John Jay

John Jay

Overview
John Jay was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, revolutionary
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

, diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, a Founding Father of the United States
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

, and the first Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 (1789–95).

Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

 from 1778 to 1779. During and after the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, Jay was a minister (ambassador) to Spain
United States Ambassador to Spain
-Ambassadors:*John Jay**Appointed: September 29, 1779**Title: Minister Plenipotentiary**Presented credentials:**Terminated mission: ~May 20, 1782*William Carmichael**Appointed: April 20, 1790**Title: Chargé d'Affaires...

 and France
United States Ambassador to France
This article is about the United States Ambassador to France. There has been a United States Ambassador to France since the American Revolution. The United States sent its first envoys to France in 1776, towards the end of the four-centuries-old Bourbon dynasty...

, helping to fashion United States foreign policy, and to secure favorable peace terms from Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 (with Jay's Treaty of 1794) and the First French Republic. Jay also co-wrote the Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788...

, along with Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 and James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

.

As a leader of the new Federalist Party
Federalist Party (United States)
The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801...

, Jay was the Governor of New York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.
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Encyclopedia
John Jay was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, revolutionary
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

, diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, a Founding Father of the United States
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

, and the first Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 (1789–95).

Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

 from 1778 to 1779. During and after the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, Jay was a minister (ambassador) to Spain
United States Ambassador to Spain
-Ambassadors:*John Jay**Appointed: September 29, 1779**Title: Minister Plenipotentiary**Presented credentials:**Terminated mission: ~May 20, 1782*William Carmichael**Appointed: April 20, 1790**Title: Chargé d'Affaires...

 and France
United States Ambassador to France
This article is about the United States Ambassador to France. There has been a United States Ambassador to France since the American Revolution. The United States sent its first envoys to France in 1776, towards the end of the four-centuries-old Bourbon dynasty...

, helping to fashion United States foreign policy, and to secure favorable peace terms from Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 (with Jay's Treaty of 1794) and the First French Republic. Jay also co-wrote the Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788...

, along with Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 and James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

.

As a leader of the new Federalist Party
Federalist Party (United States)
The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801...

, Jay was the Governor of New York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. His first two attempts to emancipate
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 the slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799. The 1799 act, a gradual emancipation act, that he signed into law eventually brought about the emancipation of all slaves there before his death in 1829.

Birth


Jay was born on December 12, 1745, to a wealthy family of merchants in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. He was the eighth child and the sixth son in his family.
The Jay family was of French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 origin and was prominent in New York City.
In 1685 the Edict of Nantes
Edict of Nantes
The Edict of Nantes, issued on 13 April 1598, by Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. In the Edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity...

 was revoked, thereby abolishing the rights of Protestants and confiscating their property. Among those affected was Jay's paternal grandfather, Augustus Jay, causing him to move from France to New York and to establish the Jay family there. Peter, Augustus's son and John's father, was a merchant
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

 and had ten children with his wife, Mary Van Cortlandt. Only seven of the ten children survived. After Jay was born, his family moved from Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 to Rye
Rye (city), New York
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which is larger than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until 1942, when it received its charter as a city, the most recent to be issued in New York...

 for a healthier environment; two of his siblings were blinded by the smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 epidemic of 1739 and two suffered from mental handicaps.

Education


Jay spent his childhood in Rye, New York
Rye (city), New York
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which is larger than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until 1942, when it received its charter as a city, the most recent to be issued in New York...

, and took the same political stand as his father, who was a staunch Whig. He was educated there by private tutors until he was eight years old, when he was sent to New Rochelle
New Rochelle, New York
New Rochelle is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state.The town was settled by refugee Huguenots in 1688 who were fleeing persecution in France...

 to study under Anglican pastor Pierre Stoupe. In 1756, after three years, he would return to homeschooling under the tutelage of George Murray. In 1760, Jay continued his studies at King's College, the then-six-year-old forerunner of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. In 1764 he graduated and became a law clerk for Benjamin Kissam
Benjamin Kissam
Benjamin P. Kissam was a financier and banker in New York, who was a partner in the Kissam and Whitney company.- Life :...

.

Entrance into lawyering and politics


In 1768, after reading law
Reading law
Reading law is the method by which persons in common law countries, particularly the United States, entered the legal profession before the advent of law schools. This usage specifically refers to a means of entering the profession . A small number of U.S...

 and being admitted to the bar of New York, Jay, with the money from the government Robert Livingston, established a legal practice and worked there until he created his own law office in 1771. He was a member of the New York Committee of Correspondence in 1774.

