Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Barclay to the American Commissioners

334 To John Adams from John Jay, 6 June 1786 Jay, John Adams, John
From John Jay
Dr. Sir New York 6th: June 1786 1

My last to You was dated 4th: Ult:, since which I have been honored with several from you vizt. two dated 24th. November last2—9. 16. 17. 20. 22. 26 & 27th. February and 4th. March last3—all of which with their several Enclosures were immediately laid before Congress.—

I have at length the Pleasure of informing you that nine States begin to be frequent in Congress, and consequently that there is a Prospect of my being soon enabled to send you some Dispatches of more Importance than many of my late ones have been.—

It will not be long before a good private Opportunity will offer, and then I mean to write you at least a long private Letter if not a public one.—4

You will find herewith enclosed a Ratification of the Prussian Treaty, which for many Months was delayed for want of a proper Number of States in Congress to order and compleat it.—

There are several of my Reports on your Letters before Congress and I assure you these Delays are as painful to me as they can be to you.—

Our Country has yet much to think of, and much to decide on—a natural but improper Rage for paper Money prevails. Rhode-Island, New York and New Jersey are making Experiments upon it, and I think injuring themselves and the Union in some Measure by it. The next London Ship shall carry you some Journals, and Acts of Assembly which by the Packet would cost more Postage than they are worth.—

{I doubt the propriety of borrowing more money without funds or prospect to repay any— our treasury is low—the States backward— our people intent on private gain & too inattentive to national Concerns & exigencies—}5

With great and sincere Esteem and Regard I have the Honor to be, Dr. Sir / Your most obt. & hũble: Servt.

John Jay—

RC with decoded text in WSS’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Hoñble John Adams Esqr.— / Minister Plenipoy: of the Ud. States / at the Court of Great Britain”; endorsed: “Mr Jay June 6. / ansd. July 30 / 1786.”


Jay’s next letter to JA was of 15 June (Adams Papers), wherein he asked JA to forward George Washington’s 10 Jan. letter to the English historian Catharine 335 Sawbridge Macaulay Graham. There Washington thanked Graham for her 13 July 1785 letter from New York, expressed appreciation for her approval of his conduct during the war, and hoped that she had returned home safely. It is not known when JA delivered the letter, but Graham replied on 10 Oct. 1786 (Washington, Papers, Confederation Series , 3:115–117, 502–503; 4:55–56, 132, 289–290).


Vol. 17:598–603.


Except for those of 9 and 17 Feb. and 4 March, all of these letters are above. For the 9 Feb. letter, see JA’s 8 Feb. letter to David Humphreys, and note 1, above. For the letters of 17 Feb. and 4 March, see Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 2:567–568, 580–581.


Not found. In his 7 July letter (Adams Papers), Jay indicated that he had missed his opportunity and would have to wait for “some other safe Conveyance.”


This passage was encoded using the Adams-Jay code, for which see JA’s first 3 Dec. 1785 letter to Jay, note 1, above. WSS wrote the decoded text immediately below the signature.