Front Page Titles (by Subject) WILLIAM BINGHAM 1 TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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WILLIAM BINGHAM 1 TO JAY. - 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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WILLIAM BINGHAM1 TO JAY.
Philad., July 1, 1780.
With great difficulty & repeated solicitations I procured permission from Congress to return here, and arrived in the frigate Confedaracy the beginning of May. Previous to my departure, I addressed you several letters from Martinico which I hope you have received. It has given me peculiar pleasure to hear of your safe arrival at Cadiz, and of the favorable reception you are like to meet with at the court of Madrid.
The sentiments of the people of this country I found surprisingly altered since I left it; they were no longer governed by that pure, disinterested patriotism, which distinguished the Infancy of the contest; private Interest seemed to predominate over every Consideration that regarded the public weal. It was necessary that they should experience some signal misfortune to rouse them into activity. The loss of Charleston and its important garrison has in a great measure had that effect, and I am happy to see the spirit of the people begin to rise on the discovery of their danger and actual situation. But what was near to prove of very fatal consequence was the state of our finances, which by not being properly organized and established on a solid footing, were incorporated to the purpose of furnishing the necessary supplies for the Army. At an alarming moment when the treasury was exhausted and the Army suffering and threatening to disband for the want of provisions, the virtue of individuals was roused, which warded off the impending blow. A bank was established on private credit under the Auspices of gentlemen of the first fortune in this City. It was to raise the sum of three hundred thousand pounds in specie, or its Value, for supplying the Army with provisions for a certain time. The subscription was filled up in a few days and much larger sums might have been procured.
The direction of this bank is committed to the Care of gentlemen of known abilities and integrity and inspectors of equal reputation are appointed by the subscribers for supertending its affairs. The purchases will be made on the most advantageous terms, and the public will soon discover the immense difference that will arrise in their favor by the supplies of the Army furnished by such men or by a band of commissaries, quarter masters, et id genus omne. If the same public spirited establishments take place in every State, we shall derive the greatest and most essential advantages from them.
The flame of patriotism has not confined itself altogether to our sex. The ladies caught the enlivening warmth. A subscription was set on foot by them for the purpose of relieving the Army and very liberal sums have been collected.
Altho’ the loss of Charleston is a very serious matter, yet I am in great hopes that we shall more than counterballance its bad effect by our success before the campaign is over. But the reliance is in a great measure founded on the exertions of the French forces, which are daily expected here to our Assistance. Until they arrive, we must remain altogether on the defensive, and endeavor to prevent the enemy from penetrating into the country and carrying devastation throughout it.
General Gates is appointed to the command of the Southern Army and I believe will soon be able to collect a very respectable force, as the States of North Carolina and Virginia are alarmed and making great preparations and exertions. Our allies will be engaged in a very Active Campaign in the West Indies, which I hope will be successful and attended with decisive consequences. Twelve Spanish ships of the line and a large body of troops have arrived at Martinico, which reinforcement is to cooperate with the French in the reduction of the British Islands.
Your friends in the Jersies are all well. They have lately been alarmed at the incursions of the enemy, who have been laying waste the country about Elizabeth Town and Springfield; however, they have generally retreated with considerable loss, the militia having poured in upon them from all quarters. Genl. Clinton after having garrisoned Charleston returned with a large Body of Troops to New York, and it is thought from his present movements has a design upon West Point; however, there is little reason to apprehend danger from that quarter, as it is well supplied with men and they are throwing in provisions daily.
An unlucky accident lately happened to Gouverneur Morris. In attempting to drive a pair of wild horses in a phaeton, he was thrown out and in the fall his left leg caught in the wheel and was greatly shattered. He was under the necessity of having it amputated below the knee and is now in a fair way of recovery.
I hope Mrs. Jay passes her time agreeably at Madrid. It will be some time, I imagine, before she will be reconciled to the etiquette of so formal a Court. Please to present my respects to her, as well as my compliments to Col. Livingston.
I am, with great regard and esteem, &c.,