His first public role came as secretary to the New York committee of correspondence
Committee of correspondence
The Committees of Correspondence were shadow governments organized by the Patriot leaders of the Thirteen Colonies on the eve of American Revolution. They coordinated responses to Britain and shared their plans; by 1773 they had emerged as shadow governments, superseding the colonial legislature...

, where he represented the conservative faction that was interested in protecting property rights and in preserving the rule of law while resisting what it regarded as British violations of American rights. This faction feared the prospect of "mob rule". He believed the British tax measures were wrong and thought Americans were morally and legally justified in resisting them, but as a delegate to the First Continental Congress
First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen North American colonies that met on September 5, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts by the...

 in 1774 he sided with those who wanted conciliation with Parliament. Events such as the burning of Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, by British troops in January 1776 pushed Jay to support independence. With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, he worked tirelessly for the revolutionary cause and acted to suppress the Loyalists
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

. Thus Jay evolved into first a moderate and then an ardent Patriot
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

 once he decided that all the colonies' efforts at reconciliation with Britain were fruitless and that the struggle for independence which became the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 was inevitable.

During the American Revolution


Having established a reputation as a reasonable moderate in New York, Jay was elected to serve as delegate to the First and Second Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

es which debated whether the colonies should declare independence. He attempted to reconcile the colonies with Britain, up until the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

. Jay's views became more radical as events unfolded; he became an ardent separatist and attempted to move New York towards that cause.

In 1774, at the close of the Continental Congress, Jay returned to New York. There he served on New York City's Committee of Sixty
Committee of Sixty
The Committee of Sixty was an extra-legal group formed in New York City, in 1775, by rebels to enforce the Continental Association, a boycott of British goods enacted by the First Continental Congress...

, where he attempted to enforce a non-importation agreement passed by the First Continental Congress. Jay was elected to the third New York Provincial Congress
New York Provincial Congress
The New York Provincial Congress was an organization formed by rebels in 1775, during the American Revolution, as a pro-rebellion alternative to the more conservative Province of New York Assembly, and as a replacement for the Committee of One Hundred.A Provincial Convention assembled in New York...

, where he drafted the Constitution of New York, 1777; his duties as a New York Congressman prevented him from voting on or signing the Declaration of Independence. Jay served on the committee to detect and defeat conspiracies, which monitored British Actions.
New York's Provincial Congress elected Jay the Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court
New York Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the State of New York is the trial-level court of general jurisdiction in thestate court system of New York, United States. There is a supreme court in each of New York State's 62 counties, although some smaller counties share judges with neighboring counties...

 on May 8, 1777, which he served on for two years.

The Continental Congress turned to Jay, an adversary of the previous president Henry Laurens
Henry Laurens
Henry Laurens was an American merchant and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress...

, only three days after Jay became a delegate and elected him President of the Continental Congress. Eight states voted for Jay and four for Laurens. Jay served as President of the Continental Congress
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

 from December 10, 1778, to September 28, 1779; he chaired the meetings but had little power.

As a diplomat


On September 27, 1779, Jay was appointed Minister to Spain
United States Ambassador to Spain
-Ambassadors:*John Jay**Appointed: September 29, 1779**Title: Minister Plenipotentiary**Presented credentials:**Terminated mission: ~May 20, 1782*William Carmichael**Appointed: April 20, 1790**Title: Chargé d'Affaires...

. His mission was to get financial aid, commercial treaties and recognition of American independence. The royal court of Spain refused to officially receive Jay as the Minister of the United States, as it refused to recognize American Independence until 1783, fearing that such recognition could spark revolution in their own colonies
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. Jay, however, convinced Spain to loan $170,000 to the US government. He departed Spain on May 20, 1782.

On June 23, 1782, Jay reached Paris, where negotiations to end the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 would take place. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 was the most experienced diplomat of the group, and thus Jay wished to lodge near him, in order to learn from him. The United States agreed to negotiate with Britain separately, then with France. In July 1782, the Earl of Shelburne
Earl of Shelburne
Earl of Shelburne is a title that has been created two times while the title of Baron Shelburne has been created three times. The Shelburne title was created for the first time in the Peerage of Ireland in 1688 when Elizabeth, Lady Petty, was made Baroness Shelburne. She was the wife of the noted...

