This volume is the second of a projected seven-volume edition that includes a wide-ranging selection of the most significant and interesting public and private documents and letters written or received by John Jay, and occasionally by his charming and articulate wife, Sarah Livingston Jay.
The edition is designed to revise and complete work begun in the 1950s by Columbia University Professor Richard B. Morris, who supplemented the major collection of original Jay papers at Columbia with copies of Jay documents secured from archives throughout the world.
Volume 2 opens with Jay's arrival in Spain on his first diplomatic mission abroad. It ends in June 1782 with his departure for France to join Benjamin Franklin in negotiating a peace treaty with Great Britain. Jay's mission in Spain was to seek recognition of American independence, a treaty of alliance, and financial aid, despite Spanish refusal to receive any American diplomat as representative of an independent nation. Jay's frustrating Spanish experience set the stage for his independent stance during the peace negotiations and magnified his determination to create a stronger, more unified nation that would be treated with respect abroad.
Major correspondents include the Count de Florida Blanca, Spain's foreign minister; the Count de Vergennes, France's foreign minister; the Count de Montmorin, French ambassador to Spain, as well as such prominent Americans as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, Silas Deane, William Carmichael, and various members of the Jay and Livingston families. The 960-page volume contains detailed annotation, illustrations, a biographical directory, and a comprehensive index.
This project is sponsored and administered by the Rare Books and Manuscript Library of Columbia University with generous support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
This volume was published by the University of Virginia Press under the general editorship of Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, with Mary A. Y. Gallagher and Jennifer E. Steenshorne, Associate Editors. For more information on John Jay's papers, please visit http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/digital/jay/.