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29 Young John did not partake of these pleasures. ” It appears that he attended services at Trinity Church regularly; in one letter his father complained to the church authorities that John and his brother Frederick were denied access to what he viewed as the Jay family pew. John also visited often with his uncle, John Chambers, a prominent New York lawyer and another member of Trinity Church vestry. ” 30 John Jay’s closest college friend was Robert R. , a year younger than John, but in many respects the senior member of the pair.

Jay and Washington had worked side by side in 1779, when one was President of the Continental Congress and the other head of the Continental Army. Jay, Adams and Franklin had negotiated the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War and secured America’s boundaries. During the past few years, Jay as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Knox as Secretary of War had shared offices in New York City. Jay, Madison and Alexander Hamilton had collaborated on The Federalist, the most thorough explanation and defense of the Constitution.

4 One reason for this neglect may be that John Jay was the most conservative of the leading founders. He was a reluctant revolutionary, and many of his friends and relatives became Loyalists. In Jay’s view, Britain forced America into the war, giving the Americans no choice but to fight to defend their traditional British liberties. Jay was also a reluctant democrat: he believed that elections were the best way to select leaders, but he also believed that the people would often choose poor leaders, and he deplored the popular democracy which emerged during the early nineteenth century.

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