Jay, John. An eminent American statesman. Born in New York City, 1745, where he was admitted to the bar in 1768. In 1774, as a member of the first Continental Congress, Jay formed one of the committee of three which drew up the celebrated address to the people of Great Britain. He also largely assisted in framing the National Constitution. In 1777 he was appointed chief justice of New York, and in the following year president of Congress. Jay next took part in negotiating the treaty of peace entered into at Paris, 1783, between Great Britain and the United States. On his return he was appointed secretary of foreign affairs, and in 1789 chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 1794 he proceeded on a special mission to England, where he concluded a treaty which met with violent opposition from the Anti-Federalist Party. Jay afterward was governor of New York. Died 1829.