Front Page Titles (by Subject) LORD MORNINGTON TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 4 (1794-1826)
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LORD MORNINGTON TO JAY. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 4 (1794-1826) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 4 (1794-1826).
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LORD MORNINGTON TO JAY.
Brighthelmston, September 25th, 1794.
I return you many thanks for the honour of your note, which I received last night upon my arrival at this place, and I request you to be assured that I shall always retain a grateful sense of your humane attention to the application, which I took the liberty of making to you in favour of my brother and sister.
In a matter of such extreme delicacy, and which is so much involved in difficulties on all sides, I had determined, after our conversation at Dropmore, to wait the event of your application for the release of the young person detained at Boulogne, and to be guided by that event with respect to the form of any memorial to the French government with which I might hereafter trouble you, according to your kind permission. But the circumstance which you mention in your note seems to offer so evident an advantage, and of a nature so little likely to recur within any short time, that I have determined not to lose it by giving way to any further doubt or hesitation. I am convinced that any gentleman in whom you have confidence must possess all those qualities of discretion and discernment which are necessary for the conduct of such an affair. I have therefore written a narrative of the misfortunes of my sister and of my brother, with no other observations than such as appeared to me to be necessary to explain the peculiar hardship of their case. I have translated this narrative into French; and you will very much add to the kindness which I have already received from you, if you will have the goodness to read over these papers, and if you find any thing imprudent or superfluous, to strike it out. I would then request you to deliver these papers to the gentleman who is going to Paris, and to induce him to exercise his judgment as well on their contents as on the use to be made of them. If he thinks it useful to present the French paper to the government at Paris, or if he should be of opinion that my object would be better attained by communicating the facts relating to my brother and sister in any other mode, I should wish him to act entirely according to his view of circumstances upon the spot. If it should unfortunately happen to be his opinion, that any application in favour of the prisoners would only tend to draw them into more particular notice, and to expose them to more rigorous treatment, my wish then would be that he should not even mention their names; and painful as this termination of my endeavours to obtain their liberty must be to my mind, the opinion of a gentleman of such a character as you describe will satisfy me that the best decision has been taken which circumstances would admit.
With respect to the conditions which might be annexed to their liberty, I imagine they can be only of but two kinds,—either an exchange of French prisoners in the place of my brother and sister and their servants, or a pecuniary consideration in the way of ransom. The first would not be a matter of much difficulty, although it cannot be done under the authority of government; but I think it might easily be accomplished through the agents for prisoners at Jersey or Guernsey, and at St. Malo. With regard to a ransom, I am ready to pay it if it should not be scandalously exorbitant; although I cannot but say that I think such a transaction would be highly disgraceful to the French government.
If there should appear a disposition to release my brother and sister, I should hope they might be allowed to freight a neutral ship at Brest for some English port: this would be the safest as well as the most expeditious mode of returning home. But if this should be refused, they might still be permitted to return through Switzerland.
I trust you will have the goodness to pardon the length of this detail; I thought it necessary for the information of the gentleman who has the kindness to charge himself with this commission; and I am persuaded the same sentiment of humanity which induced you to give your favourable attention to my first application, will plead my excuse for the tediousness of this letter.
I shall naturally be very anxious to learn the result of this affair, in which I am so deeply interested; and I hope you will allow me to have the honour of paying my respects to you in London from time to time for that purpose.
Believe me, sir, with the most sincere respect and esteem,
Your much obliged and obedient servant,
P.S. I have taken the liberty of enclosing with the narrative a letter to my brother, which I request your friend to put in the post either at Paris or anywhere in France. It contains nothing but common family intelligence, and some expressions of surprise at the long detention of the two prisoners. If your friend could only find means of obtaining conveyance for a letter from my brother to me, it would be a great object, as I have not heard from him since the 10th of July. I have carefully abstained from giving the least hint in my letter of the kindness of your friend.