Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 5

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Author: Thomas Jefferson

To Mr. Jay.

PARIS, June 17, 1785.

SIR,—I had the honor of addressing you on the 11th of the last month by young Mr. Adams, who sailed in the packet of that month. That of the present is likely to be retarded to the first of July, if not longer.

On the 14th of May I communicated to the Count de Vergennes my appointment as minister plenipotentiary to this Court, and on the 17th delivered my letter of credence to the King at a private audience, and went through the other ceremonies usual on such occasion.

We have reason to expect that Europe will enjoy peace another year. The negotiations between the Emperor and United Netherlands have been spun out to an unexpected length, but there seems little doubt but they will end in peace. Whether the exchange projected between the Emperor and Elector of Bavaria, or the pretensions of the former in his line of demarcation with the Ottoman Porte will produce war, is yet uncertain. If either of them does, this country will probably take part in it to prevent a dangerous accession of power to the House of Austria. The zeal with which they have appeared to negotiate a peace between Holland and the Empire seems to prove that they do not apprehend being engaged in war against the Emperor for any other power; because, if they had such an apprehension, they would not wish to deprive themselves of the assistance of the Dutch: and their opinion on this subject is better evidence than the details we get from the newspapers, and must weigh against the affected delays of the Porte, as to the line of demarcation, the change in their ministry, their preparation for war, and other symptoms of like aspect. This question is not altogether uninteresting to us. Should this country be involved in a Continental war, while differences are existing between us and Great Britain, the latter might carry less moderation into the negotiations for settling them.

I send you herewith the gazettes of Leyden and that of France for the last two months, the latter because it is the best in this country, the former as being the best in Europe. The Courier de l’Europe you will get genuine from London. As reprinted here it is of less worth. Should your knowledge of the newspapers of this country lead you to wish for any other, I shall take the greatest pleasure in adding it to the regular transmissions of two others which I shall make you in future.

I have the honor to be, with the highest esteem and respect, your most obedient, and most humble servant.

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Chicago: Thomas Jefferson, "To Mr. Jay.," Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 5 in Thomas Jefferson, the Writings of Jefferson: Monticello Edition, Vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904-1905), Pp.8-10 Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KRGZMAMV163SFCP.

MLA: Jefferson, Thomas. "To Mr. Jay." Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 5, in Thomas Jefferson, the Writings of Jefferson: Monticello Edition, Vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904-1905), Pp.8-10, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KRGZMAMV163SFCP.

Harvard: Jefferson, T, 'To Mr. Jay.' in Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 5. cited in , Thomas Jefferson, the Writings of Jefferson: Monticello Edition, Vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904-1905), Pp.8-10. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KRGZMAMV163SFCP.