Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO JOHN ADAMS. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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JAY TO JOHN ADAMS. - 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 JOHN ADAMS.
Aranjues, 4 June, 1780.
There is a distinction between ceremony and attention which is not always observed though often useful. Of the former I hope there will be little between us; of the latter much. Public as well as personal considerations dictate this conduct on my part, and I am happy to find that you mean not to be punctilious. The hints contained in your letter correspond much with my own sentiments, and I shall endeavor to diffuse them.
This Court seems to have great respect for the old adage festina lente, at least as applied to our independence. The Count D’Florida Blanca has hitherto pleased me. I have found in him a degree of frankness and candour which indicates probity. His reputation for talents is high. The acknowledgment of independence is retarded by delays which in my opinion ought not to affect it. The influence of that measure on the sentiments and conduct of our enemy, as well as the neutral nations, makes it an object very important to the common cause. Its suspension I cannot think is necessary to the adjustment of the articles of treaties; they might just as well be settled afterwards. As America is and will be independent in fact, the being so in name can be of no real moment to her individually. But Britain derives hopes from the hesitation of Spain very injurious to the common cause, and I am a little surprised that the policy of destroying these hopes does not appear more evident. If the delay proceeds from expectations that may affect the source of treaty, it is not probable they will be realized. America is to be attacked by candour, generosity, confidence, and good offices; a contrary conduct will not conciliate or persuade.
But whatever may be the cause of the mistakes on this subject, I must do them the justice to say that the general assurances given me by the Count D’Florida Blanca argue a very friendly disposition in the Court towards us, and I hope events will prove them to have been sincere. They certainly must be convinced that the power of the United States, added to that of Britain and under her direction, would enable her to give law to the Western World, and that Spanish America and the Islands would then be at her mercy. Our country is at present so well disposed to Spain, and such cordial enemies to Britain, that it would be a pity this disposition should not be cherished. Now is the time for France and Spain to gain the affections of that extensive country; such an opportunity may never offer.
France has acted wisely. I wish similar councils may prevail here. Would it not be a little extraordinary if Britain should be before Spain in acknowledging our independence? If she had wisdom left she would do it; she may yet have a lucid interval, though she has been very long out of her senses. Spain will be our neighbor; we both have territory enough to prevent our coveting each other, and I should be happy to see that perfect amity and cordial affection established between us which would ensure perpetual peace and harmony to both.
I cannot write you particulars, but nothing here appears to be certain as yet. I shall in all my letters advise Congress to rely principally on themselves; to fight out their own cause at any hazard, with spirit, and not to rely too much on the expectation of events which may never happen.
Have you received any late letters from America? Mrs. Jay received one from her sister of the 10th of April, which mentioned several having been sent home by the way of France. I hear of many letters but receive scarce any.
I am, dear sir,