John Jay (December 12, 1745 - May 17,1829)

John JayJohn Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779 and, from 1789 to 1795, the first Chief Justice of the United States. During and after the American Revolution, he was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion United States foreign policy and to secure favorable peace terms from the British (the Jay Treaty) and French. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

As leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801 and became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to pass emancipation legislation failed in 1777 and 1785, but the third succeeded in 1799. The new law he signed into existence eventually saw the emancipation of all New York slaves before his death.¹

Jay spent his childhood in Rye, 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 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-sixteen-year-old forerunner of Columbia University. In 1764 he graduated and became a law clerk for Benjamin Kissam.¹

John Jay Quotes

"No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent."
"Those who own the country ought to govern it. "

"Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

"The only way to be loved is to be and to appear lovely; to possess and display kindness, benevolence, tenderness; to be free from selfishness and to be alive to the welfare of others."

"I saw one excellency was within my reach - it was brevity and I determined to obtain it."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ John Jay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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