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1833. Ace 57 
III the jiosstssion of the New York Hospital 

Memorials of Peter A.Jay 

Compiled tor his Descendants 

By his Cifcat-grandson 

[olin |ay 

•' Deo ducc pcrscverandum " 

Family Motto 


Printed tor IVivutc Circulation 


Two Copies Roceivmt 

NOV 29 1905 

Cepyriirht Entry 

CLASS (\ XXc. No, 


Copyright, 1905, by 
John Jay 




Birth ami parentage of IVtcr A. Jay. i. Early lite 
at Liberty Hall, 2. Apix)intmcnt of John Jay to 
the Spanish mission. 2. Removal of the Jay family 
froiTi Rye to Fishkill. 3. John Jay and Mrs. Jay 
sail for Europe, 4. Little Peter engaged in study, 5. 
Death of Grandfather Jay, 6. 

1 782-1 794 

John Jay in Paris, 7. TIk- Anglo- American Treaty 
concluded, 8. Life at Chaillot. 8. John Jay's fam- 
ily. 8. Return to America, 9. John Jay builds him- 
self a house. 9. I becomes Secretary of Foreign Af- 
fairs, 10. Young Peter's early school-days. 11. 
Death of Mr. and Mrs. Livingston, 11, 12. Charac- 
ter of Governor Livingston, 12. 13. Death of .\nna 
Maricka Jay, 14. Peter enters Columbia College, 14. 
His classmates, 14, 15. John Jay made Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the I'nitcd States, 15. 

1 794- 1 795 
Unfriendly feeling Ix'tween Great Britain and the 
United States, 16, 17. John Jay goes to England 


as Envoy Extraordinary, 17. Peter accompanies 
him as private secretary, 19. Peter sees many places 
of interest and is entertained in English houses, 
19-24. Visit to Sir William Herschel, 24. His 
forty-foot telescope, 24. In Copley's studio, 25. 
Father and son meet Mr. Pitt, 25. Young Jay dines 
on Lord Mayor's Day with the Skinner's Guild, 25. 
Signing of the Treaty, 25, 26. Peter attends an 
English court of law, 26. Makes a trip into Scot- 
land and sees the north of England, 26, 27. Is in- 
troduced to Dugald Stewart and hears him lecture, 
27, 28. Impressions of York Minster by night, 28. 
Peter rides to hounds, 29, 30. Sees Mrs. Siddons 
and Mr. Kemble at Drury Lane, 30. Father and son 
return to the United States, 31. > 


Peter goes to Philadelphia to settle accounts of Eng- 
lish mission, 32. John Jay is elected Governor of 
New York, 33. Marriage, at the Government House, 
of "Kitty" Ridley to John Livingston, 33, 34. Gov- 
ernor Jay declines re-election, 34. Peter commences 
the study of law, 34. New York excited by revolu- 
tionary doctrines, 34, 35. Extracts from correspon- 
dence with Judge Woodward of Virginia, 35-43. 
Peter joins the militia, 43. Becomes president of a 
Literary Society, 44. Is admitted to the Bar, 44. 
Licensed to practise in Supreme Court of New York, 
44. Receives honorary degree from Yale College, 
44. Superintends survey of land, 45. 



I 798- I 80 I 

Yellow fever in New ^'()rk City, 45. 46. Peter re- 
ceives Mayor's Court License, 46. His life in town, 
47. His sister Maria's marriage, 47. The Jays es- 
tablish a country home, 48. Description of the Bed- 
ford place, 49. Family life at Bedford, 50, 51. 
Death of Mrs. John Jay. 51. Deaths of John Jay's 
two brothers, Augustus and Frederick, 52. Sketch 
of the latter. ^2. S3. 


Peter begins the practice of law. 53. 54. (iocs abroad 
for his health, 54. His letter to his sister, Mrs. 
Banyer. 54-56. Extracts from his diary, 56-65. A 
Mediterranean cruise, 59-61. Italy, 62-71. Paris, 
72. 73. The Louisiana Purchase, 74. Peter de- 
scribes the birthplace of his ancestors, 75, 76. His 
return to New York, 76. 


Peter spends a winter in Bermuda. 77-79. Returns to 
Bedford, 79. Corresiwindence with Judge Territt, 
80. Peter retires to Ikdford, 80, 81. Ogden Hoff- 
man . 81, 82. Death of Mr. P. A. Jay's brother-in- 
law. Goldsborough Banyer, 82. 




Marriage of Peter A. Jay to Mary R. Clarkson, 82-84. 
Interchange of congratulatory letters between the 
fathers-in-law, 84-86. Birth of John Clarkson Jay, 
88. Peter A. Jay becomes identified with various 
philanthropic and religious organizations, 88, 89. 
The " Trinity Church Riot," 89-92. 


Oration on Washington, 92-96. Death of Eve, eldest 
child of Peter Jay and Mary Van Cortlandt, 96. 
Sketch of her husband, Henry Munro, 96, 97. Re- 
moval to Pine Street, 97. Birth of a daughter to the 
Jays, 97. Mr. Jay nominated for Congress, 97, 98. 
Elected, but election declared void, 98, 99. Nomi- 
nated again and defeated, 99. Mrs. Banyer, on the 
death of her father-in-law, moves to New York from 
Albany, 100. She moves again to Bedford, 100. 
Difficulties of provincial living in those days, 100- 


Difficulty in investing money at this period, 102, 103. 
The War of 1812, 104. The Treaty of Ghent, 105. 
Jay takes prominent part in endeavor to establish 
savings-banks, 106-108. Legislature defeats the 
movement, 108, 109. The Bank for Savings, 109. 



Dcatli of jay's hVuul uiicK- IVti-r. no. Jay's first 
j(.urnc-y hy steamhoai. in. Skrtcli of Sir James Jay, 
I ij, 1 13. His (Iratli, 1 13. 


P.irtli 01 a i.iurUi cliil-l. 113. J.iy becomes meml)cr of 
the House of Assembly. 113. II4- Canal Navigation 
Hill. 114. (Apposed, but finally passed. 115-I17. 
Covernorship offered to Mr. Jay, but declined. 118. 
Rufus King nominated. 1 18, 119. Jay's speech. 120- 
127. Governor Daniel D. Tompkins re-elected. 127. 


Slavery abolished in the State of New York. 128. Mr. 
Jay builds himself a house, 130. 131. Another 
daughter born. 131. Correspondence between Jay 
and Dr. Robert Mare. 132-136. Jay appointed Re- 
corder, 136. Is succeeded by Richard Riker. 140. 
Testimonial from New York P>ar Association on 
Jay's retirement from the Recordership, 140-142. 


Revision of the Constitution of the State of New York, 
14-^. .Account of the Convention and its various 
acts, 143-150. Ratification of the new Constitution. 
151. Jay resumes his law practice. 152. Birth of 
his second son. Peter .Augustus Jay. 152. 



The Rye Estate, 152, 153. Yellow fever in New York, 
153. Letter of Jay to Captain White of the Royal 
Navy, 154-157. Visit of La Fayette to United 
States, 158, 159. Death of General Clarkson, 160. 


Life at Rye, 161-163. J. Fenimore Cooper, 163. 
Foundation of his story " The Spy," 164-166. 
Cooper goes abroad, 166. Meets Sir Walter Scott, 
168, 169. Mr. Jay has various social and philan- 
thropic offices offered him, but accepts none, 169, 
170. Death of Governor Clinton, 171. Birth of 
eighth child to the Jays, 172. 


Founding of New York Law Institute Library, 172- 
174. Marriage of Jay's daughter Mary Rutherfurd 
Jay, 175. Death of John Jay, 176. A comparison of 
Jay and Hamilton, 177-181. Letter to J. Fenimore 
Cooper, 181-183. Founding of " The Club," 184- 


Letters from J. Fenimore Cooper concerning political 
state of Europe, and various social matters there, 
186-198, 199-201, 202-205. Mr. Jay's reply, 205- 
208. General Jackson's election, 207. 


Letters from James I. Roosevelt. Jr., in Taris, 209-212, 
213. 214. Harvard University bestows degree ui)on 
Mr. Jay. 214, 215. President of Public School So- 
ciety. 215. Marriage of John Clarkson Jay, 216. 
Letter from Mr. Jay to J. I-'cnimorc Cooper, 217- 
222. * 


Anti-Slavery Society represses kidnapping of ncgrrx-s, 
222. Peter A. Jay as churchman, 222-224. .\siatic 
cholera in New York. 224. 225. Jay resigns presi- 
dency of New York Hospital, 225. Correspondence 
following his resignation. 226-228. Jay settles boun- 
dary dispute between New York and New Jersey, 
230-233. Letter from Jay to Cix)pcr. 235 237. 


Early railway travel, 2yj. Exi^eriences of Mrs. Peter 
A. Jay and Mr. William Jay, 2^7-241. Death of 
Peter Jay Munro. 241. Sketch of his life, 241. 242. 
Hospitality in tin- Jay mansion, 242, 243. Lists of 
guests, 243-245. Death of Mrs. Frederick Prime, 
245. The Great I'irc. 246. 247. Marriages of Helen 
and Sarah Jay. 247. Description of home at Rye, 
247. 248. Letter from Jay to his sister. Mrs. 
yer, in England. 249 251. 

I 838- I 840 

New house at Rye finislu-d. 251. Mrs. Jay's health 
grows worse. 251. The family go to Madeira. 252. 
The voyage. 252, 253. Description of the home at 
Funchal. 253. 254, Mrs. Jay grows still worse, 254. 



Her death, 254. Mr. Jay on the people and religion 
of Madeira, 255, 256. His description of the island, 
256, 257. Letters, 258-262. 


Jay's estimate of his father's character, 262, 263. Elec- 
tion of W. H. Harrison, 263. Views of Jay on the 
situation, 264, 265. Death of the President, 265. 
" The Northeastern Boundary Question," 265, 266. 
Jay writes to his English cousin on the subject, 266, 
267. The Public School Society, 268. Contention 
over school funds by Protestants and Catholics, 268, 
269. Marriage of Anna Maria Jay, 269. Mr. Jay 
to his brother William, 270-272. Dinner to Lord 
Ashburton, 272. Mr. Jay invited to preside, 272, 
273. Lord Ashburton's speech, 275, 276. 


Mr. Jay becomes president of the New York Histori- 
cal Society, 277. A permanent home erected for the 
Society, 278, 279. Jay delivers an inaugural address 
at Columbia, 280. A resume of the character of 
Peter A. Jay, 281-285. Death of Mrs. Banyer and 
Miss Ann Jay, 286. Sketch of Judge William Jay, 
286, 287. His death, 287. Death of Peter A. Jay, 
287-289. Resolutions and memorials upon the death 
of Mr. Jay, 290-296. 

Last Will and Testament of Peter A. Jay 297 

Notes 303 


LIST ()!• IIJA.srKA rioNS 

Petkk a. J av. I '^33. .\iiv ^7 . . ■ Frontispiece 

In the possession of the New York Hospital. 


John Jay 8 

Mrs. John Jay 10 

In the possession of Mr. Hanyer Clarkson. 

John Jay. Circ. 1794. Age 49 26 

In the possession of Dr. John C. Jay. 

Peter .\. Jay. 1797. Age 21 34 

Maria Jay. I79J^. .\gc 1^'. .Xftorward Mrs. 
Baiiycr 46 

Peter \. Jay 82 

In the possession of Mr. John Jay I'lcrrcpont. 

Matthew CLARKSf>N. 1823. Age 64 ... . 160 

In the possession of the family of Mr. and Mrs. David Garkson. 

Mrs. Peter \. Jay 242 

Residence at Rye 2^2 

In i8j8 wbcD bouse waa finished. 


In the followinij^ paq"cs little more has been at- 
teiii|)te(l than to put on record siicii Memorials 
oi' Mr. Jay as his ])ul>nc services, his addresses 
and his correspondence fnrnish; and to these 
have I)een added ^tnie acconnt of hi.s otherwise 
personal and family history. 

There are those who have not I'orp^otten the 
refininj^ influence of Mr. Jay's character upon 
the men an<l institutions of his own time, as 
well as upon those of the succeedini^ ^enera- 
lion'^; and it was in order that still others mijj^ht 
he hroni^ht to snnie extent within the sj)hcre of 
that influence that the Memorials here pre- 
sented have been compiled. 

New York. November, 1905. 



Ti R Ai'GusTUs Jay was the eldest cliild 
Ml' lulin lav and Sarah \'an r.riiLrh Liv- 


He was horn January 24, 177^). at ■■Ijl)crty 
Hall." I*'lizal)eth Town. New Jersey, the resi- 
dence oi his maternal grandfather. William 
Livinj^ston. who later became "governor of New 

in 1774 Mr. and Mr^. jay were married in 
the great i)arl«>r of ihi> hall. The property liad 
been jnirchased in 1771 by Mr. Livini^^ston and 
the hall was erected by him in the f«»ll<i\\ in<; 

li was tile era of tlic struggle ff>r American 
ln<lependence, and Mr. lavingsion and his tal- 
ented son-in-law were soon to have their names 
as.sociated with a period as great in interest. 
I)erhaps. as any the world has ever known. 
Tlic earlier marriage of the Jays had been in- 
terrupted by these troubles; soon after the wed- 
ding the young husband was attending a meet- 



ing of citizens of New York convened to 
consider the serious political situation. 

For the next three years Mrs. Jay and her 
son remained with Grandfather Livingston, 
who became very fond of the little boy. The 
Hall could scarcely be said in those cheerless 
summers and more cheerless winters to have 
afforded a very pleasant shelter, for the place 
attracted occasional raiding parties and almost 
everything that the house contained was either 
pillaged or destroyed. For a time the family 
were obliged to desert their home for a more 
safe retreat, while, to add to their other trials, 
a large reward was offered by the English for 
the capture of the rebel governor, whose active 
service caused him to be much of his time in 
the saddle. 

At the end of these three years, Congress 
deeming it advisable to open negotiations with 
Spain, and determined on despatching thither 
a minister plenipotentiary, selected John Jay 
for this important mission. With Jay was to 
go his wife, to the great distraction of Gov- 
ernor and Mrs. Livingston, who were given no 
chance to bid their daughter good-by. Little 
Peter was to be left at the Hall under the im- 
mediate care of his eldest aunt, Susannah, who 



in aflcr years bcc.iinc Mrs. Syiiinics. Susan- 
nali was a great wit and very clever, as were 
all iicr sisters. 

The advance of the IJritish into \\ eslchester 
County and the dei)redati()ns of the Tories and 
the cow-boys determined Peter Jay, the i)aler- 
nal grandfather of yomig Peter, to remove his 
family from ihc llnmestead at Uyc. Westches- 
ter Lounty, to i'ishkill-on-the-l hulson. Mr. 
Jay. having ac(|uired a competency as a mer- 
chant, had retired in 1745 from business in the 
city, and |)urchased a country i)lace at Rye for 
the benefit of his children, Peter and .Vnna Ma- 
ricka. both of whom were dei)rived of their 
sight in infancy by the smallpox. Here John 
Jay spent his childhood, going to school at New 

When Peter Jay removed his fanuly from 
Rye to b'ishkill. of his ten children three had 
died in infancy: James. bVederick. and Mary; 
three had married: John, I'^rederick. and I'.vc; 
thus leaving four at lutme: .\ugustus. ilu- eld- 
est son. Sir James, and the two blind children, 
Peter and Anna Maricka. 

It was on the l(>th or JOth of ( ktober. 1776, 
that the family left Rye. C^n reaching b'ishkill, 
they occupied a house which belonged to Dr. 


Van Wyck. This house is described as stand- 
ing on a gentle elevation in the midst of a beau- 
tiful region; near by flowed the Wiccopee, a 
mountain stream making its way among green 
meadows. One night in the month of April, 
during the residence here of the Jays, the 
cow-boys crossed the mountains and stole from 
the house a large quantity of silver plate 
and money. The tramp of their horses as they 
came over the bridge was long afterward re- 
membered. It was in this house that Mr. Peter 
Jay's wife, Mary Van Cortlandt, a daughter 
of Jacobus Van Cortlandt and Eva Philipse, 
died on April 17, 1777. Here, too, on the eve 
of his appointed mission to Spain, John Jay 
parted from his father, never to see him again. 
Mr. Jay and his wife embarked from Ches- 
ter, below Philadelphia, October 26, 1779, on 
the Continental frigate Confederacy. They 
were to proceed to Madrid by way of Paris, 
In the party of the Envoy were Mrs. Living- 
ston's brother, Brockholst Livingston, as Jay's 
private secretary, and the Hon. William Car- 
michael as Secretary of Legation. Violent 
storms disabled the vessel; being dismantled 
she split her rudder on the 7th of November, 
and on the i8th of December put into ]\Iarti- 



nico, whence llic voyaj^c was cniuiiuicd in a 
FrtMicli sliij), the .luroru. It was not until ilic 
jj(l i^i janiiar\-, 17S0, tliat ilic American party 
arrived at Cadiz. It is also related that before 
reachin^^ the Spanish coast, they narrowly es- 
caped capture hy a Heel of six linglish ships of 
the line. 

The mission re(|uired a .sojoiUMi in hntli Sj)ain 
and hVance. Meanwhile through letters from 
home the Jays were kei)t informed of the wel- 
fare and progress of younu^ Peter. Now and 
then it was reported that he had been taken to 
PouL^dikeepsic. whither the family had removed 
from h'ishkill. to see his ^grandfather Jay, with 
whom he soon became as threat a favorite as 
with his .qrandfather Li\ ini^^ston. One of the 
letters states that, except for a >lij^ht defect in 
his utterance, he could sj)eak and read as well 
as any boy of six years, and still another letter, 
written a year later, says: " lie i^ very ambi- 
tious to write as well as his aimt .*^usan. his in- 
structress "—and tlie writer continues, " Peter 
lookinij over his cojjy for the day. 'commend 
virtiKuis deeds.* I must do more than tliat." said 
the young student. *" 1 must imitate them."" 

\\ hen the family came to I'ouglikeepsie. they 
resided with Mr. Frederick [a v. better known 


among his intimate friends, as " Fady," a bro- 
ther of John, Little Peter was always a wel- 
come visitor there. In writing to him, in De- 
cember, 1783, his grandfather Livingston said, 
— " My dear Peter Jay, — I hear that when you 
were in the church in New York, and the min- 
ister prayed for King George, that you shooked 
your head, as much as to say, you did not like 
it. It was right in those people to pray for 
their King, because, he is their King, but you 
not thinking of that, and being a good Whig, 
have got great honor by shaking your head, and 
grandpapa is always pleased when his dear lit- 
tle Peter gets honor." 

Later letters carried across the sea the sad 
intelligence of the death of Mr. Peter Jay at 
Poughkeepsie. In his letter Frederick writes: 
" It gives me great pain to inform you that it 
pleased God to take him from us on the morn- 
ing of the 17th inst. (April, 1782) and was yes- 
terday interred (April 19) in the vault of 
Gysbert Schenck, Esq., at Fishkill. It is very re- 
markable that he expired on the same day and 
month and the very hour that our poor mother 
did five years before." Peter Jay was eighty 
years of age at the time of his death. He was 
the only son of Augustus Jay, the Huguenot, 



aiul Anna Maria llayanl. .Mr>. Jay was the 
dauj^hlcr of IJahliazar I'ayard and L^rand- 
daughter of Colonel Nicholas Bayard, of Al- 
])1k'ii, near Leyden, 1 lolland ; — the latter mar- 
ried a sister of Governor Stuyvesant. I'eter 
Jay was the sole survivor of his father's family. 
Judith, his eldest sister, had married Cornelius 
J. \'an Home. Mary married Teter \'allete, 
and l-Vanccs married hVederick \'an Cortlandt. 
The death, in her seventy-ninth year, of the last 
of ilie>-c ihrec sisters, occurred at the \'an 
Cortlandt Manor House, Lower Vonkers, eigh- 
teen months before her brother's death. The 
only other member of the family was Ann, the 
youngest, who died in infancy. The estate at 
Rye now liccame the property of Peter's son 
Peter, the younger of the two blind children. 

On the 23d June. 17S2. John Jay arrived in 
Paris, where he had been aj)iiointed to act in 
conjunction with l^Vanklin, Adams. Laurens, 
and JefFer.son. in negotiating, under the advice 
and ai)i)roval of the French government, the de- 
finitive treaty of peace with F-ngland. Of these 
four only bVanklin was now in Paris. I^aurens 
was a prisoner in the Tower of London and 
Jefferson was in .\mcrica. Before long, how- 
ever. Adams returned from Holland and the 


negotiations were begun, being continued with 
more or less interruption until the 3d Sep- 
tember, when the Provisional Articles were 
adopted and signed as the final treaty between 
England and the United States. In Adams's 
diary is found this item: "The French call me 
* Le Washington de la Negociation,' a very flat- 
tering compliment indeed, to which I have no 
right, but sincerely think it belongs to Mr. 


In the autumn Mr. Jay took a house at Chail- 
lot, near Passy, and there Mrs. Jay and the 
younger children spent several months while 
Jay himself went to England to try the waters 
of Bath for his health. About this time Gov- 
ernor Livingston writes to Mrs. Jay: *' My 
sweet little Peter is now standing at my elbow. 
He is really and without flattery one of the 
handsomest boys in the country." 

Three daughters had been born to them on 
the foreign soil, — Susan, Maria, and Ann. 
Susan, an infant, died at Madrid, in 1780, and 
was buried in a vault at the Flemish chapel in 
that city. Maria also was born in Spain, Feb- 
ruary 20, 1782, and the younger, Ann, in 
France, August 13, 1783. With the Spanish 
birthright of the elder of these two daughters 
there were certainly no ancestral sympathies, 

■ i ; 

I/tJ Krcf/Znuy JOIIN AK>i P/Y/n/f/U ty'(WuOY/s 
(HMnit//rr7*/ffiy>,'fYfi/tan^/h^m {h/t^/s at J//r</n</. 


l)Ul llic birih di' llic \<iun_L;cr in llic 1i<mik- <»i llic 
llugueiKJls must have awakened in the mind of 
Mr. Jay vivid memories of the liome from 
which his ancestors had l)een chiven into exile 
just a century before. 

After an aloence of five years, the work <>f 
the mission being accomplished, the Jay family 
returned Ikmuc. They embarked from Dover 
in a vessel which arrived at Xew York, July 24, 
17S4. |(ihn |a\- rcccixcd a warm welcome on 
his return. Ik- was presented l)y the city fa- 
thers with an address and the freedom of the 
city in a j^olden box — " as a i)ledj.(e of our affec- 
tion and of our sincere wishes for your hap- 

Soon after his arrival Mr. Jay be.c:an to build 
for himself a house which was then known as 
Number S I'roadway. It stood on the east side, 
a little south of the street now known as Ex- 
chant^e Place. 

John Quincy Adams telN us. " W hen 1 fust 
set foot in Xew York, in 17S5. the j^resent 
j^reat city of the Rm|)ire State had but 
inhabitants, and while 1 tarried ai John Jay's, 
that crentleman was layinj^ the foundation of 
a house in I'roadway at a distance of a (|uarter 
of a mile from any other dwelling:." 

From a conversation referrin.i^ to the early 


history of the city, reported in ''The Talisman " 
for 1829-30, between Mr. GuHan Verplanck 
and Mons. Villecour, this house is described 
as " a square, three-story house of hewn stone, 
as substantially built within as without, dura- 
ble, spacious, and commodious; and, like the 
principles of the builder, always useful and ex- 
cellent, whether in or out of fashion. . . ." 
" No remaining object," said Mons. Villecour, 
''brings Mr. Jay to my mind so strongly as the 
square pew in Trinity Church, about the center 
of the north side of the north aisle. . . . That 
pew was the scene of his regular, sober, unos- 
tentatious devotion and I never look at it with- 
out a feeling of veneration." 

Mr. Jay was now Secretary for Foreign Af- 
fairs, an office to which he had been appointed 
by Congress a short time before he came back 
from England, and the duties of which he con- 
tinued to discharge until Jefferson's return 
from France in 1790. 

In the " stone house," Mrs. Jay, who, by natu- 
ral graces and knowledge of the world, was so 
admirably fitted for social life, entertained at 
her table her numerous personal friends, Amer- 
ican statesmen and distinguished foreigners. 

We have no authentic information about 



IMmul llHmltitft*tt 

III till- |>(i<ksc».sic)n ot Mr. B.inyrr CbrkM>u 


young Peter diirinjT^ llic inlcrval wliich elai^scd 
l)Cl\\ccn ihc return of his parents from luirope, 
when he was eight years old, and his matricula- 
tion at Columbia College — an interval which 
embraced a period of six years, from 1784 to 
1790. Previous to this time he had ])een at 
school in Elizabeth Town and in Toughkeepsie. 
His early diligence in study and his ambition to 
excel can leave little doubt that the same as- 
siduity and the same desire to gain success were 
continued at some school in the city, the name 
of which unfortunately has not come down to 

When eleven years (ild. T'eter received from 
his ever faithful and devoted grandfather, 
Governor Livingston, a letter expressing the 
wish that l^eter would send to him " two lines 
in Latin, to be of your own composition, with- 
out the least consultation with any one else " ; 
and the governor sends love to his Spanish and 
French granddaughters. In another letter to 
Peter his grandfather tells him to " honor yi^ur 
parents. For, thank Lleaven, we have no king 
to honor, — love the United States and your 

The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Livingston 
brought great sorr(nv to tlic Jav-;. Mrs. Liv- 

1 1 


ingston's death occurred on the 17th of July, 

1789, and her husband survived her but a httle 
over a year, his death taking phice July 25, 

1790. Mrs. Livingston was the daughter of 
Philip French and Susanna Brockholst, whose 
father, Anthony Brockholst, became governor 
of the Province of New York. The family of 
Brockholst was very ancient and wealthy in 
Lancashire, England. Mrs. Livingston had 
three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and Mary, who 
married respectively David Van Home, David 
Clarkson and William Brown. " The death of 
Mrs. Livingston," says her biographer, " was a 
severe shock to her children. The noticeable 
features in her life were sound sense, devotion 
to her husband, sympathy in all his pursuits, 
maternal tenderness and a singular freedom 
from every tincture of selfishness. Her hus- 
band's grief at the separation from her who 
had shared in all the anxieties of a long and 
toilsome life never abated, and, it is said, accel- 
erated the progress of his own disease. What 
the vicissitudes of fifty years had not effected, 
heartfelt sorrow at one stroke accomplished. 
In his family Governor Livingston was a fond 
husband and a generous father, ready to make 
every sacrifice which the welfare of his children 



denianclcd. Tlic i)rnmiiR'iU teature of his char- 
acter appears to have been irulhfuhiess, taken 
in its widest and most ennobhng sense— ena- 
l)lini;- him to form a just conception of the va- 
rious and harassing duties imposed upon him 
and at the same lime giving him the power to 
execute them rightly. His straightforward in- 
dependence neither l)ent before the turbulence 
of i)ublic. nor yielded to the blandishments of 
l)rivale life. These ([ualities and others which 
belonged to him," says his biographer, " sprang 
from that love of religion which unostenta- 
tiously, but intimately was incorporated with 
his whole character. The period of his death 
was fortunate for himself: lie li\ed long 
enough to see the last seal set to the indepen- 
dence of the country in its new constitution, and 
the guidance of its energies in the hands of the 
in(li\i(lua] w horn he most esteemed. 1 le did n< >l 
li\e to see the unprecedented \iolence of that 
storm which so long con\-ulsed the republic, 
rending asunder old friendships, uprooting 
reputations apiiarently the best founded and 
which would ])rol>ablv have swept ////// tr(im 
the eminence that, as it was, he occupied till the 
time of his death. Me died in possession of the 
honors he iiad receixed : all it was in the ])ower 



of the State to bestow, and with a character un- 
sullied, even by the breath of faction." 

The "New York Daily Advertiser" of the fol- 
lowing year (September 9, 1791) contains this 
notice: "On Sunday evening last (Sept. 4) 
departed this life, in the 54th year of her age, 
at her brother Peter Jay's seat at Rye, Miss 
Anna Maricka Jay, a lady whose excellent un- 
derstanding and uniform beneficence and piety 
rendered her very estimable. Although she en- 
joyed a handsome income, far beyond her 
wants and was frugal : yet she never added to 
her estate, but constantly employed the resi- 
due in doing good. Among other legacies dic- 
tated by humanity and benevolence, she has 
bequeathed one hundred pounds to the Episco- 
pal Church at Rye." 

Young Peter Jay was now to enter, at the 
early age of fourteen, Columbia College. His 
father had been a graduate of the same college, 
under its former name of King's College, and 
in 1764 delivered the Latin Salutatory address, 
which was then regarded as the highest colle- 
giate honor. Among the classmates of the 
younger Jay in his Junior year was Peter G. 
Stuyvesant, a lifelong and intimate friend, and 
Cyrus King, member of Congress; and in the 



classes immediately below him were Daniel D. 
Tompkins, later Governor of New York and 
Vice-President of the United States, and Ed- 
ward P. Livingston, of Clermont, subsequently 
Lieutenant-Governor of New Y'ork. During 
Jay's freshman year, among the students in the 
Junior class was John Randolph of Mattoax, 
Virginia, better known afterward as Randolph 
of Roanoke. William Samuel Johnson, son 
of the first president of King's College, was at 
this time president of Columbia— being the first 
one to hold that position after the Revolution- 
ary W^ar. 

