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John Jay writes to his wife as he prepares to negotiate the 1794 "Jay's Treaty" with Great Britain: "How my mission will terminate I cannot yet decide. There is room for hope, and also some for doubt."
London, July 6, 1794. 7.5" x 9". "Draft Autograph Letter (unsigned), 3 pages, 7.5"" x 9"", London, July 6, 1794, to his wife Sally, concerning his transatlantic journey and safe arrival in England, as well as his hopes for the best in his upcoming treaty negotiations that would become known as ""Jay's Treaty."" A few minor partial separations, expertly repaired, else fine condition. Jays opens with an explanation for not writing more frequently: ?I have been constantly employed in writing letters. The number of applications made to me on subjects unconnected with my public or private affairs, have consumed more time than I could with any convenience spare. Vessels will sail in the course of this week to America, and it is necessary and proper that I should write by then. You have seen me in similar situations before, and how little leisure I had for the pleasure of writing to my particular friends. I am happy however in having a degree of health which enables me to dispatch these incidental affairs with so much expedition as to prevent their accumulating upon me?" Yesterday I had the satisfaction of receiving your kind letter of the 29 May - I thank you for it very cordially - it is the first of yours that has reached me since my arrival- it has added to my consolation -- To be assured that you were all well is a pleasing circumstance - God grant that you may all continue So. I am anxious for a Leisure moment to write to Maria and Nancy- Fody[?] and Mr. [John Jay] Munro, but fear it will not be in my power by this Vessel - Peter is very well and will write to you- his conduct is such as to meet with my approbation. He at present enjoys advantages which few of his age and country meet with ?" I hope & believe he will not neglect them"" Jay then composes a paragraph, which he subsequently crossed out with a single diagonal line: ""So you have had a sad storm, and the poplars are blown down ?" I feel more affected by the apprehension it exerted in your mind, than for any Damage it may have done to our Trees?" I hear also you have had a severe Frost, and that much injury has been done by it - these are disagreeable circumstances -but our Country still has many Blessings."" After he crossed out the paragraph, Jay recomposed his thoughts on the recent storm: ""I feel you Your description of the violent storm and the apprehensions wh[ich] it exerted in y[ou]r mind occasion emotions not easily described. I think it providential that we hastened away as we did, had we sailed two or three Days before on the 29 May we were beyond the its Reach of the storm w[hic]h then prevailed?"but God governs on the ocean as well as on the land, and no events take place without his permission or appointment -""""Has Mr Munro concluded with Col Post - do you know how things go on at Bedford - You know how to write to me in such a manner as that if the Letter sh[oul]d miscarry no Inconveniences will happen- I wrote to you from Falmouth and three[?] from hence[?] - I hope some of those Letters will soon reach you ?" I know now how unhappy anxious you will must be to hear of our safe arrival, and am equally so anxious that Intelligence of it may soon reach You ?" I have given Mr. Scallingood the pleasing Information you mention, I found him an agreeable companion ?" he is still here ?" Mr. Low is gone out of Town ?" Mr Johnsons talks of carrying his family to the federal city & settling there. Mrs. Vaughan's family have been very friendly and attentive ?" How my mission will terminate I cannot yet decide. There is room for hope, and also some for doubt. I wish it was finished that I may again take my place in our little domestic circle?"never I hope to leave it again while I live. However being in the way of my duty I must resign and be composed ?" When you write mention the Date of such Letters as you may receive from me"" Whether Jay completed a final version of this letter is unknown. No letter of this date appears in The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (1893). Columbia University's list of Jay material notes only two letters extant from July 6, 1794, both lengthy missives to Edmund Randolph reporting on a conference with Lord Grenville on June 27.Jay would continue his negotiations with the British government, in an effort to protect American rights as neutral in the ongoing Wars of the French Revolution. Unfortunately for Jay, Alexander Hamilton informed the British that the United States would not make good on a threat to join Sweden and Denmark in a coalition to prevent the British from seizing their ships?"Jay's only real bargaining chip in the negotiations. In November 1794, Jay signed a treaty in which Great Britain gave very little, and actually gained some advantages in trade and other issues the agreement addressed. Although the treaty proved wildly unpopular in the United States, it did guarantee peace between the two nations for a long enough time to allow the U.S. to build up its naval and military power enough to survive the challenge Great Britain would pose during the War of 1812. The letter, as a draft, provides some valuable insights into how Jay composed his thoughts?"evidenced partially in the paragraph concerning the storm she endured while he was still at sea. After writing that he too came close to being caught up in the storm as well, Jay thought better than to needlessly trouble his wife with such thoughts and instead reassured her that they were fortunate to be clear of the storm when it struck. The storm in question struck the northeast on May 22 to 23rd dropping golf ball sized hail from Philadelphia up through New York, flooding streams and rivers and damaging bridges and mills up and down the coast (General Advertiser, Philadelphia, May 24, 1784, 3; Dunlap's American Daily Advertiser, Philadelphia, June 5, 1794, 2)."
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