Front Page Titles (by Subject) WILLIAM DUER 1 TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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WILLIAM DUER 1 TO JAY. - 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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WILLIAM DUER1 TO JAY.
[Phila.] May 28th, 1777.
My dear Sir:
You have been undoubtedly surprised at my long silence, but when I assure you what is fact, that my principal reasons for not writing have been want of time, and of satisfactory matter, I flatter myself I shall stand acquitted, (if not with honor) at least as a wilful offender against the laws of friendship.
As General Schuyler expects to deliver this letter in person I shall refer you to him for the particular [intelligence] respecting his own affairs, and for the political complexion of affairs in Congress. From a very low ebb at which our affairs were when we arrived here we have recover’d surprisingly; and I may venture to say that the eyes of all those who are not willfully blind are open, and that we may expect [something] to take place with respect to our State.
I congratulate you on the completion of the task of forming and organizing our new Government. I think it upon the maturest reflection the best system which has as yet been adopted, and possibly as good as the temper of the times would admit of. If it is well administered, and some wise and vigorous laws pass’d at the opening of the [session] for watching, and defeating the machinations of the enemy and their abettors, and for supporting by taxes, and other means the credit of the circulating money, it will be a formidable engine of opposition to the designs of our tyrannical enemies; but I assure you I am not without my fears concerning the choice which will be made of those who are to set the machine in motion.
Our all depends on it. It is very observable that in almost every other State where Government has been formed, and establish’d either from the convention of parties, or from a want of proper power being vested in the executive branches, disaffection has encreased prodigiously, and an unhappy langour has prevailed in the whole political system. I sincerely wish that this may not be the case with us, but that the new Government may continue to act with that spirit, integrity, and wisdom which animated the councils of the old!
In this State [Penn.] toryism, or rather treason, stalks triumphant; the credit of our money is sapp’d by the arts and advances of the malignants, and monopolists (?), and such is the desperate situation of affairs that nothing but desperate remedies can restore these people to reason, and virtue.
The assembly is now conven’d, but I am afraid will not dare to lay a tax to call in part of the large sums of money circulating in this State, or to pass vigorous laws to crush the disaffected.—All my hope is that the spirit of Whiggism will at length break forth in some of the populace, which (if well directed) may affect by quackery or cure what the regular State physicians, are either not adequate to, or unwilling to attempt.
A spirit of this kind under the name of Joyce has made his appearance in Boston; I should not be surprised if he was to travel Westward. It would be attended with good effects.
What think you of an Episcopalian Clergyman in this City praying last Sunday for the Lords Spiritial and Temporal—or rather what think you of the Congregation which heard him with patience?— If in the midst of your political business you can now and then drop me a line I will esteem it as a favor, and (if not regularly) I will by starts, when there is any thing worth communicating, write to you.
A word in the ear of a friend: When I was sent here I had some idea that I was entring into the temple of public virtue. I am disappointed and chagrined. Genl. Schuyler will communicate my sentiments and his own at large.
Col. Lee will I am credibly inform’d be left out of the next delegation for Virginia which is now in agitation. The mere contemplation of this event gives me pleasure; my mind is full, and I wish to unburthen it, but prudence forbids me.
I condole with you on the loss of your aged mother; or rather should I not congratulate you that she is arrived in a secure and pleasant Haven, from a storm, which she was little calculated to bear? This reflection I believe has alleviated your distress.—May we be as virtuous as your parents should we live to be as old.—From the rapid increase of villainy both moral and political, it is to be fear’d that we shall not increase in virtue, as we may in years—Remember me to all my friends, particularly to my fellow-labourers in the Council of Conspiracy. Adieu and believe me
Yours with much esteem and affection
I have delivered Genl. Schuyler a letter from your friend Mr. Dean in France; I have had it some time by me, but waited a safe mode of conveyance.
[1 ]William Duer, of Charlotte County, lately member of the New York Convention, and now delegate in Congress.