JAY TO PRESIDENT WASHINGTON.
New York, 13th March, 1791.
Perceiving that you have been pleased to appoint Colonel Smith a supervisor for this district, I conclude that on his acceptance of that place the office of marshal will be conferred on some other person. It is probable that several candidates will offer, and I take the liberty of communicating my sentiments respecting a gentleman who, too delicate to display his own merit, possesses more than falls to the share of many. I mean General Matthew Clarkson. I think him one of the most pure and virtuous men I know. When at Boston, General Lincoln (whose aide he was) spoke to me of him in terms not only of approbation, but affection. During the war he was a firm and active whig, and since the peace a constant friend to national and good government. Few men here, of his standing, enjoy or deserve a greater degree of the esteem and goodwill of the citizens than he does, and, in my opinion, he would discharge the duties of that, or any office for which he may be qualified, with propriety and honour.
Be pleased to present my respectful compliments to Mrs. Washington, and permit me to assure you of the perfect respect, esteem, and attachment with which I am, dear sir,
Your obliged and obedient servant,
JOHN ADAMS TO JAY.
Philadelphia, January 4th, 1792.
As the week is approaching when you are to be expected at Philadelphia, I take this opportunity to present to you and your lady the compliments of the season, and request the honour and pleasure of your company at our house during your visit to this City. We live in Arch Street at the corner of Fourth Street, where your old bed is ready for you in as good a chamber, and much more conveniently situated for your Attendance on your Court and intercourse with your friends. Mrs. Jay we hope will bear you company, and in this request Mrs. Adams joins with me. The winter is very mild; Politicks dull, Speculation brisk. As we have little interest in these things we shall have a freer scope for friendship.
I am, my dear Sir, with Sincere Esteem
JAY TO J. C. DONGAN.
New York, 27th February, 1792.
Accept my thanks for your obliging letter of this morning, which I this moment received.
My answer to the gentleman who applied to me was, that if my fellow-citizens did me the honor to elect me, I would with pleasure serve them; but that I conceived it would be improper for me to make any efforts to obtain suffrages. They approved of this line of conduct, and in conformity to it I made it a rule neither to begin correspondence nor conversations on the subject. I did presume that the committee here had conveyed this information to some of the most respectable characters in the different counties; perhaps they considered the publications in the newspapers as sufficient to answer that purpose.
That many election tales will be invented and propagated, and that credulous individuals will be imposed upon by them is not to be doubted.
As to my sentiments and conduct relative to the abolition of slavery, the fact is this:—In my opinion, every man of every color and description has a natural right to freedom, and I shall ever acknowledge myself to be an advocate for the manumission of slaves in such way as may be consistent with the justice due to them, with the justice due to their master, and with the regard due to the actual state of society. These considerations unite in convincing me that the abolition of slavery must necessarily be gradual.
On being honored with the commission I now hold, I retired from the Society to which you allude, and of which I was President, it appearing to me improper for a judge to be a member of such associations. That Society I fear has been misrepresented, for instead of censure they merit applause. To promote by virtuous means the extension of the blessings of liberty, to protect a poor and friendless race of men, their wives and children from the snares and violence of men-stealers, to provide instruction for children who were destitute of the means of education, and who, instead of pernicious, will now become useful members of society—are certainly objects and cares of which no man has reason to be ashamed, and for which no man ought to be censured; and these are the objects and the cares of that benevolent society.
It will always give me pleasure to manifest the sense I entertain of this mark of your attention, and to assure you of the sentiments of esteem and regard with which I am, sir,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
JAY TO THE PUBLIC.
It having been deemed expedient to consider me as the author of certain political papers lately published, I think it proper to declare upon my honour that I am not the author of any political paper that has been published this year; that I have neither written, dictated, nor seen the manuscripts of any of those which have appeared against Governor Clinton, or any person whatsoever; and that I do not even know who the writers are, further than that I have heard some of these papers ascribed to one person and some to another. Whoever they may be, they have not been actuated by my advice or desire; and not being under my direction or control, I cannot be responsible for the pain their publications have given.
JAY TO D. HARTLEY.
New York, 17th March, 1792.
The impression made upon my heart and memory by the interest you have taken in the prosperity of this country, and by the friendly attentions for which I am indebted to you remain as fresh and strong as ever. Colonel Smith will give you more particular accounts of our public affairs than can be detailed in the limits of a letter. I will only observe in general that we have much reason to be satisfied and thankful. Whether and when your government will, by evacuating the posts, remove that inseparable obstacle to confidence and good humour is a question not a little interesting to both countries; they wish it may never take place who regard a good understanding between us as an evil.
Mrs. Jay desires me to present her compliments to you; she brought me a little girl a few weeks ago; so that I have now five children living. Adieu, my dear Sir,
JAY TO EGBERT BENSON.
New York, 31st March, 1792.
My Good Friend:
I have had the pleasure of seeing Senr. Ciracchi and his model of a monument in honor of the Revolution. The design appears to me to be a noble one, worthy of the attention of the United States and honourable to the taste and talents of the artist. It cannot fail of being interesting to all who contributed to the Revolution and to that glorious triumph of liberty which it exhibited, and which well deserves a magnificent monument. The ancient republics, to whose very imperfections we are sometimes partial, afford precedents.
Why should not the Congress adopt and carry this design into execution? The expense—for my part I think the expense proper, and therefore confide in the sense and sentiment of the public. If the money was now to be provided, the measure would be unreasonable on account of the Indian war. That obstacle will be of short duration. We need not begin the monument this year; to adopt the plan will cost nothing. The work must necessarily be long on hand, and as the expense will be gradually incurred, it also will be gradually defrayed. The sum annually requisite can be but small compared with the object and with our resources.
Although it would better become the nation than individuals to undertake it, yet provided the nation assume the task, the aid of subscriptions and even State donations might, if necessary, be recurred to. If you would say it shall be begun as soon as a certain sum is subscribed, there is reason to believe it would be subscribed.
If the ways and means be referred to Colonel Hamilton, he will indicate the most eligible. His official station, information, and talents would render it proper.
The gentleman who formed the design will be the most proper person to execute it; another artist would not feel the same degree of interest in it, nor is it certain that another of equal talents could easily be had. As to his reward—it is a matter which I think should not at present be contemplated. Let the work be finished, and then make him such an acknowledgment as would become the nation on the one hand and him on the other. I can conceive of no other rule on such occasions, and in relation to such objects.
