Front Page Titles (by Subject) INSTRUCTIONS TO JAY AS MINISTER TO SPAIN. 1 - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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INSTRUCTIONS TO JAY AS MINISTER TO SPAIN. 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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INSTRUCTIONS TO JAY AS MINISTER TO SPAIN.1
By the treaties subsisting between his most Christian Majesty and the United States of America, a power is reserved to his Catholic Majesty to accede to the said treaties and to participate in their stipulations at such time as he shall judge proper, it being well understood nevertheless, that if any of the stipulations of the said treaties are not agreeable to the King of Spain, his Catholic Majesty may propose other conditions analogous to the principal aim of the alliance and conformable to the rules of equality, reciprocity and friendship. Congress is sensible of the friendly regard to these States manifested by his most Christian Majesty and these United States; and therefore that nothing may be wanting on their part to facilitate the views of his most Christian Majesty and to obtain a treaty of alliance and of amity and commerce with his Catholic Majesty, have thought proper to anticipate any propositions which his Catholic Majesty might make on that subject by yielding up to him those objects which they conclude he may have principally in view, and for that purpose have come to the following resolution,
“That if his Catholic Majesty shall accede to the said treaties and in concurrence with France and the United States of America continue the present war with Great Britain for the purpose expressed in the treaties aforesaid, he shall not thereby be precluded from securing to himself the Floridas; on the contrary if he shall obtain the Floridas from Great Britain, these United States will guaranty the same to his Catholic Majesty; provided always that the United States shall enjoy the free navigation of the river Mississippi into and from the Sea.”
You are therefore to communicate to his most Christian Majesty the desire of Congress to enter into a treaty of alliance and of amity and commerce with his Catholic Majesty and to request his favourable interposition for that purpose; at the same time you are to make such proposals to his Catholic Majesty as in your judgment, from circumstances, will be proper for obtaining for the United States of America equal advantages with those which are secured to them by the treaties with his most Christian Majesty, observing always the resolution aforesaid as the ultimatum of these United States. You are particularly to endeavour to obtain some convenient port or ports below the 31st degree of north latitude on the river Mississippi free for all merchant vessels, goods, wares and merchandize, belonging to the inhabitants of these States.
The distressed state of our finances and the great depreciation of our paper money incline Congress to hope that his Catholic Majesty, if he shall conclude a treaty with these States, will be induced to lend them money; you are therefore to represent to him the great distress of these States on that account, and to solicit a loan of five million of dollars upon the best terms in your power not exceeding six per centum per annum, effectually to enable them to co-operate with the allies against the common enemy. But before you make any proposition to his Catholic Majesty for a loan, you are to endeavour to obtain a subsidy in consideration of the guaranty aforesaid.
You are to use your utmost endeavours for obtaining permission for the citizens and inhabitants of these States to lade and take on board their vessels salt at the island of Salt Tortuga; and also to cut, load and bring away logwood and mahogany in and from the bay of Honduras and its rivers, and to build on its shores storehouses and magazines for the woodcutters and their families in the extent ceded to his Britannic Majesty by the seventeenth article of the definitive treaty concluded at Paris the tenth day of February, 1763, or in as great extent as can be obtained.
Given at Philadelphia this Sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine and in the fourth year of our Independence, by the Congress of the United States of America.
Saml. Huntington, President.
The honble. John Jay, Minister Plenipotentiary appointed to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce and of alliance with his Catholic Majesty.
[1 ]Jay’s instructions, preserved among his own papers, differ from the form as given in Sparks’ “Diplomatic Correspondence,” vol. vii., p. 169, in containing the additional clause at the end respecting trade with the Tortugas and Honduras, and being of later date.