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, 20th April, 1786.
Mr. Ansley this morning delivered the letter you did me the honour to write on the 26th of February last. Every opportunity of manifesting my attention to your Lordship’s recommendations will give me pleasure, and that inducement will conspire, with others of public nature, to ensure to Mr. Ansley my friendly endeavours to facilitate the execution of his commission, and render his residence here agreeable to him.
I perfectly agree in sentiment with your Lordship, that it much concerns the honour and future intercourse of both countries to have the treaty of peace duly and faithfully executed. It is to be lamented that wars like the last usually leave behind them a degree of heat which requires some time and prudence to allay. Minds like yours will not be susceptible of it, but the mass of the people commonly act and reason as they feel, and have seldom sufficient temper and liberality to perceive that peace should draw a veil over the injuries of war, and that when hostilities cease, no other contest should remain, but that of who shall take the lead in magnanimity and manly policy. Although these remarks apply to both countries, yet, whatever may be said or written to the contrary, there is certainly, my Lord, more temper in this country than it has credit for; and I am persuaded it would become more manifest, if less discouraged by irritating proceedings here and abroad. In the Legislature of this State there are this day members sitting, who, it is well known, are disqualified by law for their conduct during the late contest; and an act has lately passed for restoring all such of the gentlemen of the law as, for the same reason, had been suspended from the exercise of their profession. The execution of all laws of this sort becomes more and more relaxed, and of the many persons returned to this State from exile, and living in their former neighbourhoods, I have not heard of one that has met with any molestation. There are, indeed, certain characters who can never return with safety; but the greater part of them are such as merit no other attention from any country than what national policy may exact. With respect to the generality of these people, the public mind daily becomes more and more composed. It is true that our affairs are not yet perfectly arranged; some former acts are to be done away, and more proper regulations to be introduced. There is reason, however, to hope that things will gradually come right, and I am persuaded that a little more good-nature on the part of Britain, would produce solid and mutual advantages to both countries.
My Lord, I write thus freely from a persuasion that your ideas of policy are drawn from those large and liberal views and principles, which apply to the future as well as the present, and which embrace the interests of the nation and of mankind, rather than the local and transitory advantages of partial systems and individual ambition; for your Lordship’s plans on the peace were certainly calculated to make the revolution produce only an exchange of dependence for friendship, and of sound and feathers for substance and permanent benefits. How greatly would it redound to the happiness as well as honour of all civilized people, were they to consider and treat each other like fellow-citizens; each nation governing itself as it pleases, but each admitting others to a perfect freedom of commerce. The blessings resulting from the climate and local advantages of one country would then become common to all, and the bounties of nature and conveniences of art pass from nation to nation without being impeded by the selfish monopolies and restrictions with which narrow policy opposes the extension of Divine benevolence. It is pleasant, my Lord, to dream of these things, and I often enjoy that pleasure; but though, like some of our other dreams, we may wish to see them realized, yet the passions and prejudices of mankind forbid us to expect it.
I have the honour to be, with great respect and sincere regard, my Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obedient