John Jay (December 23, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, negotiator and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, second Governor of New York, and the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–1795). He directed U.S. foreign policy for much of the 1780s and was an important leader of the Federalist Party after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788.
Jay was born into a wealthy family of merchants and New York City government officials of French and Dutch descent. He became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence, organizing opposition to British policies in the time preceding the American Revolution. Jay was elected to the Second Continental Congress, and served as President of the Congress. From 1779 to 1782, Jay served as the ambassador to Spain; he persuaded Spain to provide financial aid to the fledgling United States. He also served as a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris, in which Britain recognized American independence. Following the end of the war, Jay served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, directing United States foreign policy under the Articles of Confederation government. He also served as the first Secretary of State on an interim basis.
A proponent of strong, centralized government, Jay worked to ratify the United States Constitution in New York in 1788. He was a co-author of The Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and wrote five of the 85 essays. After the establishment of the new federal government, Jay was appointed by President George Washington the first Chief Justice of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1795. The Jay Court experienced a light workload, deciding just four cases over six years. In 1794, while serving as Chief Justice, Jay negotiated the highly controversial Jay Treaty with Britain. Jay received a handful of electoral votes in three of the first four presidential elections, but never undertook a serious bid for the presidency.
Jay served as the Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801. Long an opponent of slavery, he helped enact a law that provided for the gradual emancipation of slaves, and the institution of slavery was abolished in New York in Jay's lifetime. In the waning days of President John Adams's administration, Jay was confirmed by the Senate for another term as Chief Justice, but he declined the position and retired to his farm in Westchester County, New York.
|1st Chief Justice of the United States|
September 26, 1789 – June 29, 1795
|Nominated by||George Washington|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||John Rutledge|
|2nd Governor of New York|
July 1, 1795 – June 30, 1801
|Lieutenant||Stephen Van Rensselaer|
|Preceded by||George Clinton|
|Succeeded by||George Clinton|
|Acting United States Secretary of State|
September 15, 1789 – March 22, 1790
|Preceded by||Himself as Secretary of Foreign Affairs|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Jefferson|
|United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs|
July 27, 1789 – September 15, 1789
|Succeeded by||Himself as Secretary of State|
May 7, 1784 – March 4, 1789
|Appointed by||Confederation Congress|
|Preceded by||Robert Livingston|
|Succeeded by||Himself (acting)|
|United States Minister to Spain|
September 27, 1779 – May 20, 1782
|Appointed by||Second Continental Congress|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||William Short|
|6th President of the Second Continental Congress|
December 10, 1778 – September 28, 1779
|Preceded by||Henry Laurens|
|Succeeded by||Samuel Huntington|
|Delegate to the Second Continental Congress|
from New York
December 7, 1778 – September 28, 1779
|Preceded by||Philip Livingston|
|Succeeded by||Robert Livingston|
May 10, 1775 – May 22, 1776
|Preceded by||Seat established|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
|Delegate to the First Continental Congress|
from Province of New York
September 5, 1774 – October 26, 1774
|Preceded by||Seat established|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
|Born||December 23, 1745|
New York City, New York, British America
|Died||May 17, 1829 (aged 83)|
Bedford, New York, U.S.
|Children||6, including Peter and William|
|Education||Columbia University (BA, MA)|
The Jays were a prominent merchant family in New York City, descended from Huguenots who had come to New York to escape religious persecution in France. In 1685 the Edict of Nantes had been revoked, thereby abolishing the rights of Protestants and confiscating their property. Among those affected was Jay's paternal grandfather, Augustus Jay. He moved from France with his sister Saint Jay to the Virginia Colonies and then New York, where he built a successful merchant empire. Jay's father, Peter Jay, born in New York City in 1704, became a wealthy trader in furs, wheat, timber, and other commodities.
Jay's mother was Mary Van Cortlandt, who had married Peter Jay in 1728, in the Dutch Church. They had ten children together, seven of whom survived into adulthood. Mary's father, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, had been born in New Amsterdam in 1658. Cortlandt served on the New York Assembly, was twice mayor of New York City, and also held a variety of judicial and military offices. Two of his children (the other one being his son Frederick) married into the Jay family.
