74 Facts About John Jay


John Jay was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat, abolitionist, signatory of the Treaty of Paris, and a Founding Father of the United States.


John Jay served as the second governor of New York and the first chief justice of the United States.


John Jay directed US 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.


John Jay became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence, organizing American opposition to British policies such as the Intolerable Acts in the leadup to the American Revolution.


John Jay was elected to the First Continental Congress, where he signed the Continental Association, and to the Second Continental Congress, where he served as its president.


From 1779 to 1782, John Jay served as the ambassador to Spain; he persuaded Spain to provide financial aid to the fledgling United States.


John Jay served as a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris, in which Britain recognized American independence.


John Jay served as the first Secretary of State on an interim basis.


John Jay was a co-author of The Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and wrote five of the eighty-five essays.


The John Jay Court experienced a light workload, deciding just four cases over six years.


In 1794, while serving as chief justice, John Jay negotiated the highly controversial John Jay Treaty with Britain.


John Jay received a handful of electoral votes in three of the first four presidential elections but never undertook a serious bid for the presidency.


John Jay served as the governor of New York from 1795 to 1801.


John Jay moved from France to Charleston, South Carolina, and then New York, where he built a successful merchant empire.


John Jay's father, Peter John Jay, born in New York City in 1704, became a wealthy trader in furs, wheat, timber, and other commodities.


John Jay's mother was Mary Van Cortlandt, of Dutch ancestry, who had married Peter John Jay in 1728 in the Dutch Church.


Peter John Jay had retired from business following a smallpox epidemic; two of his children contracted the disease and suffered blindness.


John Jay 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 1760,14-year-old John Jay entered King's College in New York City.


John Jay took the same political stand as his father, a staunch Whig.


John Jay 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.


John Jay represented the "Radical Whig" 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.


John Jay 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, John Jay sided with those who wanted conciliation with Parliament.


John 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 was inevitable.


In 1780, John Jay was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society.


John Jay accompanied Jay to Spain and later was with him in Paris, where they and their children resided with Benjamin Franklin at Passy.


John Jay inherited this property upon the death of his older brother Peter in 1813 after John Jay had already established himself at Katonah.


John Jay conveyed the Rye property to his eldest son, Peter Augustus Jay, in 1822.


The John Jay family participated significantly in the slave trade, as investors and traders as well as slaveholders.


John Jay himself purchased, owned, rented out and manumitted at least 17 slaves during his lifetime.


John Jay is not known to have owned or invested in any slave ships.


John Jay was irritated by her escape attempt, suggesting that she be left in prison for some time.


In 1774, John Jay drafted the "Address to the People of Great Britain", which compared American chattel slavery to British tyranny.


John 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 to free blacks.


The Society helped enact the 1799 law for gradual emancipation of slaves in New York, which John Jay signed into law as governor.


John Jay was a member of the Church of England and later of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America after the American Revolution.


Since 1785, John Jay had been a warden of Trinity Church, New York.


John Jay argued unsuccessfully in the provincial convention for a prohibition against Catholics holding office.


John Jay, who served as vice-president and president of the American Bible Society, believed that the most effective way of ensuring world peace was through propagation of the Christian gospel.


John Jay helped write the Olive Branch Petition which urged the British government to reconcile with the colonies.


John 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, upon the conclusion of the Continental Congress, John Jay elected to return to New York.


John 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.


John Jay served for several months on the New York Committee to Detect and Defeat Conspiracies, which monitored and combated Loyalist activity.


In previous congresses, John Jay had moved from a position of seeking conciliation with Britain to advocating separation sooner than Laurens.


John Jay's mission was to get financial aid, commercial treaties and recognition of American independence.


John Jay convinced Spain to loan $170,000 to the US government.


Benjamin Franklin was the most experienced diplomat of the group, and thus John Jay wished to lodge near him, in order to learn from him.


At that time, John Jay was summoned from his family seat in Rye to receive "the Freedom" of New York City as a tribute to his successful negotiations.


John 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.


John Jay 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, contending:.


John 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.


John Jay wrote the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixty-fourth articles.


John Jay served as Circuit Justice for the Eastern Circuit from the Spring of 1790, until the Spring of 1792.


John Jay served as Circuit Justice for the Middle Circuit from the Spring of 1793, until the Spring of 1794.


John Jay used his circuit riding to spread word throughout the states of Washington's commitment to neutrality and published reports of French minister Edmond-Charles Genet's campaign to win American support for France.


However, John Jay established an early precedent for the Court's independence in 1790, when Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton wrote to John Jay requesting the Court's endorsement of legislation that would assume the debts of the states.


John 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 for or against the legislation.


In Chisholm v Georgia, the Jay Court had to decide if a suits against state governments by state citizens could be heard in federal court.


In 1792, John Jay was the Federalist candidate for governor of New York, but he was defeated by Democratic-Republican George Clinton.


John 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.


Washington had Alexander Hamilton write instructions for John Jay that were to guide him in the negotiations.


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, John Jay lost most of his leverage.


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


In 1801, John 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 and retired to the life of a farmer in Westchester County, New York.


John Jay remained in good health, continued to farm and, with one notable exception, stayed out of politics.


John Jay was the last surviving President of the Continental Congress.


John Jay had chosen to be buried in Rye, where he lived as a boy.


Today, the John Jay Cemetery is an integral part of the Boston Post Road Historic District, adjacent to the historic John Jay Estate.


Mount John Jay, known as Boundary Peak 18, a summit on the border between Alaska and British Columbia, Canada, is named for him, as is Jay Peak in northern Vermont.


The John Jay Institute, located outside Philadelphia, is the only independent faith-based organization in America exclusively dedicated to preparing principled leaders for public service.


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.


John Jay was portrayed by Tim Moyer in the 1984 TV miniseries George Washington.


John Jay was a direct ancestor of Adam von Trott zu Solz, a resistance fighter against Nazism.