From 1789 to 1795 John Jay was Chief Jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 
He writes in 1791 to his son Peter in college: 
"You have read the ancient history; now. 
therefore, is the time to read more in detail the 
histories of the great men that have figured in 
it. Among biographers, Plutarch is certainly 
entitled to the first place. To eni(\v the experi- 
ences of otiiers witlioul j)aying the i)ricc which 
it often costs them, is pleasant as well as ])rohl- 
able. Manhood is the same in all ages, how- 
ever diversified by color, manners, or customs. 
To regulate our conduct wisely relative to men 
is the most difficult task we have to perform in 



the course of our lives. To know them is neces- 
sary, but not easy. History will teach us much, 
but unremitted observation more; both assist 
each other. Habituate yourself to trace actions 
up to their motives." 

As a lad, Peter had shown talent in drawing 
and painting, some early sketches by him being 
still extant, and his father, evidently to en- 
courage him to develop this taste, writes to him 
at Rye from Boston, while on circuit: "Your 
mama mentions your having gone to Rye and 
that the family are well. . . . Remember me to 
your uncle and aunt. You have now a fine op- 
portunity to try your hand at Landscape, es- 
pecially if you visit the rocks on the bank by 
the waterside when the tide is up." 

The theatre of war had now changed. The 
struggle with the American Colonies was at an 
end and for a time quiet prevailed in Europe. 
There were mutterings, however, of a coming 
storm which in a few years would burst in the 
French Revolution. Irritation and agitation 
had also broken out between Great Britain and 
the United States; — the complaints which in- 
vited consideration were many and compli- 
cated. To harmonize the unfriendly feeling 
and to adjust the differences which were as- 



suminy a scrit)iis aspect rtviuirccl the attention 
of this governiiR'iU. Mr. jay in a letter to his 
wife dated I'hiladelphia, A])ril 15, 1794, writes: 
*' I ex])eel, my dear Sahy, to see you sooner 
than we expected. Tliere is here a serious de- 
termination to send me to Ent^'-land. if possihle 
to avert a war. Nothing- can he much more 
distant from every wish on my own account. I 
feel the imi)ulse of duty stronj^dy and it is prob- 
a])le that if on the investi.c:ation I am now 
makiuL;'. mv mind should he convinced that it is 
m\ duty to go. you will join with me in think- 
ing that in an occasion so im])ortant, I ought 
to follow its dictates and commit myself to the 
care and kindness of that Providence in wliich 
we have both the highest reason to rejjose the 
most absolute confidence." 

His commission as Envoy Extraordinary 
follows in a day or two. Again writing to Mrs. 
Jav. he says: " ^'our own feelings will best sug- 
gest an idea of mine. God's will he di>nc — in 
him [ confide: do the like — any other philoso- 
phy ai)j)lical)le to this occasion is delusive. 
Away with it. Your indisposition affects mc. 
Resist despondency— hope for the best." 

In reply to his letters Mrs. Jay writes to her 
husband : 



" New York, 22 April, 1794. 
"My dear Mr. Jay: 

" Yesterday I received your two kind letters 
of Saturday and Sunday. I do, indeed, judge 
of your feelings by my own and for that reason 
forbore writing while under the first impres- 
sion of surprise and grief. 

"Your superiority in fortitude as well as every 
other virtue I am aware of : yet I know too well 
your tenderness for your family to doubt the 
pangs of separation. Your own conflicts are 
sufficient: they need not be augmented by the 
addition of mine. Never was I more sensible 
of the absolute ascendency you have over my 
heart. When, almost in despair, I renounced 
the hope of domestic bliss, your image in my 
heart seemed to upbraid me with adding to your 
trials. That idea alone roused me from my de- 
spondency. I resumed the charge of my family 
and even dare hope that, by your example, I 
shall be enabled to look up to that Divine Pro- 
tector from whom we have indeed experienced 
the most merciful guardianship. 

" The children continue well. They were ex- 
ceedingly affected when they received the ti- 
dings and entreated me to endeavor to dissuade 


you from accepting- an aj^poinlnicnt that sub- 
jects us to so painful a separation. 

" Farewell, my best beloved. Vour wife till 
death, and after that a ministering^ spirit, 

" Sar.mi Jay." 

John Jay took witli him as jirivate secretary 
his son Peter, who had just received his degree 
at Columbia. They sailed on the 12th of May, 
1794, in the shij) Ohio, arriving at Falmouth 
on the 8th (^f June. Mr. Jay's secretary, Trum- 
bull, tile artist. wrcHe that they must have been 
near, almost within hearing, of the decisive na- 
val battle between the British and French fleet 
which was fought on that day. The English in 
this year had met with little success on land, but 
had been triumphant at sea. 

On arrival at Falmouth they were met by the 
American consul, Mr. Fox, and for the next 
few pages we shall have an opportunity of 
learning from a Journal kei)t by the younger 
Jay. now a lad of eighteen, of his experience 
and the impressions he received during a visit 
to England and Scotland. Among the first ob- 
jects which arrested the young man's attention 
on his way up to London in the mail-coach from 
Falmouth, was an old castle at Launceston 



which, he says, " was formerly of great extent 
and which before the invention of firearms 
must have been as impregnable as Gibraltar is 
now." Then he adds, " almost every view of 
this venerable ruin is singularly picturesque, — 
the immense elevation of the works, the walls 
covered with ivy and the contrast they form 
with the adjacent town and country around it 
altogether formed a scene which was to me as 
novel as it was delightful." Of Taunton on the 
same route he relates, "The country round 
Taunton, especially on this side, is beautiful be- 
yond expression — formed by nature in gentle 
slopes and extensive vales and in the highest 
possible stage of cultivation — the eye dwells 
upon it with pleasure and the more so since it 
is the evidence of thrift and prosperity." Con- 
tinuing his journey, he visits the Cathedral at 
Exeter and at length reaches Wells. At the 
latter place he seemed lost in admiration of 
its cathedral. He calls it " a magnificent build- 
ing " and is surprised " how these people whom 
we call ignorant and who certainly were among 
the most contemptible of statuaries could give 
that light and finished appearance to stone 
which bafiies the skill of the modern artist." 
He alludes, at the same time, to " the vast size 



ol liic buildiIl^^ ihc iii;i>>ivciic>s and yd Hglil 
appearance of llic columns, ilie loftiness of the 
arches. The knowledge <>i' liu-ir anti(|uity and 
the idea that you are lrani|)lin_L,^ upon ihc dust 
of kiuL^^s. of heroes, and of saints ctjnsjjire to 
diffuse a solemn stillness over the soul and fill 
it with veneration and re\erence. while the 
nioidderini;' monument ^ nf im-n wiio were once 
illustrious and reverenced, hut who^e names 
are now i)reserved hy mere inscrijjlions on 
decayin*^ stones tell that even I-'ame must 
die."' lie pursues his journey to P.aili. thence 
to W indsor, and arrives at the I'.ath Hotel in 
London on the 15th of June, havinj^; travelled 
with his father from I\'dmoulh about three 
lumdrecl miles. At liath thev were welcomed 
hy the American minister, Mr. Thomas I'inck- 
ney, with whom they dined on reachini^ Lon- 
don the next day. The fashionable hour for 
dinner at that time in London, says Jay, was 
half-past five or six. ( )n the followini^ day he. 
throut^h the courtesy of Mr. Paradise, had the 
n])])ortunitv of heincT present at one of the ses- 
sions of the trial of Warren I lastiuLTs. jay tells 
Us in hi^ Journal that " he had the i)leasure of 
hearini,^ Mr. I'dmund I'urke conclude his ar- 
ginnent at this trial, the most remarkable which 

J I 


has ever taken place in the Enghsh nation" — 
and in continuation he adds, " it has already 
lasted seven years, and as the Lords have de- 
termined to take time to consider before they 
pronounce judgment, its final close is still at a 
distance." " Mr. Burke," says Jay, " was 
vastly eloquent, but not sufficiently so to 
awaken the attention of their Lordships, who 
seemed far more inattentive than the surround- 
ing audience." 

In the meantime the American Envoy Extra- 
ordinary had removed his lodgings from the 
Bath Hotel to the Royal Hotel, from which he 
sends the following letter to Lord Grenville : 

" Pall Mall, Hotel Royal, 

"June 15, 1794. 
'' My Lord: 

" I arrived here this morning. The journey 
has given me some health and much pleasure, 
nothing having occurred on the road to induce 
me to wish it shorter. Col. Trumbull does 
me the favor of accompanying me as secretary, 
and I have brought with me a son who I am 
anxious should form a right estimate of what- 
ever may be interesting to our country. Will 



you be so obliging, my Lt)rd, as lo permit mc to 
present them to you and to inform me of the 
lime when ii will be most agreeable to your 
Lordship that 1 should wait ui)on you and as- 
sure you of the respeet with which I have the 
honor to be. my Lord, your Lordship's most 
obedient and most humble servant, 

"John Jay." 

By appuinimenl. on the iSih of June. Mr. 
Jay, his son, and the Secretary, Mr. Trumbull, 
were introduced by Mr. I'inckney to Lord Gren- 
ville, the Foreign Secretary. Upon his inter- 
view with Lord Grcnville, Jay suggested that 
the subject which inviletl discussion should not 
be regarded as a trial of diplomatic fencing, but 
a solemn question of peace or war between two 
peoples in whose veins flowed the blood of a 
common ancestry. "Happily," says a writer, 
" for America, for Lngland. for the world, we 
may say, not only did Jay carry with him that 
spirit into the negotiation, but in the British 
secretary. Lord Grcnville. found a man of con- 
genial disposition." 

On the day following his introduction to 
Ix)rd Grenville, young Jay dined with Mr. 
Church in company with Mr. Charles James 



Fox, of whom Jay writes, " this gentleman, 
though so highly celebrated, has certainly not 
the appearance of either talent or gentility." 

Numerous breakfasts and dinners followed 
during the stay of Peter and his father in Lon- 
don, at which his father was sometimes guest, 
sometimes host, and young Jay almost always 
one of the company. In this way the latter 
made the acquaintance of many of the most 
eminent men in the kingdom, both in church 
and state, as well as of representative members 
of the British aristocracy. 

On the 2d of July John Jay had an audience 
with the King (George III) and on the next 
day with the Queen. 

" I began to read Blackstone," was Peter's 
record for the 9th of July. 

The public interest taken in Sir William 
Herschel's great telescope attracted the atten- 
tion of the Jays, and they readily accepted an 
invitation from Lord Grenville to visit the as- 
tronomer. Jay described the instrument as 
forty feet long and five feet in diameter. He 
says, ''we actually walked through it." 
Through the power of this telescope, which was 
only finished in 1789, Herschel made men re- 
alize as they had never realized before, the im- 



mensity of the universe. Early in the lollow- 
ing month father and son (hned with the Lord 
Chancellor at llanipstead and here met Mr. 
Pitt, Mr. Windham, the Master of the Rolls, 
the Advocate-General, and Lord Mansfield. At 
Mr. Copley's a few days later, they saw on the 
easel of the artist an unfinished portrait of 
Charles the P'^irst. This picture and the Gil)ral- 
tar, by the same artist, at the Guildhall, were 
much admired by young Jay. It was also his 
good fortune to he present at the Royal Acad- 
emy when Benjamin West, as president, — hav- 
incT succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds. — delivered 
the Iliennial Discourse. 

We read next in the Journal that young Jay 
had accepted an invitation to dinner on Lord 
Mayor's Day with the Skinners Company, one 
of the trade companies or guilds, many of them 
of very ancient date, at which some tw^o or 
three hundred guests were present. Toasts fol- 
lowe(l the dinner, and all standing" and with 
three cheers drank to the sentiment. "Pros- 
perity to the United States of .\merica and to 
Mr. Ia\-. their minister." On this occasion Pe- 
ter's father dined at the Lord Mayor's. 

The nineteenth of November. IJ*^, wit- 
nessed the signing of "The Treaty of Amity, 



Commerce and Navigation " between Great 
Britain and the United States, by John Jay and 
Lord Grenville. 

Following the Journal, we find that in this 
same month took place at the Old Bailey the 
trial of John Home Tooke for high treason, 
and it was a source of much regret to Peter 
that the acceptance of a dinner invitation de- 
nied him the pleasure of hearing Erskine in his 
opening speech for the defence. He was able, 
however, to be present at the trial afterward, 
and was much impressed with the conduct of 
the court and of the counsel on both sides, 
which he describes as in the highest degree pa- 
tient, candid and impartial. Of the counsel, 
he says more particularly, " they were all men 
of ability and eloquence, particularly Erskine, 
but none of them orators as great as I had 
expected, or the superiors of Burr and Harri- 
son of New York." An opportunity now oc- 
curred which must have ofifered much pleasure 
to young Jay, namely : to make a visit to Edin- 
burgh. He started in the mail-coach on the 
1 2th of December, leaving his father in Lon- 
don. On the following day he arrived at York, 
and spent the next day, Sunday, in that city. 
An entry in his account-book reads, " Paid for 


SImfrt *m^ Tmmt-uil 

CiKc. 1794. Age 49 
In the ptnsrainn of Dr. )olu ' 


seat in mail cuach to York 197 miles, £3. 13. 0.'" 
He tells us that the Minster was the noblest 
Gothic Cathedral he had yet seen, *' I really 
think it more elegant," he continued, " that is 
to say more suitable to the jjurpose for which 
it was founded, than S. Pauls, which is much 
larger." In resuming now his journey he ex- 
changes the mail-coach fur a post-chaise. 

Durham Cathedral in his view was inferior 
to that of York. At Alnwick he regretted he 
had not the time to visit the modern castle of 
liic Xorlluimberlands and he added. " though 
1 am exceedingly fond of Gothic buildings, 
when really antique, yet I think it is as absurd 
to rear edifices in the present day to resemble 
ancient structures, as it would be to wear the 
dress of our ancestors who built them. Indeed 
this sort of architecture owes much of its effect 
to the ideas which it conveys of extreme an- 
tiquity." He arrived at Edinlmrgh on the 17th 
of December. The beauty of the new part of 
the town immediately attracted his attention — 
as well as the charming view to be obtained 
in walking around Gallon Hill. At the Uni- 
versity, where the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Laws had been conferred <»n his father in 
1792, young jay was introduced to Dugald 



Stewart, at that time professor of moral phi- 
losophy, and to Doctor Playfair, professor of 

Three hundred and fifty students attended 
Mr. Stewart's lectures. His eloquence much 
impressed Jay, who made one of Mr. Stewart's 
guests at dinner a few days later. 

On his return journey to London, he again 
rested at York, and visited the Minster by 
night. He writes: "I found it lighted with 
about a dozen candles;— the effect of this par- 
tial and faint illumination was very grand. 
The immense masses of shade, the vast and 
gloomy arches, the indistinct view of crowded 
and enormous columns, the solemn stillness of 
all around and the hollow echo of footsteps 
which alone disturbed the silence of the place, 
all conspired to impress one's mind with senti- 
ments of veneration and awe." Leaving York, 
he was back again in London on the last day of 
the year. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Gren- 
ville. Lord Amherst and a number of the other 
Cabinet Ministers dined with John Jay soon 
after his son's return from Scotland, and on the 
following day they both breakfasted with the 
Marquis of Lansdowne ; a few days afterward 
the Marquis invited them to dinner. Here they 



fouml tlic liltrary \cr v elc<^aiil, aiul llic l)<)oks 
and manuscripts invaluable. 

Two other incidiiit^ <•!' travel remain to he 
told before we close these extracts from younj^ 
Jay's Journal. The one L;;ave him an oj^portu- 
nity of testinic his skill in ridinj^ to hounds. It 
was ihrouoh tiie courtesy of Sir Clement and 
Lady Cottrell that this i)leasure was afforded 
the youth. The account reads: "This morn- 
ingf"— it was the iith of bVbruary — " thou,t;h 
the weather was very unfavorable Sir Clement 
<letermined that we should hunt the hare — we 
accordin.Lily went out with his harriers; 1 was 
well mounted. About three miles from the 
house the hounds were thrown ofl* and in a few 
mimUes found and instantly killed, or. as the 
huntsmen call it. * choi)t ' a hare. Thus disap- 
pointed in our sj)ort at this j)lace. we went some 
miles further where another hare was soon 
started and the chase bee^an. I was not a little 
rejoiced to find tliai it was not made a point of 
honor to leap over g^ates which coidd be easily 
opened, and as my horse was an old fox hunter, 
and j)erfectly accustf)mcd to the sport. I had 
very little difficulty in keei)ins::^ u|). and where I 
was oblie^ed to leap over a hed.cfe or a ditch 
(the last of winch often occinred). he carried 



me with more ease than I thought possible. 
After three or four hours spent in the course 
the hare unfortunately crossed the track of an- 
other hare which was hunted by the Duke of 
Marlborough's hounds, and after a great many 
fruitless efforts to regain the right track, we 
were obliged to give it up and return." 

Jay had been a guest at the home of Sir 
Clement, whom he left, he says, with great re- 
gret. His family had shared in the dangers 
and exile of Charles II, and were restored to 
their possessions at the same time with the 

The other incident was of a dramatic nature. 
At the Drury Lane he had the inestimable 
privilege of seeing Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Kem- 
ble in the " Merchant of Venice." Mr. Kemble 
as Shylock elicited Jay's admiration, while of 
Mrs. Siddons as Portia he writes : " I do not 
think it in the power of eloquence to exceed her 
delivery of the speech in praise of mercy." 

The purpose of the Commission having been 
accomplished, the Jays prepared to return 
home. Numerous and adverse were many of 
the opinions which the treaty evoked when at 
a later date it was published. Pellew well says 
in his life of Jay, " it is significantly admitted 



by the latest liiographer of tlie democratic liero, 
Andrew Jackson, that Jay's Treaty was a mas- 
terpiece of diplomacy considering the time and 
llie circumstances of tliis country," Its accom- 
phslimeni involved much labor and anxiety, 
and as Jay wrote to the Secretary of State, 
"they who have levelled uneven ground know 
how little of the work afterwards appears." 

The Jays sailed for home on April 12, 1795, 
in the Sczcni from I^ristol. and after a voyage 
(luring which it rained for thirty-two consecu- 
ii\c (lays, they landed in Xew York on the 28th 
of May in the presence of a large concourse of 
the citizens assembled at the Battery to wel- 
come their new Governor, whose election, by 
a great majority, had taken place only two days 
before his arrival, and to hail the return of the 
I'jivoy to his country. The crowd attended him 
to his dwelling amid the ringing of bells and 
firing of cannon. 

And now all the family were again gathered 
in the Broadway house. Only one death had 
occurred among the children — Susan, the in- 
fant who died at Madrid. The family now 
consisted of Peter Augustus; William, l>orn 
June 16, 1789; two daughters, Maria and .\iiii. 
already mentioned: and Sarah Louisa, Ixjrn 


February 20, 1792. All survived Mr. Jay but 
his wife, and the youngest daughter who never 

The following autumn young Jay went to 
Philadelphia to settle the accounts of his fa- 
ther's mission to England. On the 20th of No- 
vember, 1795, he set out in the stage-coach, 
stopping at Princeton and Trenton on the way. 
That he combined pleasure with business and 
was entertained in a cordial manner at the 
Capital, the following brief entries in his note- 
book show: 

" Sunday 22 — not finding Mr. Woolcot, left 
the letter. 

"Monday 23 — Saw Mrs. Woolcot. Waited 
on President U. S. (John Adams), and dined 
with him. 

"Tuesday 24— Dined Mr. Chew— Wed- 
nesday 25 — dined Mr. J. Vaughan. Thursday 
26— Dined President U. S. — Friday 27— Got 
account through Auditor's Office, dined with 
Mr. Morris and went in the evening to draw- 

"Saturday 28— [no entry]. Sunday 29— 
Dined with Mrs. Chew. Monday 30— Dined 
with President of the U. S. Tuesday Dec. i — 
After much delay I at length received the ac- 



count stated from Comptroller's Office, and pre- 
pared to depart." 

The election of John Jay as Governor made 
other arrangements for a home for his family 
immediately necessary. Whether he rented his 
dwelling, " the stone house," at No. 8 Broad- 
way, cannot now be ascertained, but it is known 
that shortly after the term of office of Gov- 
ernor commenced on July i, 1796, the Jays 
moved into the Government House on lower 
Broadway, lately occupied by the preceding 
Governor, George Clinton. The site of this 
building has lately been chosen for the new 
Custom House. Mr. Jay made this house his 
residence until the spring of 1797 when the 
Legislature commenced its sittings at Albany, 
in which city he rented Mr. James Caldwell's 
handsome house, No. 60 State Street. 

The newspapers of November, 1796, chroni- 
cle a marriage and reception at the Governor's 
mansion in New York as follows: 

" Married on the 3d at his Excellency's, John 
Jay, Governor, Government House, John Liv- 
ingston, of the Manor of Livingston, to Mrs. 
Catharine Ridley, daughter of the late Gover- 
nor William Livingston. The bride was Mrs. 
Jay's accomplished and piquant sister. Kitty 



Livingston, who in 1787 became the wife of 
Matthew Ridley of Bahimore, and after brief 
wedded happiness was left a widow." 

Governor Jay's term expired on the ist of 
July, 1 80 1, but he refused the reelection that 
was offered him, for he was making plans, in 
which he had the assistance of his son Peter, 
to seek rest and retirement in the country. A 
paragraph written to his wife when about re- 
tiring from the position he was holding well 
discloses the nature of the man : 

" A few years," he writes, " will put us all in 
the dust and then it will be of more importance 
to me to have governed myself than to have 
governed a State." 

Soon after his return from Europe young- 
Jay commenced his legal studies in the office of 
Peter Jay Munro, with whom he subsequently 
became associated in business. Munro and Jay 
were first cousins. During the absence of the 
family at Albany, Jay was in lodgings in 
Broadway at a Mr. West's, where occasionally 
he had the pleasure of meeting his old friend 
and his father's former Secretary, Colonel 

The city, which had scarcely recovered from 
the paralyzed condition in which it was left by 


1797. Ace 21 


its recent occupation l»y iIk- liriti>li and ihc rav- 
ai^^es of lire, was now excitc-(l 1»\ revoliilionarv 
doctrines pronnils^ated anions^ the people. Tlic 
condition of alTairs in Iuiro|ie. particularly the 
outbreak of the I'rench Revolution and the sub- 
se{|ucnt Reit^ of Terror, liad created a state of 
unrest here, intlaniiui^ hatred between the i>o- 
litical parties not only of the city and Stale but 
throuL^hout the country. The discussion of 
this state of thinc^s is evidently the occasion of 
tlie followin.i^ correspondence between Mr. Jay, 
now twenty-two years of aj^e. and his friend, 
Mr. Woodward, a judj^e of X'ir^inia: 

" RocKHRincr CorNTV. \'iRr,i.\i.\, 

■■ March lo. 1798. 

"... 1 lavins^ but arrived in the last week 
and the present beinj:;^ the first moment of which 
I could avail myself to acquaint you with my 
return, I shall be hai)py if by an early ac<|uies- 
cence with the i)roi)o.sal of a renovation of our 
former and l)y me never to l)e forjjotten inti- 
niai\ 1 shall im|)art a conviction of the value 
which I alTix to your friendshij). 

"Since I had the pleasure of seeinj^ you 


( 1793) I have been gratified with a second con- 
ference both with Mr. Jefferson at Philadel- 
phia and with General Washington at Mount 
Vernon. The former displayed a frankness in 
his conversation in political topics which I did 
not expect and which was extremely engaging. 
I still delight to contemplate him as a man of 
virtue, and nothing would give me greater 
pleasure than to find the same impression still 
left on your mind. I am afraid, however, that 
from real or imaginary causes the esteem which 
he once claimed has been much diminished in 
the heart of many of his friends in Northern 
and Eastern States. I am certain that I ob- 
served myself a change there too great to be ac- 
counted for by any causes that are obvious to 
me. The uncomfortable prospect is still held 
out of a want of harmony in our public councils, 
an evil, the continuance of which I dread. 

" I am not a convert to the opinion that par- 
ties are either necessary or salutary, in our 

" Where the rights of the people are insecure 
and principles are still doubtful, they may be 
found advantageous, but where the fundamen- 
tal maxims of a government have attained that 
stability and apparently general acquiescence 
which seem to characterize those of the people 


J.\V-\\()( )1)\\.\1<I) (•( )RRKSrONDI-:NCE 

of America, what i)ur|)«)>c can llic aniinosiiics 
of j)arty answer, hul. to inllanic the niiiuls of 
tile people and to weaken the ener^^y of the gov- 
ernment. It was happy for the latter character 
that such a uniform veneration and contulencc 
was attached to his administration as ensured 
the Union and trancjuillity of the United States 
It a period when they were most precarious, 
and I shall never ct)nsider them ai^^ain secure 
hut with the extinction and absence of that vio- 
lence of party spirit which has so much and so 
loiii^' endan_jTered the existence of the j^^overn- 
ment and that acrimony of contest which has 
embittered the depositaries of its authority. I 
calletl likewise on Mr. James Madison of 
Oran.tfe County, who once sustained so con- 
spicuous a character in the theatre of American 
politics. It was not until the jSth of February 
that 1 reached my own residence after these 
[)rotracted detentions. My first duty has been 
to apprise you of my arrival and to claim the 
favor of as early a communication from you as 
more imjxirtant avocations will jiermit. 

"With .sentiments of unalterable req^ard, 
"Your friend and hmnble serv't. 
1^ Woodward. 

" Pktkr AiT.i'STrs J.w. Ks(|., 
" P.roadway, \cw N'ork." 



''New York, March 20, 1798. 
''Dear Sir: 

"... Our State Legislature has been and 
still is exceedingly occupied, indeed they have 
passed so many laws that I am induced to fear 
they have legislated too much to have legislated 
well. Though more equally divided with re- 
spect to parties than of late has been usual, 
their session has been remarkably peaceable 
and calm. . . . The late instances of indecency 
in Congress are here as they probably are with 
you, frequent topics of conversation, and it is 
generally and greatly regretted that party 
spirit, always so violent, should be rendered 
still more virulent by personal insult — that cir- 
cumstances have happened so indecorous in 
themselves, disrespectful to the house, and dis- 
reputable to the nation — and that expressions 
continue to be used which instead of concili- 
ating, excite irritation, instead of producing 
unanimity, inflame animosity. That such be- 
havior should be tolerated and such divisions 
exist in such a body and at such a period is, I 
think, no evidence that the Age of Reason has 
arrived. Standing as we are on the brink of a 
war, threatened from without, and convulsed 



aiiioiii^ ourselves, tiic inali^naiu attacks which 
arc daily made iii)nii our L;<>verninenl by those 
wlio arc clioscii t«» he its g^uardians, are new and 
unfortunate proofs of tlie fraiUy of tlie human 
mind, or, wliat is still worse, of the corruption 
of the human heart. 

" r.ul I t'lnd I am enterin.L;;' with vehemence 
into political discjuisilion. The ardor of youth 
is always too apt to seduce us from more pleas- 
ing, hut. less illustrious pursuits, and this is 
particularly true in the present moment of uni- 
versal agitation when the shouts of the Paris- 
ians, like the blasts of Alccto's trumpet, have 
filled all Europe with discord and war, have 
even been heard over the ocean and echoed 
from the Alleghany Mountains. 

" ^'our sincere friend, 

'* Pktkr Augustus Jay. 

" E. Woodward, Escj., 

"Rockbridge County. X'irginia." 

■■ Xi \s- N'oKK. Marcii jS, 1798. 
" Dear Sir: 

"You are not mistaken when you supiK)se 
the character f)f Mr. JetTcrson has greatly de- 
preciated in this |)art of the Union. I le is sus- 



pected by many of designs inimical to the inde- 
pendence and happiness of his country and of 
being the author and secret conductor of a sys- 
tem which if successful cannot fail of reducing 
it to subjection, or at least dependence on the 
will of a foreign nation. Of a nation, too, 
which in its conduct towards others seems ever 
carefully to have avoided all that was generous 
or friendly, which despises the obligations of 
morality and honor, sets at defiance the pres- 
ent and future opinions of the world and pos- 
terity and sacrifices everything to its insatiable 
appetite for aggrandizement and universal 
domination. What degree of credit these sus- 
picions deserve, or how far they are counte- 
nanced by the many contradictory and mysteri- 
ous passages which are supposed to exist in 
this gentleman's public conduct, I will not pre- 
tend to decide — certain it is that they exist and 
that they have rendered him in a high degree 
unpopular — they are of so criminal a nature 
that for the honor of my country I most sin- 
cerely hope they may prove unfounded. The 
reputation of a nation like that of a family de- 
pends greatly upon the good or ill fame of the 
principal persons who compose it, and on this 
account also I should rejoice as much as your- 



self to liiul every >Vd\u reiii<neil irom a char- 
acter w liich has added so niucli splendor to the 
American name and which, sliould it he i<>ully 
larnislied. would allix to it so j^reat a hlot. Ihe 
l)eriod. however, seems fast arrivinj^ when 
every douhl must he dispelled and the integrity 
or depravity of the jiersonagc in (jucstion for- 
ever established. If in that period he shall op- 
pose the artful yet oj)en and contemi)tuous vio- 
lence of hVance with as much decision as he 
formerly comhatted the insidious machination 
of Britain; if he shall ap])ear to he guitled in 
his conduct t(»wards our country by no motives 
of envy, hatred, or malice, or towards the other 
by love, favor, affection, or ho[)e of reward; if 
he shall sincerely defend the Constitution he has 
sworn to sup|)ori ; if. in tine, he shall prove to 
be a true and indei)en(lent American, all sus- 
pici<Mis will be banished and he will actjuire the 
esteem and confidence of his northern, as you 
suppose he already enjoys that of his southern, 

"This peri<"i -m ss hicii I li.i\ e -jniken must ex- 
cite in every lK)som anxiety and aj)i)rehensi(»n. 
I f in the war with France which seems to l)e im- 
pendinij. the nemcxratic party still continues 
to oppose every measure of the i^fovernment to 



distract its counsels and to enfeeble its acts, if 
they still endeavor to divide the people and to 
alienate their affections from the officers they 
have chosen, in this case our situation will be 
lamentable indeed. We may then behold some 
new Buonaparte parcelling out the continent 
into small Republics, appointing Directors, or- 
ganizing Insurrections, instituting Revolution- 
ary Tribunals, and perhaps giving countenance 
to confiscations, proscriptions and massacres. 
When once we are separated into independent 
States, it will be to the interest of European 
nations forever to prevent a reunion. To de- 
stroy our importance and influence abroad they 
will probably employ the same policy towards 
us which the Persians formerly observed with 
respect to the Greeks, by continually ferment- 
ing internal contentions and wars. 

