Front Page Titles (by Subject) KITTY LIVINGSTON TO MRS. JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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KITTY LIVINGSTON TO MRS. 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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KITTY LIVINGSTON TO MRS. JAY.
July 10, 1780.
We have not, my dear friends, had the happiness of hearing from you for a long time. My dear sister’s letter (and its the last one we have received) was dated at Cadiz, the 4th of March; thrice welcome was it, as it informed us of your arrival once more on terra firma, and that we had no longer to dread for you the dangers of the ocean. Thanks is forever due from all your family to the Supreme Being for his merciful interposition in the preservation of those so dear to them. May you long continue thus favoured by his power.
The letters you mention having written are not come to hand, nor any letters from Mr. Jay to Congress since your arrival at Madrid, where we now suppose you to be in scenes very different from any thing you have been accustomed to. Do you know that I am trading on your stock of firmness; and if you are not possessed of as much as I suppose you to be I shall become bankrupt, having several wagers depending that you will not paint nor go to plays on Sundays. The Chevalier [Luzerne] is not to be convinced that he has lost his bet to me, till Mr. Carmichael informs him you do not paint. Mr. Witherspoon informed me that he was questioned by many at Martinique if you did not.1 Mr. Bingham makes very honorable mention of you and Mr. Jay to your friends at Philadelphia. I consider myself very unfortunate in leaving town but a day or two before that gentleman arrived. By his return we received your journal; the letter written to mama after it I received long before I left Philadelphia.
In our last distresses from the invasion of the British troops, Mr. and Mrs. Morris sent for me to come and reside with them.1 It was exceeding friendly and kind, and it is no small alleviation to our infelicities when we have such friends as can feel for us. They have at present a delightful situation at Spingsberry. Mr. Morris has repaired and enlarged the buildings and converted the greenhouse into a dining room which far exceeds their expectations in beauty and convenience. I flatter myself with the pleasure of paying them a visit in the fall or in the winter; at present I decline accepting their invitation. . . .
Brother Jack has received a summons to his duty on board the Saratoga2 (as senior midshipman), the ship being shortly to sail on a cruise. I hope the sea will rid him of the fever and ague that has long been his Companion. Sam Clarkson has a place on the same ship. David is returned very discontented, having disagreed with all the officers on board the Confederacy. Poor Billy Morris is still in captivity. Joe De Peyster neither sent him out as he engaged, nor returned himself. . . .
Tell the Colonel that General Phillips that he saw at the northward is paying his address to Kitty Van Horne [in New York]. My love to him and Mr. Jay, and believe me to be
Most affectionately Yours,
[1 ]Mrs. Jay, writing from Madrid, December 1, 1780, replies to this letter: “The bets depending between you and the Chevalier I hope are considerable, since you are certainly entitled to the stake, for I have not used any false coloring, nor have I amused myself with plays or any other diversions on Sundays.”
[1 ]Robert Morris, in a note to Jay, dated Philadelphia, July 6, 1780, writes: “Kitty stayed the winter with us, and went into the Jersies in May or beginning of June. Mrs. Livingston about that time moved with the family to Elizabethtown, and was there when Mr. Knyphausen came out the other day. At first the family were treated politely, but after a while they found it necessary to leave that place, being threatened hard by the Brutish, as our soldiers now call the British.”
[2 ]Another sister, Susan Livingston, mentioned in Jay’s letter of February 27, 1779, writes to Mrs. Jay, October 21, 1780, as follows: “We have received intelligence upon which we think we may rely that Johnny is returned from a cruise as far as Chester in Delaware, and that the Saratoga in her last voyage has taken three prizes, all letters of marque of considerable force, and laden partly with rum and partly with sugar. As the officers and men are entitled to one half the prizes, and a midshipman has three shares, it is supposed that Johnny’s share will amount to near twenty thousand pounds. It is the second time the Saratoga has sailed; the first time she convoyed Mr. Laurens off the coast and returned with a prize of 225 puncheons of rum. By a newspaper I see Mr. Laurens was afterwards captured, and his dispatches likewise, and both sent to England. . . . Next month I expect the favor of a visit from Nanny and Cornelia Van Horne. I shall endeavour to persuade Nanny to desert his Majesty’s banners and to turn Rebel and join us. If I succeed I shall merit the united thanks of the officers of the American army for gaining so fine a girl to our party.”