I confess to you that the effect which this measure would naturally have on the President’s feelings is with me an additional inducement. We shall not be reproached for letting him die by an executioner or in chains, or in exile, or in neglect and disgrace, as many Greek and Roman patriots died. On the contrary, we shall be commended throughout all generations for the part we have hitherto acted respecting him. It is only while he lives that we can have the satisfaction of offering fruits of gratitude and affection to his enjoyment; posterity can have only the expensive pleasure of strewing flowers on his grave.
JAY TO MRS. JAY.
New Haven, 24th April, 1792.
My Dear Sally:
My last to you was written at Bedford, which place I left yesterday and arrived here this evening, in good health. At Norwalk I purchased some seed of the White Mulberry; you will find a little parcel of it herewith enclosed. Peter may plant some of it in our garden; if they grow we will send them next spring to Bedford. I have also enclosed some with the letter for my brother Peter, which you will find under the same cover with this, and which be so good as to forward by the boat or other good opportunity. I learn that we shall have much business to do here, there being about forty actions. Judge and Mrs. Cushing also arrived this evening; they made very friendly inquiries respecting you and the children, and desire to be remembered to you. On the road I saw Mr. Sodersheim; he called at our house on Sunday last, but as you were gone to Church, did not see you; it gives me pleasure to find from this that you then were well. He told me Mr. Macomb was in goal, and that certain others had ceased to be rich—how mutable are human affairs! Mrs. Macomb must be greatly distressed; your friendly attentions to her would be grateful and proper.
25th April.—Peet went last evening to the post-office, but returned without letters; this morning yours of the 22d inst. was sent to me, and I thank you for it. Cheerfulness, my dear Sally, is best promoted by frequently reflecting on the reasons we have for being cheerful, and by attention to the health, both of our minds and bodies. I regret the depression you mention, and wish it was in my power forever to banish from your breast every uneasy sensation. My health has been mended by the exercise I have lately had. A gentleman from Philadelphia told me this morning that the plan of rotation (as to the circuits) will probably be established by Congress; perhaps it may not take place, or be of short duration—“Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.”
. . . . . . .
I thank God that you and the children are well; may you continue so, and be happy. My robe may become useless, and it may not. I am resigned to either event, for no one knows what is best for him. He who governs all makes no mistakes; and a firm belief of this would save us from many. Mrs. Ridley’s silence seems singular, perhaps her letters linger on the way; she had better write by the post. When I parted with my brother Peter he talked of sending for you; that is, of sending his horses to put into your carriage. If he should, I wish it may be convenient for Susan to remain with the family during your absence; one, if not both, of the little girls might go with you. This is fine weather, and I hope your dear little namesake will be the better for it.
I had concluded to send this letter by the packet, but as her arrival at New York may be delayed by contrary winds, I shall send it by the post, and leave the mulberry seed and my letter to Peter to go by the packet. Remind P. Munro of my note to F. Clarkson. I wish no delays or difficulties respecting it may occur.
I am, my dear Sally,
Very affectionately yours,
JAY TO PETER A. JAY.
New Haven, 25th April, 1792.
My Dear Son:
I had flattered myself that a letter from you would have accompanied the one I received from your mama. She will receive two letters from me by the packet which is to carry this; in one of them is enclosed a little white mulberry seed, and I shall also enclose some in this for your Uncle Peter. Plant a few in our garden; the trees will be but small by the Fall, and we may then carry them to Bedford, where in time they will become ornamental, and perhaps useful. When you visit your uncle you may propose planting some of them in his nursery, or in any other place that he may think more eligible. It always gives me pleasure to see trees which I have reared and planted, and therefore I recommend it to you to do the same. Planting is an innocent and a rational amusement. My Father planted many trees, and I never walk in their shade without deriving additional pleasure from that circumstance; the time will come when you will probably experience similar emotions.
On my way here I dined yesterday at Lewis’s Inn, about three miles west of Stratford on the post road. He told me that several years ago he was grafting apple-trees, and that near them had grown a young walnut-tree. A fancy took him to graft it; he did so, and with an apple graft, it took and flourished, is now alive, and above three inches in diameter. This is singular, and contrary to our modern ideas. If I am not mistaken Columilla mentions something like it. I think he says that any tree may be grafted on any tree; a little experience is worth much theory. If I had leisure I would try many experiments.
I am, my dear Peter,
Your affectionate Father,
ROBERT TROUP TO JAY.
New York, Sunday, 6th May, 1792.
My Dear Sir:
Since my last to you I have received a letter from Mr. Laurence informing me that the two bills I sent him are accepted by Mr. Bell to be paid at the house of Randall, Son, and Stewarts in this City. I have not had any further accounts from Dr. Ramsay.
I have this moment finished reading the different accounts from the Northern parts of the State respecting the election. All our friends express a confidence that you will be successful. The enclosed returns of the election in the Eastern and Western Districts is from Fairlie who is pretty dispassionate upon the present occasion, for he has not been very zealous or active for you from an idea he imbibed in the beginning of the business that you had supplanted his father in law. I therefore rely upon the statement as being pretty near the truth and rather within bounds than otherwise. If, therefore, Clinton does not arrive at Columbia County with a majority of 800 or upwards against you it is more than probable that your election will be safe.
I shall now underneath Fairlies statement proceed to make a statement of the result of the votes in the Southern and Middle Districts. Since writing the above I have added my statement to Fairlie’s and the result upon the whole election appears to be a majority of 250 for you. You may rely upon it that my statement is as unfavorable as I possibly could make it. All our friends from Ulster County assure us as well as our friends in Albany that Ulster will yield a majority of upwards 100 for you. Mr. Cantine and Col. Bloom both write that they expect a majority of 500 for you in Dutchess. In Westchester County we do not think from late accounts that our Majority will fall short of 350.
I have also made a very lax allowance for Suffolk, for Orange, and I think, for Richmond.
Upon the whole I am well satisfied that we have succeeded and that you will be carried by a Majority that, under all circumstances, will be deemed honorable to you.—This is also the decided opinion of Yates, Schuyler, Peter Van Schaack, Hobart, Jones, Harison, Duane, Bogart, Hoffman, &c.— In the Northern parts of the State the Clintonians are lowspirited and have done betting. Here some of the leaders are extremely uneasy; I know that Willet is, from his declarations to me.
I shall continue writing to you and hope my next intelligence will be more agreeable. In the mean time I am with the utmost sincerity
My dear Sir,
Your very affectionate friend
ROBERT TROUP TO JAY.
New York, 20th May, 1792.
My Dear Sir:
I have received several letters from you since you left us and sincerely thank you for the sentiments of friendship which they contain.