" If, on the contrary, either from the good 
sense of our citizens, or their indignation at the 
injuries they have suffered, we shall happily 
unite in defence of our independence, we shall 
then, probably, divested of our foreign preju- 
dices and peculiarities, acquire a national char- 
acter and a national pride, — acquisitions in my 
esteem of inestimable value. 

'* You see I am again running into politics — 


iiulfcil. it is .iliiiost iinixfssildc to avf)i(l tliciii 
wlu-n objects most iiitcrcstinL^ .iiid immense arc 
rai)i(lly passing before our eyes. It is diHicult 
to withdraw from tliem our attention and fix it 
ujxtn familiar topics. \\ lien the weather is 
fair and the sky serene we amuse ourselves with 
obscTNini;- tile llowers tliat adi>rn our i)ath. but 
when the distant thunder foretells an apprcxich- 
lUi:; storm, we can attend to nothinj^ but the 
course of the wind, the blackness of the clouds 
and the nearest ])lace that can at'ford shcher. . . 
I am with oteem. your obed. serv't, 

" Pktkr Augl'stus Jav. 

" 1",. W'OODW.VKI), Escj.. 

" Rockbridi^e County, Xirj^inia." 

In this condition of affairs it is not surpris- 
in<; to learn that Jay took out a commission as 
I'jisiipi of a Comj)any in the Third Rei^iment 
of Militia in the city and county of New York, 
of which Jacob Morton was LieiUenant-Colonel 
Commandant. The commission bears the date 
.\j)ril 1 1. I7«/). and passed the Secretary's otlice 
on -April 20. Subsequently he i^aincd a Cap- 
taincy and had in his volunteer company as first 
lieutenant, his lifelonj^ friend. Mr. David S. 



Jay was now President of a Literary So- 
ciety; it apparently had no particular designa- 
tion, but it included among its members such 
well-known names as William A. Duer, Philip 
Church, Gouverneur Ogden, David S. Jones, 
William Bard, Beverley Robinson, John Duer, 
and the first Philip Hamilton. 

On the 1 8th of December, 1797, he was ad- 
mitted to practice as an attorney in the Court 
of Common Pleas for Westchester County, at 
White Plains, and on the 19th of August, 1798, 
he was licensed to practise in the Supreme 
Court of the State of New York. In this sum- 
mer he also received from Yale the honorary 
degree of " Master of Arts." The latter bears 
the signature of Timothy Dwight, President. 

At the outset of his professional career it 
must have been a great advantage to this young 
man to have the advice and guidance of his dis- 
tinguished father. In August, 1798, John Jay 
writes to him from Albany : " I am so pressed 
by applications, etc., that I can hardly find a 
leisure moment to write to you. Among the 
reasons which oppose your coming here soon, 
the circumstances of the Westchester Court ap- 
pear to me to have weight, for whether you 
take license in the Mayor's Court a few weeks 


SI ri:ui.\'ii-:.\i)S sik\i-:v ()I< land 

S(ioncr or later is n..t \ct\ important, i think it 
advisahlo for yon to attend the Westcliesler 
Conrt and tlierefore to i)osti)one your visit to 
us until after that period. Hut it is my wish 
and (K'sire tliat yi in will pass as ninch of the in- 
terveninj^ time witii yonr nncle at Kye as tlie 
business of your Mayor's Court license will ])er- 

In the autumn jay went to the southern part 
of the State to visit a tract of land in Chenango, 
purchased by his father, and to suj)erintend its 
survey. He accompanied the surveyor in run- 
ning the lines and slei)t with him in the woods. 
Passing the night in the open air proved much 
more agreeable than he had imagined. A 
clearing was selected for a camp, a shelter ex- 
tcmjiorized with crotched sui)ports of hemlock, 
and a fire built to last till morning. Wrapped 
in blankets, with their feet to the fire. lay and 
his companion w ent to bed on drv. elastic hem- 
lock boughs, and though t)ne night it had 
snowed considerably, they slept warm and com- 
fortably. On his return home he relates in .i 
letter these experiences to his Cncle Peter at 

In the •^lnnmer of I7<)0 \ew York was vis- 
ited by an epidemic of yellow fever. Jay re- 



mained in the city until September, when he 
went to Rye and later to Bedford, where the 
County Court was then sitting. On September 
8, he writes to his sister Maria at Albany: " It 
was hoped that the long continuance of cool 
weather would have checked the progress of 
the fever. But the fact has been exactly the 
reverse, and proves how little we yet know con- 
cerning the nature and causes of the disease. 
Aunt Cortlandt is determined to remain here. 
General Clarkson has removed from his own 
house to Mr. Le Roy's. Most of our other 
friends have quitted the city or are preparing 
to do so. Our situation, however, is not so dis- 
tressing as it is probably represented. People 
are free from that panic which formerly ag- 
gravated a calamity sufficiently dreadful of 
itself. Business is still carried on in Greenwich 
Street, whither most of the merchants have re- 
moved their counting houses." 

Earlier in the year Jay had obtained his 
Mayor's Court license. In March his sister 
Maria wrote: "We hear from New York that 
you have passed a very handsome examination 
in the Mayor's Court." This was afterwards 
known as the Court of Sessions. Jay kept up 
his interest in the militia during this period, 


MAKIA ].\\ 

I 798. A(;t 16 

At"tcr>vird Mrs. Banvcr 


having been a|)|)<»inii(l l-'irst Adjutant of the 
Sixtli Regiment on March S, itSoo. 

He was also made Inspector of llrigade of 
Mihlia in the City of New York and County of 
Kicliniond l>y ( icncral jaim-- M. 1 luglies. 

In Sei)teniber, iSoo, Jay gives liis sister Ma- 
ria a ghnipse of liis hfe in town at tliat period. 
He says: " 1 have taken uj) my hiw l)ooks and 
laid them down again. C(>i)ied and recopied dec- 
larations and pleas, and attended the courts 
that happened to he sitting, without seeing any- 
thing of what is called Comi)any, unless when 
I have now and then drank tea at some of my 

During the residence of the family in Al- 
bany. Maria Jay had made the acfiuaintancc of 
Goldsborough Banyer. Mr. lianyer's father 
bore the same name. He was born in England 
but came in early life to this country, where he 
ever after resided. For many years prior to 
the Revolution he was nejmty Secretary of the 
Province. NOung Mr. Iianycr's acquaintance 
with Mis^ lav ripenrd into .in attachment, and 
before tlie family left .Albany. Maria Jay be- 
came Maria I'.anyer. The marriage took j)lace 
on April 22, iSoi. 

In the meanwhile arrangements were 



making for building a home for the family in 
the country. The site selected for this purpose 
was at Bedford, in Westchester County, an es- 
tate which the Governor had inherited through 
his mother, and which her father, Jacobus Van 
Cortlandt, had purchased in 1703 from the In- 
dian Sachem, Katonah. 

The plan of the dwelling having been deter- 
mined. Jay, visiting Bedford in the early sum- 
mer of 1801, writes to his sister, Mrs. Banyer, 
at Albany, that the frame of the new building 
had already been raised. " Building in the 
country," he adds, " proceeds with a far slower 
pace than in cities. In the latter materials are 
purchased on the spot in a state of preparation 
and nothing is to be done but to put them to- 
gether. In the country the stones are to be 
broken, the bricks and the lime to be burnt, the 
timber to be felled and hewed and everything 
to be drawn from a distance. Besides, work- 
men are scarce, sensible of their own impor- 
tance, extortionate and lazy, but the building 

During this visit Jay says he attended church 
on a Sunday, when Bob, poor dog, as unaccus- 
tomed to the place as his master, thought it no 
harm to mount the pulpit and scrape an ac- 



(luainlancc with the minister, wliich he did. to 
tlie j^rcat disconi|)osurc of llic countenances of 
the c«»nt;re<^^•lti<)n. 

In tlie followin*^ suninier the house was suf- 
ficiently finished to a(hiiit of its occupancy by 
tlie family. Mr^. Jay's health did not permit 
her to conic until all the work had been fi- 
nally completed and the workmen harl left the 
huildinq-. She was now stayiiii;' with her sister, 
Mrs. John Livinf^ston, at Oak Hill on the 
I ludson. near what is at present known as the 
C'atskill railroad station. On her arrival 
at I>edford, she wrote: " I can trulv sav I 
have never enjoyed so much comfort as I 
(1<» here." 

The house at Bedford is described as delight- 
fully situated on a p^cntle slope backed with 
high and luxuriant woods; the surrounding 
scenery is exceedingly picturesque : particularly 
in the west overlooking the Kisco and Croton 
valleys and the hills bordering on the Hudson, 
among which is the bold Dunderberg. This 
became the permanent home of the Governor. 
Its retirement and seclusion were particularly 
grateful to him after years of unrest and dis- 
quiet. Its distance from \ew York — fifty 
miles— can now be traversed in one hour, but 



it then required two days, and the mail came 
but once a week. 

In answer to an inquiry from a friend how 
he could occupy his mind in such a wilderness, 
the Governor's smiling reply was, " I have a 
long life to look back upon and an eternity to 
look forward to." This conversation took place 
after Mr. Jay had long been a resident at Bed- 
ford, and from a guest at the house we get this 
record of his visit : " I scarcely remember to 
have mingled with any family where there was 
a more happy union of quiet decorum and high 
courtesy, than I met beneath the roof of Mr. 
Jay. The venerable statesman himself is dis- 
tinguished as much now for his dignified sim- 
plicity as he was formerly for his political sa- 
gacity, integrity and firmness. During my 
short stay beneath this hospitable roof several 
of the yeomanry came to make a visit of re- 
spect, or of business, to their distinguished 
neighbor. Their reception was frank and cor- 
dial, each man receiving the hand of the Gov- 
ernor, as he was called, though it was quite evi- 
dent that all approached him with the reverence 
a great man only can inspire. For my own 
part, I confess I thought it a beautiful sight to 
see one who had mingled in the council of na- 


DI-.ATH ( )!•" MKS. J( )IIX ] W 

lions, who Iiad inslruclcd a t\)rcij^n niinisk-r in 
liis own policy and wlio liad borne himself with 
hii;h honor and lastin<^ credit in the courts of 
niij^hty sovereigns, soothing- the evening of 
his days hy the>e lillle aits of Mand courtesy, 
which while i1k'\' eK'\atfd olhers. in no respect 
subtracted from his own J4l<»ry." 

The pleasures which Mr. jay had anticii)ated 
from his new home were denied him. Mrs. 
Jay's health continued t<» fail, and after a short 
illness she died at tiie early age of 45, on the 
28th of May. iSoj. Her remains were taken 
to New ^'ork and placed in the Jay family vault. 
We are indebted to her grandson, the late Mr. 
John Jay of Bedford, for this tribute to her 
memory. Si)eaking of her character, he says: 
** However nuich of its erjuaniiuity was due to 
the example and influence of her husband, her 
letters show that with a singular delicacy of 
feeling and sensibility of organization was com- 
bined a strength oi nn'nd based upon Christian 
princi|)le, which enabled her to face danger 
without fear and to endure hardships and dis- 
appointments without a murnuu". 1 Ur biogra- 
phy and corresj)ondence, should they be pub- 
lished, would illustrate in no slight degree the 
earlv davs of the Republic and disclose the tem- 



per of the men and women whose virtues 
secured the independence of their country and 
whose characters and accomphshments sus- 
tained its dignity at home and at the Courts of 
Europe. Her memory may be cherished as that 
of one who exhibited from her youth amid trial 
and hardship a steadfast devotion to her coun- 
try; who, amid the gay society of Paris and 
New York, preserved unimpaired her gentle- 
ness, amiability and simplicity; and who 
throughout her life, fulfilled with Christian 
fidelity and womanly affection, the duties of a 
daughter, sister, wife, and mother." 

Before Mrs. Jay's death, two other deaths 
occurred that touched this family very closely 
— those of Peter's paternal uncles — Mr. Fred- 
erick and Mr. Augustus Jay. Augustus died 
on the 23d of December, 1801, at the age of 71. 
He had not married. Of his father's family 
he was the eldest son and next to the eldest 
child. Frederick was born April 19, 1747, and 
his death occurred in his 53d year, on the 
14th of December, 1799, two years earlier than 
the decease of his brother. Frederick was twice 
married, but had no issue. His first wife was 
Ann Margaret Barclay, who died in 1791. He 
subsequently married Euphemia Dunscomb, a 



niece of liis Ijiothcr Teter's wife (Mary 
Duyckinck). I'rcdcrick jay was api)()inle(l dur- 
ing the Revolutionary struggle one of the Com- 
mittee of Safety for Rye. to serve for one year 
from May, 1776. This was when Westchester 
had been threatened witli invasion, and when 
the county was suffering, as we iia\e already 
seen, from the incursion of " the Queen's 
Rangers." who ravaged the country without 
restraint or remorse. Frederick Jay had al- 
ready done active service in "the New York 
Battalion of Independent P^oot Companies," 
known as "The Corsicans," of which Edward 
Fleming was Captain; Nicholas Roosevelt, ist 
Lieut. : h^rederick Jay. 2d Lieut. ; John I'errian, 
3d Lieut.; and I'Vederick de Peyster, 4tli Lieut. 
Their uniform consisted of short green coats, 
and small round hats, with a cock on one side, 
a red heart of tin with the words, "God and 
our Right," and on a band around the crown, 
** Liberty or Death." 

From 1777 to 17S3 he was a member of the 
Assembly from New York, and it will be re- 
membered it was at his house at Poughkeejisie, 
during the slorm\ time of the Revolution, that 
the family took refuge. 

Peter .\. Jay was now established in the city 



in the active practice of his profession. How 
long he remained in partnership with Mr. 
Munro is not definitely known, but the Su- 
preme Court at Albany had admitted him as 
" Counsellor at Law," by license dated October 
31, 1800. The license was signed by John 
Lansing, Jr., Chief Justice. 

On June 15, 1801, he was licensed to practise 
as Solicitor in the Court of Chancery of New 
York State, this license being signed by Chan- 
cellor Robert R. Livingston and Maturin Liv- 

Jay was rather tall, and slender of person, 
quick in his movements, with a face which indi- 
cated great refinement, intelligence and be- 
nevolence, and a manner that was gracious and 
engaging. There was something about his ap- 
pearance which would always arrest attention. 

His health, however, was not vigorous, and 
the recent deaths of his mother and uncles had 
saddened him. Some relaxation from business 
seemed to be desirable; he therefore decided to 
spend the winter abroad. A letter dated No- 
vember 4, 1802, bidding farewell to his sister, 
Mrs. Banyer, shows the frame of mind he was 
in before his departure : " The doctors state that 
this measure is expedient but not necessary, 



and llaltcr nic lliat I shall rcLTain inv f«»riiKT 
health; whether this is more tlian tlatlery lime 
will show. W hen I j^nve the reins to my ima.L,M- 
nalion she sometimes sketciies Init a j^doomy 
prospect. I see myself about to leave. i)erhaps 
never to revisit, all whom I love. resj)ect. es- 
teem, or care for in the world, to l^o to a land 
of strant^a^s. where every face will be un- 
known, and every sound unintellit^ible — where 
I may lang^iish unheeded and unpilied: and 
perhaps die unre.!^^'lr(led and unlamented. with 
not a friend to close my eyes. To drive away 
these dreary and uni)roritable retlectious I re- 
verse the medal and view myself in the most 
luxuriant and lau.L,diing country of Kuropc, 
where the fertility of the soil emulates the be- 
nignity of the air ; where the labors of .\rt rival 
the production of Nature: where I tread on 
classic g^round and where every stej) brinies to 
my remembrance some poet. j)hilosoi)her or 
hero. I think of the joy with which I shall return 
to my native shore, and the transports I shall 
feel when at^Min embracing- my father and my 
beloved sisters. lUii it i-. my duty to check as 
well the wild exuberances of hope as the 
^doomy cxtravap^ancies of frii^htenefl fancv. It 
is my part to acquiesce without a murnmr in 



the dispensations of Him in whose hand are 
my days, and who in this world seldom dis- 
penses either evil or good without a mixture. 
Resigning myself to His Providence and im- 
ploring His protection, I endeavor to preserve 
an equal, cheerful mind, neither vainly and 
presumptuously elated with hope; nor de- 
pressed by melancholy forebodings or despond- 
ing thoughts." 

From a diary which Mr. Jay kept we have 
the following account of his trip abroad, which 
lasted about nine months : 

" Oct. 1802.— Towards the end of this month, 
on account of a pulmonary complaint under 
which I had long labored, Drs. Charlton and 
Tillary advised me to avoid an American win- 
ter and to pass that season in some milder cli- 
mate. They recommended the South of Eu- 
rope, Madeira, Bermuda, or New Providence. 
I preferred the first but was unable to obtain a 
passage on board any vessel that pleased me till 
the end of the next month, when I engaged one 
in the four-masted ship L'Invention, Peter 
Tardifif, master, for Leghorn. Messrs. Mur- 
ray & Son supplied me with a credit on Mr. 
Sansom of London and Messrs. Philip & An- 
thony Felicchi & Co. of Leghorn, and Mr. John 



R. Murray. wIim had ju'^l rt,iuriK-(l innu a t<>ur 
of ICuiopc. wliicli lie liad performed witli sin- 
p.ilar lasic and jud.i;iiiciit, j^avc nic a few let- 
ters of introduction to (jen<xi, Lej^liorn and 
Lyons. I received likewise introductory letters 
frnm Mr. Selnn, Mr. de Lancev and Mr. Abra- 
ham O.mlen. I )r. X'alentine Seaman of Xcw 
N'ork and Mr. rhomj)son. a Scotchman, were 
fellow-passcnt^ers with me. The former was 
j.j:oini; like myself for the benefit of his health. 
\\ c embarked on the Jjtii of November, got 
under way at noon and in about two hours were 
• It sea and dischart^ed the j)ilot. 

■ The sliip in which we sailed was built by the 
I'rench f<ir a i)ri\ateer. and carried 28 guns, 
but was taken by the P.ritish durinq; her first 
cruise. She was about 500 tons burden and re- 
markably long and sharp— with the wind on 
the quarter we sailed with i.:^reat rai)idity. On 
our passage we outslripjK'd every vessel we saw 
standini^ the same C(Uirse. The additional mast 
was called by the I*"rench the intcnucJiatc )mist 
and by the English the after main mast. Sail- 
ing with a X.W . wind, ("ur captain determined 
to take advantage of it to get clear of the lanrl. 
and accordingly stood to tbc S. R. for about ,^00 
miles until the ist of December. The wind 


then changing compelled us much against our 
inclinations to run to the N. E. and we crossed 
the Banks of Newfoundland a week after in 
Lat. 44 deg. We then supposed that we should 
of necessity make a northern passage, but a 
second change of wind carried us southeasterly- 
through the midst of the Azores to Lat. 32 deg. 
Of these islands we saw on the 14th and 15th 
Fayal, Corvo, and Pico. The last seemed to 
rise from the sea in form of a sugar loaf and 
hide its head in the clouds. We saw it high 
above the horizon at the distance of 50 miles. 
In these low latitudes we were becalmed for 
several days, till at length a more favorable 
breeze springing up, we succeeded in making 
Cape St. Vincent on the morning of the 27th of 

" This Cape, which is the S.W. point of Portu- 
gal, is a high, steep and rocky promontory jut- 
ting out into the sea. On the top and appar- 
ently on the brink of the precipices is a large 
monastery, the white walls of which together 
with the rude scenery round them and the surf 
breaking impetuously at the foot of the rock 
form a prospect extremely picturesque. From 
hence may be seen, on one side, the Kingdom of 
Portugal for many a mile offering to the eve 



towns, villa.i^cs and cultivated fields, and nu the 
other the houndless ocean, spotted with sails 
which t'roni every <|uarter are approaching,^ the 
Mediterranean. A situation from which such 
a view can he heheld. while the constant roar 
of hillows is heard immediately heneath. seems 
j)eculiarly adapted to relij^ious retirement anri 
to inspire ideas the most devout and most 

■ While we coasted alonp^ this shore the wind 
increased and hlew a stronpf j^ale. We ^tn. »d 
for Cape Spartel on the African side and when 
niq;ht came on reduced our sails and ran under 
our mizzen and topsails, and yet with only these 
sails the ship went n knots an hour. 

■ Dec. 2Slh. — In the eveninj^ we found our- 
selves in siijht of Cape Spartel on one side and 
Cape Trafal<^ar on the other. The Moorisli 
coast was obscured by a haze — we, however, 
<li<;cerned f thoue^h very dimly) the hay and city 
of Tanijiers. On the luiropean side we passed 
rapidlv aloni^ a shore roui^h and barren, and on 
a|)proachin.t^ it nearer saw several small villaj.^es, 
flocks of sheep and droves of cattle and horses. 
The lare^est town in sij^ht was Tarifa, wliich 
we approached near enoui^h to distincrin'sh with 
the naked eye friars in their habits walking on 



the beach and inhabitants sunning themselves 
under the walls of the town. 

" The wind continuing favorable, we entered 
the bay of Gibraltar about noon. I had a great 
desire to see this fortress and had letters from 
Mr. de Lancey to Consuls Simpson and Matra. 
The Captain had promised if the weather per- 
mitted to anchor here, since by obtaining at this 
place a clean bill of health his quarantine might 
have been shortened at Leghorn ; but the wind 
was so favorable for the prosecution of our 
voyage that he was exceedingly unwilling to 
lose it and therefore determined merely to land 
his letters and proceed. As we stood into the 
bay we perceived the boat of an American man- 
of-war and made a signal for it to approach. 
We found it belonged to the frigate Constella- 
tion, then lying in the bay waiting only for a 
wind to return to America. We delivered to 
the officers the letters we had prepared to our 
friends at home as well as those which were to 
go ashore and then continued our course. 

" Leaving Gibraltar, we passed along the 
Spanish shore, which continued to be high but 
somewhat less barren; we could see hedges 
which we supposed were made of aloes, and 
now and then villages. A slight haze which 



liuni^ over iIk* hills softened their tints and j^ave 
iheni an appearance almost like velvet. Some 
oi the views were heautifiil. The surface of the 
sea here was very unlike that we had lately wit- 
nr-^'-ctl in llie Atlantic. It was xi sukmiiIi that 
we could scarcely discern any motion in the 
w ine in the decanters which stood on the cahin 

"Dec. 29th.— The next day the wind which 
had seduced us from Gihraltar failed, and light 
l)an]inj.lf airs which succeeded detained us a cou- 
j)Ie of days hetween Cai)e Gata and Palos. 
I )urin|L^ this interval we saw the snow-capped 
mountains of Granada, which thouLch very dis- 
tant a|)pcared of an enormous height. 

"Jan. 1st. 1S03. — On New ^'ear's Day we 
made Majorca and the little Isle of Cabrera 
which lies near it. and two days after we saw 
Corsica. ( )ur cruise was now again obstructed 
by calms and contrary winds and we were 
obliged to stand over to the i'^ench siiore. which 
we made near Cai)e Taillar. The coast here, 
as in every part of the Mediterranean which I 
have yet seen, was moimtainous and great 
(|nantities of snow covered the high grounds. 

" ( )n the 5th in the afternoon we passed Ca- 
praja and Gorgona and came in sight of Mount 



Nero, which Hes near Leghorn, and in the even- 
ing were within a few miles of the harbor, but 
the Captain, apprehensive of entering in the 
night without a pilot, waited for morning to 
run into the mole. Unfortunately the morning 
brought with it a wind directly ahead and even 
that died away before we could beat in ; so that 
we had the mortification of being all that and 
most of the following day in full view of our 
port without being able to reach it. 

"Jan. 7th. — This whole day was employed in 
beating into the harbor. We passed close un- 
der Point Nero, near which stands a chapel 
dedicated to the Virgin and much venerated by 
the pious Catholics. We were amused by a 
number of small vessels rigged in a manner 
quite new to those unacquainted with this sea, 
and by three Spanish men of war (one of 120 
guns) which had just arrived from Carthagena 
and had on board the Prince of Asturias and 
his family, who landed with great parade about 
noon. The ships were finally dressed in the 
colors of different nations and when the Prince 
landed a salute was fired. About 4 p.m. we 
gained the harbor and were running into the 
rnole when an officer of the Pratick House 
(Health Officer) came off and ordered us to an- 



lior in I Ik- rnad till \vc had iJcnnission frnm the 
I jovcrnnr lo j^o within the ninlc. 'I'hc Cai)iain, 
vcxctl al this order and susi)cctinj^ it was a 
sclicnic to extort money, ordered the mate to 
lay the ship to and went ashore in the l>oat with 
iiis l)ill of health and soon after returned with 
permission to enter. It heinjj^ then late and the 
wind failini;-, ten men in a l)oat came oft and 
offered to tow us in. Their offer was accepted 
and we reached our station at dusk. As ves- 
sels from the I'nited States since the a[)i)ear- 
ance there of the yellow fever are ohlij^ed lo 
ride (juarantine. a i^iard l)elonL{:in!.^ lo the I'ra- 
lick I louse accompanied the Captain when he 
returned from the shore and another was sent 
on hoard soon after we had reached the mole. 
" Thus ended our voyaj^e. which had heen far 
more pleasant than the advanced season had 
piven us rea.son to expect. I'Votu the time we 
sailed to the present I did not find it necessary 
to wear a great coat on deck durini;: more than 
three days. The Captain and hoth the mates 
were skilful in their profession and showed me 
every attention. I have reason to he perfectly 
pleased with them. I was seasick for three 
days only. Dr. Seaman sulTeretl much — he was 
sick near three weeks. 



"Jan. 8th. — This morning a boat belonging to 
the Pratick House came alongside, and a phy- 
sician who was in it inquired into the health of 
the crew ; the nature of the cargo, etc. All on 
board were then ordered to show themselves at 
the ship's side that it might appear whether 
their number corresponded with our bill of 
health ; and afterwards to beat our breasts with 
our right hands to ascertain, I presume, that 
we were alive. Several acquaintances of the 
Captain came alongside and informed us that 
our quarantine would be 14 days, but that on 
the petition of the consignees it would probably 
be reduced to 12. 

"Jan. 9th. — This day being Sunday, we had 
an opportunity of seeing the different flags dis- 
played by the vessels in the mole. The Danes, 
Ragusans and British appeared the most nu- 
merous. There were also several Greeks and 
Turks and 6 or 7 Americans. 

"Jan. loth. — This day a circumstance hap- 
pened which serves to show the disposition of 
the Italians for extortion. I have mentioned 
that a boat with ten men assisted us in getting 
into the mole. This service was performed in 
an hour and a half or at most two hours and 
they demanded for it Sj4 sequins (about 18 


\ 1>1 1> IIALIAX ( )l'l'.kA 

dollars), which ihc (."aiJlain refused to pay. 
This day a scUlcinciU took i)lacc; the boatmen 
fell to 4'/j seciuins. which beiii}^ also refused 
tiiey at lenj^th accepted tzi.'0 and an half in full 
for their trouble. 

"Jan. I5lh. — We learn that a royal order has 
been issued conii)ellin.i^ all ships from the 
United States to i)erforni 20 days (piarantine 
instead of 14 as heretofore. Tliough the 
Kin.i^'s order u ilh respect to us is ex f^ost facto 
ue find to our vexation that we shall be oblii^ed 
t(> obey it. 

"Jan. _'7lh.- We at length obtained our re- 
lease. The i'ratick I louse boat came alonj^sidc 
and the ofTicer havini^ ai^ain counted our num- 
bers and ordered us to beat our breasts as at his 
first visit told us we had I'ratick. We went im- 
mediately ashore, and having presented our- 
selves at the I'ratick House received i)ermis- 
sinn to enter the city, where we took lodi^ings 
at the Albergo Reale. which w c found an ex- 
ceeding g(KKl inn." 

The remaining days of the month were spent 
seeing tlie sights of Leghorn, and .Mr. jay had 
liere his first experience of Italian ()j)era. lie 
writes: "In the evening I went to the ( )|)era 
with Mrs. Fclicchi. Understanding neither 



the language nor the music I was but Httle en- 
tertained. The Opera house is spacious and 
pretty. There are five rows of boxes above 
each other. These are totally separate and 
form little rooms — even the front can be closed 
by means of a curtain. They are private prop- 
erty and in the best situations are worth $3000. 
In these boxes they converse, play cards or 
chess, pay and receive visits ; in short, do any- 
thing but attend to the performance." 

"Jan. 31. — Mr. Felicchi, having informed us 
that he intended going to Florence to-morrow, 
invited us to be of the party. We determined not 
to neglect the opportunity. Dr. Seaman and 
myself purchased a carriage for 80 sequins and 
we prepared for our journey. 

