Front Page Titles (by Subject) EDWARD RUTLEDGE TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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EDWARD RUTLEDGE 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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EDWARD RUTLEDGE TO JAY.
Charleston, May 21, 1789.
My dear Friend:
. . . I rejoice to find that we are likely to have something which resembles a government. But with all the fair appearances there must be a considerable lapse of time before an efficient one is firmly established.
In this State two causes contributed very much to impede the operation of government: one was the importance which a considerable number of individuals assumed for the services which they had rendered whilst the enemy were in the country. The state of things in this part of the continent rendered it necessary to act, not a little, without control. We had here too many Commanders in Chief, and they found it very difficult to fall back in the ranks. The other cause was, the immense debt which was owing from all descriptions of men; and this made it extremely inconvenient to most people to submit to a regular government. If in Republics the general sense of the community, I mean the sense of feeling, is against the operation of laws, it is almost impossible to coerce obedience; and I am as convinced as I am of my existence that if we are to preserve the tranquility of our States we must devise some method to prevent our people from running into debt. It is to little purpose to tell us, that credit will be the life of commerce. With us it has been a monster that has shaken the foundations of government and blighted the honor of our citizens. Nor will the opening, as it is called, of the courts of justice ever so wide afford the expected relief. There is no body of military men in existence to enforce an obedience to the laws; and to suppose that neighbors and fellow debtors will execute the laws for the benefit of creditors, is to imagine a vain thing. It is the duty therefore of wise men, to prevent the evil; and this can only be done by some regular, uniform system. I sincerely pray it may be in our day, for I believe we both wish much for peace and honor for our country.
Mrs. Rutledge desires me to present her affectionate compliments to Mrs. Jay and yourself, and I am, my dear friend, as ever your affectionate and obliged,