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John Jay

  • Date Submitted: 02/16/2015 06:56 PM
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Patrick Strzala
Mr. Reilly
December 17, 2014

John Jay (1745-1829)
John Jay was born in New York City on December 12, 1745.  At the age of 8 he attended a boarding school in New Rochelle, NY.   When he was 14 years old he continued to King’s College which is now Columbia University. He graduated with the highest honors in 1764 and then moved on to study law.   In 1774 he became the first Chief Justice of the United States.  John Jay began a well-known career in national politics this year with his election to the First Continental Congress as the second youngest member, at age twenty eight. Jay retired from the Congress in 1776 rather than sign the Declaration of Independence. He became deeply involved in the development of a new state government for New York.   He attended the New York constitutional convention in 1777, and was selected to draft that constitution. He then served as the first Chief Justice of the state. John Jay also served as a member of the state Council of Safety, and when the Legislation was not in session he acted as the sole council. He was again elected to the Continental Congress in 1778 and was voted president of that body upon arrival.
In 1779 John Jay became U.S. minister to Spain. Jay next joined Benjamin Franklin in Paris, France, where they negotiated an end to the Revolutionary War with the 1783 Treaty of Paris. When he returned to America in 1784, he learn that Congress had elected him for the position of Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation. Jay became very frustrated with the lack of power of the state he represented which led Jay to support a stronger central government, and thus a new Constitution. Jay started to write to show his support, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. They wrote five of the essays that became known as The Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers discussed, and argued in favor of, the principles of government laid out in the Constitution. Jay also authored a...


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