 offered the Americans independence, but Jay rejected the offer on the grounds that it did not recognize American independence during the negotiations; Jay's dissent halted negotiations until the fall. The final treaty dictated that the United States would have Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 fishing rights, Britain would acknowledge the United States as independent and would withdraw its troops in exchange for the United States ending the seizure of Loyalist
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 property and honoring private debts. The treaty granted the United States independence, but left many border regions in dispute, and many of its provisions were not enforced.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs


Jay served as the second Secretary of Foreign Affairs
United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs was a position that existed in the United States government from January 10, 1781, to September 15, 1789.-History:...

 from 1784–1789, when in September, Congress passed a law giving certain additional domestic responsibilities to the new Department and changing its name to the Department of State. Jay served as acting Secretary of State until March 22, 1790. Jay sought to establish a strong and durable American foreign policy: to seek the recognition of the young independent nation by powerful and established foreign European powers; to establish a stable American currency and credit supported at first by financial loans from European banks; to pay back America's creditors and to quickly pay off the country's heavy War-debt; to secure the infant nation's territorial boundaries under the most-advantageous terms possible and against possible incursions by the Indians, Spanish, the French and the English; to solve regional difficulties among the colonies themselves; to secure Newfoundland fishing rights; to establish a robust maritime trade for American goods with new economic trading partners; to protect American trading vessels against piracy; to preserve America's reputation at home and abroad; and to hold the country together politically under the fledgling Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

.

Jay believed his responsibility was not matched by a commensurate level of authority, so he joined Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 and James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 in advocating for a stronger government than the one dictated by the Articles of Confederation. He argued in his Address to the People of the State of New-York, on the Subject of the Federal Constitution that the Articles of Confederation were too weak and an ineffective form of government. He contended that:

The Congress under the Articles of Confederation may make war, but are not empowered to raise men or money to carry it on—they may make peace, but without power to see the terms of it observed—they may form alliances, but without ability to comply with the stipulations on their part—they may enter into treaties of commerce, but without power to [e]nforce them at home or abroad...—In short, they may consult, and deliberate, and recommend, and make requisitions, and they who please may regard them.

Federalist Papers 1788


Jay did not attend the Constitutional Convention but joined Hamilton and Madison in aggressively arguing in favor of the creation of a new and more powerful, centralized but balanced system of government. Writing under the shared pseudonym of "Publius," they articulated this vision in the Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788...

,
a series of eighty-five articles written to persuade the citizenry to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States. Jay wrote the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixty-fourth articles. All except the sixty-fourth concerned the "[d]angers from [f]oreign [f]orce and [i]nfluence"; the sixty-forth touches upon this matter insofar as it treats the role of the Senate in making foreign treaties.

The Jay Court



In September 1789, George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 offered the position of Secretary of State (which, though technically a new position, would have continued Jay's service as Secretary of Foreign Affairs); he declined. Washington responded by offering him the position of the first Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

, which Jay accepted. Washington officially nominated Jay on September 24, 1789, the same day he signed the Judiciary Act of 1789
Judiciary Act of 1789
The United States Judiciary Act of 1789 was a landmark statute adopted on September 24, 1789 in the first session of the First United States Congress establishing the U.S. federal judiciary...

 (which created the position of Chief Justice) into law. Jay was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 on September 26, 1789, and received his commission the same day. His term began with his taking the oath of office on October 19, 1789. Washington also nominated John Blair
John Blair
John Blair, Jr. was an American politician, Founding Father and jurist.Blair was one of the best-trained jurists of his day. A famous legal scholar, he avoided the tumult of state politics, preferring to work behind the scenes...

, William Cushing
William Cushing
William Cushing was an early Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, from its inception to his death. He was the longest-serving of the Court's original members, sitting on the bench for 21 years...

, James Wilson
James Wilson
James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...

, James Iredell
James Iredell
James Iredell was one of the first Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed by President George Washington and served from 1790 until his death in 1799...

 and John Rutledge
John Rutledge
John Rutledge was an American statesman and judge. He was the first Governor of South Carolina following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the 31st overall...

 as Associate Judges
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are the members of the Supreme Court of the United States other than the Chief Justice of the United States...

; Jay would later serve with Thomas Johnson, who took Rutledge's seat, and William Paterson, who took Johnson's seat.

The Court's business through its first three years primarily involved the establishment of rules and procedure; reading of commissions and admission of attorneys to the bar; and the Justices' duties in "riding circuit," or presiding over cases in the circuit courts of the various federal judicial districts. No convention existed that precluded the involvement of Supreme Court Justices in political affairs, and Jay used his light workload as a Justice to freely participate in the business of Washington's administration. He used his circuit riding to spread word throughout the states of Washington's commitment to neutrality, then published reports of French minister Edmond-Charles Genet
Edmond-Charles Genêt
Edmond-Charles Genêt , also known as Citizen Genêt, was a French ambassador to the United States during the French Revolution.-Early life:Genêt was born in Versailles in 1763...

's campaign to win American support for France. However, Jay also established an early precedent for the Court's independence in 1790, when Treasury Secretary
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 wrote to Jay requesting the Court's endorsement of legislation that would assume the debts of the states. Jay replied that the Court's business was restricted to ruling on the constitutionality of cases being tried before it and refused to allow it to take a position either for or against the legislation.

Cases


The Court heard only four cases during Jay's Chief Justiceship.

Its first case did not occur until early in the Court's third term, with West v. Barnes
West v. Barnes
West v. Barnes, 2 U.S. 401 , was the first United States Supreme Court decision and the earliest case calling for oral argument. Van Staphorst v. Maryland was docketed prior to West v. Barnes but settled before the Court heard the case: West was argued on August 2, 1791 and decided on August 3,...

(1791). The Court had an early opportunity to establish the principle of judicial review in the United States
Judicial review in the United States
Judicial review in the United States refers to the power of a court to review the constitutionality of a statute or treaty, or to review an administrative regulation for consistency with either a statute, a treaty, or the Constitution itself....

 with the case, which involved a Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 state statute permitting the lodging of a debt payment in paper currency. Instead of grappling with the constitutionality of the law, however, the Court unanimously decided the case on procedural grounds, strictly interpreting statutory requirements.

In Hayburn's Case
Hayburn's Case
Hayburn's Case, 2 U.S. 409 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States was invited to rule on whether certain non-judicial duties could be assigned by Congress to the federal circuit courts in their official capacity. This was the first time that the Supreme Court addressed the...

(1792), the Jay Court made no decision other than to continue the case to a later date, and in the meantime Congress changed the law. The case was about whether a federal statute could require the courts to decide whether petitioning American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 veterans qualified for pensions, a non-judicial function. The Jay Court wrote a letter to President Washington to say that determining whether petitioners qualified was an "act ... not of a judicial nature," and that because the statute allowed the legislature
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 and the executive branch to revise the court's ruling, the statute violated the separation of powers
Separation of powers under the United States Constitution
Separation of powers is a political doctrine originating from the United States Constitution, according to which the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power. This U.S...

 as dictated by the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

.

In Chisholm v. Georgia
Chisholm v. Georgia
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 , is considered the first United States Supreme Court case of significance and impact. Given its date, there is little available legal precedent...

(1793), the Jay Court had to answer the question: "Was the state of Georgia subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the federal government?" In a 4–1 ruling (Iredell dissented and Rutledge did not participate), the Jay Court ruled in favor of two South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

n Loyalists
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 who had had their land seized by Georgia. This ruling sparked debate, as it implied that old debts must be paid to Loyalists. The ruling was overturned when the Eleventh Amendment
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was passed by the Congress on March 4, 1794, and was ratified on February 7, 1795, deals with each state's sovereign immunity. This amendment was adopted in order to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Chisholm v...

 was ratified, as it ruled that the judiciary could not rule on cases where a state was being sued by a citizen of another state or foreign country. The case was brought again to the Supreme Court in Georgia v. Brailsford
Georgia v. Brailsford
Georgia v. Brailsford is the name of three Supreme Court of the United States decisions:*Georgia v. Brailsford 2 U.S. 402, involving state rights to collect debt from foreign citizens*Georgia v. Brailsford 2 U.S. 415...

, and the Court reversed its decision. However, Jay's original Chisholm decision established that states were subject to judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

.

In Georgia v. Brailsford (1794)
Georgia v. Brailsford (1794)
Georgia v. Brailsford 3 U.S. 1 is an early United States Supreme Court case where the presiding judge of the Court instructed the jury, in part, that a jury has a right to judge the law as well as the facts...

, the Court upheld jury instructions stating "you [jurors] have ... a right to take upon yourselves to ... determine the law as well as the fact in controversy." Jay noted for the jury the "good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide," but this amounted to no more than a presumption that the judges were correct about the law. Ultimately, "both objects [the law and the facts] are lawfully within your power of decision."

1792 campaign for Governor of New York


In 1792, Jay was the Federalist candidate for governor of New York, but he was defeated by Democratic-Republican George Clinton
George Clinton (vice president)
George Clinton was an American soldier and politician, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the first Governor of New York, and then the fourth Vice President of the United States , serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He and John C...

. Jay received more votes than George Clinton; but, on technicalities, the votes of Otsego
Otsego County, New York
Otsego County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. The 2010 population was 62,259. The county seat is Cooperstown. The name Otsego is from a Mohawk word meaning "place of the rock."-History:...

, Tioga
Tioga County, New York
As of the census of 2010, there were 51,125 people residing in the county, with 22,203 housing units, of these 20,350 occupied, 1,853 vacant. The population density was 98 people per square mile...

 and Clinton
Clinton County, New York
Clinton County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 82,128. Its name is in honor of the first Governor of New York as a state, George Clinton. Its county seat is Plattsburgh.-History:...

 counties were disqualified and, therefore, not counted, giving George Clinton a slight plurality. The State constitution said that the cast votes shall be delivered to the secretary of state
Secretary of State of New York
The Secretary of State of New York is a cabinet officer in the government of the U.S. state of New York.The current Secretary of State of New York is Cesar A...

 "by the sheriff or his deputy"; but, for example, the Otsego County Sheriff's term had expired, so that legally, at the time of the election, the office of Sheriff was vacant and the votes could not be brought to the State capital. Clinton partisans in the State legislature, the State courts, and Federal offices were determined not to accept any argument that this would, in practice, violate the constitutional right to vote of the voters in these counties. Consequently, these votes were disqualified.

Jay Treaty



Relations with Britain verged on war in 1794. British exports dominated the U.S. market, while American exports were blocked by British trade restrictions and tariffs. Britain still occupied northern forts that it had agreed to surrender in the Treaty of Paris. Britain’s impressment of American sailors and seizure of naval and military supplies bound to enemy ports on neutral ships also created conflict. Madison proposed a trade war, "A direct system of commercial hostility with Great Britain," assuming that Britain was so weakened by its war with France that it would agree to American terms and not declare war. Washington rejected that policy and sent Jay as a special envoy to Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 to negotiate a new treaty; Jay remained Chief Justice. Washington had Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 write instructions for Jay that were to guide him in the negotiations. In March 1795, the resulting treaty, known as the Jay Treaty
Jay Treaty
Jay's Treaty, , also known as Jay's Treaty, The British Treaty, and the Treaty of London of 1794, was a treaty between the United States and Great Britain that is credited with averting war,, resolving issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the American Revolution,, and...

, was brought to Philadelphia. When Hamilton, in an attempt to maintain good relations, informed Britain that the United States would not join the Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 governments to defend their neutral status, Jay lost most of his leverage. The treaty eliminated Britain's control of northwestern posts and granted the United States "most favored nation" status, and the U.S. agreed to restricted commercial access to the British West Indies.

The treaty did not resolve American grievances about neutral shipping rights and impressment, and the Democratic-Republicans denounced it, but Jay, as Chief Justice, decided not to take part in the debates. The failure to get compensation for slaves taken by the British during the Revolution "was a major reason for the bitter Southern opposition". Jefferson and Madison, fearing a commercial alliance with aristocratic Britain might undercut republicanism, led the opposition. However, Washington put his prestige behind the treaty and Hamilton and the Federalists mobilized public opinion. The Senate ratified the treaty by a 20–10 vote (just enough to meet the two thirds majority requirement). Democratic-Republicans were incensed at what they perceived as a betrayal of American interests, and Jay was denounced by protesters with such graffiti as "Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who won't damn John Jay!! Damn everyone that won't put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning John Jay!!!" Jay complained that he could travel from Boston to Philadelphia solely by the light of his burning effigies. One newspaper editor wrote, "John Jay, ah! the arch traitor - seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive."

In 1812, relations between Britain and the U.S. faltered. The desire of a group of members in the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, known as the War Hawk
War Hawk
War Hawk is a term originally used to describe members of the Twelfth Congress of the United States who advocated waging war against the British in the War of 1812...

s, to acquire land from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the British impressment of American ships led, in part, to the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

.

Governor of New York


While in Britain, Jay was elected in May 1795, as the second governor of New York State
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 (following George Clinton
George Clinton (vice president)
George Clinton was an American soldier and politician, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the first Governor of New York, and then the fourth Vice President of the United States , serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He and John C...

) as a Federalist
Federalist Party (United States)
The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801...

. He resigned from the Supreme Court service on June 29, 1795, and served six years as governor until 1801.