Clinton and his worthy adherents (the Livingstons) seem now to be driven to despair. All their hopes of success rest upon setting aside votes for you; their particular object at present is the votes of Otsego County which are pretty unanimous for you and which, from the last information, we have will yield a majority of upwards of 600 for you. The efforts made to prevent the canvassing of these votes by forestalling the judgment of the canvassers upon a mere law quibble are really characteristic of these virtuous protecters of the rights of the people, of the enemies of aristocracy, and the declaimers against ministerial influence. The facts respecting the Otsego votes are briefly these:
In February, 1791, A. B. was appointed Sheriff of that County to hold his office for one year. A short time before the expiration of his year he wrote to the Council of appointment declining a reappointment. About thirty days after the end of his year the council appoint C. D. Sheriff of the County, but the commission is never delivered to him neither does he in any one instance take upon himself the execution of the office. It is said, and I believe with truth, that the reason why C. D. did not take upon himself the office is that he could not obtain the security required by law. In this state of things the old Sheriff continued to act as Sheriff and after the election he received the ballots from the different towns, put them into a box as the law directs, and sent them by a deputy to the Secretary’s office. The votes of one of the towns instead of being put into the box were left out of it and sent down under a paper cover. The law requiries that the votes of every town shall be put into the box.
Upon this state of facts the Livingstons contend that A. B. was not Sheriff at the time of putting the ballots into the box or afterwards, and consequently that he had no right to send the box to the Secretary’s office. They also contend that the votes of one town being left out of the box all the other votes of the County must be lost. After there had been a considerable stir in town about the Ostego votes, Ned Livingston, to my very great surprise, waited upon me with a written case in substance as above, and asked me if I had any objections to giving an opinion upon it. At first I was struck with the indelicacy of the application and of my giving an opinion upon a subject in which my feelings were so much concerned. I replied however that he should have my opinion, and my reason for making this reply was a conviction that their views were corrupt and therefore that it would be right in me to counteract them if I could possibly do it. Before Ned left me he had the modesty in almost plain terms to tell me that I should not meet with any difficulty, he was persuaded, in deciding against the votes, upon both the points raised to me. The moment Ned went away I got down and examined the questions with the closest attention and soon satisfied myself from the books that A. B. was Sheriff at the time of putting the ballots into the box and afterwards, and that he was legally entitled to send the box to the Secretary’s office. As to the other question it appeared too absurd to admit of reflection.
I was pressed for my opinion the next morning and I gave it to Ned plumply against him upon both points. The opinion threw the party into consternation. A Cabinet Council of the Governor, the Chancellor, Ned, Brockholst, &c., was immediately called. Soon afterwards Brockholst went about almost like a madman vociferating against the legality of the return of the Otsego votes and roundly asserting that there was not a Lawyer out of this State that would give an opinion that the votes were legally returned.
Since this Brockholst and Ned have been rummaging all the law books in their effects and not a stratagem is to be left unpractised with the canvassers. Hoffman and Brockholst had agreed to state the case and send it to Lewis, of Philadelphia, for his opinion, but when put to the test Brockholst would not agree to a full and fair tale of facts. Hence Hoffman and I have prepared a case to be sent to Lawrence to be laid before Lewis, and I have already transmitted to Lawrence the case as stated by Ned with my opinion and the principles and authorities upon which it is based, with a request that when Lewis is considering the subject he will confer with him. The opinion of an able lawyer in another State, if with us, may be productive of good. Since my opinion has been a subject of conversation, I got King and Benson to come and spend an evening with me that we might examine the Case. We accordingly examined the law together, and they are both clearly with me. So is Mr. Jones, Mr. Harison, and Mr. Hoffman. That the opinion is right I think may be demonstrated as well upon legal grounds as upon principles of public policy. What may finally be the issue of this business it is impossible even to conjecture. Out of the 12 canvassers we have but three friends, Jones, ———, and Roosvelt, and the leaders of the opposite canvassers are prepared for any thing. If a fair canvass takes place we are all very sanguine in our expectations that we shall prevail. Gen. Schuyler was in town a few days ago and was expected again in town last night. He is much elated with our prospects and gives us a much more flattering account of our success in the Western District than I have already communicated to you.
We are all upon deck and keeping a good look out, and if by fraud and violence you should be excluded we are determined to take our stand and make a serious business of it. I wish for your own satisfaction you would look over the election law of this State passed 13 Feb. 1779, in 2 vol. page 27 &c.
The 10th Section declares that the “Sheriff of the respective Counties shall deliver the boxes containing the votes into the office of the Secretary and the 11th Section declares that the canvassers shall “proceed to open the boxes one after the other and the enclosures therein contained respectively and canvass and estimate the votes therein contained.”
From these clauses it appears to me, and I am not singular in the opinion, that the canvassers cannot inquire whether the boxes were sent to the Secretary’s office by a person having competent authority or not.
In reflecting upon the legality of the acts of the old Sheriff of Otsego County it should be remembered that by the words of the Constitution Sheriffs are to be annually appointed and that there are no words limiting the office to one year, only during the four years and neither have we any Statue to this effect.
In haste I am, my dear Sir
Your very affectionate friend,
ROBERT TROUP TO JAY.
Sunday, June 10, 1792.
My Dear Sir,
Upon looking over the memorandum you left with me I think I may venture to write you one letter more. This City at present is extremely agitated. The canvassing has proceeded so far as to reduce it to a certainty that you will be elected if the Otsego votes be counted. Albany County yielded you a majority of 734, which has proved decisive. Montgomery, Tioga, Otsego, Ontario, and Clinton Counties remain yet to be canvassed. In Montgomery we expect a majority of between 2 and 300. Ontario will yield a majority of about 100 for Clinton. Tioga will most probably not be canvassed, as the box was delivered by a person deputed by a deputy. All parties allow you the majority if the Otsego votes be received. I suppose from the best information I can get the final majority for you will be about 200 or 250.
As to the Otsego votes the question is extremely doubtful. Some say it is to be determined this day; others that it will be decided in the morning. There has been a great deal of writing upon the subject, and every possible maneuvri’g practised by Clinton and his partners, the Livingstons, to dull (?) the canvassers. Some days ago the Canvassers referred the question respecting the Otsego votes and some question respecting those of Clinton and Tioga Counties to Burr and King for their opinions. This reference was understood by us all as intended to procure a cloak for the Canvassers to cover their villainy in rejecting the votes of Otsego. They knew Burr to be decidedly with them, and that he would give them an opinion to justify their views. Burr and King were conferring together for near two days with a view to fairness (?) as Burr affected to wish.
