Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO EGBERT BENSON. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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JAY TO EGBERT BENSON. - 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 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.