As Governor, he received a proposal from Hamilton to gerrymander New York for the presidential election of that year; he marked the letter "Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt," and filed it without replying. President John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 then renominated him to the Supreme Court; the Senate quickly confirmed him, but he declined, citing his own poor health and the court's lack of "the energy, weight and dignity which are essential to its affording due support to the national government."

While governor, Jay ran in the 1796 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1796
The United States presidential election of 1796 was the first contested American presidential election and the only one in which a president and vice- president were elected from opposing tickets...

, winning five electoral votes, and in the 1800 election
United States presidential election, 1800
In the United States Presidential election of 1800, sometimes referred to as the "Revolution of 1800," Vice-President Thomas Jefferson defeated President John Adams. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Democratic-Republican Party rule and the eventual demise of...

, winning one vote.

Jay declined the Federalist renomination for governor in 1801 and retired to the life of a farmer in Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

. Soon after his retirement, his wife died. Jay remained in good health, continued to farm and stayed out of politics.

Death


On the night of May 14, 1829, Jay was stricken with palsy
Palsy
In medicine, palsy is the paralysis of a body part, often accompanied by loss of sensation and by uncontrolled body movements, such as shaking. Medical conditions involving palsy include cerebral palsy , brachial palsy , and Bell's palsy ....

, probably caused by a stroke. He lived for three days, dying in Bedford, New York
Bedford (town), New York
Bedford is a town in Westchester County, New York, USA. The population was 17,335 at the 2010 census.The Town of Bedford is located in the northeastern part of Westchester County, and contains the three hamlets of Bedford Hills, Bedford Village, and Katonah...

, on May 17. Jay had chosen to be buried in Rye, where he lived as a boy. In 1807, he had transferred the remains of his ancestors from the family vault in the Bowery in Manhattan to Rye, establishing a private cemetery. Today, the Jay Cemetery is an integral part of the Boston Post Road Historic District, adjacent to the historic Jay Property. The Cemetery is maintained by the Jay descendants and closed to the public. It is the oldest active cemetery associated with a figure from the American Revolution.

Family



On 28 April 1774, Jay married Sarah Van Brugh Livingston
Livingston family
The Livingston family of was a prominent family which migrated from Scotland to the Dutch Republic to the Province of New York in the 17th century. Descended from William, 4th Lord Livingston, its members included signers of the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States...

,
eldest daughter of New Jersey Governor
Governor of New Jersey
The Office of the Governor of New Jersey is the executive branch for the U.S. state of New Jersey. The office of Governor is an elected position, for which elected officials serve four year terms. While individual politicians may serve as many terms as they can be elected to, Governors cannot be...

 William Livingston
William Livingston
William Livingston served as the Governor of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War and was a signer of the United States Constitution.-Early life:...

. She accompanied Jay to Spain, and later was with him in Paris, where they resided with Benjamin
Franklin at Passy. They had six children: Peter Augustus
Peter Augustus Jay
Peter Augustus Jay was the eldest son of New York's only native Founding Father, John Jay. Peter was one of 6 children born to John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay, and one of 2 boys with 4 sisters: Susan ; Maria , Ann and Sarah Louisa Peter Augustus Jay (January 24, 1776 - February 22, 1843) was...

 (b. 1776), Susan (b. 1780), Maria (b. 1782), Ann (b. 1783), William
William Jay (jurist)
William Jay was an American reformer and jurist, the son of John Jay .-Biography:He was born in New York City, graduated at Yale in 1808, and then studied law at Albany, though poor eyesight soon compelled him to give up the profession...

 (b. 1789), and Sarah Louisa (b. 1792). Jay's elder brother James
James Jay
Sir James Jay was an American physician and politician. He was brother of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

 was a physician who at first supported independence during the Revolution, but later his loyalties appeared more ambiguous.

Property


The original Jay family estate, overlooking Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, located in the United States between Connecticut to the north and Long Island, New York to the south. The mouth of the Connecticut River at Old Saybrook, Connecticut, empties into the sound. On its western end the sound is bounded by the Bronx...

, was first established in Rye in 1745 when Jay was three months old. It passed into John Jay's possession in 1815; and he conveyed it to his eldest son, Peter Augustus Jay
Peter Augustus Jay
Peter Augustus Jay was the eldest son of New York's only native Founding Father, John Jay. Peter was one of 6 children born to John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay, and one of 2 boys with 4 sisters: Susan ; Maria , Ann and Sarah Louisa Peter Augustus Jay (January 24, 1776 - February 22, 1843) was...

, in 1822. The property remained in the Jay family through 1904.

