Front Page Titles (by Subject) ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO JAY. 1 - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO JAY. 1 - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 1 (1763-1781).
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ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO JAY.1
Philadelphia, 17th May, 1776.
I was so unfortunate as to miss the last post, by which means I was prevented from letting you hear what I had done about getting you lodgings at Bristol, & the important business that had been transacted here before I arrived. I could not find a tolerable house in Bristol, the rooms that were unoccupied were all too small & hot for invalids, & there was no house that could furnish more than two so that we could not have been together, tho’ had the rooms been tolerable we might have made out by taking two adjoining houses had not the landladys nose placed such an obstruction in my way as my regard for your future posterity rendered it impossible for me to get over. However I have provided three Bedrooms & a large parlour in a retired country house, about two miles from Bristol upon the banks of the [Delaware] where we shall have plentiful provisions for our horses, good fishing before the door, a tavern about ¼ of a mile from us to lodge our friends, & in short every thing that we can wish to render our situation agreeable. The lodgings are to be entered upon next Wednesday, by which time I hope to see you & Mrs. Jay there; it is absolutely necessary you shd. come to settle the arrangement of our family. And (what is much more important) to settle another arrangment which I most heartily wish we could unite in making. Mr. Duane tells me he has enclosed you a copy of the resolutions of the 15th. I make no observations on it in this place for fear of accidents. It has occasioned a great alarm here, & the cautious folks are very fearful of its being attended with many ill consequences next week when the Assembly are to meet; some points of the last importance are to be agitated (as we imagine) very early. I wish to God you could be here. If you do not get this length meet me at least at Bristol next week from whence you may return in a few days & send some of our delegates along as the province will otherwise be often unrepresented, since I find it inconsistant with my health to be close in my attendance in Congress. You have by this time sounded our people, I hope they are satisfied of the necessity of assumming a new form of Government; let me hear (if you dont come yourself) in what channel it will probably run. Let me know the mode in which new powers (for the old are insufficient) are to be obtained; if by a dissolution it will be necessary to go home. Let me also know in what sphere you yourself chuse to move. You are so necessary here, that I will consent to no law which will make the honours I wish you to possess inconsistant with your attendance on Congress. I have a thought which if carried into execution might render ours the favorite colony, & offset the absurd claims of our neighbours, which may hereafter be very troublesome, but it requires much consideration, & may perhaps be impracticable. I will reserve it (with other of my reveries) till one of those happy hours in which I permit myself to think aloud in your hearing. If you should see Benson it would not be amiss to let him know that I am a little hurt at his conduct; it may induce him to alter it without my coming to an explanation which might possibly occasion a coolness which I wish to avoid. Farewell—may heaven bless you & put an end to these evils which break in so cruelly upon our Domestick enjoyments even, & render our reflection on past pleasures the most agreeable part of our present friendship.
Your friend &c.
R. R. Livingston.
[1 ]Jay, who had been an almost constant attendant on Congress for a year, was now for many months to be associated with the public bodies and affairs of his own Province. On the third Tuesday of April, 1776, he was elected member of the New York Congress, and on May 25th he took his seat in that body. His seat in the Continental Congress was not vacated by this change, and he probably would have returned to Philadelphia but for the important matters to come before the New York Congress requiring his presence there. The recommendation of the Continental Congress to the several colonies to adopt new and constitutional forms of government especially required careful deliberation, and the New York Congress directed him not to leave them “without further orders.” Jay’s letters show that he was heartily in favor of a change in the provincial government, but as the House had not been instructed on this issue, it called for the election of a new body, which took the name of the New York Convention—Jay being returned as a member from New York City. The Convention met at White Plains, July 9th, and a committee subsequently appointed to report on the proposed measure. The exigencies of the campaign for that year, however, delayed action on the adoption of a new form of government, until March-April of the following year, as appears from the note to the Livingston-Morris letter of April 26, 1777. Jay, meantime, was buried in the work of important committees.