Lot 197

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John Jay ALS Two Weeks After Signing the Jay Treaty: "I have not had time to sit for my Picture...but (the Treaty being finished) I hope soon to have Leisure for the purpose"

A loving handwritten letter signed "John Jay", addressed to his wife Sally while abroad in London following negotiations of the Jay Treaty. With flattened mail folds and light toning. 3pp of a bifolium, measuring 7.25" x 8.5", London, dated December 5, 1794. Boldly signed. Overall very fine.

In part:

“…I add this to thank you for these letters and to express the pleasure and satisfaction, and the gratitude to Providence, which they occasion. That you and our dear little Flock should be preserved in Health and Prosperity, when so many families in our Country are in mourning and Distress, is a circumstance which should turn our Hearts to the author and Giver of all Blessings—with the Disposition you have made of what money you have recd…Your Letters are a Treat to me. I am glad you have at Length got a pair of Horses. You must have wanted them much. Let them be used daily, & moderately fed, or they will probably become vicious. Idleness is not better for young Horses, than for young men…as yet I have not had Time to sit for my Picture you request, but (the Treaty being finished) I hope soon to have Leisure for the purpose—it will I assure you give me more pleasure to present to you the original than the Picture. I hope next Spring to do both…Let us do the best we can with and for our children, and commit them to the protection and Guidance of Providence.”

In the summer of 1794, President Washington sent John Jay to London in hopes of resolving several ongoing, post-Revolution military and commercial disputes. Despite their recent conflict, the newly independent United States realized the need for a peaceful and collaborative economic relationship with Britain. After long drawn-out negotiations, the two nations finally reached an agreement on November 19, entitled "The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America", more commonly known as the Jay Treaty. This letter is a charming correspondence, mentioning one of Jay's greatest accomplishments.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 28, 2022 10:30 AM EDT
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