Front Page Titles (by Subject) GENERAL WASHINGTON TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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GENERAL WASHINGTON 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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GENERAL WASHINGTON TO JAY.
Mount Vernon, 18th May, 1786.
In due course of post I have been honoured with your favours of the 2d and 16th of March, since which I have been a good deal engaged, and pretty much from home.
I coincide perfectly in sentiment with you, my dear sir, that there are errors in our national government which call for correction,—loudly I will add: but I shall find myself happily mistaken if the remedies are at hand. We are certainly in a delicate situation; but my fear is, that the people are not yet sufficiently misled to retract from error! To be plainer, I think there is more wickedness than ignorance mixed with our councils. Under this impression, I scarcely know what opinion to entertain of a general Convention. That it is necessary to revise and amend the articles of confederation, I entertain no doubt; but what may be the consequences of such an attempt is doubtful. Yet something must be done, or the fabric must fall; it certainly is tottering! Ignorance and design are difficult to combat. Out of these proceed illiberality, improper jealousies, and a train of evils which oftentimes in republican governments must be sorely felt before they can be removed. The former, that is ignorance, being a fit soil for the latter to work in, tools are employed which a generous mind would disdain to use, and which nothing but time and their own puerile or wicked productions can show the inefficacy and dangerous tendency of. I think often of our situation, and view it with concern. From the high ground on which we stood, from the plain path which invited our footsteps, to be so fallen! so lost! is really mortifying. But virtue, I fear, has in a great degree taken its departure from our land, and the want of disposition to do justice is the source of the national embarrassments; for under whatever guise or colourings are given to them, this I apprehend is the origin of the evils we now feel, and probably shall labour under for some time yet.
With respectful compliments to Mrs. Jay, and sentiments of sincere friendship, I am, dear sir,
Your most obedient and humble servant,