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John Jay, American Founding Father
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John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, painted in 1794 by Gilbert Stuart & J. Trumbull. John Jay (1745-1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789-1795). Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779. During and after the American Revolution, Jay ambassador to Spain and France and to secured peace terms from Great Britain ( Jay's Treaty of 1794) and the First French Republic. Jay co-wrote the Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Jay was the Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to emancipate the slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799. The 1799 act, a gradual emancipation act, that he signed into law eventually brought about the emancipation of all slaves in New York. In 1789, George Washington offered Jay the position of Secretary of State, but he declined. Washington offered him the new title as Chief Justice of the United States, which Jay accepted. In 1829, Jay was suddenly stricken with palsy, probably caused by a stroke and died three days later.
March 7th, 2013
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