Front Page Titles (by Subject) EDWARD RUTLEDGE TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
EDWARD RUTLEDGE 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
EDWARD RUTLEDGE TO JAY.
Charleston, Dec. 25th, 1778.
My dear Jay:
It is a long time since we have had any correspondence, but I see no reason why it should be longer, when we have any thing to say, and leisure to say it in. Such is just my situation; for it is Christmas-day, and all the world (i. e. my clients) being either at their devotions or their amusements, I have time to tell you, and I fear with some reason (as it comes north about), that a damned infamous cabal is forming against our commander-in-chief, and that whenever they shall find themselves strong enough they will strike an important blow. I give you this hint, that you may be on your guard; and I know you will excuse me for doing so, when you recollect that there are some men of our acquaintance who are in possession of all the qualities of the devil, his cunning not excepted. Recollect the indirect attempts that were repeatedly made against the command and reputation of poor Schuyler, and the fatal stab that was at last aimed at both; and let us be taught how necessary it is to oppose a cabal in its infancy. Were it in my power, I would stifle it in its birth. Conway, the ****, and ******* are said to be at the bottom of this, besides an abundance of snakes that are concealed in the grass. If these are not encouraged to come forward, they will continue where they are; but if the former are permitted to bask in the sunshine of Congressional favour, the latter will soon spread themselves abroad, and an extended field will be immediately occupied by the factious and the ambitious. The fate of America will then be like the fate of most of the republics of antiquity, where the designing have supplanted the virtuous, and the worthy have been sacrificed to the views of the wicked. Indeed, my friend, if the Congress do not embrace every opportunity to extinguish that spirit of cabal and unworthy ambition, it will finally be more essentially injurious to the well-being of this continent than the sword of Sir Harry and his whole army. I view the body of which we were for a long time members, as possessing, in a very eminent degree, the powers of good and evil. It depends on those who manage the machine to determine its object. I hear you have returned to Congress, and I hope you will have your full share in the management. I do not know what gentleman we shall send from this State. We have some fine plants, nay, saplings, that will do wondrous well in a few years, but are too tender at present to bear up the weight of this continent. Were it now to be imposed upon them, it might check their growth, or, as they are the production of a southern clime, it is possible they might be blighted by a northern wind. When you write me, let me know how Robert R. Livingston is. Remember me to him, for I esteem him highly. God bless you, my dear Jay, and believe me to be, with great sincerity,
Your affectionate friend,