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John Jay

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John Jay
John Jay (Gilbert Stuart portrait).jpg
A portrait of John Jay painted by Gilbert Stuart
1st Chief Justice of the United States
In office
October 19, 1789 – June 29, 1795
Nominated byGeorge Washington
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byJohn Rutledge
2nd Governor of New York
In office
July 1, 1795 – June 30, 1801
LieutenantStephen Van Rensselaer
Preceded byGeorge Clinton
Succeeded byGeorge Clinton
5th President of the Continental Congress
4th President of the Second Continental Congress
In office
December 10, 1778 – September 27, 1779
Preceded byHenry Laurens
Succeeded bySamuel Huntington
Personal details
Spouse(s)Sarah Livingston[1]
Alma materKing's College

John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, and a Founding Father of the United States. Jay served in the Continental Congress and was elected President of that body. During and after the American Revolution, he was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion American foreign policy and to secure favorable peace terms from the British and French. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

Jay served on the U.S. Supreme Court as the first Chief Justice of the United States from 1789 to 1795. In 1794 he negotiated the Jay Treaty with the British. A leader of the new Federalist party, Jay was governor of New York from 1795 to 1801. He was the leading opponent of slavery and the slave trade in New York. His first attempt to pass emancipation legislation failed in 1777 and failed again in 1785, but he succeeded in 1799, signing the law that eventually emancipated the slaves of New York; the last were freed before his death.


  1. See Livingston family