Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO LORD LANSDOWNE. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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JAY TO LORD LANSDOWNE. - 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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JAY TO LORD LANSDOWNE.
New York, 16th April, 1786.
Accept my thanks for the letter you did me the honour to write on the 4th September last, and for your obliging interposition in behalf of the person alluded to in it.
Your Lordship’s conjectures respecting the new principles of trade and finance will probably be realized. We hear of several circumstances which look and promise well. The extent of those principles, and the system of commerce to be reared on them, are subjects, however, on which no decided judgment can here be formed, for want of information more minute and unquestionable than we at present have.1
Various, my Lord, are the conjectures of this country respecting the real disposition and intentions of yours on these and some other interesting points. While such doubts and apprehensions exist, a degree of jealousy will naturally continue to operate against mutual confidence. For my part, I sincerely wish to see good-humour prepare the way for friendly intercourse, and by degrees incline both countries rather to promote than retard each other’s welfare. It gives me pleasure to reflect that our wishes on this head correspond, and that the time may yet come when your abilities and liberality will produce all the public benefits which may justly be expected from them. Mr. Pitt’s views as to America, are yet to be ascertained: I wish they may be such as to increase the reputation and affection which his father’s memory enjoys among us. It strikes me that a minister of any nation, much connected with this, will always find advantage in possessing the esteem and confidence of America.
To what events this country may in future be instrumental, is indeed uncertain; but I cannot persuade myself that Providence has created such a nation, in such a country, to remain like dust in the balance of others. We are happy, my Lord, in the enjoyment of much more interior tranquillity than the English newspapers allow, or their writers seem to wish us. In free states, there must and ought to be a little ferment. When the public mind grows languid, and a dead calm, unmarked by the least breeze of party, takes place, the vigour of a republic soon becomes lost in general relaxation. We perhaps are yet too distant from that point; for although our laws and manners now give us as much personal security as can elsewhere be found, and although the same may in a great, though less, degree be said of our property, yet our federal government has imperfections, which time and more experience will, I hope, effectually remedy.
I have the honour to be, my Lord, with great respect and esteem, your Lordship’s
Most obedient and very humble servant,
[1 ]England’s restrictive policy in trade matters, especially the closing of her West India ports to the Americans immediately after the Revolution, was deprecated by several of her leading statesmen, of whom Lansdowne was one. In his letter to Jay of Sep. 4, 1785, he writes: