Chief Justice John Jay

On this date in 1829, Chief Justice John Jay died in Bedford, New York from stroke related issues.  Born on December 12, 1745 in New York City, Jay was born into a weathy family from Rye, New York.  He attended at graduated King’s College (later known as Columbia College) in 1760.  He “read the law” under two prominent New York attorneys and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1768.  He entered private practice and became active in revolutionary politics.  Jay served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress (1774) as well as the Second Continental Congress (1777).  Also in 1777, Jay served in the third New York Provincial Congress, where he drafted the New York Constitution, and was also later elected that same year by that body to served as the first Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, which was a post he held for two years.  From December, 1778 to September, 1779, Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress, which was largely a ceremonial post.  From September, 1779 to May, 1882, Jay served as Minister to Spain, where he sought financial assistance and official recognition of the United States.  In 1882 to 1883, Jay served on the committee which negotiated the Treaty of Paris, which ended of the Revolutionary War.  Upon returning to the United States in 1784, Jay was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs which was a post he held until 1789.  In 1789, President George Washington offered Jay the post of Secretary of State, which was the successor office to the post he currently held, but Jay refused but continued to serve as acting Secretary of State until March, 1790.  Instead, Jay accepted President Washington’s offer to nominate him to serve as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, which was officially made on September 24, 1789.  As Chief Justice, Jay oversaw the establishment of rules of procedure, admission of attorneys, and rode circuit hearing cases around the country.  His Court did hear four cases, including Chisholm v. Georgia, which established that states where subject to judicial review by federal courts.  While still serving as Chief Justice, Jay was appointed Special envoy to Great Britian where he negotiated Jay’s Treaty, which opened up American trade and eliminated British occupation of posts on the American frontier.  On June 29, 1795, Jay resigned as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court after being elected as Governor of New York.  Jay served as the Governor of New York until 1801 when he declined renomination to the post and retired from public life.  After retirement, Jay farmed in Westchester County, New York and was active in the American Bible Society.