Front Page Titles (by Subject) EGBERT BENSON TO JAY. 1 - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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EGBERT BENSON TO JAY. 1 - 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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EGBERT BENSON TO JAY.1
Since I had the pleasure of writing to you last the Committee [of the Continental Congress] have returned from Vermont, and they passed thro’ this place when I happened unfortunately not to be at home. Altho I have not had an opportunity to converse with them yet from what has been communicated to me by the Governor and the papers which I have seen, their embassy has not been productive of the good I both wished and expected. I am certainly exceedingly disappointed as to what I supposed was the principal object of their errand, namely information; for I imagined these gentlemen would have taken measures for discovering the general sense of the inhabitants instead of confining themselves to a short epistolary conference with Governor Chittenden, [of Vermont] proposing questions many of them foreign to the subject and contenting themselves in almost every instance with answers either unintelligible or evasive. It would be improper to charge these gentlemen with having intentionally acted wrong, and while I disapprove of their proceedings I would not mean to impeach their integrity.—Not withstanding the defective Manner in which they have conducted the business they have at least clearly established this fact, that Governor Chittenden himself is determined at all events not to reunite with us, for we may undoubtedly suppose such his determination, when with apparent Sincerity he says that his religious rights and privilidges would be in danger from a Union with a Government, by the fundamental [law] of which all Religions are tolerated and all Establishments expressly excluded. I am confident these sentiments do not generally prevail among the inhabitants on the Grants. I have conversed with several of them; tho, being ignorant of the true Nature of the controversy, blindly attached to the New State, yet they all seem disposed to acquiesce in the decision of Congress. The Governor I believe spoke his mind very freely to the Committee especially with respect to their letter recommending to several towns on the Grants as it were a temporary Submission to the new State for military purposes. He utterly refused to countenance the Measure by any orders to the Militia in that quarter, and offered to give the Committee the reasons of his refusal in writing but they declined accepting them. The assertion that Genl. J. Clinton has made a requisition of Men from Vermont you may be assured is false. The Legislature will meet early in the next Month when we shall be at our ne plus relative to this business unless something decisive is speedily done by Congress.
The People are much pleased that you have at last published your journals, tho’ some of the proceedings are exceedingly reprehended, particularly the loan of 2,000,000 to Pennsylvania. We cannot comprehend the propriety of lending an enormous Sum to a trading State, their Government established and in full possession of all their territory. Advancing monies indefinitely to delegates without an application from their respective states is another proceeding for which Congress is censured. From what I can learn I think it more than probable you will be instructed as to both these matters. We have an idea that the politics of Pennsylvania have crept into Congress and that most of your proceedings are poisoned by their party disputes about their government and that Congress ought to remove from that State. How just this surmise is I will not determine, but it seems to be so much the opinion of many here that I should not be surprised if the Legislature were also to send instruction upon this subject.
A regulating scheme has not been attempted anywhere in the State except at Albany, and how it succeeds there I do not certainly know but can easily conjecture. It is amazing that people should still pursue a system so evidently futile and absurd. I sincerely wish the limitation may be limited to the City of Albany. I possibly am in the opposite extreme and so far from reducing prices agreeable to this plan, I think the Embargo Act ought immediately to be repealed and our farmers indulged with an opportunity of carrying their produce to the highest market. We have already by embargos and other restrictions sacrificed too much to the Common Cause; it is time we should observe a different policy, and place our subjects upon equality with those of other States. Taxation is the only honest and rational remedy for the depreciation of the Currency, but I fear it will be too slow in its operation to answer the present purpose and recourse must be had to other expedients. An internal compulsory loan appears the most eligible; and I would therefore propose that Estates to a certain Amount should be obliged to advance a certain Sum on loan to the public. Our separate effort will avail little, but I beleive if a plan of this kind was recommended by Congress and adopted by all the States very considerable sums might be raised. I could wish to be favored with your sentiments before the Legislature meets. It does not appear to me improper to take this method for cancelling our own emissions. Inclosed you have a list of the members chosen at the last Election in those instances where I have been able to procure the Names.
I congratulate you upon the Commencement of the third year of our Independence. We have at last secured a possession which among the lawyers is esteemed a Considerable point gained. My best respects to Messs. Duane and Morris.
I am most sincerely yours
N. B. Holt in his last paper published the resolutions moved for by our delegates. We are at a loss to know where he obtained a Copy.
Poughkeepsie July 6th, 1779.
[1 ]This letter from Judge Benson is of interest, not only as referring to the Vermont controversy, but as throwing light on the current expedients for raising war taxes, making loans, and meeting the depreciation of the currency. It is to be read in connection with Jay’s letter to Governor Clinton, following.