George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Jay, 11 August 1794

From John Jay

London 11 Augt 1794

Dear Sir

The Letter herewith enclosed from Mr Wangenheim came to me enclosed from him, requesting me to transmit it to You1—it was as it now is, without a cover—of this Gentleman I have no knowledge or information but from these Letters. I have written to him, that the Issue of his Application to You could not be foreseen; but that as the united States interposed no Impediments to Emigrants, so on the other Hand, their Governmt offered no particular Gratifications or Inducements. many applications of the like kind are almost daily made to me by Frenchmen & others here. I uniformly give them the same Answer. The Spirit of Emigration to our Country becomes more and more diffused. Certain Resolutions from N. Carolina and Kentucky are here—they do no Good.2

The Sentiments expressed by Mr Fox relative to your administration are not singular here3—I have frequently heard the same from important characters opposed to him in Politics—a war with us would be very unpopular, unless we provoked it—I expect soon to write to You again. I have the Honor to be with perfect Respect Esteem and Attachmt Dear Sir your obliged & obt Servt

John Jay


1Jay enclosed Karl August Freiherr von Wangenheim’s letter to GW of 10 February. GW stated in his letter to Jay of 1-4 Nov. that he would not reply to Wangenheim: "Were I to enter into corrispondencies of that sort (admitting their was no impropriety in the measure) I should be unable to attend to my ordinary duties. I have established it as a maxim, neither to envite, nor to discourage emigrants" (ALS, NNC: Jay Papers). Jay’s correspondence with Wangenheim has not been identified.

2Jay may have been referring to the resolutions passed by a meeting of citizens at Lexington, Ky., on 24 May (see GW to Alexander Hamilton, 11 July, n.1) and by the Democratic Society of Washington, N.C., on 7 April. The Washington resolutions included two about Great Britain: "That the outrages of the subjects of Great Britain in the capture, detention, and condemnation of American vessels, on the most frivolous pretences, while in a state of neutrality, demands our most serious attention, and ought to be resented with a proper spirit" and "That while Americans hold out the olive Branch, and tamely suffers all those insults and depredations, British insolence will increase in proportion to her power, in order to curb which, speedy measures ought to be adopted, which may evince that America feels her importance, knows her rights, and is determined to defend them" (North-Carolina Gazette [New Bern], 19 April).

3Jay was alluding to the speech, highly complimentary to GW, given in Parliament by British opposition leader Charles James Fox on 21 Jan. (see Tobias Lear to GW, 26-30 Jan., and n.12).

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