March 15, 1786
I have been favoured with your letter of the 22ndult., and immediately communicated it to the committee of our society for promoting the liberation of slaves, and protecting such as may be manumitted. They are taking proper measures on the occasion, and I flatter myself that our Legislature will interpose to prevent such enormities in future.
It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honour of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.
Whatever may be the issue of the endeavours of you and others to promote this desirable end, the reflection that they are prompted by the best motives affords good reasons for persevering in them.
Source: William Jay, The Life of John Jay with Selections from His Correspondence. New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833. Pages 181-82.