Facts and Events
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John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, signer of the Treaty of Paris, and the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95).
Jay was born into a wealthy family of merchants and government officials in New York City. He became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence and organized opposition to British rule. He joined a conservative political faction that, fearing mob rule, sought to protect property rights and maintain the rule of law while resisting British violations of human rights.
Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress (1778–79), an honorific position with little power. During and after the American Revolution, Jay was a Minister (Ambassador) to Spain, France and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, helping to fashion United States foreign policy. His major diplomatic achievement was to negotiate favorable trade terms with Great Britain in the Treaty of London of 1794 when he was still serving as Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Jay, a proponent of strong, centralized government, worked to ratify the new Constitution in New York in 1788 by anonymously writing a few of the Federalist Papers, along with the main authors Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
As a leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was the Governor of New York State (1795–1801); and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to end slavery 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 in New York before his death in 1829.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 John Jay, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
- United States. Arrangement of the Papers of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Monroe, and ..: United States Department of State Bureau of Rolls and Library. (Washington D.C.: Washington: Department of State, May, 1894), No. 5. Page 84., May, 1894.
Fowler, Alexander (Captain). Philadelphia, January 18, 1779.
To Congress. Incloses memorial representing the injustice and harshness received from the British since leaving their service and joining the American cause; misrepresentations made to General Thomas Gage; brought before a British court like a criminal; Captain Benjamin Carnock Payne testifies against him; his letters intercepted; one from Colonel George Morgan see also George Morgan (merchant) produced in court; commenced an action in London against General Thomas Gage for L5,000; has lost the case, and costs amount to L200; wishes Congress to compensate him for sufferings, etc.; testimonials as to conduct, etc., when in the British army. Chapter A, No. 78, volume 9, pages 237 and 239.
Fowler, A. Pittsburgh, May 24, 1780.
To the Secretary for Foreign Affairs John Jay see also Spanish Ambassador, John Jay. Concerning the seizure by the Spaniards of his boat and goods; copy of order of the Spanish commandant at the Natches; great injustice done him, as some boats were allowed to pass. Chapter A, No. 78, volume 9, page 555.
Fowler, A. Philadelphia, September 29, 1787.
To the Secretary for Foreign Affairs John Jay see also Spanish Ambassador, John Jay. Has petitioned the Spanish Ambassador for a recommendation to the Governor of New Orleans Esteban Rodríguez Miró for permission to transport 3,000 or 4,000 barrels of flour to that city; if allowed this, will be relieved from present embarrassments. Chapter A, No. 78, volume 9, page 571.