What remains of the original 400 acres (1.6 km²) estate is a 23 acres (93,077.8 m²) parcel called the Jay Property and the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House
1838 Peter Augustus Jay House
The 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House and surrounding Jay Property form the centerpiece of the National Historic Landmark Boston Post Road Historic District. This historic district is the surviving remnant of the Jay estate where New York State's only native born Founding Father, John Jay, grew up...

 built by Peter Augustus Jay over the footprint of his father's original home "The Locusts." Stewardship of the site and restoration of several of its buildings for educational use was entrusted by the New York State Board of Regents to the Jay Heritage Center.

John Jay's house located near Katonah, New York
Katonah, New York
Katonah, New York is one of three unincorporated hamlets within the town of Bedford, Westchester County, New York, United States.-History:Katonah is named for Chief Katonah, an American Indian from whom the land of Bedford was purchased by a group of English colonists...

, also known as Bedford House, is preserved as a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 and as the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is a site in Katonah, New York. The homestead is also known as Bedford House or as John Jay House...

.

As an abolitionist


Jay was a leader against slavery after 1777, when he drafted a state law to abolish slavery; it failed as did a second attempt in 1785. Jay was the founder and president of the New York Manumission Society
New York Manumission Society
The New York Manumission Society was an early American organization founded in 1785 to promote the abolition of the slavery of African descendants within the state of New York. The organization was made up entirely of white men, most of whom were wealthy and held influential positions in society...

, in 1785, which organized boycotts against newspapers and merchants in the slave trade and provided legal counsel for free blacks claimed as slaves. The Society helped enact the gradual emancipation of slaves in New York in 1799, which Jay signed into law as governor.
Jay was pushing at an open door; every member of the New York legislature (but one) had voted for some form of emancipation in 1785; they had differed on what rights to give the free blacks afterwards. Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

 both supported this bill and introduced an amendment calling for immediate abolition. The 1799 bill settled the matter by guaranteeing no rights at all. The 1799 "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery" provided that, from July 4 of that year, all children born to slave parents would be free (subject only to apprenticeship) and that slave exports would be prohibited. These same children would be required to serve the mother’s owner until age twenty-eight for males and age twenty-five for females. The law thus defined a type of indentured servant while slating them for eventual freedom. All slaves were emancipated by July 4, 1827; the process may perhaps have been the largest emancipation in North America before 1861, except for the British Army's recruitment of runaway slaves during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

.

In the close 1792 election, Jay's antislavery work hurt his election chances in upstate New York Dutch areas, where slavery was still practiced. In 1794, in the process of negotiating the Jay Treaty with the British, Jay angered Southern slave-owners when he dropped their demands for compensation for slaves who had been captured and carried away during the Revolution. He made a practice of buying slaves and then freeing them when they were adults and he judged their labors had been a reasonable return on their price; he owned eight in 1798, the year before the emancipation act was passed.

Religion



Jay was a member of the Church of England, and later of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America after the American Revolution. Since 1785 Jay had been a warden of Trinity Church, New York
Trinity Church, New York
Trinity Church at 79 Broadway, Lower Manhattan, is a historic, active parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York...

. As Congress's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he supported the proposal after the Revolution that the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 approve the ordination of bishops for the Episcopal Church in the United States. He argued unsuccessfully in the provincial
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 convention for a prohibition against Catholics holding office.

John Jay believed that Christians would never start wars. In a letter addressed to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 House of Representatives member John Murray
John Murray (congressman)
John Murray was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.John Murray was born near Pott's Grove, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1807 to 1810...

, dated October 12, 1816, Jay wrote, "Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

Legacy



Several geographical locations have adopted John Jay's name, including: Jay, Maine
Jay, Maine
Jay is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,985 at the 2000 census. Jay, which includes the village of Chisholm, is the regional commercial center.-History:...

; Jay, New York
Jay, New York
Jay is a town in Essex County, New York, United States. The population was 2,306 at the 2000 census. The town is named after John Jay, governor of New York when the town was formed....

; Jay, Vermont
Jay, Vermont
Jay is one of the northernmost towns in Orleans County, Vermont, United States, located on the Canadian border. The population was 426 at the 2000 census. Jay is named for John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The US Census Bureau estimated that the town's population had...

; Jay County, Indiana
Jay County, Indiana
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,806 people, 8,405 households, and 6,017 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile . There were 9,074 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile...

 and Jay Street in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

. In 1964, the City University of New York's
City University of New York
The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E...

 College of Police Science was officially renamed the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York in Midtown Manhattan, New York City and is the only liberal arts college with a criminal justice and forensic focus in the United States. The college offers programs in Forensic Science and Forensic...