"Feb. I.— We set out at 8 o'clock a.m. and 
arrived at Florence (64 miles) at half-past 8 
in the evening. Mr. Felicchi, Mr. Bayley, Mr. 
Amory, of Boston, and Signor Baragazzi, an 
advocate of Leghorn, accompanied us." 

A week was spent at Florence. From that 
city Mr. Jay writes : " I have found here as 
much magnificence as I expected to find even at 
Rome. There are at least ten palaces in Flor- 
ence better built and embellished than St. 
James's at London." Of the Ufiizi he remarks : 



" Tlic taiiious j^allcry did not siiri)ass my ex- 
pectations. csi)ccially as tlic l)csl pieces both of 
paintini,^ and ^culi)lurc liavc l)ccn sent to I*a- 
lernio to save llR-ni fr<»ni tlie l-'rench," nor did 
he see the collection formerly at the Palazzo 
Pilti, since it had been ransacked by Xajjoleon 
and the paintins^s taken to I'aris. The follow- 
ing item proves that the shops of Florence were 
no less enticing one hundred years ago than at 
present — *' The P.rolhers Pisani have here a 
grand manufactory of alabaster vases, etc. I 
purchased a few for my sisters." 

"Feb. 5. — Our friends Ict'l I )r. Seaman and 
myself. W'e parted with great regret froui Mr. 
Felicchi and Mr. I'ayley, who had been un- 
wearied in their attentions to please us. ( )ur 
fellow passenger, Mr. Thompson, also returned 
to Leghorn and his absence gave us much less 

As the weather at this time was very cold, 
Mr. Jay and Dr. .^caman determined to go to 
Rome, and on I'\-b. <;th ^et out. in a carriage 
drawn by a team of mules, on what i)roved 
to be a rough and tedious journey. They 
liad travelled only twenty miles when the 
road became so obstructed witli snow that 
thev were compelled U) return to the village of 



Tavernelle, where the night was passed in a 
miserable inn. 

"Feb. loth. — We were detained all day at 
Tavernelle. Two couriers, being in like man- 
ner detained, applied to the Commandant of the 
place, who ordered the inhabitants to open the 
road. They went out for that purpose, but 
soon returned, saying it was too cold to work. 
Indeed, for this climate the weather was very 
severe. The snow did not melt even at noon- 
day on the roofs most exposed to the sun. We 
endeavored in vain to persuade the people to 
break the road, as in America, with horses and 
oxen — they had no idea of opening it except by 
shovelling the snow out of it." 

The following day they were finally able to 
proceed and arrived at Sienna late in the even- 
ing. After leaving Sienna the roads became 
very rough, which made travelling difficult and 
slow. Near Ponte Centino they had to ford the 
river Rigo six times in the course of a mile to 
reach the house where they were to sleep. At 
Lake Bolsena they were interrupted by a squad 
of the Pope's cavalry " who endeavored to per- 
suade us to hire an escort to Montefiascone to 
protect us from the Banditti, who they said in- 
fested the road and had lately robbed the Flor- 


Tin: j( )rkNi:v to naim.ks 

ence Courier. Hut, as ihcy tlicMUselvcs had 
UK^rc the ai)i)caraiKc of liau(htti thau soldiers, 
wc dcchucd tlio honor of thi-ir Company." 

After s|)cn(hn<^ a week at I\ome. they were 
ohh^tjed to j^o furtlier soiuli on accoiuit of the 
contiiuied cold. Just hefore leavini^. Mr. Jay 
made this eiury : " 1 was near heinj; killed here 
by the fume.s of charcoal in a brasscro." 

The journey to Naples was made by the post 
route. At Portella. the entrance to the Kintj- 
dom of Xaples, Mr. Jay's servant was arrested 
for having no passport, and as ari^uments and 
persuasion availed not. he had to be left behind 
at Terracina. The servant, who was called 
" P.ill." proved more than a match for the 
XeajKilitan g^uards. for on March Jd Mr. Jay 
writes: " My servant who was sent back to Ter- 
racina fortunately found there a felucca bound 
to Xaples, and trf)ini^ on board, arrived at this 
place the day after we did." 

Two weeks were spent at Xaples. from 
which base the two travellers visited nearly all 
the surrounding places of interest, including 
Pompeii and the crater of \'esuvius. 

C)n these excursions Mr. W'oolaston. an 
English gentleman whom they had met on the 
wav. generallv accompanied them. 



At Naples Mr. Jay had an opportunity to at- 
tend court and observe the Itahan methods of 
judicial procedure. He remarked that the 
corps of advocates amounted to 8,000, and the 
notaries, clerks, scriveners and other retainers 
of the law, to nearly 12,000 more, — a proof, 
perhaps, that the laws were not the best pos- 
sible. He also saw something of Neapolitan 
society, having been a guest at a magnificent 
ball given by Madame Falconet, formerly Miss 
Hunter of Boston. 

By the middle of March, the weather becom- 
ing warmer, Mr. Jay and his friend decided to 
return to Rome. Eight days were spent in 
sight-seeing, including an excursion to Tivoli. 
Mr. Jay speaks of Rome as " this superb Me- 
tropolis, superb even amidst its present misery 
and desolation." St. Peter's seemed to impress 
him most of all. 

Beginning their journey northward, they 
drove from Rome to Florence, by way of Pe- 
rugia. Being anxious to get letters from 
America awaiting them at Leghorn, they 
passed through Lucca and Pisa. As the road 
from Leghorn to Genoa was impassable for 
carriages, they resolved to go thither in an 
English brig which was to sail in a few days. 



Reports n\ a war l)cl\vccii luic^laiul and I'Vancc. 
however, prevented lier departure, so tliey 
finally hired the cabin of a felucca and made the 
voyage in twenty-two Iii»nrs. Mr. jay writes 
from (ienoa : " The passage would have been 
aqrceahle hut for the extreme nastiness of the 
boat, which swarmed with vermin. These fe- 
luccas are open boats which carry merchandise 
from place to place alonj^; the coast and sail or 
are rowed as occasion retjuires. On the aj)- 
proach of roui^h weather they instantly run for 
the shore. They have commonly two latteen 
sails and ten oars, riie master is called Pa- 
drone. That which they call the cabin is a place 
abaft the mainmast covered with a small awn- 

Leaving Genoa. I )r. Seaman and Mr. lay en- 
gaged a carriage to cross the Apennines by the 
Hochetta Pass. The road was wild and in- 
fested with robbers, but the travellers got 
through safe to Turin. Mr. Jay writes that 
Turin is without exception the mo>i beaiuiful 
city he has seen, .\bout the middle of April he 
left for Lyons, and on this stage Mr. Jay had 
his first experience of the Alps. He crossed 
Mont Cenis on nnile!)ack, at a height of 6,260 
feet, in a violent wind-storm, and the ground 



covered with snow. The journey from Lyons 
to Paris, a distance of about 354 miles, was 
made in four days and a half over excellent 

At Paris, Mr. Jay took lodgings in the Rue 
Vivienne, Dr. Seaman going on to London. 
Mr. Jay met a number of friends here, among 
them Mr. and Mrs. Higginson and Dr. Bruce, 
with whom he made many excursions about the 
city in the course of the following five weeks. 

"The palaces in Paris," Mr. Jay remarks, 
" are magnificent but of much inferior architec- 
ture to those of Rome and Florence. The Tui- 
leries are inhabited by the French Consul ; the 
Luxembourg is now the palace of the Senate, 
the Legislative Body occupy the Palais Bour- 
bon, and the Tribunate hold their sittings in the 
Palais Royal. Notre Dame, the cathedral, is 
a large and ancient Gothic church, but not to be 
compared with the Duomo at Florence or to the 
Minster at York, or the Cathedral at Wells." 
At this time the population of Paris was 600,- 
000. '' The streets," he says, " are not well 
paved nor are they very clean, and having no 
sidewalks are inconvenient for foot passen- 
gers." He greatly admired the boulevards on 
which formerly stood the ramparts of the city; 



also "a \v«Kul called ihc MIysiaii fields," as well 
as the liois de li<>ul<tij^ne, "a wood which was 
cut down diirinj^^ the Revolution hut which has 
been ai;ain planted." ( )f ihe i)eoi)le he writes: 
"The manners of the Parisians have returned 
to what they were under the old rci^inic: and 
those of the Revolution, and even the Revolu- 
tionary lanq^ua^e, arc entirely r)ut of fashion. 
A new aristocracy, that of wealth, has replaced 
the old nobility and |)erhaps the chani;e is not 
much for the better." Theatres are numerous 
in every part of the city, and are always full. 
Mr. lay remarks: " The perfornu-rs in Tra.i^edy 
aj)pear t< • me mere ranters. The dancins;^ at the 
opera is extremely fine, though I think that 
both the Italian and b'rench in their (kmcint^, 
and the former also in their music, aim much 
more at executing;' what is difTicult than what 
is g^raccful." In speakiiiij of X'ersailles, Mr. 
Jay says: "The palace fell far short of my ex- 
pectations. It contains, however, some j»^ood 
pictures and a jjreat many of inferior merit. 
The masterpieces both of |)aintinj]j and sculp- 
ture have been sent to Paris and St. Cl<nid. 
The latter is now the favorite residence of 
lionapartc. and immense sums liavc been ex- 
pended to furnish and embellish it." 

"■ ■» 


During the month of May Mr. Robert R. 
Livingston and Mr. Munro, Ministers of the 
United States, signed a treaty with the French 
Government by which France ceded Louisiana 
to the United States, a territory nearly equal to 
the area of the thirteen original States— an 
event recently commemorated at St. Louis. 
Mr. Jay was desired by the Ministers to take 
with him on his return to America the ratified 
treaty and an order from the First Consul 
for the delivery of the Territory. Accordingly 
he left for Havre on June 9th, where he en- 
gaged passage for New York on the ship Oliver 
Ellszvorfh. On the way down the Channel Capt. 
Brenton, of the British frigate La Minerve, 
having heard that Mr. Jay was the bearer of 
despatches, stopped the Oliver Ellsworth and 
summoned him aboard. Air. Jay promptly 
showed the Captain a certificate with which he 
had been furnished by the American Ministers; 
whereupon Capt. Brenton made profuse apolo- 
gies, saying that he had supposed the de- 
spatches were from the French Government, 
and sent Mr. Jay back to his ship. 

A stop of two days was made at La Rochelle 
to take on a cargo of brandy. This gave Mr. 
Jay an opportunity to visit the birthplace of his 


I. A !>:( )( iii.i.i.F-: 

forefathers. Mons. I'iorrc Uordc. \ ice (. oin- 
niercial Aj^^enl of tlie L'nited States, informed 
him that a respectahle Iluj^iienol family of the 
name of Jay, — various meml)ers of wliicli liad 
once held oftices under the fjovcrnmenl and 
had afterwards fled on account of their reli- 
gion, — was still rememl)ered there. " lie told 
me further," says Mr. Jay, "that ahout twenty 
years ago he had known a Mr. Jay who was a 
memher of the Parliament of Paris, and was of 
a Rochelle family, hut he was ignorant what 
had hecome of him during the Revolution." 

Mr. fav continuo — " La Roclielle i■^ a mel- 
ancholy place. ICverything testifies decline and 
])overty. The port contains not a single vessel 
which is receiving or discharging a cargo. 
Not a gentleman's carriage is to he seen in the 
city and the grass grows in the midst of the 
streets. This place formerly contained up- 
wards of 60,000 souls; the p<ipulation has now 
dwindled to 17,000. h^ifty years ago its com- 
merce equalled or exceeded that of Bordeaux; 
at |)resent it does not employ six vessels. This 
declension is owing in part to the loss of the fur 
trade which centred here hefore the conijuest 
of Canada hy the P>ritish ; partly to the destruc- 
tion of their African conunerce. which was de- 


stroyed during- the last war ; and partly by the 
Revolution, which ruined the men of property 
and capitalists; but more than all to the su- 
perior advantages of situation enjoyed by Bor- 
deaux, which is seated on one of the finest 
rivers of France, while all inland trade with 
Rochelle must be carried on only by land. The 
port is very small but perfectly secure. It re- 
sembles more a large dock than a harbor. The 
city had formerly been surrounded by an old- 
fashioned stone wall, strengthened with round 
towers, part of which is still standing. New 
and exceeding strong fortifications in the mod- 
ern style have since been erected. The streets 
are tolerably wide, and straight, the houses of 
stone and old-fashioned. In most streets the 
second story projects over the first and is sup- 
ported by pillars, forming a convenient foot- 
walk. There is a large square and a public 
walk on the ramparts." 

After considerable delay they sailed from La 
Rochelle on July loth. Again the Oliver Ells- 
zvorth was boarded from no less than four Brit- 
ish frigates, but as in the first instance Mr. Jay 
was allowed to proceed, with apologies. His 
arrival in New York with the treaty on August 
i8, 1803, was announced in the papers the fol- 



lowing (lay. In liis passport Iroiii Havre Mr, 
Jay is (lcscril)c'(l as " zj years old. oval face, 
acjuiliiic nose. I»luc eyes, cheslnui hair. 5 fl. 
10 in. lii,L;li. accompanied by his valcl, \\ illiani 

Durinj.^ the next leu months his assiduity 
— always a dislinL^aiishint;: trait of his char- 
acter — found him ajL^ain amoni,^ his law books 
and as intent as ever in huildini.,^ U]) the char- 
acter which in time gave him such an enviable 
])osition in his profession. It was no little dis- 
tinction for him to learn thai when Chancellor 
Kent was solicited to appoint some one to make 
a valuation and report in a case of maL,niitude 
and nicety. — "let it be referred," said the 
Chancellor, to Mr. Jay: " if there ever was an 
honest man. it is Peter A. Jay." 

It was at Dr. Charlton's su.c^j^estion that Mr. 
Jay the foUowinj^ autumn ai^ain made arranu^e- 
ments to seek a more j^enial climate. He se- 
cured from He Witt Clinton, the Mayor, a pass- 
port for himself and his servant. William 
Kendall, to visit foreij^n countries. I le decided 
to jTfo to Bermuda and make his residence at St. 
Georges. On Dec. 16. 1S03. he sailed on the 
sloop Blachbirl Mr. Territt. lately appointed 
Judge of the Nice Admiralty Court at Her- 


muda, was a fellow passenger. Mr. Jay writes : 
"I found him a learned and agreeable man. 
His baggage and the sloop's provisions so filled 
the cabin that we were unable even to sit up- 
right in it. On the 17th, i8th and 19th it blew 
a storm and we alternately lay to and scudded 
before it, sometimes under bare poles. The 
rest of the voyage was uncommonly disagree- 
able, on account of the rough and wet weather 
which confined us to the cabin, filled, as I have 
described it. The dead lights were put in be- 
fore we sailed and never taken out, and the 
skylight having no glass in it was obliged to be 
covered whenever it rained. I suffered much 
from sea-sickness. On making the land we 
very nearly escaped running on the rocks called 
the Long Reef." 

On his arrival at St. Georges Mr. Jay pre- 
sented the letters of introduction given him by 
Mr. Barclay, the British Consul General at 
New York. These procured him great at- 
tention and hospitality, especially from Mr. 
Tucker, the President of the Council and, in 
the absence of the Governor, Commander-in- 
Chief. But it was, as he writes to his sister 
Mrs. Banyer, a gloomy and uncomfortable sea- 
son. " Instead of a land of perpetual spring as 



1 liad liDpctl lo tiiul il. il proved to be during 
most of the lime 1 spent there a region of con- 
tinued storm and rain. As for public diver- 
sions tliere are none of any kind except lliat 
sometimes they amuse themselves willi running 
horses or with boat racing, in llie last of which 
they excel — their vessels being as good as their 
horses are bad. If ilie P.ermudians," he con- 
cludes, " were as fond of tlowers as you are, 
they might have very beautiful gardens with 
little trouble." 

( )n the »)th of May. 1S04. Mr. Jay writes in 
hi- biurnal : " Being anxious to leave this place, 
wIktc 1 have passed some very disagreeable 
months, 1 engaged a ])assage in the sloop Cedar 
Tree, Captain Pcnniston. for Philadelphia." 
And on May J^d. " we succeeded in getting to 
sea and I bade adieu to IJcrmuda without re- 
gret. The inhabitants were hospitable and 
showed me a very great degree of attention, 
but disagreeable weather, absence from friends, 
inactivity and exceeding bad health concurred 
to make my time i)ass heavily and gloojnily 
away." lie arrived home at I>edford on June 
1 2th. In the autumn he received the following 
letter from Judge Terr it t : 



" St. Georges, Bermuda, 

"Nov. loth, 1804. 
^' Dear Sir: 

*' My servant has preserved for you some 
seeds of that blue flower you were so partial 
to when you visited this Island, and he begs me 
to mention in my letter that he is in want of 
many seeds, particularly cantaloupe, melons, 
cucumbers, horse-radish and celery. 

" If you will deign to visit us again this Win- 
ter I shall be able to receive you in a better 
manner than when you were here before; but, 
though I should be particularly happy to see 
you, I hope that ill health will not be the cause 
of our meeting ; I have too much reason at the 
same time to fear that nothing but the appre- 
hension of suffering from the cold at New York 
can induce you to return to this dreary and un- 
comfortable spot. . . . Begging to be particu- 
larly remembered to Judges Benson and Kent, 
to Mr. King, Mr. G. Morris and Col. Barclay 
when you see them, I am, dear Sir, 

" Most sincerely and truly yours, 

"W. Territt." 

]\Ir. Jay remained at Bedford for the next 
two years, being still in poor health. He could 



n<tl l»c tciiiiited i<> }^<i to licnimda aj^ain ; lli<iu;;li 
always rclaininj^ very jjralcful iiiciiiories of tlic 
kindnesses wliicli he lia<l received during liis 
visit. As we see l)y ihe tOllowiiii,^ letter, lie 
evidently took pleasure in introducing to his 
friend Mr. Tucker, a resident of I>erniu(la, 
youni^ Hort'nian. I h'tViiiau, ilun a midshipman 
serving on hoard the /'resident. Commodore 
Decatur, which was captured <m January 1 6, 
1S15, olY Long Island, during what is com- 
monly known as the Second War of Indepen- 
dence, in after years hecame a prominent niem- 
her of the Xew ^'ork liar. 

** New York, January jS. 1S15. 
" Pear Sir: 

" I know hoth by observation and experience to afford you an oj)portunity to be hos- 
pitable is to give you i)leasure. and 1 shall there- 
fore without any apology beg you to show such 
civilities as may be proj)er to Mr. Ogden Hoff- 
man, a midshipman lately caj)tured on board 
the IWcsidcut frigate .and now on his way to 
your Island as a prisoner. He is a young gen- 
tleman of family and education, son to the Re- 
corder of this city, and I trust worthy of the 
attention he may receive. 

" Be assured, sir. I have not forgotten the 


kindness I experienced from almost every gen- 
tleman of your name when, many years ago, I 
visited Bermuda in search of health. Should 
there be any of them who still remember me, 
be pleased to make to them my respects and be- 
lieve me, sir, 

" Your very obed. serv't, 

'' Peter Augustus Jay. 
"Dan'l Tucker, Esq., 

The years spent at Bedford, the quiet of the 
country, and relaxation from business cares 
finally completely restored him to health. 

On June 6, 1806, Mr. Goldsborough Banyer 
died in the thirty-first year of his age. It will 
be remembered that he had married Maria, 
Peter's sister, who was now left with two young 
children, a son and daughter. The loss of her 
husband was followed in a few months by that 
of her son, and three years later her daughter 

At the age of thirty-one, Mr. Jay became en- 
gaged to Mary Rutherfurd Clarkson, his sec- 
ond cousin. Mary was a daughter of General 
Matthew Clarkson and an only child by his first 
wife, Mary Rutherfurd. Her Clarkson ances- 


I'i i hK A. ).\\ 
In the |Hi»*o*ion of Mr. JmIid Jay ricrrcjmnt 


tors had loiii;- ht-cn scttlccl in the- \\\-sl KidiuL,^ 
of N'ork^hiro, I'-ni^Iand. 1 lio I\cv. I>a\id 
Clarkson, llic iinincdialc descendant of this 
family and Ixuii in N'orksliire, was a j^raduatc 
of Trinily Collei;e, Canibridj^^e, and su1)m'- 
(jucntly made London his residence, lie ii»(»k 
a prominenl i)arl in ilie rcliL;i"»u> cnntroversies 
of the time and was as nuicii esteemed ior his 
** j^odly n])rij.^ht life" as for his c^reat scholar- 
shij). lie was the father of Matthew Clarkson 
who came wilii his half-hrttiher. or stepbrother, 
Charles Lodwick. to llosion in i^S;. I»ut went 
back to luiL^land soon after his father's death, 
and who. on his later visit to America, came 
with the Royal Commission of Secretary of the 
l*r<»\ince of New ^^t^k. This Matthew was 
the grcat-^reat-grand father of Mary Clark- 

Mary's mother was a woman of i^real beauty, 
and of amiability of temper which made her ex- 
ceedinj^ly pojndar. She was the only daiij:fhtcr 
of Walter Rulherfurd and Catherine Alexan- 
der. Mary's uncle, her mother's brother, was 
an only son and was a Senator of the United 
States from New Jersey durintif the administra- 
tion of Cieneral Washinj^ton. 1 Kr i^rand- 
father. Walter Rutherfurd. had entered the 



British service at an early age and served 
in Flanders as a Lieutenant in the Royal 
Scots, and in 1760, under Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 
commanded the Grenadiers at the invasion of 
Canada. On the termination of the French and 
Indian War he retired from the army and re- 
sided in New York and New Jersey. The 
Rutherfurds have always been classed amongst 
the most ancient and powerful families in Tevi- 
otdale, Scotland. The marriage was preceded 
by the following correspondence : 

" Bedford, July 3, 1807. 
"Dear Sir: 

"My respect for your family and my con- 
stant esteem for your parents and yourself ren- 
der the connection, which I understand, is 
about to take place between two of our children, 
perfectly agreeable to me. The reason there is 
to believe that their mutual affection will be 
protected and secured by mutual esteem, af- 
fords me particular satisfaction. 

*' My son is not a little gratified by the man- 
ner in which your approbation was given, and 
I flatter myself he will omit no opportunities of 
evincing the sense he entertains of it. 



" \\ ilh the most sincL-rc \vi>lics for your and 
tlicir prosperity. I am. dear sir, 

" ^'oll^ (•ln-(liciii servant. 

'■ John Jav. 
" (leiieral Mattiikw C'i-AkK>()N." 

This letter elicited the followinj::^ reply: 

" Nr:\v ^'(1RK. liiK <K iSoj. 
" Pear Sir: 

" 1 should scKiner have expressed to y(»u my 
thanks for the favor of your letter of the 3d 
inst. and the civilities contained in it, had not 
my knowledii^e of ynur son's intention of rc- 
turninL:^ to liedford induced me to postjjone it 
until now. The intended connection hctween 
two of our children, in e\ery point of view, 
gives me very ^reat |>leasure, and this is much 
increased by the satisfaction you express on the 
subject. The real esteem I bear your son for 
his great worth, and the warm affection I feel 
for the best of daughters, assures me that their 
mutual atTection is not misplaced, but that they 
are. in every resi)ect. deserving of each other. 

" Tlieir marriage, whicii I understand will 
soon take place. I sincerely hope it will be con- 
venient for you and vour familv to witness. 

' «5 


"With every sentiment of esteem and re- 
spect, I am, dear sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"M. Clarkson. 
" Hon. John Jay/' 

The wedding took place on July 29 at the 
Clarkson house, on the southeast corner of 
Whitehall and Pearl streets. The company as- 
sembled on Wednesda}^ evening, in the draw- 
ing-room on the north side of the house, its 
three windows looking out upon Pearl Street. 
The ceremony was performed by Doctor Moore, 
Bishop of the diocese. Among the guests 
were Governor Jay, the Rutherfurds, Bayards, 
Leroys, Van Homes, Munros, Wallaces, and 
Miss Anne Brown. The bride wore white silk 
covered with white gauze, and her ornaments 
were pearls. She was attended by six brides- 
maids, in white muslin Empire gowns: the 
Misses Ann Jay, Helen Rutherfurd, Anna Ma- 
ria Clarkson, Susan and Catherine Bayard and 
Cornelia Leroy. The groomsmen were Robert 
Watts, Jr., John Cox Morris, Dominick Lynch, 
George Wickham, Benjamin Ledyard and B. 
Woolsey Rogers. On the following day Mr. 
and Mrs. Jay visited the latter's uncle, the Hon. 



Jolin kmhcriurcl of I'-dj^cr.slttii, on llic I'assaic, 
a lilllc above P)cllcvillc, where tlie l)ri(lal parly 
were cnterlained at a breakfast. Mr. jay re- 
ceived bis friends in llie nu)rninj.;s of the suc- 
ceedini;^ Tuesday, \\'e(biesday and Tbursday, 
wliile Mrs. Jay's receptions were in tlie even- 
ings of I "bur^day. I'ritlay ami Saturday. Soon 
afterwards lliey went on tlieir wedding trip, 
visiting among otber i)laces ilallslon Spa, near 

In a letter to Mrs. P)anyer. written in i«So7, 
Mrs. [ay says, ** In tbe summer we expect to 
move into \'escy St. next to Uncle Rutber- 
furd's." Tbe bouse was immediately in tbe 
rear of .Mr. Rutlierfurd's. wbicb stood on tbe 
nortbwest corner of Broadway and \'esey 
Street. No. 2 V'esey Street was an inberitance 
from Mrs. Jay's molber. 

Ilousekeei)ing and attendance at " \ en- 
due's," for tbe purchase of suitable articles, 
form tbe subject of many of tbe letters to Bed- 

'rbi> ^^imumi" .Mr. ja\"^ l>i<»iher William was 
graduated from \'ale witb tbe class of 1S07, 
and began tbe study of law at Albany. 

Owing to improvements making in tbe city 
of Xew York in 1S07 and tbe opening of new 



streets, the Jays were obliged to abandon the 
use of their former vault for burial, which was 
somewhere near the site of the present St. 
Mark's Church, described in old papers as " at 
Mr. Stuyvesant's." The remains of several of 
the earlier members of the family were taken to 
Rye for sepulture in a new vault built on the 
Jay estate. 

On September ii, 1808, a son was born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Jay, and named John Clarkson. 
Shortly after his birth Mrs. Jay writes to her 
husband, who is visiting at Bedford: "This 
winter we shall receive an additional source of 
delight from our dear little boy. He grows 
every day, and is and has been perfectly well 
since you left us. His eyes are still blue; in- 
deed I am almost confident he will be like his 
father, which will, if possible, endear him still 
more to me. Aunt Van Home thinks John has 
grown since she last saw him, and says he is 
an uncommonly fine child, though I hear that 
from every one, and all think him like you ex- 
cept Mrs. Cortlandt, who says he is the picture 
of what William was." 

Mr. Jay now commenced to take part in the 
benevolent, educational, political and religious 
activities of his community, a part which, whe- 



llicr as director or co-wurkcr in llic ranks, 
not only left tlic impress of his sturdy cliarac- 
tcr uj)on the- nicn of liis own j^ciu-ralion. hut 
pcniiaiuiuly links his name with llie j^aowth 
antl uj)buil(hnL; of many of tlic institutions of 
Xcw \'ork. both pul)hc and i)rivatc. 

Ahlioupli at this time he was not a perma- 
nent resident at Rye. the records show tliat as 
early as April. 1S02. he was one of the wardens 
of Christ Church in that villa.i^e. In i<So9 he 
was made Governor of the Xcw York Hospital. 
In iSio lie was a Trustee of the Xcw York 
Society Library (founded in 1754). and in tlie 
same year wc read of him as beinj^ Treasurer 
of the Corporation for the Relief of Widows 
and Children of Clcrcfymcn of the IVotestant 
Episcoi)al Church in the State of Xcw York. 
The foUowinij;^ year he became a vestryman of 
Trinity Church, with which his father, p^rand- 
fathcr and c^rcat-t^randfather had also been of- 
ficially connected. From iSij to 1S17 he was 
Trustee of Columl)ia Collei^e. In most of these 
varirnis offices he continued to serve continu- 
ously or at intervals. durinLT the remainder of 
his life. 

It was in the year iSii that the famous 
"Trinitv Church Riot" took place; Mr. lav 



was retained as one of the counsel for the de- 
fendants. The Commencement exercises of 
Columbia College were being held in Trinity 
Church before a crowded audience. One of 
the graduating class, named Stevenson, a dis- 
putant in a political debate, was refused his 
degree for saying " Representatives ought to 
act according to the sentiments of their con- 
stituents." It seems that students were re- 
quired to submit their orations before delivery 
to the faculty for approval. In this case Dr. 
Wilson of the faculty disapproved of the above 
sentence and warned Stevenson to modify it. 
When the time came the latter delivered it as 
originally written. Later, when the President 
was about to hand him his degree, the faculty 
protested and the degree was withheld from 
him. Immediately there was an uproar; sev- 
eral of the alumni jumped up on the stage and 
made speeches condemning the faculty. The 
audience becoming excited, the police were 
called in and the Commencement ended in great 
disorder. But the matter did not end there. 
After considerable agitation in the newspapers, 
several of the students and alumni who had de- 
nounced the faculty, including Stevenson, were 
indicted by the Grand Jury for causing a riot 



and were finally l)ruiij;hl to trial in tin- C duii 
of Sessions or Mayor's Court. I K- W iti (iin- 
Inii was tiicn Mayor, 'i'iic detcndanls liad cn- 
^ai^cd eminent coiuisel in P. !'. ( )i^den, Josiali 
U. HolTnian and i'eter A. jay. Mr. Jay ar- 
g^ied tlial if tiie cojlei^e permitted students to 
discuss j)olilical (|uestions they should be al- 
lowed free exercise of their own views, other- 
wise there was no freedom in debate and the 
students were simply mouthpieces of jjrofes- 
sors; that there was nothint!^ in the statutes 
of the Colle.ij^e imposinj.^ the i)enalty of a refusal 
of a deij^ree if a student would not incorporate 
in his si)eecli what a professor directed him 
to put into it : that it was not the yount^ men 
on trial but the faculty who were responsible 
for the disturbance, and that in the sense of the 
law there had been no riot. 

