Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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JAY TO GENERAL SCHUYLER. - 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 GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Kingston, 21st July, 1777.
Your favour of the 14th inst. came safe to hand. I am happy to see so much cheerfulness diffused through it. I hope your sweet smiling genius won’t play the coquette. The confidential part of your letter shall remain secret. Putnam’s answer was cautious; he believed there was a fault somewhere, but neither excused nor accused anybody; nor did he take any notice of that part of our letter which respected you. This kind of reserve is not friendly. The evacuation of Ticonderoga continues to be the subject, not only of general speculation, but also of general censure and reproach. The public, not being furnished with the reasons for that measure, are left to form their own conjectures, and seem very universally to impute it to treachery and practice with the enemy; nor are the four generals alone the objects of suspicion; it reaches you.
It is unnecessary to observe that, like many other worthy characters, you have your enemies; and it is also true that countenance is indirectly given to the popular suspicions by persons from whom I should have expected more candour, or I may say more honesty.
It is said, but I know not with what truth, that St. Clair, on being asked by some of his officers why the fort was evacuated, replied generally, that he knew what he did; that on his own account he was very easy about the matter, and that he had it in his power to justify himself. From hence some inferred that he must have alluded to orders from you.
Another report prevails, that some short time before the fort was left, a number of heavy cannon were by your order dismounted and laid aside, and small ones placed in their room. This is urged as circumstantial proof against you.
The ship-carpenters have come down, much dissatisfied and clamorous. In short, sir, that jealousy which ever prevails in civil wars, added to the disappointment and indignation which the people feel on this occasion, together with the malice of your enemies, require that the integrity and propriety of your conduct be rendered so evident, as that there may not be a hook or loop whereon to hang a doubt.
I forgot to mention that stress is also laid on your distance from the fort at the time of the enemy’s approach, and from this circumstance unfavourable conclusions are drawn.
Your friends in the mean time are not idle; they argue that you would have been highly reprehensible, if you had, by being in a fort besieged, deprived the other parts of the department of your services and superintendence. That they are assured of your having neither ordered nor been privy to the evacuation of the fort, etc., etc., etc. A clear, short, and authentic statement of facts can alone do the work; while the people remain uninformed they will suspect the worst. I think the generals (who are mortal if honest) ought to give you a certificate that Ticonderoga was left without your direction, advice, or knowledge; and I submit to you whether it would not be expedient to write such a letter to the Council of Safety on this subject, as they could with propriety publish. I think it should not look like a defence, though it should amount to it. It should take no notice of accusations, and yet remove all grounds for them. Charges may be answered without seeming to know of any; a defence more pointed and particular would give a certain degree of consequence even to calumny, and resemble an implied admission that there was apparent room for suspicion.
In one of your late letters to the council was this sentiment. “You wished the evacuation might not be too much depreciated”; and your reasons for this caution may have weight; but, sir, a certain gentleman at that board, whom I need not name, and from whom I do not desire this information should be concealed, is in my opinion your secret enemy. He professes much respect, etc., for you; he can’t see through the business; he wishes you had been nearer to the fort, though he does not doubt your spirit; he thinks we ought to suspend our judgment, and not censure you rashly; he hopes you will be able to justify yourself, etc., etc. Observe so much caution, therefore, in your letters, as to let them contain nothing which your enemies may wrest to their own purposes.
I must also inform you that the flying seals of your letters to General Washington often arrive there broken. That from the different colour of the wax, if not from the clumsy manner in which they are often put up by the secretaries, it can be no difficult matter for those who receive them to perceive that they have been inspected. I wish some other mode was devised.
Thus, sir. I have performed the unpleasing task of writing to you with much freedom on a very disagreeable subject, and of acquainting you with facts that will give you pain, and put your equanimity to a trial.
I won’t apologize for the liberty I have taken, being persuaded that you will consider it as a proof of the regard with which I am, dear sir,
Your friend and humble servant,