offering to you Gent. my Congratulations on our having attained the objects of a War, in the Course of wh. America in general & this part of it in particular ^displayed^ exemplary magnanimity & Perseverance; and exhibited to the world the singular Spectacle of a patriot army of Citizens retir peaceably retiring with their great & good Chief, crowned with Laurels and Blessings of the People to fill the various Stations of private Life—

If we continue to cultivate the Virtues and practice the wisdom peculiar to ^observe the Policy requisite in^ Peace with the assiduity ^attention^ paid to those which (with the Blessing of Heaven) gave Success to the War— If our views be national, our union preserved, our Faith kept, War however improbable provided for, Knowledge diffused, and our foederal Governmt. rendered efficient, we cannot fail to become a great and happy people—. This is my native Land ^being a Land of Light & Liberty I bless God that it is the Land of my Nativity^ here my Forefathers1 sought & found Liberty ^Freedom^ & Toleration, I am bound to it by the strongest Ties, & as its Happiness has been the first object of my Endeavours from early Life, so its prosperity the best ^most fervent^ wishes for its prosperity shall be among those of my latest Hours—

Dft, NNC (EJ: 9221); MNYCC, 1: 86–87. According to protocol JJ had been invited to address a session of the Common Council, which took place 4 Oct. Copies of the address to JJ and the final version of this reply were printed in various newspapers, including the New-York Journal, and the New York Packet, both 7 Oct; the Independent Journal (New York), 9 Oct.; the Pennsylvania Packet, 19 Oct.; and the Massachusetts Spy: Or, Worcester Gazette, 21 Oct. 1784.

1MCCNYC description begins Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831 (19 vols.; New York, 1917) description ends , 1: 87n: Marginal note reads “From France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes A.D. 1684.”

Index Entries