John Jay Papers
1668-[ca. 1862]


Finding Aid Prepared by Bernard Crystal
September 2001


Date Range: 1668-[ca. 1862]
Size of Collection: 32 linear ft (ca. 10,500 items in 69 boxes)
Date of Acquisition: Various sources, 1948-1984
Material on Microfilm: See microfilm list for material on microfilm
Terms of Access: Use of John Jay's outgoing correspondence restricted to permission of the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Restrictions on Use or Access: Permission to quote or publish must be obtained in writing from the Director of The Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Location in Stacks: Vault
Processing Information: Processed by various staff members
RLIN ID: NYCR

BIOGRAPHY

        John Jay was born in New York City on 12 December 1745 and died on 17 May 1829. After graduating from King's College in 1764 he was admitted to the bar in 1768. The American Revolution gave rise to the public life of John Jay. He was sent as a delegate of his colony to the first, and later to the second, Continental Congress. As a member of the provincial congress, he helped to ratify the Declaration of Independence. He served until 1779 as chief justice of New York and was also a colonel in the state militia. In 1782 Franklin asked Jay to assume his post as joint commissioner for negotiating a peace with Great Britain. After the war, Jay returned to New York to serve as secretary of foreign affairs. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1787 he joined with Hamilton and Madison in the writing of the "Federalist" papers. He was then appointed the first chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 1795 he was elected governor of New York State. In 1800 Jay retired from public life, declining to become a candidate for reelection, and refused to be considered for renomination as chief justice of the United States. Jay felt that the Supreme Court lacked "the energy, weight, and dignity which are essential to its affording due support to the national Government". Greatly upset by the early death of his wife, Jay retired to his farm at Bedford, Westchester County, N. Y. where he died on 17 May 1829.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

       Copies in part. Originals of Jay's letter book as Secretary of State are in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Originals of the letters from John Armstrong are in Archives de France. Letters, manuscripts, documents, and letterbooks of Jay and of many members of his family. The letters touch on every aspect of American life and government of the period, and contain correspondence from such prominent individuals as John Adams, George Clinton, James Duane, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Rufus King, John Paul Jones, Marquis de Lafayette, Robert B. Livingston, William Livingston, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Edmund Randolph, Philip Schuyler, and George Washington. There are approximately 500 letters from Jay, primarily drafts of correspondence to the persons listed above, as well as his correspondence as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 1784-1789. The manuscripts and documents include many reports, commissions, and diplomas, as well as a draft copy of The Federalist Number 5 and Jay's oath of office as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; also included are manumission documents, and a group of documents from Trinity Church, where his father was a vestryman from 1715 to 1785. The collection includes copies of Jay's letter book as Secretary of State, 10 Oct. 1788-25 Dec. 1792, and of four letters from John Armstrong, 19 June-27 Dec. 1810; and a copy of the pair of silverplated candlesticks from the Treaty of Paris, 3 Sept. 1783, reproduced by the Smithsonian Institution.


