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.
Philadelphia, 21st March, 1779.
So uncertain has been the fate of letters during the course of this war, that I very seldom write one without adverting to the possibility and consequences of its miscarriage and publication. This precaution has on a late occasion given me much consolation. Two of my letters to Mrs. Jay fell into the enemy’s hands at Elizabethtown; they contained nothing that would give me uneasiness if published. Prudential considerations of this kind have, since my arrival here, restrained me from writing several confidential letters to you; and I should now be equally cautious had I not full confidence in the bearer of this, and under little apprehension of danger from accidents on the road.
Congress has refused to accept your resignation. Twelve States were represented. New England and Pennsylvania against you. The delegates of the latter are new men, and not free from the influence of the former. From New York south you have fast friends. Mr. *****’s disposition is at least questionable. Delaware was unrepresented.
What is now to be done? You best can answer this question. Were I in your situation, I should not hesitate a moment to continue in the service. I have the best authority to assure you that the commander-in-chief wishes you to retain your commission. The propriety of your resignation is now out of question. Those laws of honour which might have required it are satisfied: are you certain they do not demand a contrary conduct? You have talents to render you conspicuous in the field; and address to conciliate the affections of those who may now wish you ill. Both these circumstances are of worth to your family, and, independent of public considerations, argue forcibly for your joining the army. Gather laurels for the sake of your country and your children. You can leave them a sufficient share of property; leave them also the reputation of being descended from an incontestably great man—a man who, uninfluenced by the ingratitude of his country, was unremitted in his exertions to promote her happiness. You have hitherto been no stranger to these sentiments, and therefore I forbear to enlarge. Would it not do you honour to inform Congress that, while in their opinion your services ought not to be withheld from your country, neither the derangement of your private affairs, the severities you have experienced, nor regard to your health already impaired in their service, shall restrain you from devoting yourself to the execution of their commands; but that whenever the situation of our affairs may cease to call you to the field, you hope they will permit you to retire and attend to the duties you owe your family.
Should this be your resolution, would not the main army be your proper object? there you may be best known, and there best acquire military influence. Consider: this campaign will in all human probability be decisive, and the last. Can you, therefore, employ six or eight months better?
I will not apologize for the freedom with which I write, being persuaded that although our opinions may vary, you will consider this letter as some evidence of the sincerity with which I am
Your friend and servant,