. The colonial Fort Jay
Fort Jay
Fort Jay is a harbor fortification and the name of the former Army post located on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Fort Jay is the oldest defensive structure on the island, built to defend Upper New York Bay, but has served other purposes...

 on Governors Island
Governors Island
Governors Island is a island in Upper New York Bay, approximately one-half mile from the southern tip of Manhattan Island and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel. It is legally part of the borough of Manhattan in New York City...

 is also named for him. Mount John Jay, also known as Boundary Peak 18, a summit on the border between Alaska and British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, is also named for him, as is Jay Peak, in northern Vermont.

On December 12, 1958, the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 released a 15¢ Liberty Issue
Liberty Issue
The Liberty issue was a definitive series of postage stamps issued by the United States between 1954 and 1965. It offered twenty-four denominations, ranging from a half-cent issue showing Benjamin Franklin to a five dollar issue depicting Alexander Hamilton...

 postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

 honoring Jay.

There are also high schools named after Jay located in Cross River, New York
John Jay High School (Cross River, New York)
John Jay High School is a public high school located in Cross River, New York. It is the only high school in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District...

; Hopewell Junction, New York
John Jay High School (Hopewell Junction, New York)
John Jay High School is a public high school on State Route 52 in the hamlet of Hopewell Junction in the town of East Fishkill, New York. The school teaches grades 9 through 12. Students from Van Wyck and Wappingers junior high schools who have successfully completed the 8th grade continue to the...

 and San Antonio, Texas
John Jay High School (San Antonio, Texas)
John Jay High School is a high school in the Northside Independent School District of San Antonio, Texaswhich serves a portion of the city of San Antonio. All high schools in the Northside Independent School District are named for US Supreme Court Chief Justices; the first Supreme Court Chief...

. The Best Western
Best Western
Best Western International, Inc. is the third largest hotel chain, with over 4,195 hotels in nearly 80 countries. The chain, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, operates more than 2,000 hotels in North America alone. Best Western has a marketing program involving placement of free...

 Hotel chain named several of their colonial motif hotels the John Jay Inn.

Exceptional undergraduates at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 are designated John Jay Scholars, and one of that university's undergraduate dormitories is known as John Jay Hall
John Jay Hall
John Jay Hall is a 15-story building located on the southeastern extremity of the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University in the City of New York, on the northwestern corner of 114th St. and Amsterdam Avenue...

. The John Jay Center
John Jay Center
The John Jay Center is an athletic facility on the campus of Robert Morris University in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township, PA. Built in 1965, it features a capacity of 1,000 spectators. It was the primary campus indoor athletic venue until the Charles L. Sewall Center opened for the 1985-1986...

 on the campus of Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University is a private, coeducational university in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1921, the school was named for Robert Morris, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and helped finance the ensuing war with the British.-History:Robert Morris...

 and the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society & Law are also named for him.

See also




  • United States Supreme Court cases during the Jay Court
  • New York Manumission Society
    New York Manumission Society
    The New York Manumission Society was an early American organization founded in 1785 to promote the abolition of the slavery of African descendants within the state of New York. The organization was made up entirely of white men, most of whom were wealthy and held influential positions in society...


•United States Constitution, image, first four Chief Justices

Primary sources

  • Landa M. Freeman, Louise V. North, and Janet M. Wedge, eds. Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay: Correspondence by or to the First Chief Justice of the United States and His Wife (2005)
  • Morris, Richard B. ed. John Jay: The Making of a Revolutionary; Unpublished Papers, 1745–1780 1975.
  • Nuxoll, Elizabeth M., Mary A.Y. Gallagher, and Jennifer E. Steenshorne, eds. The Selected Papers of John Jay, Volume 1, 1760–1779 (University of Virginia Press; 2010) 912 pages. First volume in a projected seven-volume edition of Jay's incoming and outgoing correspondence


External links



  • John Jay Quotations on Practical Quotations
  • History of the Court, the Jay Court 1789–1795, Supreme Court Historical Society
    Supreme Court Historical Society
    The Supreme Court Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and communicating the history of the U.S. Supreme Court.-History:...

  • Jay Heritage Center
  • Jay's Treaty, Library of Congress>
  •    John Jay's Federalist Papers on
  • Federalist#2 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
  • Federalist#3 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence (continued)
  • Federalist#4 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence (continued)
  • Federalist#5 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence (continued)
  • Federalist#64 The Powers of the Senate