George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Jay, 6 April 1783

Paris 6 Ap. 1783

Dear Sir

It is most certain that the Letters alluded to in your Excellency’s of the 18th Octr last (which with sundry post marks was sent to my Brother) have all miscarried. The Sea, or the Enemy, or the unceasing and jealous attention of the french and spanish Governments to american Letters and Papers, may in this as in many other Instances, have been unkind to me.

I think the Motto of si recte facies on one of the continental Bills, may be changed for recte fecisti. You have saved your Country, and lived to see her blessed with Liberty and Peace. as an american I present you my Thanks, and as a Friend my Congratulations.

Notwithstanding the favorable aspect of our affairs, I doubt the Propriety of disbanding the army until all the foreign Forces in our Country shall be removed from it. The Experience of ages recommends Caution on this Head.

It is very evident to me, that the encreasing power of america is a serious object of Jealousy to France and Spain as well as Britain. I verily believe they will secretly endeavour to foment Divisions among us, and I think it highly expedient that we should proceed to settle the Boundaries of such of the States as have Disputes about them, and endeavour to secure the Continuance of Harmony and union by carefully removing such Causes of Dissention as may from Time to Time arise. I write thus freely from a Persuasion that this Letter will go safe—Mr Mason of Virginia will be the Bearer of it.

Mrs Jay speakes often of your Happiness and rejoices in it. we both request the favor of you to make our Compliments & Congratulations to Mrs Washington. There are many here who expect to see you in Europe—but I think they dont know you.with constant & perfect Esteem & Regard, I have the Honor to be Dear Sir your most obt & very hble Servt

John Jay

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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