Jay was born on December 23, 1745 (following the Gregorian calendar, December 12 following the Julian calendar), in New York City; only three months later the family moved to Rye, New York, when Peter Jay retired from business following a smallpox epidemic that had blinded two of his children.
Jay spent his childhood in Rye. He was educated there by his mother until he was eight years old, when he was sent to New Rochelle to study under Anglican priest Pierre Stoupe. In 1756, after three years, he would return to homeschooling in Rye under the tutelage of his mother and George Murray.
In 1760, a 14 year-old Jay entered King's College, today's Columbia University. There he made many influential friends, including his closest, Robert Livingston, the son of a prominent New York aristocrat and Supreme Court justice. Jay took the same political stand as his father, a staunch Whig. Upon graduating in 1764 he became a law clerk for Benjamin Kissam (1728–1782), a prominent lawyer, politician, and sought-after instructor in the law. In addition to Jay, Kissam's students included Lindley Murray.
In 1768, after reading law and being admitted to the bar of New York, Jay, with the money from the government, 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 and became its secretary, which was his first public role in the revolution.
Jay 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 in 1774, Jay sided with those who wanted conciliation with Parliament. Events such as the burning of Norfolk, Virginia, by British troops in January 1776 pushed Jay to support independence. With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he worked tirelessly for the revolutionary cause and acted to suppress the Loyalists. Jay evolved into first a moderate, and then an ardent Patriot, because he had decided that all the colonies' efforts at reconciliation with Britain were fruitless and that the struggle for independence, which became the American Revolution, was inevitable.
On April 28, 1774, Jay married Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, eldest daughter of the New Jersey Governor William Livingston and his wife. At the time of the marriage, Sarah was seventeen years old and John was twenty-eight. Together they had six children: Peter Augustus, Susan, Maria, Ann, William and Sarah Louisa. She accompanied Jay to Spain and later was with him in Paris, where they and their children resided with Benjamin Franklin at Passy. Jay's brother-in-law Henry Brock Livingston was lost at sea through the disappearance of the Continental Navy ship Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. While in Paris, as a diplomat to France, Jay's father died. This event forced extra responsibility onto Jay. His brother and sister Peter and Anna, both blinded by smallpox in childhood, became his responsibility. His brother Augustus suffered from mental disabilities that required Jay to provide not only financial but emotional support. His brother Fredrick was in constant financial trouble, causing Jay additional stress. Meanwhile, his brother James was in direct opposition in the political arena, joining the loyalist faction of the New York State Senate at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, which made him an embarrassment to Jay's family.
Two of Jay's homes, both located in Westchester County, have been designated National Historic Landmarks.
From the age of three months old until he attended Kings College in 1760, Jay was raised in Rye, on a farm acquired by his father Peter in 1745 that overlooked Long Island Sound. After negotiating the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War, Jay returned to his childhood home to celebrate with his family and friends in July 1784. Jay inherited this property upon the death of his older brother Peter in 1813 after Jay had already established himself at Katonah. He conveyed the Rye property to his eldest son, Peter Augustus Jay, in 1822. This property remained in the Jay family through 1904.
What remains of the original 400-acre (1.6 km2) property is a 23-acre (93,000 m2) parcel called the Jay Estate. In the center rises the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House, built by Peter Augustus Jay over the footprint of his father's ancestral home, "The Locusts"; pieces of the original 18th century farmhouse were incorporated into the 19th century structure. Stewardship of the site and several of its buildings for educational use was entrusted in 1990 by the New York State Board of Regents to the Jay Heritage Center. In 2013, the non-profit Jay Heritage Center was also awarded stewardship and management of the site's landscape which includes a meadow and gardens.
As an adult, Jay inherited land from his grandparents and built Bedford House, located near Katonah, New York where he moved in 1801 with his wife Sarah to pursue retirement. This property passed down to their younger son William Jay and his descendants. It was acquired by New York State in 1958 and named "The John Jay Homestead." Today this 62 acre park is preserved as the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site.
Both homes in Rye and Katonah are open to the public for tours and programs.
Jay was a slaveholder, as were many wealthy New Yorkers during the time period. However, in 1774 Jay drafted the Address to the People of Great Britain, which draws upon the image of slavery and compares the British treatment of blacks to the British treatment of all the colonists. Such comparisons between British treatment of blacks and of the colonists was common.
Jay took a more active leadership role to abolish slavery after 1777, when he drafted a state law to that purpose. It failed to gain passage, as did a second abolition law in 1785. 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, but they differed on what rights to give the free blacks afterward. Aaron Burr both supported this bill and introduced an amendment calling for immediate abolition. Numerous slaveholders independently freed their slaves after the Revolution, but thousands were held in New York City especially.
Jay was the founder and president of the New York Manumission Society in 1785, which organized boycotts against newspapers and merchants involved in the slave trade, and provided legal counsel for free blacks claimed or kidnapped as slaves.
The Society helped enact the 1799 law for gradual emancipation of slaves in New York, which Jay signed into law as governor. "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 to lengthy apprenticeships) and that slave exports would be prohibited. These same children would be required to serve the mother's owner until age 28 for males and age 25 for females, years beyond the typical period of indenture. The law thus defined a type of indentured servant while providing for eventual freedom for children born to slaves. It did not provide government payment of compensation to the owners. It also provided legal protection and assistance for free blacks kidnapped for the purposes of being sold into slavery. All slaves were emancipated by July 4, 1827. The process in New York may perhaps have been the largest total emancipation in North America between 1783 and 1861.
In the close 1792 election, Jay's antislavery work was thought to 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 many Southern slave-owners when he dropped their demands for compensation for slaves who had been freed and transported by the British to other areas after the Revolution. He had made a practice of buying slaves and freeing them as adults, after he judged their labors had been a reasonable return on their price. In 1798 he still owned eight slaves, the year before the emancipation act was passed.
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. As Congress's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he supported the proposal after the Revolution that the Archbishop of Canterbury approve the ordination of bishops for the Episcopal Church in the United States. He argued unsuccessfully in the provincial convention for a prohibition against Catholics holding office. While considering New York's Constitution, Jay also suggested erecting "a wall of brass around the country for the exclusion of Catholics."
Jay, who served as vice-president (1816–21) and president (1821–27) of the American Bible Society, believed that the most effective way of ensuring world peace was through propagation of the Christian gospel. In a letter addressed to Pennsylvania House of Representatives member John Murray, 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." He also expressed a belief that the moral precepts of Christianity were necessary for good government, saying, "No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion. Should our Republic ever forget this fundamental precept of governance, we will then, be surely doomed."
Having established a reputation as a reasonable moderate in New York, Jay was elected to serve as delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses which debated whether the colonies should declare independence. Jay was originally in favor of rapprochement. He helped write the Olive Branch Petition which urged the British government to reconcile with the colonies. As the necessity and inevitability of war became evident, Jay threw his support behind the revolution and the Declaration of Independence. 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, 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, 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 of Judicature on May 8, 1777, which he served on for two years.
The Continental Congress turned to Jay, a political adversary of the previous president Henry Laurens, only three days after Jay became a delegate and elected him President of the Continental Congress. In previous congresses, Jay had moved from a position of seeking conciliation with Britain to advocating separation sooner than Laurens. Eight states voted for Jay and four for Laurens. Jay served as President of the Continental Congress from December 10, 1778, to September 28, 1779. It was a largely ceremonial position without real power, and indicated the resolve of the majority and the commitment of the Continental Congress.
On September 27, 1779, Jay was appointed Minister to Spain. 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. 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 would take place. Benjamin Franklin 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 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 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 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. John Adams credited Jay with having the central role in the negotiations noting he was "of more importance than any of the rest of us." 
Jay served as the second Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1784 to 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.
Federalist No. 2 is an article written by John Jay as the second essay of The Federalist Papers, a series of 85 essays arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. These essays, written by Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, were published under the pseudonym "Publius". Federalist No. 2, titled "Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence", was published on October 31, 1787, as the first of five essays written by Jay.
Jay believed his responsibility was not matched by a commensurate level of authority, so he joined Alexander Hamilton and James Madison 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.
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, a series of eighty-five articles written to persuade New York state convention members 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-fourth touches upon this matter insofar as it treats the role of the Senate in making foreign treaties.
In September 1789, George Washington offered him 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 new title—which Washington stated "must be regarded as the keystone of our political fabric"—as Chief Justice 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 (which created the position of Chief Justice) into law. Jay was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 1789; Washington signed and sealed Jay's commission the same day. Jay swore his oath of office on October 19, 1789. Washington also nominated John Rutledge, William Cushing, Robert Harrison, James Wilson, and John Blair Jr. as Associate Judges. Harrison declined the appointment, however, and Washington appointed James Iredell to fill the final seat on the Court. Jay would later serve with Thomas Johnson, who took Rutledge's seat, and William Paterson, who took Johnson's seat. While Chief Justice, Jay was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1790.
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'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 Alexander Hamilton 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.
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 (1791). The Court had an early opportunity to establish the principle of judicial review in the United States with the case, which involved a Rhode Island 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 (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 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 and the executive branch to revise the court's ruling, the statute violated the separation of powers as dictated by the United States Constitution.
In Chisholm v. Georgia (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 Carolinan Loyalists 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 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, and the Court reversed its decision. However, Jay's original Chisholm decision established that states were subject to judicial review.
In Georgia v. Brailsford, 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."
In 1792, Jay was the Federalist candidate for governor of New York, but he was defeated by Democratic-Republican George Clinton. Jay received more votes than George Clinton; but, on technicalities, the votes of Otsego, Tioga and Clinton 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 "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.
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 to negotiate a new treaty; Jay remained Chief Justice. Washington had Alexander Hamilton write instructions for Jay that were to guide him in the negotiations. In March 1795, the resulting treaty, known as the Jay Treaty, was brought to Philadelphia. When Hamilton, in an attempt to maintain good relations, informed Britain that the United States would not join the Danish and Swedish 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 continued British impressment of American ships would lead, in part, to the War of 1812. 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!!!" One newspaper editor wrote, "John Jay, ah! the arch traitor – seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive." Jay himself quipped that he could travel at night from Boston to Philadelphia solely by the light of his burning effigies.
While in Britain, Jay was elected in May 1795, as the second governor of New York (succeeding George Clinton) as a Federalist. 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 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." After Jay's rejection of the position, Adams successfully nominated John Marshall as Chief Justice.
In 1801, Jay declined both the Federalist renomination for governor and a Senate-confirmed nomination to resume his former office as Chief Justice of the United States, retiring to the life of a farmer in Westchester County, New York. Soon after his retirement, his wife died. Jay remained in good health, continued to farm and, with one notable exception, stayed out of politics. In 1819, he wrote a letter condemning Missouri's bid for admission to the union as a slave state, saying that slavery "ought not to be introduced nor permitted in any of the new states".
On the night of May 14, 1829, Jay was stricken with palsy, probably caused by a stroke. He lived for three days, dying in Bedford, New York, 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 wife Sarah Livingston and those of his colonial 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 Estate. 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.
Several geographical locations within his home state of New York were named for him, including the colonial Fort Jay on Governors Island and John Jay Park in Manhattan which was designed in part by his great, great granddaughter Mary Rutherfurd Jay. Other places named for him include the towns of Jay in Maine, New York, and Vermont; Jay County, Indiana. Mount John Jay, also known as Boundary Peak 18, a summit on the border between Alaska and British Columbia, Canada, is also named for him, as is Jay Peak in northern Vermont.
On September 5, 1936, the Rye Post Office issued a special cancellation stamp in honor of their native son. To further commemorate the fact that Rye was Jay's hometown, the Rye Post office United States Post Office led by Congresswoman Caroline Love Goodwin O'Day commissioned painter Guy Pene du Bois to create a mural for the post office's lobby, titled John Jay at His Home. It was completed in 1938 during the WPA era. On December 12, 1958, the United States Postal Service released a 15¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Jay.
High schools named after Jay are located in Brooklyn, NY, Cross River and Hopewell Junction, New York and San Antonio, Texas. Exceptional undergraduates at Columbia University are designated John Jay Scholars, and one of that university's undergraduate dormitories is known as John Jay Hall. In 1964, the City University of New York's College of Police Science was officially renamed the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
John Jay's childhood home in Rye, "The Locusts" was immortalized by novelist James Fenimore Cooper in his first successful novel The Spy; this book about counterespionage during the Revolutionary War was based on a tale that Jay told Cooper from his own experience as a spymaster in Westchester County.
The Selected Papers of John Jay is an ongoing endeavor by scholars at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library to organize, transcribe and publish a wide range of politically and culturally important letters authored by and written to Jay that demonstrate the depth and breadth of his contributions as a nation builder. More than 13,000 documents from over 75 university and historical collections have been compiled and photographed to date.
John Jay is portrayed by Tim Moyer in the 1984 TV miniseries George Washington. In its 1986 sequel miniseries George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation he is portrayed by Nicholas Kepros.
When a Nation, lead to greatness by the hand of Liberty, and possessed of all the Glory that heroism, munificence, and humanity can bestow, descends to the ungrateful task of forging chains for her friends and children, and instead of giving support to Freedom, turns advocate for Slavery and Oppression, there is reason to suspect she has either ceased to be virtuous, or been extremely negligent in the appointment of her Rulers.
| President of the Continental Congress
| United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
|New office|| United States Secretary of State
| Governor of New York
|Party political offices|
| Federalist nominee for Governor of New York
1792, 1795, 1798
Stephen Van Rensselaer
|New office|| Chief Justice of the United States
|New office|| United States Minister to Spain
| Chancellor of the University of the State of New York
The City University of New York (CUNY ) is the public university system of New York City. It is the largest urban university system in the United States. CUNY was founded in 1847 and comprises 24 campuses: eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, one undergraduate honors college, and seven post-graduate institutions. The university enrolls more than 275,000 students, and counts thirteen Nobel Prize winners and twenty-four MacArthur Fellows among its alumni.Columbia University
Columbia University (Columbia; officially Columbia University in the City of New York) is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.Columbia was established as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton University in New Jersey. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the Revolutionary War and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved from Madison Avenue to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in the development of notable scientific fields and breakthroughs including: brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; Thomas Hunt Morgan's drosophila experiment – considered the origin of modern genetics; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning of the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Columbia University Physics Department has been affiliated with 33 Nobel Prize winners as alumni, faculty or research staff, the third most of any American institution behind MIT and Harvard. In addition, 22 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine have been affiliated with Columbia, the third most of any American institution.
The university's research efforts include the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. The university administers the Pulitzer Prize annually. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including three undergraduate schools and numerous graduate schools. It maintains research centers outside of the United States known as Columbia Global Centers.
In 2018, Columbia's undergraduate acceptance rate was 5.1%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the United States, and the second most selective in the Ivy League after Harvard. Columbia is ranked as the 3rd best university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report behind Princeton and Harvard. In athletics, the Lions field varsity teams in 29 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference. The university's endowment stood at $10.9 billion in 2018, among the largest of any academic institution.
As of 2018, Columbia's alumni and affiliates include: five Founding Fathers of the United States — among them an author of the United States Constitution and co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; 10 Justices of the United States Supreme Court, two of whom currently serve; 96 Nobel laureates; 101 National Academy members; 38 living billionaires; 11 Olympic medalists, 39 Academy Awards winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prizes recipients.Jay Court
The Jay Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1789 to 1795, when John Jay served as the first Chief Justice of the United States. Jay served as Chief Justice until his resignation, at which point John Rutledge took office as a recess appointment. The Supreme Court was established in Article III of the United States Constitution, but the workings of the federal court system were largely laid out by the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established a six-member Supreme Court, composed of one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. As the first President, George Washington was responsible for appointing the entire Supreme Court. The act also created thirteen judicial districts, along with district courts and circuit courts for each district.
The Court held its inaugural session on February 2, 1790, at the Royal Exchange in New York City. However, with no cases on the docket and little pressing business, the term lasted for only eight days. It was not until August 1791 that the Court issued its first decision. That same year, the Court moved with the rest of the federal government to Philadelphia.
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, to preside over cases in the circuit courts of the various federal judicial districts. It heard only four cases during Jay's chief justiceship.
During his tenure, Jay established an early precedent for the Court's independence in 1790, when Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton wrote to him requesting an advisory opinion on proposed legislation supported by the president. 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. This established a precedent that the Court only hears cases and controversies.Jay Treaty
The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1795 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted war, resolved issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783 (which ended the American Revolutionary War), and facilitated ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars, which began in 1792. The Treaty was designed by Alexander Hamilton and supported by President George Washington. It angered France and bitterly divided Americans. It inflamed the new growth of two opposing parties in every state, the pro-Treaty Federalists and the anti-Treaty Democratic Republicans.
The Treaty was negotiated by John Jay and gained many of the primary American goals. This included the withdrawal of British Army units from forts in the Northwest Territory that it had refused to relinquish under the Paris Peace Treaty. The British were retaliating for the United States reneging on Articles 4 and 6 of the 1783 treaty; American state courts impeded the collection of debts owed British creditors and upheld the continued confiscation of Loyalist estates in spite of an explicit understanding that the prosecutions would be immediately discontinued. The parties agreed that disputes over wartime debts and the American–Canadian boundary were to be sent to arbitration—one of the first major uses of arbitration in modern diplomatic history. This set a precedent used by other nations. The Americans were granted limited rights to trade with British colonies in the Caribbean in exchange for some limits on the American export of cotton.
The Jay treaty was signed on November 19, 1794, and submitted to the United States Senate for its advice and consent the following June. It was ratified by the Senate on June 24, 1795, by a two-thirds majority vote of 20–10 (the exact number necessary for concurrence). It was also ratified by the British government, and took effect February 29, 1796, the day when ratifications were officially exchanged.
The treaty was hotly contested by Jeffersonians in each state. An effort was made to block it in the House, which ultimately failed. The Jeffersonians feared that closer economic or political ties with Great Britain would strengthen Hamilton's Federalist Party, promote aristocracy, and undercut republicanism. This debate crystallized the emerging partisan divisions and shaped the new "First Party System", with the Federalists favoring the British and the Jeffersonian republicans favoring France. The treaty was for ten years' duration. Efforts failed to agree on a replacement treaty in 1806 when Jefferson rejected the Monroe–Pinkney Treaty, as tensions escalated toward the War of 1812.John Doggett
FBI Special Agent John Jay Doggett is a fictional character in the Fox science fiction-supernatural television series The X-Files. With his FBI partners Dana Scully (season 8) and Monica Reyes (season 9), they work on the X-Files together, which is concerned with cases with particularly mysterious or possibly supernatural circumstances that were left unsolved and shelved by the FBI. John Doggett is played by Robert Patrick. Doggett was a main character from the eighth to ninth seasons (2000–2002), replacing David Duchovny's character Fox Mulder. Doggett appeared in the opening credits and every episode from the season eight premiere to the final episode of season 9.
Doggett made his first appearance in the 2000 episode "Within". Doggett served in the United States Marine Corps from the 1970s to the 1980s. Later he started working for the New York Police Department, he was eventually promoted to detective. After his son's death, he got a job in the FBI. He started to work for the Criminal Investigations Division. In 2000, he was assigned to the X-Files office, after the disappearance of Mulder. The introduction of Doggett was met with mostly positive reaction by critics, while getting more mixed response from longtime fans of the series.John Jay (lawyer)
John Jay (June 23, 1817 – May 5, 1894) was an American lawyer and diplomat to Austria-Hungary, serving 1869-1875. He was the son of William Jay and a grandson of Chief Justice John Jay of the United States Supreme Court. Jay was active in the anti-slavery movement, elected president of the New York Young Men's Antislavery Society while still in college. He published several speeches and pamphlets on slavery and history, and was elected in 1889 as president of the American Historical Association.
Jay defended numerous fugitive slaves in court and helped several gain freedom. In 1852 Jay led a team of attorneys in New York City in Lemmon v. New York, gaining the freedom of eight Virginia slaves brought to New York by their owners in transit to Texas. The ruling survived appeals through the state courts. In 1854 Jay was among the founders of the Republican Party in the United States. In 1883 he was appointed as the Republican member of the New York Civil Service Commission, founded to reduce patronage and corruption in government, and later was selected as its president.John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice (John Jay) is a senior college of the City University of New York in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. John Jay was founded as the only liberal arts college with a criminal justice and forensic focus in the United States. The college is known for its criminal justice, forensic science, forensic psychology, and public affairs programs.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. The school, which opened in 1956, is named after John Jay, a Founding Father of the United States, and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who lived nearby. Over the years, the school has been heavily criticized for its mascot, the Indians.John Jay High School (San Antonio)
John Jay High School is a public high school in the Northside Independent School District of San Antonio, Texas (United States), which generally serves the northwest portion of the city.John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is the home of statesman John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States, located in Katonah, New York. Also known as Bedford House and John Jay House, it is a New York State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark.
It is located on Jay Street (State Route 22), south of the intersection with State Route 137 and Maple Avenue.
The home was constructed after 1801 on 600 acres of land that was part of a larger 5,200 acre parcel that his maternal grandfather Jacobus Van Cortlandt purchased from Chief Katonah around 1700.In 1977, the non-profit Friends of John Jay Homestead was founded to increase public awareness of the site. It raises funds and provides volunteer assistance for the Homestead's preservation, restoration and interpretation.
The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1981.John Jay Park
John Jay Park is a 3.3-acre (13,000 m2) park in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is located between East 76th and 78th Streets, and between the FDR Drive and a short street called Cherokee Place, on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The park is named for statesman and New York Governor John Jay.In 1902 the city acquired through condemnation a parcel of land at the site of the park and opened a public bath house in 1906. A swimming pool and promenade was built nearby from 1940 to 1942, part of a Work Projects Administration construction program. In 1941 the bath house was renovated to include an auditorium, recreation room, gym, and changing facility which could accommodate 1,002 male and 590 female bathers. In 2010, a substantial upgrade was completed on the bath house, allowing visitors who are disabled to have full access to the facilities.
A large playground occupies almost half of the park's total acreage. The remaining half has basketball courts, handball courts, and the pool and bath house. The park is used for physical education classes by Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Lycée Français de New York, East Side Middle School, and P.S. 158.John Jay Report
The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, commonly known as the John Jay Report, is a 2004 report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The initial version of the report was posted on the Internet on February 27, 2004, with corrections and revisions posted on April 16. The printed version was published in June 2004. The church's own John Jay Report is online at John Jay Report.Johnny Yong Bosch
Johnny Yong Bosch (born January 6, 1976) is an American actor, voice actor, martial artist and musician. His first major role was the portrayal of Adam Park, the second Black Power Ranger and later, the Green Zeo Ranger and first Green Turbo Ranger in the Power Rangers franchise, which led to roles in some martial arts television and feature films. He provides the English voices for a number of anime productions and video games, including Shotaro Kaneda in Akira, Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach, Johnathan Joestar in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Sasori in Naruto, Renton Thurston in Eureka Seven, Itsuki Koizumi in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lelouch vi Britannia in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Izaya Orihara in Durarara!!, Noby Nobita in Doraemon, Yu Narukami and Tohru Adachi in the Persona 4 series, Yukio Okumura in Blue Exorcist, Hajime Hinata/Izuru Kamukura in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Rantaro Amami in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Artemis in the Viz Media dubs of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, Nate Adams in Yo-kai Watch. Makoto Tachibana in Free! and T.K. Takaishi in Digimon Adventure tri.. He was the front man of the band Eyeshine. Bosch is located in Los Angeles and does most of his voice-over work at Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Animaze, New Generation Pictures, Studiopolis and on some occasions travels to Dallas to record shows for Funimation.Jon Jay
Jonathan Henry Jay (born March 15, 1985) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played in MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks. A product of the University of Miami, he played college baseball for the Miami Hurricanes and was the Cardinals' second round selection in the 2006 MLB draft. As of 2019, Jon Jay has the third highest modern-day career fielding percentage for a center fielder at 99.60%, behind only Darin Erstad and Shane Victorino.He made his major league debut for the Cardinals in 2010 after batting .301 with 34 home runs, .803 on-base plus slugging percentage and 61 stolen bases in 409 minor league games. The starting center fielder for four consecutive National League Championship Series (NLCS)-qualifying clubs as a Cardinal (2011−14), Jay was a World Series champion in 2011 as the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers. Between 2011 and 2013, he established an errorless record streak for NL center fielders at 245 games. He finished tenth in 2012 in the NL in both batting average and on-base percentage. After wrist injuries limited his effectiveness in 2015, the Cardinals traded Jay to the Padres. Active in the community, he has hosted celebrity bowling tournaments for charity. Jay signed a one year $8M contract to play the 2017 season with the Chicago Cubs.Mike Wallace (historian)
Mike Wallace (born July 22, 1942) is an American historian. He specializes in the history of New York City, and in the history and practice of "public history". In 1998 he co-authored Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, which in 1999 won the Pulitzer Prize in History. In 2017, he published a successor volume, Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919. Wallace is a Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York), and at the Graduate Center, CUNY.Rye, New York
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which has more land area than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until it received its charter as a city in 1942. The population was 15,720 at the 2010 census. Rye is the youngest city in New York state. No other city has been chartered anywhere in New York state since 1942.
