Front Page Titles (by Subject) INSTRUCTIONS FROM CONGRESS TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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INSTRUCTIONS FROM CONGRESS 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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INSTRUCTIONS FROM CONGRESS TO JAY.
In Congress, October 4th, 1780.
On the report of a committee to whom were referred certain instructions to the delegates of Virginia by their constituents, and a letter of the 26th of May, from the Honorable John Jay, Congress unanimously agreed to the following instructions to the Honorable John Jay, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, at the Court of Madrid.
That the said Minister adhere to his former instructions, respecting the right of the United States of America to the free navigation of the river Mississippi into and from the sea; which right, if an express acknowledgment of it cannot be obtained from Spain, is not by any stipulation on the part of America to be relinquished. To render the treaty to be concluded between the two nations permanent, nothing can more effectually contribute, than a proper attention, not only to the present but the future reciprocal interests of the contracting powers.
The river Mississippi being the boundary of several States in the union, and their citizens, while connected with Great Britain, and since the revolution, having been accustomed to the free use thereof, in common with the subjects of Spain, and no instance of complaint or dispute having resulted from it, there is no reason to fear, that the future mutual use of the river by the subjects of the two nations, actuated by friendly dispositions, will occasion any interruption of that harmony which it is the desire of America, as well as of Spain, should be perpetual. That if the unlimited freedom of the navigation of the river Mississippi, with a free port or ports below the 31st degree of north latitude, accessible to merchant ships, cannot be obtained from Spain, the said Minister in that case be at liberty to enter into such equitable regulations as may appear a necessary security against contraband; provided the right of the United States to the free navigation of the river be not relinquished, and a free port or ports as above described be stipulated to them.
That with respect to the boundary alluded to in his letter of the 26th of May last, the said Minister be, and hereby is instructed, to adhere strictly to the boundaries of the United States as already fixed by Congress. Spain having by the treaty of Paris ceded to Great Britain all the country to the northeastward of the Mississippi, the people inhabiting these States, while connected with Great Britain, and also since the revolution, have settled themselves at divers places to the westward near the Mississippi, are friendly to the revolution, and being citizens of these United States, and subject to the laws of those to which they respectively belong, Congress cannot assign them over as subjects to any other power.
That the said Minister be further informed that in case Spain shall eventually be in possession of East and West Florida, at the termination of the war, it is of the greatest importance to these United States to have the use of the waters running out of Georgia through West Florida into the Bay of Mexico, for the purpose of navigation; and that he be instructed to endeavor to obtain the same, subject to such regulations as may be agreed on between the contracting parties; and that as a compensation for this, he be and hereby is empowered to guarantee the possession of the said Floridas to the Crown of Spain.