|Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
JAY, John, a Delegate from New York; born in New York City December 12, 1745;
attended a boarding school in New Rochelle, N.Y., and was graduated from Kings
College (now Columbia University) in 1764; studied law; was admitted to the bar
in 1768; served on the New York committee of correspondence; Member of the
Continental Congress 1774-1776 and 1778-1779; recalled some months in 1777 to
aid in forming the New York State constitution; appointed chief justice of the
State of New York in May 1777 but resigned December 1778 to become President of
the Continental Congress and served in that capacity from December 10, 1778, to
September 28, 1779; appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain September 27,
1779; appointed one of the ministers to negotiate peace with Great Britain June
14, 1781, and signed the Treaty of Paris; appointed one of the ministers to
negotiate treaties with the European powers May 1, 1783; returned to New York
in 1784; appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs July 1784, which position he
held until the establishment of the Federal Government in 1789; appointed the
first Chief Justice of the United States by President Washington September 26,
1789, and served until June 29, 1795, when he resigned; unsuccessful Federal
candidate for Governor of New York in 1792; appointed Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain April 19, 1794, and served until
April 8, 1795, still retaining his position as Chief Justice of the United
States; Governor of New York 1795-1801; declined reelection and also a
reappointment as Chief Justice of the United States; retired to his farm at
Bedford, near New York City, where he died May 17, 1829; interment in the
family burying ground at Rye, N.Y.
BibliographyJohnston, Henry P., ed.
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay. New York: B.
Franklin, 1970; Stahr, Walter.
John Jay: Founding Father. London: Hambledon Press,