De \\ itt Clinton, however, was in no mood 
to pay any respect to the law in the case, insist- 
ing^ that there had been a riot. Fie anj.jrily said 
that the disturbance was the most diss^raceful, 
the most unprecedented, the most unjustifiable 
and the most outratjefms that had ever come to 
the knowled.tje of the Court, and he chary^ed the 
jury to find the defendants .q^uilty on account of 
having had a hand in a disj^raceful riot. The 



jury brought in a verdict of guilty, and Clinton 
fined the defendants two hundred dollars each. 

On the 22d of February, 1810, Mr. Jay de- 
livered by request an oration before the Wash- 
ington Benevolent Society. 

As this is the first public oration by Mr. Jay 
that has been preserved, a few extracts are 
given below, sufficient to indicate his style and 
manner of address : 

" In the long series of ages over which his- 
tory sheds her feeble light, scattered with un- 
equal intervals appear a few great names shin- 
ing like stars amidst the general obscurity. 
Some are clustered into constellations, and 
some are the more conspicuous for being un- 
rivalled and alone. But when narrowly ob- 
served by the light of truth and reason, how 
many of them are found to fade as in the beams 
of the sun, and to have owed their celebrity less 
to their intrinsic lustre than to the darkness 
that surrounded them. 

" How few of the heroes of antiquity deserve 
to be compared with the hero of America. 
Shall the rash and vain-glorious Alexander, 
who, to satisfy an insatiable ambition, desolated 
unofifending nations — shall Caesar, who pointed 
his parricidal arms against his country, and 



louiulctl his llironc 111)011 llic ruiii.s of licr lil)- 
erty— shall ihc cukl-hcarled Auj:^ustus, who 
stecj)cil his native soil u ith liu- noblest blood of 
its inhabitants — shall the>e. or men reseniblini; 
these, be opposed to the renown of the man who 
foui^hl and lived for his country only? Who 
led his fellow-citizens throuj^h all the perils of 
a lonj^ and uiK(|ual combat to victory, liberty, 
and safety — who was the instrument of tlie 
Most High, not to scourge a guilty world, but 
to dispense to this our native land the blessings 
of freedom, independence, security and order. 

" Mow then shall I perform the task which 
you re(|uire; how shall 1 pronounce a eulogy 
on him whose merits are above comi)arison? 

" My brethren, 1 will not ; he needs no eulogy. 
Garlands of flowers might hide, but could not 
adorn, a statue by Praxiteles. \\ here all is per- 
fect, what more can be desired than to expose 
it distinctly to the view? 

. . ^'et his military talents form but a 
small part of the materials which comi)ose ilie 
]»erennial monument of his fame. Skill in a 
particular act denotes the great artist, not al- 
ways the great man. Able captains alx)und in 
every age, while a man truly great is almost a 



" Indeed, military glory, though of all kinds 
the most seductive, is seldom entitled to our es- 
teem or approbation. When the fancy figures 
an immense multitude arrayed in arms, all obe- 
dient to the voice of one man, ready to endure 
toil, to encounter danger, and to sacrifice their 
lives at his command, we are struck with awe 
at the imposing picture of irresistible power. 
But power, when it is the agent of malignant 
passions or inordinate desires, should be re- 
garded with abhorrence, and not with venera- 
tion. It suggests the idea of the great enemy 
of mankind seeking to destroy. Do we honour 
the lightning that blasts, the conflagration that 
devours, the inundation that sweeps away, in 
an hour, the labour of years? Do we sing 
praises to the hurricane, the earthquake, or the 
pestilence? It is the glorious sun which vivifies 
and illumines; the genial warmth that invigo- 
rates; the kindly rain that fertilizes and re- 
freshes ; the peaceful river, that, like the majes- 
tic Hudson, enriches its shores, and wafts upon 
its bosom the tributes which agriculture and 
commerce render to each other. It is the useful 
agents of nature that we regard with affection, 
and for which we offer our thanksgiving to the 
Father of Mercies. The union of wisdom and 



virtue with power can alone eiilille il lu venera- 
tion, riius united, it must necessarily be em- 
ployed in acts of beneficence, and il tlien ex- 
hibits a lively image of the Deity. 

"The power entrusted to W .ishingiMii \^,l-^ 
always thus united, and thus employed. . . . 

■' The history of all republics has shown, that 
when >uch a >tate has completed a revolution 
by means of an army, it is easy for the master 
of that army to command the State. Wash- 
ington resisted the glittering temptation, and 
listened solely to the dictates of duty; lie 
promptly and indignantly repressed the fust 
movements of treason among the troops; he 
soothed, he dispersed, and by degrees dis- 
banded them; he resigned his command; he ex- 
erted every honest act to compose the puldic 
disorders; and with unwearied zeal and dili- 
gence promoted every design which could give 
stability to the government, and preserve peace 
and harmony to the people, till his lal)ours were 
finally consummated in a free constitutinn. 

" My I)rethren, the heart warms at the recol- 
lection of this disinterestedness. Does it not 
discover more magnanimity, and confer more 
true glory, than all the bl(M)d-stainetl trophies 
of the concjueror of luirope? 



" In the eyes of reason and philosophy his 
resignation, in the circumstances that accom- 
panied it, is alone sufficient to entitle him to im- 

Fast following the deaths of her brothers, 
Frederick and Augustus, came the death of 
Eve, eldest child of Peter Jay and Mary 
Van Cortlandt. Eve was born November 9, 
1728, and on the 31st of March, 1766, mar- 
ried Henry, or, as he always wrote his name, 
Harry, Munro. Mr. Munro was a widower 
and a Scotchman. He had been educated at 
the University of Edinburgh, studied for the 
ministry, and in 1757 was admitted to Holy 
Orders in the Kirk of Scotland. He was soon 
after appointed chaplain of the 77th regiment 
of Highlanders, which was specially raised for 
service in America during the " French War." 
After his arrival in America he was admitted 
into the Episcopal Church and for nine years 
served as rector of St. Peter's, Albany. His 
rectorship closed the colonial era. The trou- 
blous period of the Revolution followed and the 
doors of the churches were shut against those 
of the Anglican clergy who were not in sympa- 
thy with the movement and rebelled against the 
new order of things. For his resistance to 


ki:m()\.\i. r< > I'lSE strket 

autliorily Mr. Munit) was imprisoned, l)iil made 
Ills escape \)\ nij^lit. and after much sutTerin)^, 
as he relates, readied Diamond Island in Lake 
George. Tiience he went tn iiconderoj^a and 
to Canada, and in the summer of 177S sailed 
from Quel)ec for ICni^land. never returning to 
America. 1 le died at i^dinburgh May 30, 1801. 
In the winter «»f I7<M. during his irij) to Scot- 
land. Mr. I'eter A. Jay visited his uncle Mr. 

Mrs. Munrn did not accompany her husl)and 
to luirojje. hut remained with her father at 
Rye. and after her oidy ciiild. Peter jay Munro, 
grew up. she resided with him until lier deatli. 
April 7. 1 8 10. 

In the spring of iSii Mr. and Mrs. Jay 
moved from the house they had heen occupy- 
ing in X'esey Street to No. 35 Tine .^^treei. Mr. 
Jay had his law office in this house. Tiie birth 
of their eldest daughter. Mary Rutherfurd Jay, 
occurred April 16. iSio. and another daugh- 
ter, Sarah. December hk iSii. Mrs. Hanyer 
writes at this time: " Aunt Symmes says your 
httle girl resembles Sister Sallie. Sal insists 
upon it Mary is my favorite, while she openly 
declares her preference for John." 

Mr. Jay was nominated for Congress by the 



" Peace and Commerce " party, in the Fall of 
1812, to represent the First Congressional Dis- 
trict, comprising Suffolk, Queens, Kings, and 
Richmond Counties and the First and Second 
Wards of the City of New York. His col- 
league on the ticket was Benjamin B. Blyden- 
berg. The nominees for the Second District 
were Egbert Benson and Jotham Post. 

In a letter to Mrs. Banyer after the election 
Mr. Jay says: ''We have gained the election 
and to my own surprise I am a member of Con- 
gress, provided the election is not void, which 
many of our lawyers think it is. As far as con- 
cerns me, individually, I am flattered by the 
election, but shall be glad to be excused the ne- 
cessity of going to Washington, which, how- 
ever agreeable it might be in other respects, 
would be an interruption to my business which 
I can very ill afford." 

The " New York Gazette and General Adver- 
tiser " of Jan. 29, 1813, contains this announce- 
ment: "The votes for members of Congress 
have been officially canvassed at Albany, and 
the following Gentlemen are declared duly 
elected members of the House of Representa- 
tives from this State. Nineteen of the new 
members are Federalists and eight Democrats. 



■' 1st District, John Ixffcrts, Sage. 
2cl District, Mj^bcrl l^cn^oii, Joiliam I'ost." 

( )n wliat j^roiiiul^ Mr. Jay's election was void 
is not clear. Ihe matter was j)rotested by Hly- 
denberj;- and Jay in the House of Representa- 
tives in July. I Si 3. was referred to a Coinniit- 
tee, and tinally postponed to the next session of 
Congress. It does not api)ear that any further 
action ever took j)lace on the sul)iect. 

Mr. Jay was again nominated for Lon.i;nss. 
this time from the Second District, Xew \"ork. 
in December, 1S13, to fill the vacancy caused by 
the resignation of Mgbc-rt I'cnson. but was de- 
feated li\ William Irving by 379 votes. 

Mr. Jay is al all times in correspondence 
with r>e(lford, and numerous little services are 
performed by him in the city to promote the 
comfort of the family there. bVequently the 
letters are addressed to his father and his bro- 
ther, William, and at other times to his sister. 
Mrs. Banyer; writing to the latter, in one of 
his letters he says : '* To use a Spanish proverb, 
may you live a thousand years and enjoy the 
hapj)iness which your disposition promises and 

A mural tablet in St. Peter's Church at W- 
bany may be seen as one enters the building. 


which bears this inscription: "Sacred to the 
memory of Goldsbrow Banyar, who died in this 
city November 4, 181 5, aged 91 years. He was 
a zealous advocate of the doctrines and wor- 
ship of the Protestant Episcopal Church." 

The death of her father-in-law, old Mr. Ban- 
yer, ended Mrs. Banyer's cares and self-deny- 
ing duties in Albany. She removed to the city 
of New York, and bought a house 89 Liberty 
Street, which she and her younger sister, Sally, 
continued to occupy until the death of the latter 
on the 22d of April, 1818. 

Under this further bereavement Mrs. Ban- 
yer broke up housekeeping and again sought 
comfort in the endearments of her father's 
house at Bedford. Later she built on Broad- 
way adjoining her brother Peter's, and here 
she and her sister, Nancy, lived until, with a 
view of securing a more quiet residence, Mrs. 
Banyer purchased as the future home for her- 
self and surviving sister, 20 Bond Street, where 
the closing years of their united lives were 

Communication with Bedford in those days 
was by no means as easy as its comparative 
proximity to the city would lead one to suppose. 
A stage ran at intervals, but was hardly 



adapictl lo iiiriii.sli a cuiivciiiciit .service lur ire- 
(jiK'nt intercourse l)et\veeii the two places. .\s 
Mr. Jay \v^il^.•^ l<> liis sister: '"It i> uniMriuiiatc 
llial tlie stai,^e i;<>es out the same day tliat your 
letters are deliveretl. 1 am ol)lit;'ed to answer 
them instantly, and as it is in ottice hours that 
they couK', 1 ha\e lt> do st) in tiie midst of an 
hundred interruptions." No one. however, ap- 
|)recialed the situation more than her hrother, 
and he adds: " 1 hej^' you will not hesitate to 
give me commissions whenever I can he of use 
to you. There are sca.sons when 1 am inces- 
santly emi)k)yed. hut there are ahso others when 
1 have leisure and which 1 can not employ m«)re 
aj^reeahly than in heini^ of service to you and 
the family." 

The resources of a small Westchester villaufe 
were practically nil. and Mr. Jay was only too 
glad to do what he could hy way of purchasing 
some of the household supplies in town. Get- 
ting them u|) to lied ford was another question. 
Was it a hook, or sonic stationery, or some 
medicine that Peter would kindly send up. they 
would go hy stage, hut then the stage would 
often not run at all ff)r days at a time when the 
snow was deep in winter. And in the summer- 
time, when provisions and heavy freight were 



to be laid in, such as " fotir barrels of flour," 
or " a quarter cask of good dry Lisbon wine — 
perhaps such may be had of Mr. Farquhar, or 
of Judge Benson's nephew," as writes the Gov- 
ernor, they would be sent by the sloop Volun- 
teer for '" Sinsing," in care of Squire Wood, but 
even this means of transportation sometimes 
failed to give satisfaction. Perhaps the " light, 
bafliing airs " of the Tappan Zee, together with 
a pleasant aroma from that cask of good dry 
Lisbon, tempted the Captain of the Volunteer 
to linger awhile under the shadow of Verdrie- 
tege Hook to taste the quality of the foreign 
vintage, he doubtless replenishing in full with 
Hudson's sparkling fluid. At any rate, suspi- 
cion lies heavily against him, for we have the 
Governor's word that " the wine last sent dif- 
fers from that which we had before," and again 
he writes, " The spinning machine you sent for 
Nancy has not yet come to hand from Sinsing." 
In addition to a very large law practice Mr. 
Jay had constant employment in investing 
funds for his clients, as well as for members of 
his family. The channels for investment were 
then exceedingly few, being limited to United 
States Stock, Bank and Fire Insurance Stock, 
Mortgages and Real Estate. Among the 

1 02 


sliaro whicli wiTc well tlmu^lil <•!' I)\ Mr. fay 
were lliosc<»t' llu- .MiMcliants iJank. Manhattan 
Company and I'.ank of America, and llic (ilobe 
and Wasliini^ton Insurance Comj)anics. An 
order such as the follow inij from his father is 
typical of many received hy him: " I lavinji; last 
week received a little more than five hundred 
dollars, and expecting; soon to receive further 
sums. I wish you to purchase for me with the 
money in your hands, to the amount of ei.e^ht 
hundred dollars. <uch slock as in your opinion 
would he most advisahle." It seems, however, 
that in those days, no less than now. investors 
had to keep a watchful eye on the let^islatures. 
Sur])riscs, in the way of additional taxation, or 
measures unfavorahle to their securities, were 
constantly occurring. A little later John jay 
writes to his son : *' It appears to me advisable 
to dispose of some of my P>ank Stock, and 
therefore desire you to sell as many of my 
shares in the Merchants P.ank as from circum- 
stances may. in your opinion, he prudent, and 
invest the proceeds in stock of the United 
States. I am apprehensive that the State Tax 
on dividends may eventually, and jierhaps 
soon, diminish the value and |)rice of the one, 
and increase that of the other." 



The War of 1812 had now broken out, and 
while it lasted the problem of getting any re- 
turn at all on money by investment was a very 
serious one. Business in New York was al- 
most at a standstill, and idle capital accumu- 
lated at that centre. The fear of a visit from 
the British was an additional source of alarm, 
and on account of it many people actually 
moved out of the city. Mr. Jay writes to his 
sister in September, 1814: " There is less alarm 
here than I expected to find, and I begin to 
hope that the English do not intend to visit us 
from their delay in coming. I think they 
would at least be collecting their strength near 
this if they meant to attack us and not remain 
in the Chesapeake. However, I shall take 
Papa's advice on the subject, and am going 
with Mary to Rye to-day and to Bedford to- 
morrow." A week later he writes : " It is said 
the British have been beaten at Baltimore and 
General Ross killed. If so, we shall, I think, 
be safe here till next year." Matters appa- 
rently grew worse, for on January 21, 181 5, 
he again writes: "We are all anxious to hear 
from New Orleans. Property to a large 
amount is owned by merchants here and stored 
in that place. One of the Ogdens, it is said, has 



cotton ihtTo In llic aiiiMuni of $l20,cxxj, and 
tJK' wlmif (|uanlily of cotton at New ( )rlcans 
is supposed to be of the value of many millions 
of dollars. lUit the worst conse{iuencc of its 
beinj;" taken will he the prohahle continuance 
of the war. " 

Little (lid he think that while he was writings 
these words, the country was at ])eace with 
Great Britain, the treaty of Ghent having been 
signed on Christmas day, 1S14, and the battle 
of New ( )rlcaiis ha\ ing been won by General 
Andrew Jackson several days later. The news 
of the battle did not reach New York until 
P^bruary 6, 1S15. nor did the people hear that 
the treaty of peace had been signed until Feb- 
ruary 14. On the following day Mrs. Jay in a 
letter to Mrs. Banyer, at Albany, says: "Were 
you not overjoyed at the news of peace? ^'ou 
cannot imagine the change it has made in the 
countenances of people here; every eye spar- 
kles and congratulations are continually ex- 
changed. G<»odhue. who had determined to 
give up his house, has taken a lease of it for 
three years. When the treaty is ratified we 
arc to have a grand illumination and. 1 am t«»ld. 

At that time tlK-ic unr no ^a\ lIlg^-l)anks or 


other institutions allowing interest on deposits, 
and the inconvenience of having funds unin- 
vested can be seen from the following, written 
by Mr. Jay to his sister in 1814 : "I have not yet 
disposed of your money. If there were any 
reasonable hopes of peace I should purchase 
bank stock. But in the present state of things 
I think that would be risking too much, and 
have agreed to lend it to Trinity Church. They 
do not want it immediately, and I have agreed 
to keep it till they do want it, which will prob- 
ably be in about two months. By this means 
you lose interest in the interval, but I preferred 
this arrangement as being upon the whole the 
most secure." 

It is interesting to note here the part which 
Mr. Jay took in establishing the savings-bank 
system in New York. Doubtless his knowledge 
of investments and experience among investors 
impressed him and others — notably John Pin- 
tard and Thomas Eddy — with the need of a 
savings-bank to benefit the working classes, 
encourage thrift, and help such as might not be 
able to make safe investments for themselves. 
On November 29, 1816, a number of citizens, 
most of whom belonged to the " Society for the 
Prevention of Pauperism," met in the assembly 



r(K)ms of the City lloid (»n r.r«»:i(lway lo dis- 
cuss the advisability of establishing a saviiiL^s- 
b.iiik. I'Vom thai niectiiii^^ dates the origin of 
tile r»ank f<»r Savings, the oldest institution «)f 
the kind in New \'ork State, and. with one ex- 
ception, in the L'nited States. The account of 
the nieetinj^ as it appeared in the ne\vspai)ers 
the next day is as follows: 

"Thomas Kddy was called to ihc ehair and 
j. 11. Co^^eshall appointed secretary. The ob- 
ject of the nieetini^ was stated and the princi- 
ples of the j)roposc(l institution briefly and i)er- 
tinently exjilained by James Ivistburn. seconded 
by Dr. Watts. It was resolved that it is exi)C- 
dient to establish a Savinj^s I»ank for the City 
of New ^ oik. .\ constitution was submitted by 
Zachariah Lewis, which, havinj^ been read and 
its principles discussed, was unanimously 
adopted. The followinj.,^ were ai)i)ointetl direc- 
tors: Henry Rutj^jers. Thomas R. Smith, 
Thomas C. Taylor. He Witt Clinton. Archibald 
Ciracie. Cadwallader 1). Colden. William l'\*w, 
John Ciriscom. Jeremiah Thompson. I'rancis B. 
Winthrop, Duncan P. Campbell. Josej)h II. 
Copfgeshall. James Eastburn, John Tintard. 
Jonas Mapes. P.rockholst l,ivinj.;;ston. W illiam 
Bayard. William II. llirrison. Rensselaer 

107 % 


Havens, William Wilson, Richard Varick, 
Thomas Eddy, Peter A. Jay, John Murray, Jr., 
John Slidell, Andrew Morris, Gilbert Aspin- 
wall, Zachariah Lewis, Thomas Buckley, and 
Najah Taylor." 

At a meeting of the directors several com- 
mittees were appointed, one of which was to ap- 
ply to the Legislature for an act of incorpora- 
tion. This committee was headed by Peter A. 
Jay. It proved no easy task to convince the 
committee of the Legislature which considered 
the application of Mr. Jay, and after months of 
deliberation they reported as follows to the 
General Assembly : 

" The committee submit the following as the 
result of their investigation on the subject: 

"That, however desirable it may be to en- 
courage the poorer classes of the community to 
save their hard earnings, and to produce habits 
of industry and economy by holding out motives 
of interest to them so to do, still the committee 
are not convinced that under the present state 
of society in this country, an institution like 
this, which may be beneficial under other cir- 
cumstances and in older countries, can be put 
into operation with advantage. The expense 
necessarily attendant on such an establishment 



will lessen il n<)l dclcal llic bciicvolcni views of 
the petitioners. And the ajinmittee have yet to 
learn wlieliier the (thjecl nii.L,du not he aec<»ni- 
l)lishecl with a i^reater i)rosi)ecl of success, and 
at the same lime avoid a new corporation, hy 
makinLi^ an arranj^'^emenl with one of the hanks 
in New \<irk to allow one of their clerks to 
transact the husiness for a small extra allow- 

*' Ikit, as the principle is a new one, the com- 
mittee are unwillinj^; to preclude, hy any opinion 
of theirs, the subject from c<»niinL,'^ in the usual 
manner before the House, and they, therefore, 
are induced to ask for leave to report by bill." 

1 1 was not uiuil iSk; that the IJank for Sav- 
ings was finally able to secure a charter. ( )n 
the 3d of July it opened for husiness in a small 
room in a buildinj^ which stood on the south 
side of Chambers Street, now the northwest 
corner of the City Hall Park. Over the en- 
trance was a j^ilt beehive, and inside was a 
bust of Franklin bearinq^ the motto: " Take care 
of the pence, and the j)ounds will take care of 

The Hank for Savinp^s was a success from the 
bei^innint,' and soon outp^rew its cjuarters. Af- 
ter niovint^ twice to other rooms on Chambers 



Street, it built for itself, in 1856, a house at 67 
Bleecker Street, and is at present established at 
the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and 
Twenty-second street in a massive building 
only recently completed. In 1828 Mr. Jay be- 
came first vice-president of the bank, having 
in 1826 held the office of third vice-president 
and in the following year that of second vice- 
president. In 1838 he resigned his office and 
retired from the bank. The amount of money 
on deposit in 1837 was $3,533,000. At the 
present time the bank has 150,994 depositors, 
and the sum on deposit is $74,480,000— an 
amount exceeded by that of only one or two 
other savings-banks in the country. And yet 
the New York Legislature in 181 6 advised that 
it would be sufficient that a bank clerk be as- 
signed to do the work for an extra allowance 
instead of undertaking the expense of main- 
taining a savings-bank! 

The death of another brother of the Gov- 
ernor now occurs, leaving only two of the ten 
children surviving. Mr. Peter Jay, the elder of 
the two blind children, died on the 8th of July, 
181 3, in his seventy-ninth year. He succeeded 
to the Rye estate after the death of his father. 



Notwithstaiuliii}; his lifcluiiL,^ artlictioii. lu- 
had always disi)layc<l woikK riiil iiii^^rmiity ami 
sagacity. I Ii- was jxisscsscd of a linn mind and 
an cxccllcni charactt-r. At tlic age of fifty-fivc 
he married Mary, a daughter of Invert and 
Klsie Duyckinck. Mrs. Jay was born Septem- 
ber 14. I7,V'. 'iiid witli her niece I^^lTy continued 
to reside in the Rye house. 

I'efore the intro(hiction of stcaml)oats by 
I''uhon in iSoj, Mr. Jay. going to visit his sis- 
ter, generally travelled to and from Albany on 
horseback, but later came to patronize the 
steamboat. In September. 1S14. he writes: 
" We had a charming passage down in the 
Fulton. The accommodations are in the best 
style and 1 think the dilTerence of price beyond 
that i>aid in the sail boats conipensate<l by the 
difTerence in comfort." Steamboats then made 
the trip from Xew ^'ork to Albany in thirty-six 
hours, or at the rate of between four and five 
miles an hour, and the fare was seven dollars. 
As the sloops and schooners were from four to 
seven days in making the voyage between the 
two cities, passengers willingly paid the in- 
creased fare on the steamlK)ats, This enter- 
prise became so successful that in a short time 
incorj)oralerl companies were establishe<l to 



promote the traffic, and in 1816 Mr. Jay was a 
stockholder in the North River Steamboat 

Sir James Jay survived his brother Peter 
scarcely more than two years. In 1748, he had 
been sent by his father to Bristol whence he was 
to go to London to study the Classics, French 
and Mathematics. During his absence he ap- 
plied himself also to other studies and in a list 
of American graduates in Medicine in the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh for 1753, a record ap- 
pears of "Jacobus Jay, Nov. Eboracensis." 
The following year he was a physician to an 
Infirmary in London. On another visit to Eng- 
land he was requested to solicit contributions 
for King's (Columbia) College, and on the 25th 
of March, 1763, King George III conferred on 
him the distinction of Knighthood for his suc- 
cess in the undertaking. He returned to Amer- 
ica prior to the Revolution, and during the 
British occupation of New York was confined 
in prison in that city, but was at once released 
on the arrival of Sir Guy Carleton in 1782. He 
was a Member from Rye, Westchester County, 
southern district, of the New York Senate in 
1 778-1 781. Continuing the practice of his pro- 



fessiun al SiJiin^ticld. near Newark. New Jer- 
sey, he died there ()cl()l)er 20, 1S15, aj;ed 

Doctor Samuel J.. Milcliill. j)r()niinent in the 
social, literary and scientific inNtitutions of New 
^'<>rk. in a letter of Deceniher 31, iSij. to his 
wife, wrote: 'Sir James Jay has ju^t left me 
after havinj^ favored me with <»ne of his most 
interesting tliscourses. He is an extraordinary 
man — to cross the ocean, to travel hy land and 
to walk and ride about the world as he does at 
the a.ije of more than fourscore." 

( )n hiiie II. iSi 5. tlie fourth child of Mr. and 
Mrs. Jay was horn in New ^'ork. A month 
later Mr. Jay remarks in a letter to his sister: 
" The little j^irl, too, is very fat and very hearty. 
She has been l)ai)tized Catherine 1 lelena after 
old Mrs. Walter Rutherfiud and .Mr<. John 

Tlie next year a committee, consisting" of 
Messrs. \V. Xeilson. Jr.. Win. Henderson ami 
David B. Opfden called uj)on Mr. Jay to inform 
him of his selection hv the (ieneral Committee 
of the I'Y'deral Kepuhlicans as one of the candi- 
dates for the House of Assembly, expressing 
the hope that nothing; would induce him to de- 
cline it. Mr. Jay did not decline, and beint:^ 

I I "^ 


elected, attended the session which was con- 
vened at Albany on the 30th of January, 181 6, 
and adjourned on the 17th of April, 1816. 
Among his colleagues representing the city of 
New York were Philip Brasher and Gen. Ed- 
ward W. Laight. Daniel D. Tompkins, Re- 
publican, was Governor at the time. At this 
session the most prominent Federal speakers^ 
says the report, were William A. Duer, Peter 
A. Jay, Jacob R. Van Rensselaer, James Van- 
derpoel and James Lynch, all gentlemen of con- 
ceded ability and influential members of the 
party. Various subjects invited the attention 
of the house, but none of more importance than 
a measure recommending the construction of 
the Erie Canal. Mr. De Witt Clinton was a 
zealous advocate of the project. A large pub- 
lic meeting was also held in Albany to help ad- 
vance the object, and in furtherance of this en- 
terprise an act was passed by the Legislature 
entitled " An act to provide for the improve- 
ment of the inland navigation of this State.'^ 
This measure met with the warm support of 
Mr. Jay. In Dr. David Hosack's Memoir of 
De Witt Clinton, we read : 

" Another class of benefactors to the system 
of canal navigation may still be added, consist- 



ing of those who mainly c«)nlril)Utc(l to its uhi- 
niatc success. In- ubsiatinj^ llic ihllicuhics and 
iiiipcihinenls which were accidentally or initii- 
tionally ihmwn in ilie way to opjKJse its prog- 
ress, or entirely to deleat and frustrate the un- 
dertaking ; for even after the subject had been 
well understood by the members of the Legisla- 
ture and the bill was in its passage through the 
two houses, obstacles were still presented at 
every step, which re(|uired all the genius and 
energy of the friends to the project to meet and 

"To the ll.»n. C'adwallader Colden. Martin 
\'an lUiren. Jacob Rutsen \'an Rensselaer, 
James Lynch, Teter A. Jay, William Ross, and 
William A. Duer. the State owed a debt of 
gratitude for their patriotic exertions in behalf 
of the Canal." 

