Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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JAY TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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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JAY TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New York, July 6, 1776.
The enclosed memorial was yesterday given me by Mr. Bill, with a request that I would transmit it to Congress. He appears much hurt in being omitted in the arrangement of officers intended for the regiment lately ordered to be raised in this Colony; and I sincerely wish he had less reason to think himself neglected. He is a fine, spirited young gentleman, of one or two and twenty, of an ancient and once opulent family in this Colony. His connexions are extensive in the County, and he seems to possess that generous kind of ambition so essential to the character of a good officer. What renders his case the more unfortunate is, that he is almost the only one of his family who has discovered any degree of ardour in the American cause. His promotion would have contributed as much to increase their zeal as his being laid aside may tend to diminish it. Nor is this the only instance in which that arrangement has given disgust: among others, Mr. Cortlandt, whose family is not only very numerous, but also respectable and wealthy, entered the service last year as Lieutenant-Colonel; he has done the like this year. Mr. Dubois entered the service last year as a Captain, and this year Captain Dubois is made to command Lieutenant-Colonel Cortlandt. Appointments like these pay ill compliment to those who are thus (as they think unjustly) superseded, and therefore have an unhappy tendency to drive them into a sullen indifference about Congressional measures.1
I am, Sir, with great respect, the Congress’s and your most obedient servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.
[1 ]This question of military appointments occasioned anxiety among officers and others in all the States. Congress had lately nominated officers for a New York battalion, which the Convention of that State believed to be an assumption of power. Jay wrote the Convention’s reply, printed in its proceedings, in which he said: “The third reason given for depriving us in this instance of the right of nomination, is the good of the service and the danger of delay. The necessity of the case, has in all ages and nations of the world been a fruitful, though dangerous, source of power. It has often sown tares in the fair fields of liberty, and like a malignant blast, destroyed the fruits of patriotism and public spirit. The whole history of mankind bears testimony against the propriety of considering this principle as the parent of civil rights; and a people jealous of their liberties will ever reprobate it. We believe Congress went into this measure with pure intentions, and with no other wish than that of serving their country; and we entertain too high an opinion of their virtue and integrity to apologize for a plainness of speech becoming freemen, and which we know can give offence only to that counterfeit and adulterated dignity which swells the pride of those who, instead of lending, borrow consequence from their offices. And, sir, we beg leave to assure Congress, that though we shall always complain of and oppose their resolutions when they injure our rights, we shall ever be ready to risk our lives and fortunes in supporting the American cause.”