The quibbles of chicanery he made use of are characteristic of the man. They finally departed, and have given opinions directly opposite to each other. King’s is bottomed upon sound legal and political principles; Burr’s is a most pitiful one, and will damn his reputation as a lawyer. It is flatly against canvassing the Otsego votes and is grounded upon the British Statutes respecting Sheriffs. A refutation of the principal ground of Burr’s opinion is contained in a publication just sent to the Printers. We all consider Burr’s opinion as such a shameful prostitution of his talents, and as so decisive a proof of the real infamy of his character, that we are determined to rip him up. We have long been wishing to see him upon paper, and we are now gratified with the most favorable showing he could have made.
After Burr’s and King’s opinions were received, the canvassers met and discussed the subject for upwards of two hours and then adjourned without coming to a decision. The next day, the lawyers, who are friendly to your interest, met, and we determined to address the public on the subject of the Otsego votes and give a formal opinion upon it as lawyers. The address, with our opinion and names subscribed to it, appeared yesterday. We have taken a bold and decisive part, and one which I think became us as independent citizens. Our address, which is short, concludes with a challenge to come forward with their case and argue the legality of our opinion.
The publishing a fair opinion threw the city into a greater ferment and increased the indignation against the attempt to reject the votes. It threw the Clintonian lawyers also into a ferment; they went about the city to and from the place of canvassing like mad men. The canvassers had early yesterday morning determined to go on with canvassing. They did so, and in canvassing the votes of Clinton’s strong town in Montgomery they found a majority of no more than thirty odd for Clinton, instead of between one and two hundred. Upon this discovery, they broke up in confusion and said they were determined to decide the question respecting the Otsego votes before they went further. They adjourned to Corre’s to be more private, and after several hours discussion broke up again without deciding the question. In this state the thing remains. It is said that to-day or to-morrow morning the determination will take place. The law required them to finish the business of canvassing on Tuesday next. We have hopes that the canvassers will not, at least that all of them will not, take so desperate a step as to reject the votes and declare Clinton Governor against the known and acknowledged voice of the people. My hopes, however, are not very strong, considering the situation of that infamous party. Jacob Morris is attending the canvassers as a special deputy from the county, and claims of them, as matter of right, that the votes be canvassed. I am persuaded if the votes be rejected the business will become very serious in the State at large. Clinton is now about 500 ahead of you; with the Montgomery, Ontario, and Otsego votes we are confident of success. This is admitted by Clinton’s adherents.
I am in the utmost haste and anxiety; our friend Jones is well prepared and reserves himself till the last meeting. He is as firm as a rock. Your friends have done every thing that was right and consistent with their own characters, and regard to yours.
God bless you,
MRS. JAY TO JAY.
New York, 10th June, 1792.
My Dear Mr. Jay:
On Friday, myself and the children had the pleasure of receiving your kind letters of the last of May and first of June, since which I hope you have received two packets from me, sent to Judge Marchant’s care by Captain Peterson and Captain Cahoon. I intended to send this by to-morrow’s post, but I have just heard that Captain Peterson is again to sail out Tuesday, so that I think it best to postpone it till then, as I can then send you the papers and give you decisive accounts relative to the election. At present the issue of it is doubtful, rendered so by a quibble. If the suffrages of the people are admitted, they give you a majority of 400 votes, but if the County of Otsego are to lose theirs, Clinton will have the majority of a small number. Yesterday was published in Childs’ paper the opinion of eight (?) of the principal lawyers of the city in favor of the return of the votes. I will send you the gazettes that contain the discussions on that question. To-morrow I am informed are to be published the opinions of eight or nine on the other side and to be signed by them. Oh, how is the name of Livingston to be disgraced! Brockholst, Edward, William, S. Maturin, etc., are to be of the number. Those shameless men, blinded by malice, ambition, and interest, have conducted themselves with such indecency during the election, and daily since the canvassing of the votes, as to open the eyes of every one respecting their views in their opposition to you. It is said, and I believe it, that Brockholst and Ned first suggested the doubts on that subject. The canvassers of the votes are eleven, eight of whom are partizans of Clinton, and three are in favor of you. In order, as is supposed, to cloak themselves, they officially asked the opinion of Burr and King. Their opinions have not yet been printed, but I am informed by good authority that King’s is decidedly in favor of the old sheriff’s being entitled to act until a new sheriff was commissioned to succeed. Mr. Burr (as was supposed) was too sore to be unbiassed; he has, therefore, delivered an opinion which, like a two-edged sword, cuts both ways, for he declares that there was no sheriff, which, if admitted, destroys the legality of the votes and casts an odium on the Governor for suffering so important an office to be vacant. Should the canvassers be hardy enough to decide against the privileges of the people, and instead of suffering them to choose a governor, take upon themselves to give them one, it will occasion great agitation throughout the State. I am satisfied that the sentiments of the people are with you; whether you are or are not Governor, it appears that you are the choice of the people.
Well, my dear Mr. Jay the Canvassers have taken upon them to give the people a Governor of their election, not the one the people preferred. When Governor Clinton was 108 votes ahead, it was thought dangerous to examine the vote of Tioga County, it being reduced to a certainty that that County alone would give you a majority independant of the votes of Otsego. Another quibble was therefore invented, and they were likewise set aside. I am informed that the Recorder, Isaac Roosevelt, and Mr. Canzwort are determined to enter their protest, and likewise to publish the votes of those counties which they think illegally thrown aside, and which if admitted would have given you a Majority of a thousand votes.
The dejection, uneasiness and dissatisfaction that prevails, casts the darkest Odium upon our shameless Governor, while it makes your light shine still brighter than ever. One of the Clintonians told a gentleman of our acquaintance that he was now convinced of the necessity of a change. Judge Hobart came last evening to congratulate me on your triumph; I told him I really conceived it such. Peter Munro is writing to you, and has promised to collect those papers which are most interesting. The hand bill enclosed is Duer’s, but I think it best to conceal the author’s name. Those lawyers who had boasted their design of publishing their opinions against the votes have taken care not to fulfil their promise. Since you have so honorably lost your election, I could acquiesce in it with pleasure did it not deprive me of the pleasure of seeing you soon and of enjoying your company for a great part of the year; but I will not dwell upon one disagreeable circumstance when so many agreeable ones concur to make me happy. Oh my dear Mr. Jay! what transport does it give me to hear the praises that are daily bestowed upon you! Much rather would I lose a crown as you have lost the Office contended for, than gain an empire upon the terms Governor Clinton steals into his.