On the },(\ of April. iSi6, the house, as the 
first business of the day, resolved itself into a 
Committee of the Whole upon the bill. Mr. 
Oner was in the chair. The consideration of 
the bill was resumed in Committee of the Whole 
on the 5lh, and taken up again on the loth. 
On the nth the Committee of the Whole was 
discharged from further consideration of the 
bill, which was referred to a select committee 

1 1^ 


consisting of Mr. Oakley, Mr. Peter A. Jay, 
Col. Leavenworth of the Army, Mr. Russell, 
and Mr. Vanderpoel of Kinderhook. The fate 
of the bill seemed now more critical than ever : 
"The selection of the Committee was pecu- 
liarly fortunate, since, being a member of the 
Committee, and an ardent friend of the project, 
it brought Mr. Jay out more actively in the 
cause, than he would otherwise, perhaps, have 
deemed it his duty to engage. The command- 
ing talents and high personal character of Mr. 
Jay, the wisdom of his remarks, and the afifa- 
bility and courtesy of his demeanor, w^ere cir- 
cumstances eminently calculated to favor the 
cause which he now vigorously espoused — and 
the force of his powers was soon felt. The 
consideration of the bill, in its amended form, 
was resumed in Committee of the Whole on the 
13th in the morning: when, after an animated 
debate, the first section was adopted." In the 
evening session which followed, it was proposed 
to impose a local tax on the neighboring lands 
along the middle section. This proposition, 
adopted, tended very much to soften and abate 
the fear of the opposition, and things once more 
assumed a brighter aspect. A great variety of 
amendments were made to the bill: the date 



when llic canal wa.s lu he cnninicnccd, ils cx- 
j)cncliturc, commissions aj)i)ointe(l, etc. In this 
siiape suhstantially it parsed the Asscmhly hy 
a vt)le of S3 to ih and was sent to the Senate 
for concurrence. 

Might years were spent in cnn>iructini^ the 
Erie Canal. ( )n October 2(), 1SJ5, it was for- 
mally oj)cned from lUitTalo to Alhany. The 
first canal-l)oat to jj^o thr()Uj.;h.the Seneca Chief, 
had on hoard Governor Clinton. Joshua I^'ore- 
man. Chancellor Livinq^ston, Thurlow Weed, 
Col. W. L. J^toiK- and ( ien. !^lei>hen \'an Rens- 
selaer. The arrival of the parly in Xew York 
harbor on November 4 was the occasion of an 
immense public celebration. 

While the Lej^islature was in session Mr. 
Jay. with his son John, stayed with his sifter, 
Mrs. r.anyer. at .Albany. .Mrs. jay remained 
w ith the other children in Xew \'ork. The lat- 
ter took a ^reat interest in the (juestions of the 
day and followed closely the debates in the Leg- 
islature as repf)rted in the ' Courier." On one 
fK'casion she writes to Mr. jav: " 1 cannot ex- 
press to you the pleasure 1 felt at seeinj^ your 
speech so hij^hly complimented. All your 
friends are gratified and I hear your praises re- 
peated continually. A day rarely passes with- 



out my seeing your name and that of your 
father highly spoken of in the ' Courier.' " 

In February, 1816, the nominations for the 
New York gubernatorial election in April were 
made. Mr. Jay was asked to be the Federal 
candidate, but declined. Writing to him on 
this subject, Mrs. Jay says : " I hear you spoken 
of for the next Federal candidate for Governor. 
I can only say I hope it is not so, for though I 
feel flattered to hear your praises and to see 
justice done to your talents, I yet think our do- 
mestic fireside preferable to all the fame, and 
can almost venture to say that it is your opin- 
ion, but you are actuated by a nobler motive — 
love of your country." Again she writes: 
'' What you tell me of their wishing to nominate 
you for the office of Governor is nothing new. 
I have already heard it from several who have 
regretted you would not accept." On February 
16, Mr. Jay wrote to Senator Rufus King offer- 
ing him, on behalf of the nominating commit- 
tee, the Federal nomination for Governor. A 
few days later Judge Morris S. Miller of Utica 
writes to Mr. Jay : " You express doubts as to 
Mr. King's acceptance. You probably will 
have his answer before this reaches you. I 



hope he will iiol decline lluil would make 
'confusion worse confounded.' You ask what 
is to he dune if Mr. Kinj^ dcchnes. I ask what 
can he done, hut in have a mcetinj^ at Alhany, 
and nominate somehody else, and I think every 
day's delay will do us injury, 'ilie sus[)ense in 
wliich ihe Tarty has licen kept will certainly 
<)j)erate against us; the longer it is continued 
the worse it will i)e. \ Ou will. I have no douht, 
excuse mc for sayint;;^ that I hoj)e one day to see 
you Governor, and I therefore liope you will 
not consent to he the candidate now." 

.Mr. Kinj^ accepted the nomination, however, 
and ("onL,n-essman CJeor^^e Tihhits was nomi- 
nated for Lieutenant-Governor. The Rei)uhli- 
can candidates opposed to them were Daniel 1 ). 
Tompkins, for Governor, and John Taylor, for 
Lieutenant-Governnr. In the course of the en- 
suiujL^ cami)aij^n Mr. jay made a speech in 
wliich he vip^orously as<ailed those res])onsil)le 
for hrini^inj^ on the War of iSij and presented 
a strong argument for the return of the Feder- 
ahst party to power. As a clear statement of 
the |)o|itical situation at the close of the war, 
this speech, which follows helow, should be of 



"To THE Electors of the State of New 

"Fellow Citizens: 

" The time will very shortly arrive when you 
are again to choose the persons who are to ad- 
minister the Government of this State. 

" In exercising this inestimable privilege 
every good citizen, divesting himself of preju- 
dice and passion, will be guided solely by reason 
and experience. We beseech you to attend to 
this admonition and to consider whether those 
who now rule over you have merited a continu- 
ance of your confidence. 

" At the time when the party now in power 
assumed the management of your affairs our 
country was enjoying unexampled prosperity 
—our Agriculture and our Commerce flour- 
ished and amid all the storms which then agi- 
tated and desolated Europe our Government 
had maintained abroad the respect which was 
due to the American name. 

" It will not be denied that these blessings 
were owing to the Federal Constitution and to 
those who had framed, who had adopted, and 



\vli<» IkkI a(lniini>lcrf(l it. W liy ihcii were llicy 
dismissed ? 

" It was because you were promised slill 
jifreater |)r(>s])erity by those who were eai^er to 
occupy llie oltices which had been filled by 
\\'ashin.u:ton and his disci|)les. 

" How have they fulfilled these ])romises? 

"They told you that the fundiiijj^ system was 
an eiiorinous evil and that the ])ul)lic debt 
should be discharjL^ed. and they have themselves 
increased that debt by one hundred and fifty 
millions of dollars. 

" They told you that a standinij^ army was dan- 
R"erous to your liberty, and they keep on foot a 
standinjj^ army of men in time of peace, 
and their present candidate for the Presidency 
has recommended that double that number 
should be maintained. 

** They told you that the taxes were unneces- 
sarily heavy and promised that the citizens 
should no lonj^'^er behold the face of the tax- 
j.;;atherer. and that nothins^ should be taken 
from the mouth of labor to supply the necessi- 
ties of the state. They have multiplied tax- 
jjatlierers tenfold— tluy have doubled tlu- du 
ties on imports and more than trebled the 
amount of the other taxes. 



" Has their conduct in relation to foreign af- 
fairs been more wise or more beneficial than 
their domestic administration ? 

" Complaining of enormous injuries com- 
mitted by Great Britain, they determined to re- 
taliate by an embargo on American commerce. 
At a time when none but the British and 
American flags floated upon the ocean they 
thought to destroy the British commerce by 
prohibiting ours, as if the English trade must 
be ruined for want of a rival. A blockade of 
our ports, such as our enemies afterwards 
maintained at so enormous an expense and 
so great a risk, was instituted by our own 
rulers and enforced by a series of oppressive 
laws executed by Custom-house officers. 
Well might such a measure extort sarcasm 
instead of submission from the English 

"When this expedient failed, they substi- 
tuted for it a system of non-importation, their 
own sense of which is to be found in the com- 
mercial convention which they have lately rati- 
fied, in which they expressly stipulate they will 
not again resort to it. 

" But they now claim your confidence on ac- 
count of the wisdom they displayed in the con- 



tlucl oi the late war and in iMiK-ludiiig llic 
treaty wliicli icriiiinatcd it. 

" W c will say nothinj^ of tiic- prudence w hicli 
coninieiiced an otTensive war before any prepa- 
rations were made for carrying it on, nor of the 
errors committed in the cause of it. Xor will 
we remiixl you of the arbitrary lone which the 
administration assumed, nor of their recom- 
mendation to t'lU the army by conscription and 
to man the navy l)y imi)ressment— nor of the 
suppression of the liberty of speech in Con- 
gress,— but we will ask what have the j)eoi)le 
gained by the war? 

•* Has (Ireal I'.ritain renouncetl her claim to 
impress her seamen from on board our vessels? 
Has she renounced lur doctrine of blockades? 
Has she promised com|)ensalion for the inju- 
ries complained of under her Orders in C'oun- 

' W'c have lost by the war the rii^ht of fish- 
ing on the shores of Newfoundland. We have 
left the I>ritish in fxissession of a i)art of the 
ancient territory of the United States, and we 
have submitted to arbitration boundaries that 
had been solemnly settled at the peace in lyf^^. 
Hut. we repeat it. what have we trained? An 
addition of at least one hundred and twenty 



millions of dollars to the national debt and a 
load of taxes which will probably descend to the 
latest posterity. 

" Has Great Britain lost anything by the 
war? If so, what is it? Does any one doubt 
that before hostilities were commenced she 
would joyfully have assented to a treaty pre- 
cisely like that of which our administration 
boasts? For what, then, has so much blood 
been shed and so much treasure expended ? 

'' This war, like every other, has afforded op- 
portunities of displaying the conduct of those 
who were engaged in it, and we acknowledge 
with gratitude and pride the valor and the pa- 
triotism which our countrymen have shown 
upon the ocean and the land. But it is to be re- 
membered that a soldier may acquire glory on 
the same field where his commander is dis- 
graced, and that a commander may gather lau- 
rels while obeying the injudicious orders of a 
weak administration. 

" If neither the war nor the peace has pro- 
duced any solid advantage, those who conducted 
the one and negotiated the other can derive 
from them no right to demand our applause. 

" Upon examining the situation of our own 
State, we shall find its finances dilapidated, a 



licavy (lcl)l iiKiirrcd. it> ordinary expcMises 
j^rcatly increased and its ordinary revenues di- 
niinislied — we sliall lind a sjjirit of |)arly ani- 
mosity cherished and encouraj^ed and made tlie 
very foundation to support the i)<)\ver of tliose 
in oflice. We shall find that they who have 
most loudly and inii)oriunately i)roclaimed 
their attachment to the people, ready to violate 
their rit^dits whenever it may he necessary to 
gratify a sordid aj)petite for the emoluments of 
ortice. We rememher when ihcy hurned the 
volumes of whole counties, and we have re- 
cently seen them apjKMnt in effect the whole 
Magistracy of the State hy the vote of a man 
who they knew had received from the ])cople no 
authority whatever. 

"We heseech you. fellow citizen^, to reflect 
and examine for yourselves whether we have 
advanced anything in this address unsujjported 
by facts; and if not, whether the warnings of 
experience and the counsels of reason do not 
equally show the necessity of a change in the 
administration of your affairs. 

** Pieing ourselves fully i)ersuaded of that ne- 
cessity, we respectfully i)ropose to you, as a 
person proper for the office of Governor, the 
Honoral)le Rufus King. I lis known modera- 



tion, his long and eminent public services both 
at home and abroad, his acknowledged talents 
and his misuspected integrity are pledges that, 
if elected, he will not be the mere instrument of 
party, but the able and impartial Chief Magis- 
trate of the State. Unconnected with local poli- 
tics, he has no resentments to gratify nor par- 
tialities to indulge, and we may reasonably hope 
that his administration will add to the pros- 
perity and reputation of this great and respect- 
able State. 

" We also recommend to you for the office of 
Lieutenant-Governor, the Honorable George 
Tibbits, whose experience in Congress and in 
the Senate of this State has qualified him for 
that situation and whose services and character 
are generally known. 

"We will only add our confident hope that 
every elector, by whatever political denomina- 
tion he may be known, shutting his ears against 
the malevolent calumnies which too often dis- 
grace our elections and resisting every attempt 
to influence his passions, or to bind him, against 
his convictions, by party engagements, will act 
according to the dictates of his own cool and 
deliberate judgment. 

" It is thus only that we can preserve our lib- 


(Ttic's. or rciulcr lliciii a l)lcssiii^, thus only 
llial wc can dischari^c the duties which \vc owe 
to our puslerily. tn «»ur country, and t<> the 
g^reat Author of all the |)rivilcj;cs we enjoy." 

The l\e[)ul)licaii party was already in |)ower. 
Governor Tompkins, wlio had hccn in office 
since i^j, presided over llie atTairs of tlie 
State ihrouj^hout the war. Tlie party was (h- 
vided into two wini^s — the Madi.sonians in fa- 
vor of the war antl supported by Gov. Tomp- 
kins,— and the (lintonians. op|)ose(l to the war 
in the heJ.^innin.i,^ led hy I )e Witt Clinton. The 
I'\'deralists, on the other hand, represented llie 
peace party. Since iSoo the I'ederalists had 
slowly declined in power, and as their patron- 
at^c gradually fell away they had nothinj^ with 
which to sustain their adherents. They made a 
determined stand against the war, hut oi)iK)si- 
tion to it, however viewed in later times, was 
then unpopular. When peace was declared, 
Governor Tom|)kins became more in favor than 
ever; and in the ^^eneral enthusiasm which fol- 
lowed, the Re|)ublicans were victorious at the 
polls in iSi6. Early in the followinjj year 
Governor Tomi)kins rcsij.|^ned. 1 le was now to 
succeed t«» the \'ice-IVesidency. and He Witt 



Clinton was elected Governor in his place. The 
ascendancy of Clinton practically marked the 
end of the Federalist organization, some of 
their best element subsequently going over to 
his side. 

Mr. Jay was again selected as one of the can- 
didates for the ensuing election for the House 
of Assembly, but while expressing his grateful 
feelings for this renewed proof of the confi- 
dence of the committee, he stated that circum- 
stances constrained him to decline a re-elec- 

On the 226. of April John Jay wrote to him : 
" I am glad that your legislative labors are ter- 
minated. Your having declined being a candi- 
date at the next election meets with my ap- 
proval. In my opinion, your duty does not at 
present either require or authorize a sacrifice of 
that kind." 

At the first session of the following year, 
Governor Tompkins, in his message, recom- 
mended the entire Abolition of Slavery in the 
State on and after the 4th of July, 1827. The 
recommendation was favorably received and 
an Act to provide for its adoption passed, thus 
removing forever this iniquitous institution 
from the State. The energetic action of such 



men as I'clcr A. Jay. \\ illiain jay, Cadualladcr 
CoUlcii and ( jovcrnor rninpkiiis. as \vc learn 
from iK'w sp.ipcrs i\\ ilu- ])triti<l. c»>iuril)ulc(l to 
tliis roiill. W ritiiiL,^ (Hi llii> sul)jc'Ct, McMastcr 

" Tlic status ot .slavery had loiij^ been re- 
garded as settled. No one, at least at the North, 
supposed for a iiionifiil that aiiollier ^lave State 
could ever he added to the I'nion. liven the lit- 
erature of anti-slavery ceased to aj)pear. The 
moment, therefore, the Missouri struggle, fol- 
Nnving upon the Louisiana Purchase, brought 
uj» tile (juestion of the further extension of 
slavery, the North was violently excited. A 
great meeting was held in the I'.oston State 
House to protest against any such action. The 
rhiladelj)hia meeting took the ground that the 
slavery of human lieings was the greatest evil 
in the I'nited States, that it was at variance 
with the Declaration of ln(lei)endence and with 
the principles of universal lil)erty and iiuman 
rights. .\t L.altimore the citizens gave expres- 
sion to like sentiments." 

The subject of slavery and the sujipressiou of 
the slave trade always interested Mr. Jay. An 
article which we find in the " I'.vening Lost " for 
November K). iSk). seems peculiarly fitting to 



be introduced here. The article recites: " Last 
evening a general meeting of the citizens, con- 
sisting of at least tzvo thousand, was held at the 
Assembly Room, in the City Hotel, for the pur- 
pose of expressing their sentiments of the dan- 
ger to be apprehended from the toleration of 
slavery in any new State or Territory that may 
be hereafter admitted into the Union. 

" Matthew Clarkson, Esq., was called to the 
chair and John T. Irving appointed Secretary. 

'' The meeting being thus organized, Peter A. 
Jay, Esq., rose and addressed those present in a 
neat and impressive speech, pointing out in a 
feeling manner the cruelty of slavery and the 
evils which would ultimately result to this 
country if it were not prohibited. He con- 
cluded by offering a set of resolutions. Among- 
those present were William Bayard, Henry 
Rutgers, Archibald Gracie, Jonathan Goodhue, 
Charles Walker, George Newbold, Thomas 
Addis Emmet, Richard Varick and Samuel L. 

Mr. Jay was now engaged in making ar- 
rangements for building a home for himself. 
His new residence was No. 398 Broadway, at 
the southeast corner of Broadway and Walker 


REM()\'.\L in I;K().\1)\VAY 

Si reel. Acconlini; lo llic cniiiracl. ihc liousc 
was U) he of l'hiladeli)liia hrick, willi >U)Uc 
trinimini(s. jS feel froiil. three sU^ries and j^ar- 
rel, with slahle in the rear. caUini^ for a total 
expenchture ()f $i3.7cxj. lie moved into the 
new house in iSkj, and continued lo occupN it 
until iii> death. W alker Street at that time 
was very far out of town. A writer of the pe- 
ri<Ml says: "The few disconnected cottati^cs 
which occuj)ied the east side of I'.roadway hc- 
twecn I'^'anklin and (anal Streets he.^an to 
j.jive way hefore the march of improvement 
ahout the year iSi<S. Handsome residences 
were then erected hetween h'ranklin and W hite 
Streets and hetween White and Walker Streets. 
The first impro\enient^ were made l>y Mrs. 
lianyer. widow of Goldshoroui^h lianyer. and 
by f'eler A. Jay." 

Soon after movini; into their new house, a 
daut^hter was horn to Mr. and Mrs. Jay. 1 he 
date of her hirth was Sei)teml)er u, iSi<^. and 
her name Anna Maria. 

Amoni^ the Jay i)apers we find the followini^ 
correspondence, with later letters, hetween Mr. 
Jay and 1 )r. Rohert Hare, the distinj^^uished 
physicist and chemist of Philadelphia: 

I U 


"May 31, 1819. 
''Dear Sir: 

" I regret my being absent when you did me 
the honor to call on me at the hotel. As I shall 
probably return to Philadelphia early in the 
morning, there will be no opportunity, I fear, of 
making any acknowledgments personally. I 
take this mode therefore of making them both 
for this and former civilities, and at the same 
time send you some of my recent productions, 
which I shall feel much more satisfied with my- 
self should they meet your approbation. With 
great esteem and respect, 

" I am yours sincerely, 

" Robert Hare. 

"PeterA. Jay, Esq." 

"New York, June, 1819. 
"^ Dear Sir: 

" I am much obliged to you for the pamphlets 
you were so kind as to send me, particularly for 
that on the ' Calorimotor.' Though my ac- 
quaintance with the physical sciences is very 
superficial, it is not difficult to convince me of 



llicir f\lcn-^i\c utility. I licii- arc tew wlio can 
boast <tl Uimuiii^ all that tlic-ir ])rc<lecessors 
liavc learned, and to the tew who add Id the 
general slock and enlarge the bounds of iiunian 
knowledge not only honor, but gratitude is due. 
The first discovery concerning galvanism was, 
I l)clieve, its effects on the nci ves of animals — 
afterwards, the means of exciting it — its simi- 
larity to mechanical electricity ( whence their 
identity was, perhaps, too hastily inferred) and 
its power of producing intense heat. These, 
ho\\e\er. are mere facts, furnishing no theory 
to exi)lain its phenomena, or to guide the in- 
(piirer in his search after the nature of this 
powerful agent. \'ou have now taken another 
step which i)romises important results. If you 
succeed in establishing the affinity you seem to 
have detected between the matter of heat and 
that of galvanism, you will throw light on one 
of the most obscure subjects in Natural Phi- 
losophy. ^'ou will i)rove the materiality of both agents. iM>r to speak of attraction, be- 
tween the mere atTeclions of boflies. seems to be 
scarcely sense. \n\\ will ex[)lain the rationale 
of some mysterious ojierations of nature, and 
may be ultimately led to discoveries of as much 


consequence as the lightning rod. I hope you 
win not desist till you have demonstrated the 
fact of this affinity, which you have already 
rendered highly probable, and that you will 
pursue the enquiries which it suggests. Should 
there be any electricity in the sunbeam? Is 
there any connection between the facts you 
mention and the cause of the thunder showers 
which occur at the close of a hot summer day, 
or of the sudden abstraction of heat from the 
rain drops which occasion hail, or of what is 
termed heat lightning? Do they tend to ex- 
plain some of the ordinary effects of lightning, 
such as the destruction of the unhatched 
chicken, or the souring of milk, etc. ? 

" If I might venture on a verbal criticism, is 
not this word, ' Calorimotor,' too nearly allied 
in sound to * Calorimeter,' and might not an- 
other be found free from this objection? If 
I am not mistaken, your new doctrine is to 
make a noise, and to be written and talked of, 
and in such case even names are of some con- 

" I am, dear sir, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 

" Doctor Hare." 



Doctor Marc, before he was twenty, discov- 
crctl wliat he called "a hydroslalic i)l()W-i)ii)e." 
— it was also known as "the compound blow- 
pipe." Sillinian says it was the earlicsl and 
perhaps the most remarkable of Doctor Hare's 
orij^inal contributions to science. In iSi^ he 
invented the " ( alorimoior," which forms one 
of llie subjects of the correspondence. This in- 
strument was a form of battery by which a 
lart^e amount of heat was produced. About two 
years later he a^ain called i>u .Mr. jay and sub- 
secjuently wrote him the follow ini,^ letter: 

" June 22. i8jl. 

" 1 called at your former residence last even- 
ing, but found you had removed without beinj^ 
able to learn whither. 

■ 1 ouirht sooner to have made my acknnw- 
Icdginents for your favor of the 6th, but it has 
been mv intention to do it when I have leisure 
to reply more fully. Would you allow me to 
hand your letter to Professor Silliman for his 
Journal ? It is my expectation to discuss in that 
work the preliminary properties or nature of 
heat, or electricity, r^n which the hypothesis in 



my memoir is founded. I might do it by way 
of reply to you. 

" I am, sir, with esteem and respect, 
" Yours sincerely, 

" Robert Hare. 
" Peter A. Jay, Esq." 

" In answer to your objections to the word, 
' Calorimotor ' I beg leave to observe that, as 
Volta had used the term ' Electromotor,' not- 
withstanding the previous word ' Electro- 
meter,' I had a high authority in favor of that 
name. I was unwilling to lose the possible in- 
fluence of the analogy in aid of the discrimina- 
tion of my hypothesis — thus, the uses in which 
words of less difference in sound have distinct 
meaning are numerous in language." 

In 1820 Mr. Jay received the appointment 
of Recorder of New York. That he should 
have been selected from among all the Federal- 
ists, spontaneously and without solicitation, by 
the Governor, De Witt Clinton, who was not in 
political sympathy with him, manifested in a 
marked degree the respect and esteem which 
Mr. Jay evoked. 



The saim- sciuimcnts. jirohably, suj^j^estcd 
tlic Itttrr which wc subjoin, and uc also insert 
Mr. ja\ > J'cply : 

" Alhanv. January JS, 1S20. 

** Petkr a. JAV. Rffnrdcr. 

" Pear Sir: 

" I will receive with q^real pleasure any com- 
munication from you respectint:^ appointments 
in New ^ ork. It is no conii)liment to say that 
I rej>ose cMitire confidence in your candor and in 
the purity of your views. 

'* I am. dear Sir, 

" Yours truly. 

'■ I )i Witt Cmnton." 

"i\iA\ \ oKK. lehruary R. 1820. 

"Governor Clinton. 

"Dear Sir: 

" 1 have had the honor of receivinpf your let- 
ter of the jSth ult.. and out^dit to have thanked 
you for it before. A short absence from the 



city and a desire to state what had been done 
on the subject of Senator, etc., has induced me 
to delay it, but nothing is yet decided on that 

" I am sensible of the honor you do me by al- 
lowing me to write on the subject of appoint- 
ments. I shall avail myself of this permission 
sometimes, but shall do so sparingly because I 
know the multitude of applications with which 
you must be harassed and that you are yourself 
well acquainted with this city. 

"With my best respects to Mrs. Clinton, I 
have the honor to be, 

" Your obedient servant, 

'' Peter Augustus Jay." 

At about the same time. Bishop Hobart, of 
the diocese of New York, a representative High 
Churchman, wrote to Mr. Jay to inform him 
that he had been appointed by the convention 
a Vice-President of the Protestant Episcopal 
Theological Society. Mr. Jay declined the of- 

Mr. W. W. Van Ness, whose career as a 
Judge was most brilliant, had been a Federalist 
leader in the Assembly. He writes to Mr. Jay 
in 1820: 



" Ai.HAN V. January 4. iSJO. 

*• PiiTER A. Jay. I^s(|. 

" Pear Sir: 

" Willi j^acal pleasure 1 announce to you «»ur 
first victory over jacoi)inisni, Aposlacy and 
Faction. John C Spencer is elected Speaker; 
not more than four or five men who have been 
considered as Federalists iiave gone over to the 
enemy. I am warranted. I think, in saying that 
you will he the Recorder of New \'ork for an- 
other year at least. Mr. Kufus King will be the 
Senator, though a strong effort is making to 
prevent it. 

" Helieve me to be. 

" \'erv sincerelv vours, 

**\V'\V. Van Ness." 

"New ^'oKK. January 14. iSjo. 

"lion. W. W. \-. V... 

" Pear Sir: 

" I am much obliged to you for your letters 
of the 4th :ind iith in^i the opj)osition 
really op[K)sed Mr. Rufus King's election, I 
should have thought it the most singular inci- 



dent which has occurred. I am particularly- 
happy to learn that the Federal gentlemen are 
nearly unanimous. To the Federal party our 
country owes its prosperity. I have been edu- 
cated in their principles, and though it is prob- 
able that in future they will only occasionally, 
and as it were by accident, have the ascendant^ 
I should be exceedingly unwilling to detach my- 
self from them. 

" I earnestly hope they may continue to act 
together. If they divide, the little strength 
which remains to them will be withered. 

" I am, dear Sir, 

" Your very obedient servant, 

"Peter Augustus Jay." 

Judge Van Ness's predictions were not veri- 
fied. The Council of Appointment, elected at 
the extraordinary session in November, 1820, 
was not called together until the 12th day of 
January following. The proceedings of this 
Council, as we read, beside many others, re- 
moved Cadwallader D. Colden from the May- 
oralty of New York to make room for Stephen 
Allen, and Richard Riker was appointed Re- 
corder in the place of Peter A. Jay. 

Upon his retirement Mr. Jay received from 


the Now N'nrk I'.ar tlic following testimonial of 
its appreciation of his services as Rccor<ler : 

**T(. thi- IlMnnraMc I'itik A. Jay, late Re- 
corder of the City of New N'ork. 


"The New N'ork liar, through the under- 
-sit,Mied their Committee, lake the oiiporlunity 
otTeretl by your retirement from otTice, to ex- 
press to you the hij^h sense they entertain of 
your deportment as a gentleman, your ability 
as a I^awyer and your impartiality as a Magis- 
trate, in the discharge of the laborious duties 
of the Recordership of the City of New York. 

" Permit us also, Sir. at the same time, to ex- 
press the great satisfaction we feel individually, 
in conveying to you the sentiments of the P.ody 
we have the honor to represent and in assuring 
you that those seiuiments are fully in coinci- 
dence with <>nr own. 

** Many causes of great and general im|>or- 
tance have been decided by you during your 
administration. The P>ar, conscious of the in- 
telligence and legal ability which have charac- 
terized your decisions and placing full confi- 
dence in their accuracy, are an.xious to annex 



them to the general fund of professional learn- 
ing. We have, therefore, been instructed by 
our constituents, while thus presenting to you 
their expressions of approbation and regard, 
to request that those decisions may be placed 
under their control for publication. 

"We have the honor to be, etc., 

"John Anthon, 
" E. W. King. 

" New York, March 30, 182 1." 

"New York, March 30, 1821. 

"John Anthon, Esq., ) ^ 
-',,„_ ^_ ^^ _^' } Committee. 
&E. W. King, Esq. ^ 


" Permit me through you to express my 
hearty thanks to the New York Bar for their 
kind approbation of my conduct which you 
have so politely communicated. In returning 
to the practice of my profession it is exceed- 
ingly gratifying to find that I possess the es- 
teem of my brethren. This new and unex- 
pected proof of their friendship has added to 
the gratitude I have already felt for their de- 
portment towards me while I was upon the 



■ In rc-lalinii to ilu- I )ccisions of wliich llicir 
partiality lias induced llicin to sjjcak in Mich 
(lattcrinj^ terms, 1 cannot tliink tlicni of sulti- 
cicnt iinj)ortancc to justify an addition to tlic 
mass of Ici^al i)ul)lications wliicli is c<nuinually 
accuinulatinL; and hccoiniuLC luntlicnsonie to 
tlu- profession. 