I. CATALOGED CORRESPONCENCE

1             A


2             Ba - Banyer, M.
        1792 - 1815]


3             Banyer, M.
             [1816 - 1851 & n.d.]


4             Bar - Bl


5             Bo - Ca


6             Ce - Cla


7             Cli - Cu


8             D


9             E - F


10             G - Ham


11             Han - Jar


12             Jay, A.


13             Jay, E. - Jay, John
             [n.d. & 1765 - 1777]


14             Jay, John
             [1778 - July 1780]


15             Jay, John
             [Aug. 1780 - Aug. 1781]


16             Jay, John
             [Sept. 1781 - 1782]


17             Jay, John
             [1783 - April 1784]


18             Jay, John
             [May 1784 - Sept. 1785]


19             Jay, John
             [Oct. 1785 - 1786]


20             Jay, John
             [1787 - 1788]


21             Jay, John
             [1789 - July 1794]


22             Jay, John
             [Aug. 1794 - March 1795]


23             Jay, John
             [April 1795 - 1798]


24             Jay, John
             [1799 - 1804]


25             Jay, John
             [1805 - 1809]


26             Jay, John
             [1810 - 1812]


27             Jay, John
             [1813 - 1817]


28             Jay, John
             [1818 - 1821]


29             Jay, John
             [1822 - 1828]


30             Jay, John Jr. - Jay, Peter
     

31             Jay, Peter Augustus
             [1781 - 1804]


32             Jay, Peter Augustus
             [1805 - 1813]


33             Jay, Peter Augustus
             [1814 - 1823]


34             Jay, Peter Augustus
             [1824 - 1839]


35             Jay, Peter Augustus
             [1840 - 1843]


35             Jay, Sarah Livingston (Mrs. John)
             [1774 - 1776]


36             Jay, Sarah Livingston (Mrs. John)
             [1787 - 1802]


37             Jay, Sarah Louise & Jay, William
             [1808 - 1832]


38             Jay, William
             [1833 - 1840]


39             Jay, William
             [1841 - 1855]


40             Jay, William [1856 - 1858] - Kent
     

41             Ki - Le


42             Li - Livingston, P.V.B.


43             Livingston, R.R. - Livingston, W.
     

44             Lo - Mad


45             Man - Morris, G.
     

46             Morris, J. - Mu
     

47             N - Pic
     

48             Pie - Rom
     

49             Roo - Sc
     

50             Se - St
     

51             Su - Tro
     

52             Tru - Va
     

53             Ve - end
     

II. CATALOGED MANAUSCRIPT & DOCUMENTS

54             A - Cl


55             Co - Jay, James
     

56             Jay, John (1745 - 1829)
             [n.d. - 1789]


57             Jay, John (1745 - 1829)
             [1790 - 1800]


58             Jay, John (1745 - 1829)
             [1801 - end]


59             Jay, John (1817 - 1894) - Jay, William [ - 1883]
     

60             Jay, William [1884 - end] - P
     

61             R - end
     

62             Documents in the Case Hunt v. Underhill


III. MISCELLANEOUS BOXED MATERIALS

63             Uncataloged Manuscripts and Documents
Printed Material
Portraits


64             Monaghan Purchase Inventory


65             Treaty of Paris Candlesticks


Card File Box 66             Genealogical file, A-O


Card File Box 67             Genealogical file, P-Z & Miscellaneous


IV. OVERSIZED, ENCASED & BOUND MATERIALS

             Mayor's Court Ledger
        1758-1776


1             John Jay
     Letterbook
        24 Dec. 1779 - 19 Nov. 1782


2             John Jay
     Letterbook
        10 Sept. 1782 - 25 July 1784 (and Appendix 20 - 27 Dec. 1779)


3             John Jay
     Letterbook
        5 Feb. 1785 - 16 Sept. 1788


4             John Jay
     Letterbook
        29 Sept. 1779 - 12 July 1780
Note: Copies of letters by others


5             John Jay
     Letterbook
        19 Oct. 1779 - 11 June 1780


6             John Jay
     Letterbook
        2 July 1781 - 16 March 1782


7             John Jay
     Letterbook
        21 May 1785 - 4 Oct. 1789
Note: Copies of correspondence regarding negotiations of Treaty with Spain


8             John Jay
     Letterbook
        9 April 1794 - 5 March 1795


9             John Jay
     Letterbook
        29 May 1787 - 8 July 1830


10             John Jay
     Letterbook
        11 July 1795 - 29 Feb. 1896


11             John Jay
     Circuit Court Diary
        16 April 1790 - 4 Aug. 1792


12             John Jay
     Manuscripts Pertaining to Peace with Britain


13             John Jay
     Account Book of Letters Received
        15 Nov. 1781 - 1 Oct. 1782


14             John Jay
     Receipt Book
        1789 - 1802


15             John Jay
     Account Book of Jay's Mission to London
        1794


16             Peter Jay
     Letterbook
        30 Dec. 1724 - 10 July 1735


17             Peter Jay
     Letterbook
        9 Nov. 1745 - 16 Jan. 1748/9


18             Peter Jay
     Letterbook
        17 Dec. 1748 - 20 Dec. 1772


19             Sarah Livingston Jay (Mrs. John)
     Letterbook
        [30 Dec. 1779] - 14 March 1783


20             Sarah Livingston Jay (Mrs. John)
     Letterbook
        1779 - 1781


21             Peter Jay
     Receipt Book
        1766 - 1782


22             New York City Mayor's Court
     Ledger of Court Fees and Cases
        1758 -1776