Tuesday Morng.—I find they have not yet announced in the paper the appointment of Governor. I am told that it is intended that it should be accompanied with the protests of Jones, &c. There is such an ferment in the City that it is difficult to say what will be the consequences. I shall leave my letter unsealed until evening; should anything occur in the interval that is interesting you shall be apprised of it. I am sitting in your room to write and at your table and have almost persuaded myself that I am making my communications verbally.
People are running in continually to vent their vexation. Poor Jacob Morris looks quite disconsolate. King says he thinks Clinton as lawfully Governor of Connecticut as of New York but he knows of no redress.
Captain Peterson is ready to sail as soon as the wind changes. I think it best therefore to close this letter and send it. I can again write to-morrow as that is Post day if there is any thing worth writing. We are all well, and had been delighting ourselves with the prospect of seeing you soon. The children, therefore, when they heard of the decision of the canvassers exclaimed, Oh! Mama then we shall not see Papa this great while. My consolation is, that time has wings, and altho’ they will appear to me to be clogged, yet they will finally waft you back to us.
Till then my best beloved farewell!
ROBERT TROUP TO JAY.
New York, 13th June, 1792.
My Dear Sir:
The Clintonian canvassers by fraud and violence have excluded you from the Government. The votes of Otsego, Tioga, and Clinton Counties have been rejected. Those of Tioga were returned by a deputy’s deputy which made their return questionable. Those of Clinton by a deputy appointed by the Sheriff by parol. Both Burr and King were of opinion that a parol deputation was good and there is no doubt that the votes of Clinton were rejected to give a better appearance to those of Otsego. This violent and corrupt procedure has occasioned a great ferment in the City and the people are determined not to let the matter pass over in silence. Our friends amongst the canvassers have protested against the proceedings of the others and their protest will be published to-morrow. If we tamely submit to this flagrant attack upon our rights we deserve to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to the abandoned despots who claim to be our masters.
With the sincerest regard from,
My dear Sir, Yours
JAY TO MRS. JAY.
East Hartford, 18th June, 1792.
My Dear Sally:
About an hour ago I arrived here from Newport, which place I left on Friday last. The last letters which I have received from you are dated the 2d and 4th of this month. The expectations they intimate have not, it seems, been realized. A Hartford paper, which I have just read, mentions the result of the canvass; after hearing how the Otsego votes were circumstanced, I perceived clearly what the event would be. The reflection that the majority of the Electors were for me is a pleasing one; that injustice has taken place does not surprise me, and I hope will not affect you very sensibly. The intelligence found me perfectly prepared for it. Having nothing to reproach myself with in relation to this event, it shall neither discompose my temper, nor postpone my sleep. A few years more will put us all in the dust; and it will then be of more importance to me to have governed myself than to have governed the State. The weather is very warm; towards evening I shall go to Hartford, where I hope to find a letter from you. In a letter from Newport I requested you to direct a letter for me there.
Hartford, Monday Evening.—Peet has returned from the office without letters. I fear you did not receive mine from Newport in season.
Tuesday Morning.—I am waiting to have my horses shod, and in expectation that Judge Cushing, who is behind, will be here this morning I have concluded to cross from Bennington to Albany and return from thence by water. A letter directed to me there, if seasonably written will probably meet me. My love to all the family.
Yours very affectionately,
LANSINGBURGH COMMITTEE TO JAY.
Lansingburgh, June 30, 1792.
We beg leave to address you in the simple style of free men, and in the name of the citizens of Lansingburgh, to congratulate you on your arrival at our infant settlement.
Fully impressed with a sense of your patriotism, we embrace this opportunity of expressing our gratitude for your unwearied exertions through the struggles of an oppressive war; and your eminent services as a statesman and minister at home and abroad.
Our respect for your character, in the dignified office of chief justice of the United States, and our regard for your person, as a man possessing the confidence of the people, give us a most lively hope of shortly embracing you as the chief magistrate of this State: nor can we refrain on this occasion from expressing our sincere regret and resentment at the palpable prostitution of those principles of virtue, patriotism, and duty, which has been displayed by a majority of the canvassing committee, in the wanton violation of our most sacred and inestimable privileges, in arbitrarily disfranchising whole towns and counties of their suffrages.
It was, perhaps, little contemplated, that the constitution of this State, which you had so great a share in framing, should to your prejudice, in the first instance, be in so flagrant a manner violated. However desirous we may be of seeing you fill the office of governor of the State of New-York, we only wish it from the free and fair suffrages of a majority of electors. That majority you have; and though abuse of power may for a time deprive you and the citizens of their right, we trust the sacred flame of liberty is not so far extinguished in the bosoms of Americans as tamely to submit to wear the shackles of slavery, without at least a struggle to shake them off.
JAY’S REPLY TO THE LANSINGBURGH COMMITTEE.
Permit me to request the favour of you to present to my fellow-citizens of Lansingburgh my sincere acknowledgments for the honour they have done me on this occasion, and be assured that the manner in which you have conveyed their sentiments adds to the satisfaction which they inspire.
Their approbation increases the pleasure with which I reflect on my endeavours to serve the cause of liberty and my country, and that approbation derives additional value from the ardour and firmness which they manifested in it.
The various bounties of Heaven to the people of this State conspire in conferring abundant reasons for harmony and content, and every event is to be regretted that tends to introduce discord and complaint. Circumstanced as I am in relation to the one you mention, I find myself restrained by considerations of delicacy from particular remarks.
The people of the State know the value of their rights, and there is reason to hope that the efforts of every virtuous citizen to assert and secure them will be no less distinguished by temper and moderation, than by constancy and zeal.
In whatever station or situation I may be placed, my attachment to my country will remain unabated, and I shall be happy in every opportunity of evincing my respect and best wishes for the citizens of Lansingburgh.
ALBANY COMMITTEE TO JAY.
A Committee of the Citizens of Albany in behalf of themselves and constituents beg leave to pay their respects to you, in your passage thro’ this City on your tour of official duty.
With the dignified feelings of independent republicans, we experience real pleasure in acknowledging our obligations to you, for the various services you have rendered this your native State, as well as the States in union, in which you have upon all occasions united exalted abilities with stern integrity.
In thus voluntarily expressing our esteem for your person and character, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we speak the sentiments of a respectable majority of our fellow citizens throughout the State, as at the late Election, it is well known, and generally acknowledged that a majority of many hundred votes would have appeared in your favour for Chief Magistrate, had not a majority of the Committee of Canvassers, by an unwarrantable stretch of power, rejected the votes of several whole Counties, in direct violation of law, justice, precedent, and the most essential principles of our consititution—their object, as it most glaringly appears, being to secure an administration favourable to their views, in opposition to the voice of a majority of the people.
