Happy New Year!

Between 1780 and 1784, Gouverneur Morris wrote his old friend John Jay a series of New Year’s letters (3 Jan. 1780, 2 Jan. 1781, 20 Jan. 1782, 1 Jan. 1783, and 10 Jan. 1784). During these years Jay was first Minister to Spain and then a member of the American Peace Commission in Paris. However, these were largely vehicles for for conveying political and military news, with New Year wishes limited to such sentiments as "Accept my sincere Wishes that the year now commencing may prove to you and yours the kind Dispensor of every human Felicity" (1 Jan. 1783) and "Whatever Lott betides us, I wish you at least one happy year, & I hope that Heaven will do you the Justice to grant a long Succession of them" (10 Jan. 1784). Some made no mention of the New Year at all.

On 1 Jan. 1785, Morris wrote instead to Sarah Livingston Jay. The Jays had returned to America, and Morris’s letter reflects his best wishes and happiness at the return of his friends. "Accept my sincere Congratulations that the infant Year finds you in the Bosom of your Family and believe that no Man in America (one only excepted) can more ardently wish that each succeeding Year thro an extended Period of ^your^ Existence may pass away in the constant Enjoyment of Conjugal and parental Felicity."

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