George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Jay, 29 October 1794

From John Jay


London 29 October 1794

Dear Sir

I have been honored with your’s of the 5th of September. Want of Liesure constrains me to be concise. I am authorized by Lord Grenville to assure you in the most explicit Terms, that no Instructions to stimulate or promote Hostilities by the Indians against the united States have been sent to the Kings officers in Canada. I am preparing an official Representation to him on this Subject, and he will give me an official answer to it; but as this cannot be done in Season to forward by this Vessel (for Letters after this Day will be too late to go by her) His Lordship has permitted me to make this informal Communication to you, for your Satisfaction. I am to lay before him a Statement of the Evidence relative to the Interferences complained of, to the End that it may be sent to Canada, and Enquiry made into the Truth of the allegation & Facts in question. This would have been done sooner, but for Reasons which shall be explained to You.

The Treaty is drawing towards a Conclusion, & unless some Difficulties yet to be removed, should prove insuperable, will speedily be compleated. My Letter to Mr Randolph will contain all the Information which I can find Time at present to communicate.1 Be assured my Dear Sir of the perfect Respect Esteem and attachment with which I am your obliged & obt Servt

John Jay


1In Jay’s letter to Edmund Randolph of this date, he reviewed the course of his negotiations with Lord Grenville and reported that “It cannot be long before the negotiation terminates either in a Treaty, or in a certainty that an amicable settlement is impracticable.” Discussions of “a new Line in our north-western corner” had been suspended pending a survey. The United States would, Jay expected, get access to “Canada and its Indian Trade” but not to navigation of the Saint Lawrence River. The northwestern forts could not be returned until 1796, but a statement would be added authorizing U.S. settlement, “except within the Precincts of any of the posts.” Jay also enclosed a copy of his letter to Lord Grenville of 27 Oct. expressing U.S. satisfaction with Jay’s reception by the British (DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Great Britain).

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