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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Jay to Alexander Martin
Jay, John, 1745-1829
January 29, 1785
Volume 17, Pages 597-598

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Office for Foreign Affairs,
New York, Jan. 29, 1785.


I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency official extracts from the journals of Congress of the seventh day of May and of the twenty-first day of December last. The first certifies my appointment to be “Secretary to the United States of America for the department of Foreign Affairs” and the second my having accepted that place and taken the oath of office. The latter event happened only two days before the adjournment of Congress from Trenton to meet at this place on the 11th instant.

The removal of the office from there here, and the time necessarily employed in preparing accommodations for it and putting things in order for business, delayed its being opened before yesterday, and will account for my not having sooner requested the honor of your correspondence.

Permit me to observe Sir, that it is part of my duty “to correspond with the Governor or Presidents of all or any of the United “States, affording them such information from his department as “may be useful to their States or to the United States, stating complaints that may have been urged against the Government of any “of the said States or the subjects thereof by the subjects of foreign “powers, so that justice may be done agreeably to the Laws of such “State or the charge proved to be groundless, and the honor of the “Government vindicated.”

It will be unnecessary to remark to your Excellency the influence of our domestic affairs on our foreign, their intimate connection with each other and how necessary it is that they who are concerned in conducting the latter should be accurately informed of the state of the former.

These considerations lead me to request the favor of your Excellency to afford me from time to time such intelligence on this head as you may deem important, and particularly that you would be so obliging as to send me a copy of the Laws of your State now in force and also Copies of such as may from time to time be passed. Cases

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may happen in which a reference to these Laws will be indispensable and for that and for other reasons I am anxious that the Office for foreign affairs should have a compleat collection of them. Whatever expence may be occasioned by it, shall be immediately paid out of the monies provided for the contingent expenses of the Office.

Your Excellency may rely on my punctuality in communicating to you whatever intelligence my department may afford that may be useful for you to know.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
His Excellency
Governor of North Carolina.