■ W itli very sincere respect and esteem for 
I lie gentlemen of the I'ar and f"r v< mr^i-lv .-s in- 

i am. s^entlemen, 

■ N Miir very ohcd't serv't, 
■ I'l-TKR Afc.usTUs Jay." 

in June. iSji. a special election was held for 
the choice of delej^ates to a Convention to re- 
vise the Constitution of the State of New York. 
From Westchester County the successful can- 
didates were Peter A. Jay; his cousin, Peter 
Jay Munro; and Jonathan Ward. 

The Convention of iSji marks the culmina- 
tion of an cjK)ch in the constitutional liistory 
of New York State, notahle ior the strict adher- 
ence to the usae^es and institutions of a former 
century, and the hrilliant. thoui^h conservative, 
a(lmini«^tration of a |H»werful judicial estahlish- 
ment. This ancient rcj^imc. so to speak, from 


its very inflexibility and concentration of 
power, was bound in course of time to succumb 
before the advancing tide of democratic prin- 
ciples and make way for an era hitherto un- 
known of political freedom and power granted 
to the people. 

Two of the chief reasons for desiring to 
amend the Constitution at this time were dis- 
content with the property qualifications for 
electors and a growing distrust of the political 
power of the Judiciary. Since the State Con- 
stitution had been adopted in 1777 the growth 
of the population had been very large, but the 
number of freeholders qualified to vote for 
Governor and other officers had not increased 
in anything like the same proportion. This 
made the people at large anxious for a change. 
Then again, in the minds of the truly demo- 
cratic men of the day, the power of the Chan- 
cellor under the Constitution was altogether too 
great. Even the term " chancellor " was repug- 
nant to them as being associated with monar- 
chical government and suggestive of royalty. 
But the principal cause of complaint was the 
power of veto on all legislation held b}^ the 
Chancellor as a member of the Council of Re- 
vision, in which he sat together with the Judges 



of tlu" SiiprcMK- ("oiirt and tin* ( iovcinor. The 
Niw N'ork Court <>f ( liaiircrN . uikKt l.ivinj^- 
stnii and l.aiisiiis^-. Iiad acliicwd a prcstij^c, the 
consummation of wliicli was realized u\)nn tlic 
flcvation of Kent to the chancellorshii) in 1S14. 
The hrilhancv of Kent's career was not compro- 
mised hy any innovations, hut. wliilc content to 
ahide hv the constitutional limitations of his 
olVice. he nevertheless jealously t^iarded. to the 
\ery end, all the powers that were q^ranted to 
iiim as a heritajj^e. perhaps, from the ICn<^lish 
chancery system. \\ hen. in iSjo. the Demo- 
cratic party of revision passed a hill for a con- 
vention to amend the Constitution, the Council 
of Revision proiuptly vetoed it. the oi)inion 
hein*^^ handed down hy Chancellor Kent. This 
veto met with a storm of disapproval, heini;; re- 
Ljarded as a typical exam])le of the power of the 
judiciary to defeat the will of the people. The 
following; year the rpiestion was finally suh- 
mitted to a f>opular election and carried by an 
overwhelming^ majority. 

The convention, to which Mr. jay had been 

summoned as a member, met at Albany on Au- 

LfUst j8, 182 1. One hundred and ten dcleu^ates 

were present, (uit of a total of one hundred and 

wenty-five. reprcsentinpf all parties. Republi- 


cans (now called Democrats), Federalists, Clin- 
tonians and Bucktails. Although the conven- 
tion was organized along strict party lines, yet 
the coming contest was one between the forces 
of restless American progression, as opposed 
to those of the landed and legal interests which 
represented the old order of things; the inde- 
pendent rural element against the established 
citizenship of the urban communities. This 
may have been caused by the recent settlement 
in many of the newer central and western coun- 
ties of the State, of pioneers from New Eng- 
land pushing westward towards the Ohio coun- 
try. These people naturally brought with them 
the Puritanical ideas of government surviving 
in New England, and were not at all in sympa- 
thy with those prevailing in the older parts of 
New York — the outgrowth of colonial times. 
The representatives in the convention of this 
new element found a champion in Ex-Governor 
Daniel D. Tompkins, who was called "the fa- 
vorite farmer's son." Uniting with the Demo- 
cratic revisionists, they elected him President 
by a vote of 94 to 16. The chairman of each 
of the ten committees was, with but one ex- 
ception, a Democrat. The key-note for what 
should follow in the next two months was thus 



(Icfiiiitcly struck. Not that c-vctn (jucstinn 
could l>c <kci(li-(l liy sucli ovcTwliclniiu}^ odds; 
— UKiuy of the votes were very close, several 
staudiiiL,^ 63 to 5(;, 61 to 5<> and 62 to 53; hut 
from the outset the revisionists knew their 
strength and i)resse(l their advantage to the ut- 

On the other hand, the oi)iM)sition. although 
decidedly in the minority, was only the more de- 
termined, and the dehates called forth the abil- 
ity and eloquence of its most distinguished 
members. I'rom Albany, and the other coun- 
ties of the lluds(Mi valley, such men as Chan- 
cellor James Kent. Chief justice Ambrose 
Spencer, (ieneral Stephen \'an Rensselaer, 
Peter .\. jay. judges Jonas I'latt and William 
W . \'an Ness, all stanch upholders of the exist- 
ing Constitution, met the attacks of the New 
\'ork and Western delegations, among whom 
were Senators Rufus King and Nathan San- 
ford, John Duer. General Erastus Root, Martin 
\'an lUiren and Rx-Ciovernor Daniel D. Tomp- 
kins. The debates which followed were as bit- 
terly contested as any which the history of the 
State records. "Our prospects here grow 
more unpleasant." writes Mr. Jay to his father 
on October 10. " The more violent members of 



the convention begin to act more in a body and 
to gather strength. Upon the whole, there is 
a good deal of bad feeling, and I should not be 
surprised if something very violent should be 
attempted in relation to the Judiciary. . . . 
We have had a long and latterly angry con- 
test about the appointment of Justice of the 
Peace. The dominant party, who gave up the 
Council of Appointment with great reluctance, 
were anxious to retain the power of appointing 
these magistrates at Albany, and Mr. Van 
Buren proposed a plan for this purpose which 
he openly urged on party grounds ; others, very 
desirous that the minority should not be utterly 
excluded from office, proposed to elect Justices 
by the people. This enraged the Jacobins ex- 
ceedingly, who were obliged to argue in contra- 
diction to their own principles and professions. 
I voted against both plans and both were lost. 
The contest ended in the adoption of a scheme 
by which the power of appointing is lodged in 
the Supervisors and County Court. The dis- 
cussion has produced violent animosity be- 
tween the followers of Mr. Van Buren and the 
New York delegation, and the latter seem to 
me to be alarmed and to be acting feebly." 
The great question of extending the right of 


suliraj^c, as anlaj^^oiiistic lo llic properly or 
frccliold (lualilicalion, was dislinclly prcscnlcd 
and argued with f(|ual talt-m and ability l)y 
those who favored, and by those opposed lo, its 
adoj)tion. Tlie j)lan ultimately acce|>tcd \sas a 
compromise, the basis of the franchise beinj^ 
considerably enlarj^ed. Mr. Jay was averse to 
niakinj^ the sutTraj^e universal, but favored its 
extension to the colored pojjulalion. introduc- 
mi:; his views on this subject in one of the most 
elo(|uent speeches made durinij the ci>nvention. 
His motion was carried by a vote of (y^ to 59, 
but its etTect was null i lied later, when the whole 
«|uestion of the elective franchise wa-> referred 
to a select committee of thirteen. 

Anionfj the other acts of the convention, the 
abolition of the Council of Revision, vestini^ a 
limited veto power in the (jovernor. assumed 
far-reaching imj)ortance. So also did the aban- 
donment of the Council of Appointment, willi 
its enormous j)atrona_{;^e of over six thousand 
civil oflicers. The term of office for the Gov- 
ernor was hxed at two years instead of three. 
W hen the Judiciary (|uestion came up for dis- 
cussion, there arose a wide diveri^ence of o|)in- 
ion in the convention as to the reforms to be 
made. Some of the rachcal members even went 



so far as to suggest overthrowing the Court of 
Chancery and the Supreme Court. Here it was 
that the counsel of prudent men hke Chancellor 
Kent, Mr. Van Vechten and Mr. Jay carried 
such weight with the opposite party that no 
such revolutionary plan was put through. Only 
minor changes were made in the powers of 
some of the Judges, while the Supreme Court 
was reduced to three Justices. 

The convention adjourned on November lo, 
having adopted the amended Constitution. Mr. 
Jay was one of the eight members who voted 
against it. Fifteen other members, including 
Chancellor Kent, Chief Justice Spencer, Judge 
Piatt and General Van Rensselaer, withheld 
their signatures. " Many of the Democratic 
members were dissatisfied with it," wrote Mr. 
Jay to his father, " but did not dare to separate 
from their party. I think its chief defects are 
making the right of suffrage universal, render- 
ing the Judges of the Supreme Court depen- 
dent, and vesting the power of appointment, in 
almost all instances, in the Legislature. There 
seems to be a passion for universal suffrage 
pervading the Union. There remain only two 
States in which a qualification, in respect of 
property, is retained. When those who possess 



no proiicrly sliall l)c more nuincrous than those 
Nvlio have it. I lie consequence of this alteration 
will. 1 fear, he severely felt 

The new Constitution wa> raiiiied m January, 
iSjj. hy a j)oi)ular vole of 75,4-i- aj^ain^l 41,- 
41^7. Althouj^h considered revolutionary at the 
time, the etTects of the amendments proved 
beneficial and of great importance, and in 1S29 
led to a revision of the statutes. The Court of 
Chancery had been diveste<l of its political 
power by the overturning of the Council of 
Revision. Chancellor Kent, however, ilid not 
long remain in oHice. but retired in July. 1S-3. 
upon reaching the age limit of sixty years. It 
was not until 1846 that the Court was finally 

The Constitution of the State of Massachu- 
setts had been amended in a convention held 
shortly before the Albany ( "onvenlion. In b'eb- 
ruary, 1822, John Jay, who had naturally taken 
a great interest in both conventions, writes to 
his son Peter as follows: "President Adams 
was so obliging as to send me a volume con- 
taining the Proceedings of the late Massachu- 
setts Convention for amending their Consti- 
tution. Purchase for nie a volume of the 
Proceedings of our Convention. it !)e de- 


cently, but not splendidly, bound, and send it by 
Reynolds, or Calhoun. I intend to transmit it, 
with a few lines, to Mr. Adams." 

Upon Mr. Jay's return from the convention 
at Albany he was offered the nomination for a 
seat in Congress from Westchester County,, 
but declined the honor and resumed his law 
practice in New York. His second son was 
born on October 23, 1821, and named Peter 
Augustus Jay. The elder son, John Clarkson 
Jay, was soon to enter Columbia College, from 
which he graduated in 1827. Mr. Jay had 
always kept up his interest in the affairs 
of the college and had served, as we have 
seen, a term as trustee from 1812 to 181 7. 
He now in 1823 had entered upon his second 

The Rye Estate, purchased in 1745 by Peter 
Jay (son of the Huguenot, Augustus Jay), was 
devised by him to his son Peter Jay (blind), 
and by the latter to his brother John Jay. John 
Jay in turn now conveyed it, September 16, 
1822, to his elder son, Peter A. Jay, who con- 
tinued to occupy it with his family as a summer 
residence until his death in 1843, when it be- 
came the inheritance of his eldest son, John C. 
Jay. The estate originally formed a part of 


YELLOW i-i:\i:k i\ \i:\v vork 

tlu- i'.iidd or |\yc Xcck Patcnl, J50 acres of 
which \\ii\- leased of John IUi<ld. a j^randson of 
jolin I'.udd (oneof tlie orii^inal j^^rantccs, under 
ihf IiKhaiis, in ir>6i), by I'eler Jay. .NLirch J5. 
1745. and on tlie succeedini^ day lie obtained a 
release for ilic- same, i'our acres of nieadovv- 
land on Men Island were purchased Scj)leniber 
4, IJ"'*. 'Hitl other purchases have made addi- 
tions to the orii^inal j^rant, increasini^ the num- 
ber of acres till they now reach alniut four hun- 

In the autumn ot iSjj. beini:: tiien owner of 
the estate. I'eter A. Jay. durinj^^ a visit to 
Rye— the widow of his uncle Peter ( NLiry 
Duyckinck ) still roiiiimiinj^^ her residence there 
— planted the tliree elm trees which, from their 
symmetry and threat size, have since attracted 
nuich attention. They stood on the lawn east 
of the house, and were set out to take the place 
of some venerable locusts w hicli the year before 
had been destroyed. At the preseiu time two of 
the three trees remain standini^. 

In the summer of this year, New NOrk had 
ajjain been visited by yellow fever. lu'erybody 
who could do so tied from the citv; the banks, 
custom-house, and other business houses moved 
to Cireenwich X'illai^e. Mr. J.iy sent Mrs. Jay 



and the children to stay with his father at Bed- 

The Whites, of England, cousins of the 
Jays, occasionally made transatlantic voyages 
to visit their mother, Mrs. Henry White, and 
their relatives and friends. Mrs. White, then 
a widow, resided in New York, at Number 1 1 
Broadway, on the west side, opposite Bowl- 
ing Green. She was a daughter of Frederick 
Van Cortlandt and Frances Jay, the latter a 
sister of Peter Jay, father of the Governor. 
Mr. and Mrs. Van Cortlandt had resided at the 
Manor-house, Lower Yonkers — the house Mr. 
Van Cortlandt built in 1748. General Fred- 
erick White, a son of Mrs. Henry White, seems, 
by the letter which follows, to have come over 
on a visit. Mr. Jay's letter is addressed to the 
General's brother, John Chambers White, then 
a Captain in the Royal Navy, but subsequently 
knighted and made Admiral. 

"New York, Oct. 9, 1822. 
''My dear Sir: 

" Your letter of the 22d August last ar- 
rived at a time when the yellow fever had 
■driven my family from the city, and either 


letti:r to ]. c. wniTi:. r. n. 

throiij^li ;ui-i(U'iit <>r carelessness it was not for- 
warded lo inc. NO I only received it last 
week when 1 returned, ll sh(»uld otherwise 
have heeii earlier an.swered. 

"The disease has now entirely ceased, as it 
always does upon the first ai)i)earance of ice. 
Thouj^h its ravages have not heen j^^reat. it has 
occasioned much distress and still more incon- 
venience. While it continued ycnir mother took 
refutj"e with her hrotlier at N'«>nkers. Mrs. jay 
and myself visited her there and were {^ratified 
at seeini;^ her so cheerful and so well. We 
found Mr. \'an C'ortlandt in hed with fever and 
ajTfue. but still in excellent spirits. He had not 
lived, he said, for ninety-six years to be frij^^ht- 
ened with an He was old cnoutrh to 
know how to take care of himself. I lis physi- 
cian was not so easv on the subject, but he re- 
covered and is in L^ood liealth. lie and your 
mother have wonderful constitutions and seem 
<letermined to disprove the theory that ])eoplc 
are short-lived in America. W'e all req^ret that 
the General could not be induced to i)roloncf his 
visit. The melancholy circumstances in which 
he found hi'> relatif>ns, and the season of the 
year beini^' that when our citizens are dispersed 
through the count r\-. i>revented his receiving 


all the attentions which so many would have 
been happy to show him. Besides, his habits, 
if as you say they are Germanized, must have 
led him to consider our manners as wanting in 
that polish which he certainly possesses in a 
high degree. Yet a longer acquaintance would, 
I think, have made him better pleased, and in- 
deed it appeared to me that upon the whole he 
liked the Country and its Inhabitants better 
than he had expected. The manners of the up- 
per classes here are certainly less polished than 
those of the same rank in England, but in re- 
turn the common people are less vulgar. The 
Democracy under which we live, to a certain 
extent amalgamates all classes ; but if this mix- 
ture imparts some rusticity to the highest, it 
also communicates a good deal of civility to the 

" I am exceedingly happy to learn that you 
intend seeing us again. Be assured you will 
find many who will rejoice at your arrival. Let 
me hope that your coming will not be long post- 
poned ; several of your relations and friends are 
aged. My father and family continue as when 
you saw them. The old Lady at Rye, whom 
you kindly remember, is still cheerful and 
happy. The Mamaroneck family are all well. 


letti:r to j. ( . wiiiTi:. r. n. 

Mr. and Mrs. (K- I.ancc-v arc M-llk-d al Thila- 
<k'lj)liia. ulR-rr lu- i^ w til likc-d l)y liis conj^rcj^a- 
tion. I'Voni your (k-Mriplioii ni" ilic villa tliat 
you occui)y. ^ '*-''i'' Mrs. \\ iiitc will Tiot i)c very 
willinj.; to leave it. I trust, however, you will 
persuade her to heeonie ac(|uaintt'd with her re- 
lations here. Mrs. Jay, with whom, hy the l)y, 
\ou are a s^reat favorite, desires to he particu- 
larly remeiuhered to you and joins me in rc- 
(|uestinjL^ you to |)re>>ent our resjjects to Mrs. 

■' 1 am. dear sir, 

" ^'our very oht. Serv't, 

" Pf.ti:r Augustus J.w. 
••(apt. I. C". W iini . K. \.. 

*■ Cecil L()d*jc, Ahhots Lanc^ley. 
" I lertfordshire. ICnj^dand." 

The \'an Cortlandt rel'erred to in the letter 
was .\u.5411stu.s, a hrotlicr of Mrs. I lenry W hite. 
and then the occupant of the house at \'onkers. 
He died Dccemher 20. 1S23. in his ninety-sixth 

"The old Lady at Rye." ai>out whom Cap- 
tain White makes in(|uiry. was the widow of 
I'eter Jay, Mary Ouvckinck. who continued to 
<)CCU|)V the house at Kye until her <leath. which 


occurred April 25, 1824, eighteen months after 
this letter was written, she being then eighty- 
seven years old. 

John Wells, a man of great eminence at the 
New York Bar, was the contemporary of jNIr. 
Jay and six years his senior. He died in 1823. 
His biographer, in reciting thie names of some 
of the prominent lawyers who were on friendly 
and social terms with Mr. Wells, says : 

" In this train came Peter A. Jay, a worthy 
scion of a noble stock; learned as a lawyer, in 
manners polished, enjoying with a genial dis- 
position the mirth around him and contributing, 
by his stores of information and literary taste 
and by agreeable and instructive conversation, 
to the pleasure of society. He had been a mem- 
ber of the Legislature and left the impress of 
his mind among the statutes that have perma- 
nently promoted public welfare." 

Wells's friend and rival Emmet, on the death 
of AA^ells, in an address which he made on 
the occasion, used the tribute expressed by 
Cicero on the death of Hortensius. " . . . Can 
I not lament the death of him w4io increased 
my fame by becoming my rival ? . . . " 

In the summer of 1824, General La Fayette, 



after an al)scncc of nearly fifty ye.irs, mack- a 
t<»nr llnonL^li tlic I'nilcd Stales. It had been 
known to l)c his intention to visit Mr. Jolin Jay, 
but instead of going to liedforil. a change m^ 
programme was arranged whicli carried him 
directly from New ^ ork to lioston. 

On the ^)th of Se|)teml)er John Jay writes to 
his son I'eter: "We hear that (leneral La 
I^'iyette and his numerous attendants travelled 
the whole way to Boston in a tliick cloud of 
dust; if so, he may apply the old maxim in Ixith 
its senses, ' \ulla sine Piih-crc PaUna.' It is 
said that he is ex|)ected to be in New N'ork this 
week, if you should see him before his depar- 
ture to the southward, you m;iy. i)erhai)S. be 
informed by him of some further particulars 
relative to his route and intentions." 

In a letter to her father, (iovernor Jay, dated 
Ai)ril Ji. 1SJ5. Mrs. P.anyer writes: "I am 
sorry to tell you that (ieneral Clarkson is (piite 
ill: Mary (his daughter Mrs. Jay] was sent for 
this morning and has been with him all day. 
Brother (Mr. Jay] came home this evening 
and said Doctor Post thought his disease 
Dropsy in the chest. lie has not been well for 
some tiiue. I cannot but lu>j)e. however, that 
he will be r< |t<\.<| -nirl that a life <o valuable 


to his family and to the community may be 
spared." The disease — congestion of the lungs 
— gradually assumed a more threatening as- 
pect ; no physician's skill could arrest its prog- 
ress, and the General's death occurred a few 
days later, in his sixty-ninth year. The many 
papers of the day published numerous tributes 
to his worth. At the ensuing anniversary of 
the American Bible Society, the Hon. James 
Kent, ex-Chancellor of the State, spoke of Gen- 
eral Clarkson as follows : 

" I would beg respectfully to add my humble 
tribute of respect and reverence to the memory 
of the late senior Vice-President of this Society, 
with whom I had the honor to be acquainted, 
and whose pure and excellent character has ex- 
cited universal love and esteem. No person 
appeared to me more entirely exempted from 
the baneful influence of narrow and selfish con- 
siderations, or who pursued more steadily and 
successfully the vivid lights of Christian philan- 
thropy. He was eminently distinguished in the 
whole course of his life for benevolence of tem- 
per, for purity of principle, for an active and 
zealous discharge of duty, for simplicity of 
manner, for unpretending modesty of deport- 
ment and for integrity of heart. It was his 

1 60 

\IA 1 1 Ht >» « . \KKSt)N 
In ihr |Mt\srMion nfihr family <>(' Mr. .-ind Mrs. I)a%id Clarkson 


business and liis dtii^lil lo afford coiisolatic^n 
lo llic distressed, to relieve the wants of tlie 
needy, to instruct the ij^niorant, to reclaim ilic 
vicious, to visit the fatherless and the widow 
in their aOhclion and to keej) himself unspotted 
from the world. Such a jxtrtrait is not to be 
drawn from all the records of heathen anti- 
quity. It i)resents an elevation of moral Li:r<i"- 
deur, 'above all Greek, above all Roman fame.* 
It l)clonj?s to Christianity alone to form and to 
animate such a character." 

Mr. and Mrs. Ia\ hatl commenced housc- 
keei)in.i^ at Rye. The large house and ample 
j^rounds were well adapted for brini^inii; up 
their seven children, the younp^est of whom. 
I^lizabeth Clarkson fay, was just two years old, 
havinj:^ been born on July 2, 1S23. A letter 
from Mrs. Jay j^ives a little li^limpse of the life 
there at this period. The letter is addressed to 
Miss Mary Rutherfurd at F-dc^crston. on the 
Passaic, New Jersey, a first cousin of Mrs. Jay 
and dauc^hter of John and «.,^randdau.t;hter of 
Walter Rutherfurd who came from Scotland to 



" Rye, July 29, 1825. 
'' Dear Mary: 

" I have been expecting a visit from you or 
one or more of your family for some time past. 
Mary wrote to Louisa the week before last, re- 
minding her that her friends at Rye were very 
anxious to see the inhabitants of Edgerston. 

" Your mother, I hope, will not forget her 
promise — I think I could make her time pass 
very agreeably for a fortnight at least, and I 
think change of air and riding about would be 
of great service to her. Tell Uncle I want to 
consult him about an ice house and other im- 
provements and wish him to taste my home- 
made bread and rusk. We have bought but one 
loaf of bakers' since we came here. I do not 
find housekeeping half the trouble that it was 
in New York, although we have dined but three 
times alone since we came here, and several 
times in large number. What do you think of 
twenty and twenty-two, including my children ? 

" We have been expecting Helen and Stuyve- 
sant, and hope they will not long delay paying 
us a visit. John has fixed a nice awning on our 
boat, so that with two good oarsmen we can 
row about at our pleasure. We bathe at the 



flals, wliich I am mwc would Ijc ut service lo 
Auni. We sonielinies \j;o before breakfast and 
soinelimes in llie eveninj^. Tbe Ijeacli is a tine 
sandv one and extends for more tlian a mile. 
1 am more and more pleased with the place, and 
only \vi>h thai Mr. jay enuld enjoy it all the 
lime with u^; 1 ri>e at half-past five or six 
o'clock, but we do not breakfast until seven <ir 
half -past. W'c dine at half-past one o'clock. 
Vou will lauj^di and say cjuite primitive hours. 

*' If I could leave my children 1 think I should 
take a ride to lul^erston and brinj.^ with me as 
many as the wacf.q'on will hold. 1 rci2^ret on this 
account that h-tVy Duyckinck is not with us — 
she went away, nearly a month since, to jaunt 
about with Mrs. Cami)beirs family. 

" My children are all well and very hapi)y. 
They are in school four hours durine^ the day. 
Mary left us with her Icicle William on a visit 
to Bedford last Tuesdav. Adieu, my dear 

" Believe me simerilv your--. 

" .M \KV R Iw. 

"Miss RuTIIKRFUKn." 

J. Fenimore Cooper, lM>th at school and at 
^'ale, had been a classmate and friend of Wil- 



Ham Jay. Their friendship continued through 
hfe. Cooper was for some time a resident at 
Rye. In 1811 he had married into the Hugue- 
not family of the de Lanceys, who resided at 
Mamaroneck, in the immediate neighborhood 
of Rye. This intimacy extended to other mem- 
bers of the family, and Mr. Cooper was fre- 
quently a visitor at the city house of the Jays 
and, later, at their house in the country. After 
spending a number of years at Cooperstown, 
New York, he returned to Westchester and 
took up his residence on a farm at Scarsdale, 
about five miles from Mamaroneck. It was 
while living on this farm in the year 1820 that 
Cooper commenced to write. His first serious 
attempt at novel-writing was " The Spy," pub- 
lished in 1 82 1. The principal character in 
^' The Spy " was suggested to Cooper by John 
Jay, and one of the scenes of the novel is gen- 
erally believed to be laid on the Jay farm at 
Rye. Professor Thomas R. Lounsbury, in his 
**Life of J. Fenimore Cooper," gives an in- 
teresting description of how Cooper came to 
write "The Spy," in the course of which he 
says: "He naturally turned for his subject to 
the Revolution, with the details of which he 
was familiar by his acquaintance with the men 


now cooricK vvkotk -tmm si'V 

wlio liad shared i)r<»iiiiiR-iuly in il> cuiiducl and 
had I'ck all ihc keenness of a i)ers()nal iriuniph 
in its success. TIk- \ery country, nK)re«)ver, in 
which lie had made \u> home was full of recol- 
lections. Westchester had been the neutral 
ground helween the h".n.<4;lish forces stationed in 
New N <»rk. and the American army encamped 
in the hij^dilands of the Hudson. Ui)on it more, 
|)erhai)>. than upon any other portion of the 
soil of the revolted coK^nies had fallen the curse 
of war in its heaviest form. IJack and forth 
over a lar^e i)art of it had i)er|)etually ehhcd 
and flowed the tide of balllc. Not a road was 
there which had not been swept attain and 
attain by columns of infantry or squadrons of 
horse. Every thicket had been the hidings-place 
of refugees or sj)ies ; every wood or meadow the 
scene of a skirmish; every house that survived 
tile struggle boasted its tale of thrilling scenes 
that had taken place within its walls, riiese 
circumstances determined Cooper's choice of 
the place and period, ^\•ars before, while at 
the residence of John jay, his host gave, one 
summer afternoon, the account of a spy that 
had been in his service during the war. The co<il- 
ness, shrewdness, fearlessness, but above all 
the unselfish patriotism, of the man had pro- 



foundly impressed the Revolutionary leader 
who employed him. The story made an equally 
deep impression upon Cooper. He now resolved 
to take it as the foundation of the tale he had 
been persuaded to write. The result was that 
on the 22d of December, 1821, the novel of 
'The Spy' was quietly advertised in the New 
York papers as published on that day." 

In 1822 Cooper moved to New York, and in 
the two succeeding years published " The Pio- 
neers " and '' The Pilot." In 1825 he decided to 
travel abroad for a period of five years, and in 
February, just before his departure, published 
"The Last of the Mohicans." Cooper's popu- 
larity was then at its height; both in America 
and in Europe he w^as likened to Sir Walter 
Scott. During his residence abroad he occa- 
sionally corresponded with Mr. and Mrs. Jay, 
and among his letters which have escaped the 
ravages of time we are enabled to insert the 


"Paris, 1826. 
"Dear Mrs. Jay: 

" Well, where did I leave off ? It was after 
the diplomatic dinner at Mrs. Brown's, was it 
not ? We will say it was. Since then the world 



has jo^^ccl on at I'aris much as it dm-s in (»tlicr 
places. As winUT a])in(iachcs llic town hci^ins 
lu fill, and haudsoinc c(|uii)aj^fs aiul j^a-nlccl- 
lookins^ l)c<>i)lc arc now ahundanl. In tlic 
nicantinic, <»ur minister lias been ohli^-d Id <iuit 
the I'alais de i'.»»minin. at the expirati**!! of iiis 
lease, and to move into ilu- Motel de Castries, 
which is a nohle house nearly opposite in the 
same street. Mrs. lirown is very elej^^ant here, 
and in point of furniture even more elci^ant 
than heforc. ihouL;Ji her room^ now are no more 
than the apartments of a hij^h nobleman, 
whereas they were before those of a Prince. I 
dine there every two or three weeks, and visit 
them much oftencr. 

