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Your very friendly letter of the 6th ult. was this moment delivered. I am happy to find your firmness unimpaired, and your attachment to your country unabated by its ingratitude. Justice will yet take place, and I do not despair of seeing the time when it will be confessed that the foundation of our success in the northern department, was laid by the present commander's predecessor. I am nevertheless anxious that such authentic evidence of the propriety of your conduct, should be transmitted to posterity as may contradict the many lies which will be told them by writers under impressions and under an influence unfriendly to your reputation. This subject merits attention. Facts, and not a single resolution of Congress, will in my opinion be effectual to do the business. I have thought much of this matter, but more of this when we meet.
Your offer of a farm, &c, is very obliging : be pleased to accept my thanks for it. I am at present at a loss how to determine. Let not my delay, however, be injurious to you. This place, at which all the family now reside, is by no means agreeable or convenient, if secure, which is also doubtful. I purpose doing myself the pleasure of seeing you this winter, and shall then avail myself of your advice.
The rapidity with which the desolation of your seat at Saratoga is repairing, does not surprise me. I remember the despatch with which the preparations for our first expedition into Canada were completed. I wish the repair of our forts, &c., in the river was in the same train.
As to your loss of influence among a certain body, it is less so than you may imagine. The virtuous and sensible still retain their former sentiments. The residue ever will be directed by accident and circumstances. Few possess honesty or spirit enough openly to defend unpopular merit, and by their c permit calumny to gain strength,
These, however, are temporary evils, and you do well to despise them.
I am, my dear sir, very sincerely,
Your friend and obedient servant,
- John Jay
- The Life John Jay With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. by His Son, William Jay in Two Volumes. Vol. II., 1833.