Located in the city are two National Historic Landmarks: the Boston Post Road Historic District was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1993; its centerpiece is the Jay Estate, the childhood home of John Jay, a Founding Father and the first Chief Justice of the United States.
Playland, a historic amusement park designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, is also located in Rye. Playland features one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the Northeast, the Dragon Coaster.
Of note are two 200-plus-year-old milestones labeled 24 and 25 on the Boston Post Road, oldest thoroughfare in the United States. The concept of mile markers to measure the distance from New York City was originated in 1763 by Benjamin Franklin during his term as Postmaster General. These sandstone markers likely date from 1802 when the Westchester Turnpike was configured. Rye is also home to a rare 1938 WPA mural by realist Guy Pene du Bois which is located within the city's Post Office lobby and titled "John Jay at His Home."Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci (; born November 11, 1960) is an American actor, writer, producer, and film director. Involved in acting from a young age, he made his film debut in 1985's Prizzi's Honor, and played a wide variety of supporting roles in many major Hollywood film productions. He has also played as lead actor in a number of films, starting with lead billing in the 1996 film A Modern Affair.
He has won three Emmy Awards: for the 1998 TV movie Winchell, in which he played the title role, for a guest appearance on the TV series Monk, and as a producer of the web series Park Bench with Steve Buscemi. Tucci was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Lovely Bones (2009). He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, for The One and Only Shrek!.The Federalist Papers
The Federalist (later known as The Federalist Papers) is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution. The first 77 of these essays were published serially in the Independent Journal, the New York Packet, and The Daily Advertiser between October 1787 and April 1788. A two-volume compilation of these 77 essays and eight others was published as The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787 by publishing firm J. & A. McLean in March and May 1788. The collection was commonly known as The Federalist until the name The Federalist Papers emerged in the 20th century.
The authors of The Federalist intended to influence the voters to ratify the Constitution. In "Federalist No. 1", they explicitly set that debate in broad political terms:
It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.
"Federalist No. 10" is generally regarded as the most important of the 85 articles from a philosophical perspective. In it, Madison discusses the means of preventing rule by majority faction and advocates a large, commercial republic. This is complemented by "Federalist No. 14", in which Madison takes the measure of the United States, declares it appropriate for an extended republic, and concludes with a memorable defense of the constitutional and political creativity of the Federal Convention. In "Federalist No. 84", Hamilton makes the case that there is no need to amend the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights, insisting that the various provisions in the proposed Constitution protecting liberty amount to a "bill of rights". "Federalist No. 78", also written by Hamilton, lays the groundwork for the doctrine of judicial review by federal courts of federal legislation or executive acts. "Federalist No. 70" presents Hamilton's case for a one-man chief executive. In "Federalist No. 39", Madison presents the clearest exposition of what has come to be called "Federalism". In "Federalist No. 51", Madison distills arguments for checks and balances in an essay often quoted for its justification of government as "the greatest of all reflections on human nature."
According to historian Richard B. Morris, the essays that make up The Federalist Papers are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer."Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire in North America and the United States, on lines "exceedingly generous" to the latter. Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war.
This treaty and the separate peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that supported the American cause—France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic—are known collectively as the Peace of Paris. Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free, sovereign, and independent states, remains in force.
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