We feel, Sir, for the delicate situation in which you are placed, on this important question; painful must it be to you to see the principles of our State Constitution, which you have had a material agency in framing, so shamefully perverted and abused, and to find yourself the object in which that Constitution, and the laws and liberties of the State have received so daring a stab.
We can only add, that as free and independant citizens, we know no authority but what is derived from the voice of a majority of the people, and a just and uniform interpretation of their constitution and laws; that we shall wait with a firm and cool deliberation for Legislative interposition to afford or procure redress. On this we place the fullest dependance, and could it possibly happen, that we meet with disappointment, the people must then proceed to determine, whether a Chief Magistrate is to be elected by their voice, or by a Committee, the majority of whom were selected and named by a party; and those who may be the cause, must then be answerable for the consequences that may follow.
Be assured, Sir, of our best wishes for your public and private welfare.
By order of the Committee.
Abraham Ten Broeck,
Albany, 2d July, 1792.
JAY’S REPLY TO THE ALBANY COMMITTEE.
I find it impossible to convey to you adequate ideas of the impressions which the sentiments expressed in your address have made upon my heart and mind. The uninterrupted confidence which my fellow-citizens have reposed in my zeal for the honour and welfare of our common country is one of the most pleasing circumstances of my life; and it will never cease to unite with the still higher considerations of duty in rendering that zeal permanent and persevering. The approbation of the intelligent, the independent, and the free is valuable because spontaneous and sincere; and it becomes particularly grateful, when bestowed in a manner so affectionate by fellow-labourers in the same field. When sentiments and opinions relative to public measures are capable of being ascribed to private and personal considerations, prudence dictates a great degree of delicacy and reserve; but there are no considerations which ought to restrain me from expressing my ardent wishes that the important question you mention may be brought to a decision with all that mature reflection as well as manly constancy which its connection with the rights of freemen demands; with all that temper which relf-respect requires; and with all that regard to conciliation, benevolence, and good neighbourhood which patriotism prescribes.
Accept my warmest thanks, gentlemen, for the particular marks of attention with which you have honoured me; and be pleased to assure my fellow-citizens of this ancient and respectable city that I most sincerely wish them prosperity.
NEW YORK COMMITTEE TO JAY.
To the Honorable John Jay, Esquire, Chief Justice of the United States:
Permit us in behalf of ourselves and the very respectable body of our fellow citizens, which we have the honor to represent, to congratulate you upon your safe return to this City from the Eastern Circuit.
The friends of liberty have ever entertained a lively sense of the important services which you have rendered to your country in every situation in which you have been placed. Whether they examine your conduct as a Member of the General Congress at the most trying periods of the late war, and of the Convention which framed the Constitution of this State, or consider your agency in negotiating the treaty which secured to America the blessings of peace, liberty and safety—they find a continued display of abilities and virtue which will hand your name down to remote posterity as one of the illustrious defenders of the rights of Man.
It was this sense, Sir, of your public services which induced the independent freeholders of the State to nominate and support you at the last election as a candidate for the office of their Chief Magistrate, and procured you a decided majority of votes. Thus called to enjoy one of the highest honors in the power of a grateful people to bestow, it was not to be expected that you would have been deprived of it by the machinations of a few interested and designing men. In contempt, however, of the sacred voice of the people, in defiance of the Constitution, and in violation of uniform practice and the settled principles of law, we have seen a majority of the canvassing Committee reject the votes of whole Counties for the purpose of excluding you and making way for a Governor of their own choice. This wanton and daring attack upon the invaluable rights of suffrage has excited a serious alarm amongst the electors of the State, and united them in measures to obtain redress. In the pursuit of an object so interesting we shall like freemen act with moderation and order; but at the same time with zeal and perseverance. Whilst we respect the laws, we respect ourselves and our rights and feel the strongest obligations to assert and maintain them. The cause in which we are engaged being the cause of the people we trust that it cannot fail of success; but in every event we entreat you to believe that you will retain a distinguished place in our affections, and that we shall embrace every opportunity to manifest the unbounded confidence which we repose in your talents and patriotism.
By order of the Committee,
New York, July 13th, 1792.
JAY’S REPLY TO THE NEW YORK COMMITTEE.
It is far more pleasing to receive proofs of the confidence and attachment of my native city than it is easy to express the sense which that confidence and that attachment inspire. When I reflect on the sacrifices and efforts in the cause of liberty, which distinguished this State during the late war, my feelings are very sensibly affected by the favourable light in which you regard my conduct during that interesting period. That cause was patronized by Him who gave to men the rights we claimed. He crowned it with success, and made it instrumental to our enjoying a degree of national prosperity unknown to any other people. May it be perpetual! Such is our Constitution, and such are the means of preserving order and good government, with which we are blessed, that, while our citizens remain virtuous, free, and enlightened, few political evils can occur, for which remedies perfectly effectual, and yet perfectly consistent with general tranquillity, cannot be found and applied.
I derive great satisfaction from the hope and expectation that the event which at present excites so much alarm and anxiety, will give occasion only to such measures as patriotism may direct and justify; and that the vigilance and wisdom of the people will always afford to their rights that protection for which other countries, less informed, have often too precipitately recurred to violence and commotion.
In questions touching our constitutional privileges, all the citizens are equally interested; and the social duties call upon us to unite in discussing those questions with candour and temper, in deciding them with circumspection and impartiality, and in maintaining the equal rights of all with constancy and fortitude.
They who do what they have a right to do, give no just cause of offence; and therefore every consideration of propriety forbids that differences in opinion respecting candidates should suspend or interrupt that mutual good-humour and benevolence which harmonizes society, and softens the asperities incident to human life and human affairs.
By those free and independent electors who have given me their suffrages. I esteem myself honoured; for the virtuous, who withheld that mark of preference, I retain, and ought to retain, my former respect and good-will. To all I wish prosperity, public and private. Permit me, gentlemen, to assure you and your constituents that, as I value their esteem, and rejoice in their approbation, so it will always be my desire, as well as my duty, to justify as far as possible the sentiments which they entertain of me, and which you, sir, have expressed in terms and in a manner which demand and which receive my warmest acknowledgments.
HENRY MARCHANT TO JAY.
Newport, August 14th, 1792.
. . . . . . .
