JOHN JAY by Doris Faber


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He was there--at the First Continental Congress (as a moderate delegate from New York); convincing his state to support the Declaration of Independence; helping to draft the first New York State constitution and enforcing it as the first Chief Justice; serving as president of the Congress under the inadequate Articles of Confederation; trying, as the American envoy, to obtain money and support from Spain; gaining concessions from the British as a member of the peace commission; struggling with ""pirates and other problems"" as secretary for foreign affairs; working with Hamilton and Madison (Federalist Papers) to defend the new Constitution; traveling (tiredly) and establishing precedent as the first Chief Justice of the newly organized nation; saving the peace (and losing all hope for the Presidency) in an unpopular compromise as special envoy to Great Britain; concluding a notable career in two terms as Governor of New York. He was everywhere, this able and extremely intelligent man of uncompromising moral rectitude, but his somewhat pompous, self-satisfied personality has put off juvenile biographers. Mrs. Faber covers the career capably, but the man remains a plaster patriot interred in a tedious style.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 1967
Publisher: Putnam