Jay, John


May 22, 2022

John Jay (born John Jay; December 12, 1745, New York - May 17, 1829, Bedford, New York) was an American statesman, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses from the State of New York and President of the Congress in 1779. From 1779 to 1782 he was the US ambassador to Spain. Served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1789 to 1790. After the adoption of the Constitution and the formation of the US government, he became the first Chief Justice of the United States. From 1795 to 1801 he served as Governor of the State of New York. Member of the American Philosophical Society (1780).

Childhood and education

John Jay came from a wealthy New York merchant family. He was educated as a lawyer at King's College (predecessor of Columbia University).

War of Independence

During the Revolutionary War, Jay was a member of the first and second Continental Congresses. In 1777, he became one of the drafters of the New York State Constitution. In 1779, Jay became envoy to Spain, where he tried to persuade Spain to recognize the independence of the United States. Spain never recognized US independence until the end of the war in 1783. However, Jay was able to convince the Spaniards to give the fledgling American government $170,000 in a much-needed cash loan[why?]. In 1782-1783, Jay was in Paris, where, together with Benjamin Franklin, he participated in negotiations with France and Great Britain to recognize the independence of the United States and end the war.


In 1788, Jay actively advocated the ratification of the US Constitution by the state of New York and participated in the writing of the Federalist Papers with Hamilton and Madison.

Supreme Court

From 1789 to June 1795, Jay served as the first President of the US Supreme Court, laying the foundations for the work of this body of American power. In 1789, he also ran in the first presidential election, where he finished third and failed to take the post of vice president, which was then given to the second finalist under American law.

Governor of the State of New York

Jay was elected governor of New York from 1795-1801. In 1801, he refused to be re-elected for a second term and retired from politics, went to his suburban mustache.