I presume this will find you returned from Philadelphia and preparing for your Southern Circuit, which we hope may prove an agreeable one. While New England laments the loss the publick may sustain in your quitting your present important federal station, they feel as friends to order, decency, and the rights of man, a wish, not merely for your success, but the success of constitutional rights; and would not be happy to find the steady advocates of liberty desert the cause. Example is prevalent; and in our first setting out we should be cautious how we establish bad precedents. Posterity has a demand upon us—that the laws and constitution we have been blessed with are not handed down to them mangled or in fetters.
The delicate, prudent, and cautious manner, so peculiar to you, in which you answered the addresses of your fellow-citizens, has given great pleasure; for while it is our duty to contend against the violations of essential rights, it behooves us that we do not by our own conduct establish the violence we contend against. We had better fail—having done all that faithful citizens and guardians of the laws ought to do, than proceed by methods disgraceful to a good cause.
Our country has a claim to the highest exertions of all its sons. I sincerely lament the unhappy dissensions I perceive arising amongst some who are peculiarly bound by every consideration to lay aside self, and strive only for the advancement of the peace, honor and happiness of our common country. Let the North and South give up. Let us collect in one center, and making one huge pile of all our self-ambition, jealousies, murmurs, disappointments and discontents, commit them to the flames as a grand sacrifice to the best good of our land, our own peace and honor, and that of millions yet unborn. Let all good men set about this work, and join to set their faces against every opposer to it.
Without flattery, no man is better fitted to take the important lead than yourself. Your opportunities are great, and I know they will be eagerly embraced. Under this consideration I regret the less at your tour to the southward. May success attend you, as do my best wishes at all times and wheresoever you may be. With our respects to Mrs. Jay, I am with all possible esteem and pride, Dear Sir,
Your sincere friend and humble servant,
ALEXANDER HAMILTON TO JAY.
Philadelphia, Sepr. 3rd, 1792.
My dear Sir:
The proceedings at Pittsburgh, which you will find stated in the enclosed paper, and other incidents in the Western parts of this State, announce so determined and persevering a spirit of opposition to the law, as in my opinion to render a vigorous exertion of the powers of government indispensable. I have communicated this opinion to the President and I doubt not his impressions will accord with it. In this case, one point for consideration will be the expediency of the next Circuit Courts noticing the state of things in that quarter, particularly the meeting at Pittsburgh and its proceedings. You will observe an avowed object is to “obstruct the operation of the law.” This is attempted to be qualified by a pretence of doing it by “every legal measure.” But “legal measures” “to obstruct the operation of a law” is a contradiction in terms. I therefore entertain no doubt that a high misdemeanour has been committed. The point however is under submission to the Attorney General for his opinion.
There is really, My Dear Sir, a crisis in the affairs of the Country which demands the most mature consideration of its best and wisest friends. I beg you to apply your most serious thoughts to it, and favour me as soon as possible with the result of your reflections. Perhaps it will not be amiss for you to converse with Mr. King. His judgment is sound; he has caution and energy.
Would a proclamation from the President be advisable stating the criminality of such proceedings and warning all persons to abstain from them, as the laws will be strictly enforced against all offenders?
If the plot should thicken and the application of force should appear to be unavoidable, will it be expedient for the President to repair in person to the scene of commotion?
These are some of the questions which present themselves. The subject will doubtless open itself in all its aspects to you. With real respect and affectionate attachment,
I remain, Dear Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
JAY TO HENRY MARCHANT.
New York, 6th September, 1792.
. . . . . . .
Your solicitude for the honour and welfare of our country is patriotic. If similar sentiments prevailed more generally, there would be less reason for anxiety. But, my good friend, in the present state of society in this country, we must not expect to be entirely exempt from the influence of private passions on public affairs. The people of the United States possess more information than the people of any other country, but they do not in my opinion yet possess throughout a sufficient degree of it. Ignorance and credulity will always be duped and misled by artifice and design; where all are informed few will be deceived; and it is only from the number that may be deceived that danger or mischief are to be apprehended.
I am, my dear sir,
Your affectionate friend and servant,
JAY TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON.
New York, 8th September, 1792.
I have conferred with Mr. King upon the subject of your letter of the 3d. inst. We concur in opinion that neither a proclamation nor a particular charge by the court to the grand jury would be advisable at present. To us it appears more prudent that the business be opened by the President’s speech at the ensuing session of Congress; their address will manifest the sense of the House, and both together operate more effectually than a proclamation.
No strong declarations should be made unless there be ability and disposition to follow them with strong measures. Admitting both these requisites, it is questionable whether such operations at this moment would not furnish the Anties with materials for deceiving the uninformed part of the community, and in some measure render the operations of government odious. Let all the branches of government move together, and let the chiefs be committed publicly on one or the other side of the question. I perceive symptoms of the crisis you mention; if managed with discretion and firmness it will weaken its authors. If matters can pass on sub silentio until the meeting of Congress, I think all will be well. The public will become informed and the sense of the nation will become manifest; opposition to that sense will be clogged with apprehensions, and strong measures if necessary will be approved and be supported. If in the meantime such outrage should be committed as to force the attention of government to its dignity, nothing will remain but to obey that necessity in a way that will leave nothing to hazard. Success on such occasions should be certain. Whether this should be done under the President’s personal direction must, I think, depend on circumstances at the time, or in other words on the degree of importance which those circumstances combined may evince.
WILLIAM CUSHING TO JAY.
Newcastle (Del.), Tuesday, Oct. 23d, 1792.
I have rubbed along as well as I could without you. We had two jury cases at Trenton, and there we took up the matter of invalids—there being no determination upon the subject in that district before, the Judges not having the Statute there last term. Mr. Morris was strong in favor and I was not opposing; so we acted as Commissioners and sent our certificates accordingly (without making any entry in the book about it) to the Supreme Secretary of War. At Yorktown [York, Pa.] but one jury cause, which was short. There had been depending about six and twenty actions, but rather than go 90 miles from Phila for trial, the parties had settled about twenty of them; one was tried as aforesaid, and four continued by agreement to next term for trial at Philadelphia. There we had nothing to do with the pension list; the like I suppose will be the case in all places this side the Delaware.
