Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO JACOB REED. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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JAY TO JACOB REED. - 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 JACOB REED.
New York, 12th December, 1786.
Your friendly letter has long remained unanswered; but a variety of private as well as public affairs constrained me to postpone indulging myself in the pleasure I always derive from writing to my friends. The recess (if I may so call it) of Congress gives their officers too much leisure at present; and there is reason to fear that the members will be as long in convening this year as they were last. Business is at a stand for want of an adequate representation. The languor of the States is to be lamented; many inconveniences have already arisen from it, and if continued, serious evils will awaken our people. Our affairs, my dear sir, are in a delicate situation, and it is much to be wished that the real patriots throughout the States would exert themselves to render it more safe and respectable. The feuds in Massachusetts are rather suspended than extinguished. What events they may ultimately produce, is uncertain; but I should not be surprised if much trouble was to result from them. The public creditors will soon become importunate, and Congress cannot create the means of satisfying them. It is true that order usually succeeds confusion; but it is a high price to pay for order, especially when a little virtue and good sense would procure it for us on very reasonable terms. If the best men would be prevailed upon to come forward, and take the lead in our legislatures as well as in Congress, and would unite their endeavours to rescue their country from its present condition, our affairs, both at home and abroad, would soon wear a more pleasing aspect. It is time for our people to distinguish more accurately than they seem to do between liberty and licentiousness. The late revolution would lose much of its glory, as well as utility, if our conduct should confirm the tory maxim, “That men are incapable of governing themselves.”