THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


52 John Jay 1745-1829
Diary notes
Manuscript, 11 p., April 1, 1781-April 18, 1784
In addition to the diary John Jay kept in Paris on the progress of negotiations with Great Britain, he also kept diary notes recording a series of conversations with his fellow peace commissioner, Benjamin Franklin, including the seventy-eight year old Franklin's witty remarks about a number of colonial personalities such as Andrew Hamilton, the Philadelphia lawyer who defended Peter Zenger at his famous "freedom of the press" trial in 1735, and Lewis Morris, founder of the New York Morris family and royal governor of New Jersey. Although quite opposite in character, Jay and Franklin developed an enduring friendship that began with their first meeting in 1775 at the Second Continental Congress. In addition to these "conversations with Mr. Franklin," Jay also made notes on his chargé d'affairs, William Carmichael, who had mishandled commission funds and was eventually dismissed by Franklin, and on an interview with a ship captain who recalled Benedict Arnold's rise from youthful criminal to notorious traitor.
Gift of the Class of 1923 in memory of Gérard Tonachel

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