We had a tolerable road to Yorktown, but somewhat cut with waggons a considerable part of the way, but worse on our return by reason of some rains which fell. Some excellent inns on that road. Two indictments were found at Yorktown—one for an insult upon one of the foreign ministers by serving process upon his servant for a debt of about 5 s.; the other for a violent assault of about 50 persons, in disguise, upon an inspector’s office in the western part of Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Cushing is with me now on the route to Dover, a fine road south of Philadelphia. I am in strong hopes of the pleasure of seeing you soon, and that your health is fully restored as I heard of your riding abroad sometime ago. I hear of causes to be tried in Maryland, and in Virginia, of above a hundred, which will require both your sedateness and sagacity. At the same time I would not have you risk your health for a thousand of them. I mean [to go] from Easton in Maryland for Kent—and thence across the Chesapeake, an 8 or 9 mile ferry, to Annapolis; then to the federal city, perhaps buy a house lot there, and so onward to Richmond.
Mrs. Cushing joins in the most sincere regards to you, Mrs. Jay, and family.
I have the honor to be, with sincere respect and esteem, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
ALEXANDER HAMILTON TO JAY.
Philadelphia, December 18th, 1792.
My dear Sir:
Your favours of the 26th November and 16th inst. have duly come to hand. I am ashamed that the former has remained so long unacknowledged; though I am persuaded my friends would readily excuse my delinquencies, could they appreciate my situation. ’Tis not the load of proper official business that alone engrosses me, though this would be enough to occupy any man. ’Tis not the extra attentions I am obliged to pay to the course of legislative manœuvres, that alone adds to my burthen and perplexity. ’Tis the malicious intrigues to stab me in the dark, against which I am too often obliged to guard myself, that distract and harass me to a point, which, rendering my situation scarcely tolerable, interferes with objects to which friendship and inclination would prompt me.
I have not, however, been unmindful of the subject of your letters. Mr. King will tell you the state the business was in. Nothing material has happened since. The representation will probably produce some effect, though not as great as ought to be expected. Some changes for the better, I trust, will take place.
The success of the vice-president is as great a source of satisfaction, as that of Mr. Clinton would have been of mortification and pain to me. Willingly, however, would I relinquish my share of the command to the anti-federalists, if I thought they were to be trusted. But I have so many proofs of the contrary, as to make me dread the experiment of their preponderance.
Very respecttully and affectionately, dear sir,
Your obedient servant,
JAY TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON.
New York, 29th December, 1792.
On my return this evening from Rye, I found your letter of the 18th instant at my house. It is not difficult to perceive that your situation is unpleasant, and it is easy to predict that your enemies will endeavour to render it still more so. The thorns they strew in your way will (if you please) hereafter blossom, and furnish garlands to decorate your administration. Resolve not to be driven from your station, and as your situation must, it seems, be militant, act accordingly. Envy will tell posterity that your difficulties, from the state of things, were inconsiderable, compared with the great, growing, and untouched resources of the nation. Your difficulties from persons and party will, by time, be carried out of sight, unless you prevent it. No other person will possess sufficient facts and details to do full justice to the subject, and I think your reputation points to the expediency of memoirs. You want time, it is true, but few of us know how much time we can find when we set about it.
Had not your letter come from the post-office, I should suspect it had been opened. The wafer looked very much like it. Such letters should be sealed with wax, impressed with your seal.
I rejoice with you in the re-election of Mr. Adams. It has relieved my mind from much inquietude. It is a great point gained; but the unceasing industry and arts of the Anties render perseverance, union, and constant efforts necessary. Adieu, my dear sir.
Jay had been nominated, February 16, 1792, for the State Governorship, and the above is in reply to a letter from Mr. Dongan respecting his views on slaveholding in New York. See Jay’s “Life of Jay,” vol. 1., pp. 284-86. Dongan wrote: “As your opponents cannot or dare not impeach your integrity and ability, necessity obliges them to descend to the lowest subterfuges of craft and chicane, to mislead the ignorant and unwary. The part you have taken in the society for emancipating slaves is exaggerated, and painted in lively colors to your disadvantage. It is said that it is your desire to rob every Dutchman of the property he possesses most dear to his heart, his slaves; that you are not satisfied with doing that, but wish further to oblige their masters to educate the children of those slaves in the best manner, even if unable to educate their own children; and also that you have procured a bill to be brought into the Legislature this session for the above purpose.”
Jay at this date was on his return home from his eastern circuit which he had just terminated in Vermont. His friends and political adherents received him everywhere with enthusiasm and respect as the legally elected Governor of the State, whom the party in power had fraudulently debarred from the office. The people of Lansingburgh welcomed him with the above address and on his way down the River further ovations were tendered him, as at Albany, Hudson, and New York. The New York Advertiser and Greenleaf’s Journal and Register for this period indicate the extent and intensity of the election excitement.
Jay reached New York July 10th. The Advertiser of the 11th reports his reception as follows.
“Yesterday afternoon, the committee appointed at a meeting of the Friends of Liberty, attended by a very great and respectable concourse of citizens, on horseback and in carriages, proceeded to Harlem heights where they met Mr. Jay and escorted him into town. When the procession arrived at the two-mile stone, they were received by loud huzzas from a very great number of citizens on foot assembled at that place. As they approached the town, at the head of Chatham street a federal salute was fired and a painting exhibited, on which was written, ‘John Jay, Governor by the Voice of the People.’
“The procession moved through Queen, Wall, Broad, Beaver streets, and Broadway, to Mr. Jay’s house, amidst repeated huzzas and plaudits from his fellow citizens. At his own door he was conducted into his house by the Committee, where he was affectionately received by his family and friends. Before he entered his house, he attempted to say something on the occasion expressive of his feelings, and to make an acknowledgment for the partiality shewn him, but the loud and repeated plaudits of the People prevented his being heard.
“In several conspicuous places flags were displayed; a salute was fired at the Battery, and the bells were rung in all the Churches in the city.”
On the 13th the committee of the Friends of Liberty formally congratulated Mr. Jay in the terms of the above address, and on the 19th an “elegant entertainment” was tendered him at the City Tavern by some two hundred citizens. Fifteen toasts were offered at this “feast of freedom and friendship,” as described by the Advertiser, which closed with one from Jay himself as he retired—“May the people always respect themselves and remember what they owe to posterity.” The company then formed in procession and waited upon him to his house.
Judge, United States District Court, Rhode Island.
With reference to the excise on distilled spirits, which met with vigorous opposition in Western Pennsylvania, and eventually culminated in the “Whiskey Rebellion.”
Justice, Supreme Court of the United States. He was associated with Jay in his circuits, but was now alone in consequence of the latter’s temporary illness. Jay started on his southern circuit, September 17th, but inflammation of the eyes soon obliged him to return to New York, where he remained until early in the following year (1793) before he heard cases at Philadelphia and Richmond.