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Picture of John Jay


Propagandist for the Revolution & for the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: King's College (Columbia)

Occupation: lawyer, Supreme Court Justice

Political Affiliation: Federalist

Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian

Summary of Religious Views:

Jay came from a Huguenot family, but ultimately adopted Episcopalianism. He seems to have been a believing Christian throughout his life, and took great pains to avoid discussing religion with those who did not agree with him. Like many others of his era, Jay harbored anti-Catholic feelings.

Views on Religion & Politics:

During the drafting of the New York constitution and bill of rights, Jay proposed several amendments to the religious tolerance clause, restricting the rights of Catholics unless they swore allegiance to the state superceding any allegiance to their Church or Pope. These amendments were defeated


References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


Works by John Jay

ed. by Landa M. Freeman, Louise V. North, & Janet M. Wedge, Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay: Correspondence by or to the First Chief Justice of the United States and His Wife, McFarland 2005
ed. by H. P. Johnston, Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 4 vol., G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1890-93; reprint, Da Capo, 1971
Richard B. Morris, John Jay: The Making of a Revolutionary: Unpublished Papers, 1745-1780, Harper and Row, 1980
Richard B. Morris, John Jay: The Winning of the Peace: Unpublished Papers, 1780-1784, Harper and Row, 1980


Samuel F. Bemis, Jay's Treaty: A Study in Commerce and Diplomacy, Macmillan, 1923
Frank W. Brecher, Securing American Independence: John Jay and the French Alliance (Contributions to the Study of World History), Praeger, 2003.
William Jay, The Life of John Jay: With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers, 2 vol., J. & J. Harper, 1833; Vol.I Vol.II
Herbert A. Johnson, John Jay, 1745-1829, N.Y. State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1970
Herbert A. Johnson, John Jay: Colonial Lawyer , Garland, 1989
Frank Monaghan, John Jay, Bobbs-Merrill, 1935; reprint, 1993
George Pellew, John Jay, Houghton Mifflin, 1890
Walter Stahr, John Jay: Founding Father, Continuum, 2005
William Whitelock, The Life And Times Of John Jay: Secretary Of Foreign Affairs Under The Confederation And First Chief Justice Of The United States (1887), Dodd, Mead, 1887


Samuel F. Bemis, "Jay's Treaty and the Northwest Boundary Gap," American Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 3, April 1922
Todd Estes, "John Jay, the Concept of Deference, and the Transformation of Early American Political Culture," Historian, Vol. 65, No.2, 2002, pp. 293-317
Robert A. Ferguson, "The Forgotten Publius: John Jay and the Aesthetics of Ratification," Early American Literature, Vol. 34, No. 3, 1999, pp. 223-240
Herbert A. Johnson, "John Jay and the Supreme Court," New York History, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2000, pp. 59-90
John P. Kaminski, "Honor and Interest: John Jay's Diplomacy During the Confederation," New York History, Vol. 83, No. 3, 2002, pp. 293-327
John P. Kaminski, "Shall We Have a King? John Jay and the Politics of Union," New York History, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2000, pp. 31-58
Milton M. Klein, "John Jay and the Revolution," New York History, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2000, 19-30
Daniel C. Littlefield, "John Jay, the Revolutionary Generation, and Slavery," New York History Vol. 81, No. 1, 2000, 91-132


Works by John Jay

The Federalist Papers, by James Madison, John Jay, & Alexander Hamilton (THOMAS -- Library of Congress)
The Federalist Papers, by James Madison, John Jay, & Alexander Hamilton (Avalon Project -- Yale Law School)
The Federalist (The Online Library of Liberty)
The Papers of John Jay
An Address to the People of the State of New-York On the Subject of the Constitution, Agreed upon at Philadelphia, The 17th of September, 1787 [alternate site] (The Online Library of Liberty)
A Citizen of New York (TeachingAmericanHistory.org)
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (TeachingAmericanHistory.org)
Letter to George Washington (TeachingAmericanHistory.org)

Biographical Sites

JAY, John, 1745-1829 (Biographical Directory of the US Congress)
John Jay (USHistory.org)
John Jay (The OYEZ Project -- Northwestern University)
John Jay (Supreme Court Historical Society)
A Brief Biography of John Jay (The Papers of John Jay)

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