Portrait of John Jay.
Portrait of John Jay.

John Jay External Links

December 12, 1745–May 17, 1829

External Links for John Jay

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Franklin and Jay

Congress quickly set to work; many committees were created, among them one to draft a petition to King George III. appointed were John Dickinson and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, John Jay of New York, Thomas Johnson of Maryland, and John Rutledge of South Carolina—all moderates. Franklin was the oldest, famous as a self-made man, author, scientist, and wit; Jay the youngest, known as a hard-working lawyer and a fine writer. What was Jay’s reaction to meeting and working with this famous man? We don’t know. Their first meeting undoubtedly was polite and proper; yet mutual respect and deep friendship grew out of the work they did together on this committee.

John Jay and the Treaty of Paris

The Western world is in upheaval. A fledgling nation, far from the centers of world power, is torn by conflict. Its economy is a shambles, its currencies devalued. Its government is new, largely untried, and widely expected to fail. It is utterly dependent upon constant infusions of cash and military support from a distant allied superpower, whose public rhetoric supports the principles the embattled country has declared it represents, but whose actual aim is to bring the new nation into its political orbit. The war-torn country is coveted as a gateway to the vast, substantially untapped natural resources of its region—resources that are seen as important to its ally’s economic health and military strength....

The 'Amiable' Children of John and Sarah Livingston Jay

The happy marriage of John and Sarah Jay produced six children: Peter Augustus, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1776; Susan, born and died in Madrid after only a few weeks of life, in 1780; Maria, born in Madrid in 1782; Ann, born in Paris in 1783, William and Sarah Louisa, born in NYC in 1789 and 1792 respectively...

John Jay, Representing New York at the Continental Congress

John Jay showed promise of an extraordinary life at a very young age indeed. He attended an exclusive boarding school in New Rochelle, New York at age eight, and proceeded to King's College (now Columbia University) at age fourteen. He graduated with highest honors in 1764 and proceeded to the study of law under Benjamin Kissam. He was admitted to the Bar of New York in 1768. In early 1774 he was one of the most prominent members of the New York Committee of Correspondence.

A Brief Biography of John Jay

In the spring of 1774, Jay's life took two momentous turns. In April he married Sarah Livingston (1756-1802), the daughter of New Jersey Governor William Livingston, thus gaining important connections to a politically powerful Colonial family. In May he was swept into New York politics, largely as a result of the worsening relations with Great Britain. New York conservatives, seeking to outmaneuver more radical responses to the Intolerable Acts, nominated a "committee of 50," including Jay, to arrange the election of delegates to a Continental Congress. Throughout the revolutionary struggle, Jay followed a course of moderation, separating himself clearly from loyalists but resisting what he considered the extremism of more radical politicians. Thus, in the months before Independence he favored exploring the possibilities of rapprochement fully, helping to draft the Olive Branch Petition as a delegate to the second Continental Congress. As a delegate to the New York Convention of 1776-77, Jay had a formative influence in shaping the new state's constitution. Jay remained an important actor at the state level, becoming the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court before moving to the national arena to assume the Presidency of Congress in late 1778.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title John Jay External Links
  • Coverage December 12, 1745–May 17, 1829
  • Author
  • Keywords john jay, founding father, supreme court, head justice
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date October 23, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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