Front Page Titles (by Subject) GOUVERNEUR MORRIS TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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GOUVERNEUR MORRIS TO JAY. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 3 (1782-1793).
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GOUVERNEUR MORRIS TO JAY.
Philadelphia, 25 Sepr., 1783.
I have received your letter of the twelfth of March by Mr. Penn, sixth of April by Mr. Redford and twenty-ninth of July by Mr. Hunt for all which I am to thank you. Let me also thank you for your letter of the seventeenth of July. Personally, I shall be very happy to see you in the spring, but I confess that I do not very clearly see how it can prove advantageous either to yourself or to your Country if, as you have written to others, the want of health is among the reasons for your return, I cannot but doubly lament it. Remember me affectionately to all my friends who may be in your circle of acquaintance and particularly present my love to Mrs. Jay.
The British employ themselves about the evacuation of New York, but that business goes on slowly. I am however informed from tolerable authority that they will be gone by the begining of November. If, as you suppose, the British Ministry imagine that we cannot retaliate their restrictions, they are deceived, for their conduct will itself give Congress a power which they might not otherwise be possessed of. Indeed my friend nothing can do us so much good as to convince the eastern and southern States how necessary it is to give proper force to the federal government; and nothing will so soon operate that conviction as foreign efforts to restrain the Navigation of the one, and the Commerce of the other. But for my own part, I have no desire to retaliate commercial restrictions. It is my fixed opinion that a Nation can by such restrictions do nothing more than injure herself; nor is an injury the less because it affects more the remote members than it does the head of the empire. The sovereign may collect, and ought to have revenue from all his dominions which are in condition to afford it, but he acts weakly as well as wickedly if he cramps one part of the community that he may draw more easily the blood and juices from another part. The late prohibition of trade with the British Islands, unless in British bottoms, can do us no harm and can do them no good. Our produce they must and will have and if they employ half a million in carrying on the navigation at a great expence, which we should have performed at a less expence, for two hundred thousand, our two hundred thousand will be left for other operations, even to speculate on their produce and our own, so as to make them pay the speculator a profit on every gallon of rum they sell and every barrell of flour they buy, in our ports. By making the subsistance of their people in the Islands more expensive, they aid the efforts of rival Nations to furnish the commodities of their Islands to others, and even to their own subjects. This kind of policy is so bad, that I am persuaded the British Minister cannot seriously intend the prohibition, altho’ I am equally convinced that a regard to the national prejudices renders it unavoidable at present. I do not therefore think we should labor to undo what is done but leave things awhile to their own course; and as to a treaty of commerce, I think the best way is to make no treaty for some time to come, and if we tell them that we will make no treaty, they will be much more desirous of it than we ought to be.
Congress are, as you will have heard, already removed to an interior town, which by the bye has every disadvantage, without any advantage over this place; whether they will continue there, or remove to some other village, or come hither, are questions which I cannot resolve. It will, in my opinion, be necessary that they sit near to Philadelphia, but improper to reside within it. They ought not to be very distant from the Bank; nor ought they to be where the supreme authority is not in them. You and I can well remember, when every kind of insult was to be apprehended from being under the jurisdiction of an ungoverned (?) State. Happily, the rulers could see no advantage resulting to themselves from any injuries they might commit against Congress.
Mr. Adams seems to be in opinion with you, as to the necessity of sending a Minister to England, as indeed he does in some other points. He will I suppose be the man for sundry reasons which I might assign, but he will, I think, have serious cause to repent of the appointment; under present circumstances, nothing could have more unfavorable effects, than to send a Minister who should feel himself attached or opposed to any of the parties by which that nation is rent asunder. He should hold them in equal indifference of sentiment, with equal appearance of confidence, paying to the ins a respect due to their places, but which neither ins or outs are, or can be, entitled to on the score of their merit and virtue, at least from us. As we may not easily find a man capable of this conduct, perhaps the best Minister is no Minister; for the want of one will shew that we are not precipitate in a desire of close connection, and that, however the old mercantile habits may have revived commercial intercourse, the government has a proper jealousy and caution. This circumstance also must work favorably on our politics with other powers, and give weight and dignity to the Ministers we do send.
As to Mr. Dana, he I know means well but I think it would be very wise for him to leave St. Petersburgh, as he went thither incog; or if he should not, it would be very wise for Congress to recall him, as we have nothing to do with the Empress of all the Russias. We cannot conveniently carry on any traffic with her dominions, for various reasons which might be assigned, such (as for instance) that we produce commodities similar to her’s, and very few to exchange with her—none indeed of consequence but rice—that the distance is too great, that the poverty both of her subjects and our own requires an advance of capital to each, &c. If her Ladyship should drive the Turk out of Europe, and demolish the Algerines and other piratical gentry she will have done us much good, for her own sake, and we may then find it convenient to meet the commodities of the Levant at some entrepot, such as Marseilles, Barcelona, Mahon, or Gibraltar. But it is hardly possible that the other powers will permit Russia to possess so wide a door into the Mediteranean. I may be deceived, but I think England herself would oppose it. As an American, it is my hearty wish that she and the Emperor may effect their schemes, for it will be a source of great wealth to us, both immediate and future. Adieu.
Believe me yours,