Front Page Titles (by Subject) FLORIDA BLANCA TO JAY. 1 [Translation.] - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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FLORIDA BLANCA TO JAY. 1 [Translation.] - 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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FLORIDA BLANCA TO JAY.1
Aranjues, June 7, 1780.
His Catholic Majesty would be very glad to be able to furnish, at the present crisis, funds for the payment of the one hundred thousand pounds sterling, proposed to be addressed to Mr. Jay, in order to evince the concern which the King takes in the prosperity and relief of the United States of North America, as well as in the personal satisfaction of the above mentioned gentleman. But the demands of the present war, and the great difficulty there would be to transport hither the treasures of the King’s possessions in that part of the world, render it impracticable to furnish here the said sum in specie, as could be wished. Some expedient, however, may be found to remedy this inconvenience. For example; if the owners of the bills of exchange would be content with the security or responsibility of his Catholic Majesty, to pay the sum already mentioned in the term of two years. The King will readily agree to such an arrangement, even if it should be found necessary to add a moderate interest. This security, given by such a sovereign as the King of Spain, would induce the owners of those bills of exchange, and the creditors of Congress to consent to a measure so advantageous, and would equally serve to sustain the credit and good faith of the same body.
Mr. Jay, therefore, is entreated to reflect on the idea just stated to him, and in answer to inform us what measures he thinks suitable to this scheme, in order that they may be laid before the King, and his orders taken thereon. If the expedient in question should be adopted, it will at the same time be necessary to take measures in concert to reimburse to the King this considerable sum, as well as others already expended in favor of the United States. The first idea which offers for reciprocal convenience is, that Congress should engage to build without delay some handsome frigates and other smaller vessels of war, fixing the price of each, and the time when they will be finished.
This point once settled, it will be proper immediately to take measures to equip these vessels as fast as they are ready; to point out what articles will be necessary to send from Spain for this purpose, and in what port they will have notice to receive them. After this it is expedient to be informed, whether the Americans themselves will engage to come to the ports of Bilboa, St. Ander, Ferrol, or Cadiz, for the said articles, which they will find ready, and afterwards transport them in their own vessels of war or letters of marque to America. On this supposition it is conjectured, that it would be easy to find hands enough in America to man these new built vessels, which will sail under Spanish colors. There are certainly among the subjects of the said United States many who have made the voyage, and are acquainted with the usual route of the ships of the English East India Company, and who know perfectly well the ports and places at which they stop. This fact established, it is proposed to equip in the ports of the United States four good frigates, and some other lighter vessels, with the effects which shall be sent from hence on account of Spain. This small squadron, under Spanish colors, shall be employed to intercept the convoys of the said Company by cruising in the proper latitudes. The measures just pointed out appear to be the most proper to reimburse, in some shape, the expenses already incurred by his Catholic Majesty, and to answer for such security as has been proposed to be given in this memoir. It being always understood, that a share of the prizes taken from the English by this small squadron shall be given to the crews, and even to Congress, in proportion to the assistance which they shall furnish for the equipment of the vessel.
A speedy and decisive answer to all the points here enumerated is requested, and Mr. Jay is too enlightened not to perceive that the common cause is interested therein.
[1 ]On November 6, 1780, Jay transmitted to Congress his second elaborate report of proceedings at Madrid, which appears in “Diplomatic Correspondence,” vol. iii., pp. 306-389, the first report being referred to in note under date of May 11, 1780. In the November report, he introduces “Notes” of further conferences with Florida Blanca or his representatives. The above letter followed an unimportant interview held June 2d. Other conferences, which resulted in little more than the expressions of “assurances” on the part of Spain, were held on July 5th and September 22d.