"The Princess Gallitzin continues her kind- 
ness, which is of 5:;;-real service to us, as she 
keeps decidedly some of the best French and all 
the best Russian society in Paris. She has now 
a dau_q:hter and a dau.q;hter-in-law both arrived, 
the former from Italy, and the latter from ling- 
land ; and as both have handsome apartments 
and Lifive parties, we visit both. The former is 
the widow of an Italian (the Marquise di 
Terzi ) and a clever woman who sj)eaks five 
languages well; the latter, the Princess de Gal- 
litzin. nee Souvaroff. is the ixranddaui^hter of 



the Souvaroff, or Souvarow, as we call her, and 
is more distinguished for her musical attain- 
ments. I do assure you they give very pleasant 
little affairs. The other night the Princess 
Souvaroff gave a great affair, at which we at- 
tended, where there was a supper and ball. It 
was quite brilliant and honored with the com- 
pany of the Russian Ambassador, the well 
known Pozzo di Borgo, to whom I was for the 
first time presented. 

''Well, about a week ago I was descending 
the stairs of our hotel, which you know are 
common property to everybody that inhabits 
the building, when I met an old man ascending, 
as I thought,with a good deal of difficulty. There 
was a carriage in the court, and from something 
in his countenance as well as from his air and 
the circumstance of the coach, I thought he was 
coming to see me. Indeed, I fancied I knew the 
face, though I could not remember the name. 
We passed each other, looking hard and bow- 
ing, and I was just going out of the door when 
the stranger suddenly stopped and said in 
French : 

" ' Est-ce que monsieur Cooper que j'ai I'hon- 
neur de voir ? ' 

" * Monsieur, je m'appelle Cooper.' 


** * Jc slli■^ W alliT Scott.' 

"Ilcrc was an introduction for you! worth 
a tliousand letters, or tlic most formal presen- 
tations. We shook liands. I expressed my 
thanks for the iionor. and he |)assed an hour 
with nil- in my cal)inet. 1 am (U'ii^iucd with 
him. lie treated me like a younger hrother 
and sj)oke in the kindest and most encouraL^ins.^ 
manner. i'he two next days 1 hreakfasted 
with him. lie then paid me another visit, and 
we met once more at the Princess Gallitzin's, 
who gave him a famous soiree. The ladies all 
appeared in tartans and shawls. The family 
sang an air composed hy the Princess Ciallitzin 
(SouvarofT). and the words were a translation 
hy the «)ld lady from a song in the Monastery. 
It went off well, for the hVench do these things 
wonderfully well, and this family, though Rus- 
sian in fact, are fjuite h^rench in manners. The 
next day Sir Walter dei)arted for London. 
■ \ iTv resj)ectfully yours, 

" J . F i: M M o R I : Coo p r. r . 

"Mrs. Petir .\. J.\v." 

At alxiut this time Mr. jay was unanimously 
elected President of the High School of the 
City of New ^'ork and of the .\merican Society 



for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews ; and 
he also received the appointment of Trustee of 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons; but 
finding that his engagements would not permit 
him to perform in a satisfactory manner the 
duties of these offices, he respectfully declined 
them all. Previous to the year 1822 he had 
served as a Director and Treasurer of the So- 
ciety for Meliorating the Condition of the 
Jews. In resigning from this Society, Mr. Jay 
wrote to the President : " I heartily pray that 
it may be instrumental in promoting the spir- 
itual and temporal welfare of that ancient and 
wonderful people whose present Infidelity is 
among the strongest evidences of the Religion 
they reject, and whose future conversion will 
be but the Riches of the World and Life from 
the Dead." 

In December, 1825, Mr. Jay received a letter 
from Mr. J. Rutsen Van Rensselaer, former 
Secretary of State and a delegate from Colum- 
bia County to the Convention of 1821, asking 
if it would be possible for his son to obtain a 
position in Mr. Jay's office, to which he replied: 
^' I am flattered by your desiring to place your 
son in my office; I have already six students 
and I have but little attorney's business. If his 



object Ik" lo learn i)racticc. ihcrc arc many of- 
fices wliicli would aflord him better opportuni- 
ties for that puri)osc than mine. lUit if you 
wish it I will lor your sake receive him with 
pleasure and endeavor tt) render the remainder 
of \u> clerkship both ai^reeable and useful to 

The foUowuiL; year Mr. J.i\ w.i'^ apjjointed 
Counsel lo the Chatham Insurance Company 
and elected a director of the Mohawk and Hud- 
son Railroad Company. 1 le was also proposed 
as candidate for the ottice of Chancellor, which 
was then vacant; but he declined the nomina- 
tion on the unround that the salary (Sj.cxx)) did 
not equal the income derived from his practice 
and would be insutVicient for the support of his 
family. His friend Samuel Jones was made 
Chancellor in Jamiarv. iSjh. 

The death of (iovernor Clinton occurred 
suddenly on February il, 1828. While dilTer- 
injj in his political views from Jay. Clinton al- 
ways respected jay's judi^ment. and enter- 
tained a personal friendship for him and his 
family. Only the previous year .Mr. jay re- 
ceived from Ciovernor Clinton the follow ini^ 



''Albany, Jan. 6, 1827. 
" P. A. Jay, Esq. 

'' Dear Sir: 

" Your letter certainly required no apology. 
Any recommendation of yours for any friend 
will always be acceptable and treated with mer- 
ited attention. 

" I embrace this occasion to tender to you all 
the kind wishes usual on the opening of the 
year, and I beg you to present them also to Mrs. 
Jay, as we ought to open the New Year with 
good dispositions. Tell the young lady who 
charges me with being under female— or, 
rather, uxorious — government that I forgive 
her and hope that her only punishment will be 
a good and obedient husband who will submit 
his neck to the yoke (as in duty bound) with 
entire submission. 

" I am, very sincerely, 
"Your friend, 

" De Witt Clinton." 

On November 29th of this year Mr. Jay's 
eighth and last child, Susan Matilda, was born. 

The library of the New York Law Insti- 
tute was founded in February, 1828, mainly 



tlir<>iiL:li tin- efforts of Clianccllor Kent. 1 Icrc- 
toforc ilic only collections of law books of any 
extent or value in nr near llie city of New 
Vt)rk were the i)rivale libraries of Chancellor 
Kent and of Chief-Justice Jay at I>c(iforcl. The 
])uri)ose of the New ^«)^k Institute was 
to provide a library which should Jj^ive to the 
members of the bar access to the law reports 
and literature of all countries. At its first 
meetintj there were i)re^ent ( )L^den Hoffman, 
Thomas Addis Rmmet. HuLi^h Maxwell, James 
W. Gerard, and many other leadiui^ members 
of the bar. James Kent was elected President, 
and Peter .\. Jay. Smith Thompson and Bev- 
erley Robinson. \'ice- Presidents. The bcLrin- 
nin^s of the library were made by the i)urchase 
of the library of I\ob(?rt Tillotson. Many of 
the members made d<»nations, Chancellor Kent 
presentine: a set «»f his "Commentaries "U 
American Law." Referrinu^ to this subject in 
the " History of the liench aiul" Mr. Wil- 
liam H. Winters says: " Many of the old clas- 
sics of the law, rare and valuable reports and 
commentaries, were the fififts of the accom- 
plished scholar, Peter A. Jay, the eldest son of 
Chief-Justice Jay. In the future, upon the Paw 
In>titute'<i tablet of o-rateful rec(»L'in'i"n nf the 



friends and lovers of its library no names will 
be engraven deeper or more conspicuously 
than those of Peter A. Jay and Charles 

The rooms of the New York Law Institute 
are at present in the Post-office building, and 
its library ranks as one of the three leading li- 
braries in the world of American and British 
law literature. 

In the spring of 1829, Dr. Hare presented 
Mr. Jay with a volume on chemistry, sending 
the following letter with it : 

"Philadelphia, April 4, 1829. 
''Dear Sir: 

"As I remember that you are among those 
members of the legal profession who retain 
some taste for the study of the arcana of na- 
ture, I am encouraged to send you a volume of 
which I am the author. It will be handed to 
you by my nephew, George E. Hare, Esq., who 
is preparing for orders in the church at the 
Episcopal Seminary at New York. He is both 
worthy and intelligent. 

" I regretted much some time ago to hear 
that you had been a visitor in our city without 



Miy havinj^ had an »»j)j)nriunity of sccinj^ you 
and of inviting you to my liousc. I am. liow- 
cvcr. al times so arduously occupied a> to re- 
main ij^iioranl of the arrival and departure of 
the most distint^uished persons. 

I remain, with esteem, 

" Respectfully yours. 

" RoBKRT Hari:. 
"Petkk A. Jav. Esq." 

We have now to record the first weddings in 
the family, that of Mr. and Mrs. Jay's eldest 
dauL^hter. Marv Rutherfurd. to Mr. I'Vcderick 

I'he f<illowinj^ letter is addressed to Mr. l\i^- 
lx*rt Renson. Associate Justice of the United 
States Supreme Court, invitin.e: liim to be pres- 
ent at the wedding: 

" Xi:\v \'oKK. Ai)ril 24, 1S29. 
" Pear Sir: 

" ^'ollr friend Mary is to cliaui^e her name 
on Thursday eveninj^. the ^otli inst. She and 
her motlier join me in re<|uestini^ that you will 
favor us with your comi)any on that occasion. 

" My father has desired me to say to you that 


he hopes soon to have the pleasure of seeing 
you at Bedford. He begs your acceptance of a 
couple of dozen of port, which Mr. G. Barclay 
will send you. 

" I am, Dear Sir, with great respect, 
" Your very obt. servt., 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 
" Egbert Benson, Esq." 

The death of Mr. Jay's father-in-law was 
soon followed by the death of his father. We 
have seen Governor Jay in retirement, "under 
the shadow of his own vine and fig-tree," his 
complete withdrawal from public life, almost 
from society, and we are at length come to 
speak of the close of his life — a life which cov- 
ered a period of eighty-four years. Mr. Jay 
died at Bedford on May 17, 1829, and was 
buried in the family cemetery on the Rye estate. 
The simple monument which marks his grave 
bears the following brief epitaph, written by his 
son Peter A. Jay : 







WHICH Hi: U)NG SERVED IN Till vt"^! 









1 1 were indeed a ta>k to draw into C()nii)ari- 
son ilie relative merits of Jay and Ilamilton, 
and yel it is a study not without interest. A 
writer who has made a sketcli of the cliaracler 
of Jay has also left us his estimate of the dis- 
tin^^uishiiii^ traits of the tw'O men, whicli is here 

" They were, undoubledly, ' par ttohilc fra- 
trum,' and yet not ' twin brothers' ; 'pares sod 
impares.' like, but indike. In patriotic attach- 
ment etiiial, for who would venture therein to 
assiqii to either the superiority: yet was that at- 
tachnKiit. iliMiidi ((lual in dcLrri*- v «>t far dif- 



ferent in kind. With Hamilton it was a senti- 
ment, with Jay a principle ; with Hamilton en- 
thusiastic passion, with Jay duty as well as 
love; with Hamilton patriotism was the para- 
mount law, with Jay a law 'sub graviori/ 
Either would have gone through fire and water 
to do his country service, and laid down freely 
his life for her safety, — Hamilton with the 
roused courage of a lion. Jay with the calm 
friendliness of a man; or, rather, Hamilton's 
courage would have been that of the soldier. 
Jay's that of the Christian. Of the latter it 
might be truly said : 

" ' Conscience made him firm. 
That boon companion, who her strong breast- 
Buckles on him that fears no guilt within, 
And bids him on and fear not.' " 

The same writer says : " In intellectual 
power, in depth and grasp and versatility of 
mind, as well as in all the splendid and brilliant 
parts which captivate and adorn, Hamilton was 
greatly, not to say immeasurably, Jay's supe- 
rior. In the calm and deeper wisdom of prac- 
tical duty; in the government of others, and 



slill iiKtri' ill tlif _L;uvcTnim-nt *>( liiiiiscll'; in sce- 
m^ clearly the rij^ht and lullowiii^ it whither- 
soever it led, firmly, patiently, self -deny in.i^ly. 
Jay was attain j^reatly. if nut immeasurably, 
Hamilton's su|)erior. In statesmanlike talent 
llamilton's mind had in it more of ' construc- 
ti\e' power. Jays of 'executive.' Hamilton 
had (ienius. Jay had Wisdom. We would have 
taken Hamilton to plan a j^overnment and Jay 
to carry it into execution ; and in a court of law 
we would have had I lamilton for our adv<Kate, 
if our cause were j^enerous. and Jay for our 
jud^e. if our cause were just. 

"The fame of Hamilton, like his parts, we 
deem to shine hri.i^^hter and farther than Jay's; 
hut we are not sure that it should be so, or 
rather we arc fjuite sure that it should not. I^'or 
when we come to examine and C(jmpare their 
relative course, and its hcarinj^ on the country 
and its fortunes, the reputation of Hamilton 
we find to j:;;o as far beyond his i)ractical share 
in it. as Jay falls short of his. I lamilton's civil 
official life was a brief and sinj^le, thou.i^h bril- 
liant one. Jay's numbered the years of a i^en- 
eration. and exhausted every department of 
dij)lomatic. civil and judicial trust. In fidelity 
to their country both were i)ure to their heart's 



core; yet was Hamilton loved, perhaps, more 
than trusted, and Jay trusted, perhaps, more 
than loved. 

" Such were they, we deem, in differing, if 
not contrasted points of character. Their lives, 
too, when viewed from a distance, stand out in 
equally striking, but much more painful con- 
trast. Jay's, viewed as a whole, has in it a com- 
pleteness of parts such as the nicer critic de- 
mands for the perfection of an epic poem, with 
its beginning of promise, its heroic middle, and 
its peaceful end, and partaking, too, somewhat 
of the same cold stateliness — noble, however, 
still and glorious, and ever pointing, as such 
poems do, to the stars. 'Sic itur ad astra.' 
The life of Hamilton, on the other hand, broken 
and fragmentary, begun in the darkness of ro- 
mantic interest, running on into the sympathy 
of all high passion, and at length breaking off 
in the midst like some half-told tale of sorrow, 
amid tears and blood, even as does the theme 
of the tragic poet. The name of Hamilton, 
therefore, was a name to conjure with, that of 
Jay's to swear by. Hamilton had his frailties, 
arising out of passion, as tragic heroes have. 
Jay's name was faultless, and his course pas- 
sionless, as becomes the epic leader, and, in 

1 80 


point of tact, was, while liviiij^, a name at 
wliicli trailtv hliislicd and corruption trem- 

ihe r.edt'ord Instate ii"\s jM>->ed to W illiam 
Jay, who continue<l to occupy it with his family 
during the remainder of his life, it afterwards 
became, by inheritance, llie property of his son, 
the lion. John jay, and since his decease his 
son, Col. \\ illiam Jay. has succeeded to its own- 
ership. The estate includes about eii^ht hun- 
dred acres, part of a tract jjiucha^ed l)y Jacobus 
\'an Cortlandl from Katonah, Saj^amorc, and 
other Indian chieftains in 1700 and confirmed 
by patent of Oueen Anne in 1704. It had come 
to Chief-Justice Jay partly throutjh his mother, 
Mary \'an Cortlandt. the wife of Peter Jay, 
and |)artly throii54:h her sister. E\c \'an Cort- 
landt. the wife of Judj^e Chambers. 

In a letter to Mr. C<K>per, who was then in 
Italy, under date of May 26, 1829. Mr. Jay 
says: "My jjood old father has paid the debt 
of nature. lie died on the 17th instant. I need 
not tell you how much he was loved and ven- 
erated by his children. His departme was at- 
tended by every circumstance which can lii^hten 
aftliction for such a loss. \q{ the separation is 
very |)ainful. and I am not yet in a ukhkI to 



write with levity. William will continue to re- 
side at Bedford. The estate there is left to him. 
I have the ' stone house ' at New York ; and 
the rest of my father's property, except some 
legacies, is to be divided equally among all his 
children. Your friend Mary is married to 
Frederick Prime. My other girls are growing 
up around me, and teach me, without looking 
in the glass, that I am growing old. Still I 
must labor on to maintain them, while you are 
enjoying all that can render Europe agreeable. 
I rejoice in the laurels you are winning, and 
trust they produce golden fruit. We should re- 
joice still more if you should repose under their 
shade in Westchester. Your ' Batchelor,' ex- 
cept that it paints us too favorably, is an excel- 
lent book, and the predictions it contains are 
infinitely less improbable than an Englishman 
could by any means be made to believe. Capt. 
Basil Hall, we are told, is going to lash us. 
Few men have been better received here than 
he was, yet he left us, I believe, in a sore hu- 
mour. His condescension and desire to in- 
struct us, though meant to show humility and 
kindness, were felt as arrogance, and his wife 
indulged herself in criticisms upon the Ameri- 
can ladies which justly displeased the latter. 


LHTTF.K TO j. 11,M.\H>K1-. L()()ri,K 

" Vou will lind at ytur rclurn our Society 
much chaui^cd ; ^oiiic whom you knew are dead, 
some bankrupt, many al).sent, some are married, 
ci few ^r(>wn rich, and numl)ers of new faces 
apjjcar daily on the stage. If ycju stay away 
much longer, you will he almost as much a 
stranj^er here as at I'aris. Come back wliile 
you liave some t)ld friends left. We are long- 
ing to see your new novel with the odd name, 
and your travels in Switzerland will, I doubt 
nt)t. be instructive as well as anuising. It is a 
country, after all. which, if you e.\cei)t the 
scenery. I think I should not admire; liowever, 
you are a l)ctier judge and I sliall accjuie.scc in 
your decision. We have no j)oliticaI news 
which will interest you. There are a great 
many ap|M)intmeiUs and (hsapj)ointments. Of 
course, some are gratified and many displeased. 
W'liat are to be- the distinguisliing features of 
General Jack.^^on's administration cannot yet be 
determined. Hitherto there has been nothing 
to denote great ability nor j^erhaps the reverse. 
It i*^ probable that things will go on pretty 
much in the old way." 

On July 4. i.^Jf). a short time after his fa- 
ther's death, William Jay wrote to his brother 
as follows: " I have found the address of the 



Corporation to Papa on presenting him with 
the freedom of the city, and his answer. These 
papers, together with the gold box, ought and 
no doubt will descend as heirlooms in the fam- 
ily, and on various accounts you are the proper 
depositary of them. I shall send them by 
Helen, and I beg you to accept them. In this 
request Maria and Nancy concur." The gold 
box is now in the possession of Mr. Jay's 
grandson. Dr. John C. Jay, and to him also be- 
longs the teapot, a gift from Benjamin Frank- 
lin to John Jay. The Marquise de La Fayette 
presented two chairs to Mrs. Jay on her leaving 
Paris, the cushions of which are enriched with 
the needlework of the Marquise. These chairs 
are now the inheritance of the families of two 
of Mr. Jay's daughters, Mrs. Pierrepont and 
Mrs. Clarkson. 

A society, known as "The Club," of which 
Columbia College was the centre, and which is 
called, in " The Memorial History of New 
York," "a charming literary coterie," but 
whose fame has almost disappeared, was now 

An account of this Society, written by 
Dr. John Augustine Smith in the letter of 
invitation to Mr. Gallatin to join the com- 



pany, Xovcmlx.! j. iSj<;. dc-^crvcs tn he re- 

" Nearly two years ap^o some nt ilie literary 
gcnllcnien of the eity, feehng severely the al- 
most total want of intercourse anion^ them- 
selves, determined to estahlish an association 
which should hrins^ them more fre(|uently into 
contact. Accordinj^ly they founded ' The Cluh,' 
as it is commonly called, and wliich I helieve I 
mentioned to you when I iiad the j)leasurc of 
seeincT you in I'ond Street. Into this 'Club' 
twelve persons only are ailmitled. and there are 
at present three gfentlemen of the bar, Chan- 
cellor Kent, Messrs. Johnston and lay; three 
professors of Columbia CollcLi^e. Messrs. Mc- 
\'ickar, Moore and Renwick; the Rev. Drs. 
W'ainwric^ht and Mathews, the former of the 
Episcopal, the latter of tlie I'resbyterian 
Church ; two merchants, Messrs. liosworth and 
Goodhue; and 1 have the h<Mior to represent the 
medical faculty. Our twelfth associate was 
Mr. Morse of the National Academy of De- 
sifni. *^f which he was president, and his depar- 
ture for Kuroi)e has caused a vacancy. Fnr 
aj^reeableness of conversation there is nothinpf 
in Xew ^'ork at all comi)arable to our Institu- 
tion. We meet once a week ; no officers, no for- 


malities ; invitations are given in case of intelli- 
gent and distinguished strangers, and after a 
light repast [we] retire about eleven o'clock. 

" Chancellor Kent had been the one centre 
of attraction at these meetings, but Mr. Galla- 
tin brought in a more varied conversation. In- 
deed, in this art he is said to have had no rival 
on this side of the Atlantic, and Talleyrand 
alone on the other." 

We are again able to add letters of Mr. 
Cooper, which, from the prospective view they 
take of European politics, are interesting : 

''Dresden, July 15, 1830. 
" My dear Sir: 

" The five years set for our absence will ex- 
pire next summer, and we begin to talk seri- 
ously of returning. Still there are powerful 
motives to induce me to remain abroad a year 
•or two longer. My youngest children are just 
beginning to reap the advantages of their posi- 
tion, and it seems unwise to deprive them of 
them so soon. . . . 

" In addition to the interests of my children, 
I have a strong desire to visit Turkey and 



Greece. The facilities now are j^real. It is 
tlioui^ht that a steainl)<)al will run next suinnu-r 
between Naples and Constantinople. Tiie 
quarantine is tlie one great eniharrassnient to 
tlie intercourse. 

" After a residence of nineteen months, we 
have left Italy with rei^ret. That and Switzer- 
land are the only two countries — simply as 
countries— that are worth crossing^ the ocean 
to sec. We find Germany tame after the re- 
gions we have left. Dresden is the cheai)est 
place we have inhabited, though b'lorence 
would not be dear were it not for the knavery 
of the domestics. One can live in Oresden for 
about the same money as in New \'ork. though 
there is no comi)aris<in between the indulgences 
of the two j)laces. The commonest things with 
you are rare luxuries all over Europe. 1 re- 
member the wife oi an iMiglish I'ccr pressing 
me to eat a Dutch herring at a sj)lendid dinner; 
and on my manifesting no cmf^rcsscincnt to 
taste the fish, she gravely assured me that it 
was impossible to get them, except through the 
favor of an Ambassador. 

"T hardly know what to tell you of luirope. 
I think things are drawinif to a crisis, however, 
and that a vcrv great gcKKl, or a tremendous 



struggle, will be the consequence. In order 
that you may understand the nature of the con- 
test, I will go a little into detail. 

" The whole of this quarter of the world is 
divided into two great parties. They have dif- 
ferent names in different countries, but their 
objects and tendencies are everywhere the same, 
subject to such modifications as depend only on 
local causes. One side is struggling to reap the 
advantages of the revolutions, and the other to 
arrest them. Of course the latter class is com- 
posed of all those who are in possession of 
power and emoluments as things are at present, 
aided by those who have lost by the struggle. 
In consequence of the discredit into which re- 
ligion fell during the Revolution in France, and 
some tendency which Liberalism in politicks 
has to create laxity in morals, — that is to say, 
with those who have just broken out of re- 
straint,— this party has managed to enlist a 
multitude of conscientious and well-disposed 
people on its side, merely under the belief that 
amelioration of the polity of governments will 
be fatal to Christianity. The moving spring, 
as you will readily see, is interest. It is odd 
enough that the High Churchmen of England 
and the Catholic bigots all over Europe are on 



the same side, .iiid nn ilic ^aiuc i)retence. All 
uish to j)reserve their l«» moiioiHjJics. 

" In this stale of feelint; tiie exertions ni the 
Ciuirch of Rome to retrain its lost influence are 
of increclihie i)erseverance and of <^reat discre- 
tion. Austria cultivates religion as a powerful 
state enLi^ine. and hVance wished to do the same 
thini^. r.ut the freedom of the press interferes, 
and hence the siru^L,de. 

" \\ hat will l»e tlie result in I'Vance is hard 
to say. The whole (piestion depends on its fate 
in France. If she recede. luiro|)e will recede; 
if she advance. Kuropc will advance. There is 
no greater error tjian to ^n]»iK)se that the int1u- 
ence of Kngland is salutary, as respects the set- 
tlement of these imj)ortant interests. It is sur- 
I)rising how much hetter the tendency of the 
Knglish system is understood in luirope than 
in America, where one would think it ought to 
be understood so well. I lere it is considered a 
system calculated to favor every species of mo- 
noj)oly imder a i)retence of liberality and free- 
dom. There is a strong evidence that this opin- 
ion is right, in the fact that the rulers of hVance 
are willing enough to assimilate their own in- 
stitutions to those of h'ngland, which wouM he 
to substitute the onerous |)ower of an oligarchy 



to that of the crown. Prince PoHgnac, the 
head of the present administration, is the head 
of this school. He has received his training in 
England, which country would gladly stop the 
current of free opinions at that point, rather 
than let it go farther. The two great objects 
of England are to preserve its monopolies as a 
country, and to preserve the ascendancy of its 
aristocracy. England and Austria have much 
to lose and little to gain by wars or revolutions ; 
they are, therefore, natural allies, and act in 
concert on all these questions. 

"You know the result of the elections in 
France. It now remains to be seen what course 
the King will take. There is certainly a pow- 
erful party in France in favor of the Republick 
— not a Republick like ours, but one that shall 
give the control to the electors and diminish the 
taxes. Both the King and the Dauphin have 
become unpopular. There is a general, and 
perhaps it is a correct, opinion that had Louis 
XVI shown more energy, he might have ar- 
rested the Revolution of '89. The French 
rulers seem to act on this idea. They forget, 
however, that the remedy which cures one dis- 
ease is fatal to another. The France of 1789 
no more resembles what France is now, than a 


J. fi:mm(»kf. room^ to mk. jav 

mail in a tury rcscnil)lcs one simply rcNolvcd lo 
protect liis rij^hts. 

" I think the wliole resolves itself into this. 
If the King of France yields to the electors, he 
will become a pageant like him of ICnglantI, antl 
the Liberals of course will carry on the govern- 
ment. The Liberals do not like luigland or 
Austria. They want Savoy and the Rhine. 
They are now in .Mgiers, and the next admin- 
istration may not deem itself boimd to regard 
any jjledges which the present may have given 
to relin(|uish it. In that event there will prob- 
ably be a war. luigland's only aversion to a 
war with I'rance is simj)ly. I think, the danger 
of drawing other nations into the conflict. She 
has little trafle with France; and as there is no 
probability that the scenes of Napoleon's reign 
will be renewed, she might make the war exclu- 
sively maritime. lUit a maritime war will drive 
her to an assertion of her pretended maritime 
rights, and then other nations will interfere. 
Another war with us will dispose of the ques- 
tion i>\ manufactures, and d«> much towards 
changing the sceptre of the seas. Still. I think 
she w<iuld rim the hazard, rather than see 
France fmally established in .\frica. or even see 
her frontier materially extended. The feeling 

10 1 


among the better sort of Englishmen is general, 
that there is great danger of a war should the 
Liberals succeed in France — I am quite con- 
vinced, if they do not, there will be a revolu- 

" Germany is not quiet, though the people are 
sluggish and far from enterprising. I am thor- 
oughly convinced that the whole secret of 
Buonaparte's success is to be found in the 
method and slowness of the Germans. He 
broke through the restraint of antiquated rules 
himself, and conquered them by hazarding all. 
We should harness a pair of horses in America 
in half the time they would harness them in 
France; and in France they do it in half the 
time it is done in Germany. The rule is good 
in graver matters. The Italians would have 
beaten him at his own game, but they had no- 
thing to fight for. They wished a change of 

" We have just had here a celebration of a 
jubilee in honor of the Reformation. The 
Court is Catholic to bigotry, while the people 
of Saxony are Protestants. There were many 
riots in different places, and some few lives 
have been lost. The desire of the people is 
here, as everywhere, a constitution. 



■■ I rct^rct greatly thai mut ( i<»vfrniiR'iit does 
not niakf a Ljrcatcr cxliihilion (M' its naval 
forces. It i> the only lliinj^ by whicli we are 
known, or throujj^h whidi we are respected. 
Two or three inilhons a year more would be of 
the last inipnriance to our streni^th and our in- 
fluence. These people arc so much accustomed 
to see everylhint^ on a j^rand scale, that they 
will mn believe we keej) our resources in re- 
serve. I have made a curious set of calcula- 
tions by which it is arithmetically demonstrated 
that the V. S. can man anfl maintain fifty sail 
of the line in the event of a war. taking: the 
premises from the past. If the illiberals of Eu- 
rope get the ascendancy, we shall have to strug- 
gle for our existence. They cannot even now 
contain their exultation at the slii,ditest rumor 
that is unfavorable to the perpetuity of our in- 
stitutions. 1 am fully persuaded that luigland 
is, at this moment. intriLTuint:^ in the Southern 
States in order to separate the l^iion. It is a 
common topic in all Rnglish society, and they 
scarcely affect to conceal their hopes. Vou will 
see the interest they take in this question, when 
you reflect that their ascendancy de|>ends on 
our downfall. These thing*^ should be gravely 
considered at home, and a remedy applied. I 



have great confidence in the perpetuity of the 
Union, but then we may have to fight for it. 

" I have met, abroad, one of the Cruger fam- 
ily who is a CaroHnian. He has a good deal of 
talent, and I take it he is well acquainted with 
the intentions of the leaders of the present anti- 
Union party in his State. There is much more 
of feeling than of reason in their politicks, 
though their argument is far from bad in all 
that respects the general merits of the question 
of State Rights. I go with him, for I can see 
no greater danger than to endeavor to stretch 
the Constitution of the U. S. by construc- 
tion over the powers of the States. It is very 
well to wish to see improvements going on, 
but they are bought too dear at the price 
of internal harmony and at the sacrifice of 
the compact of union. The great error at 
home appears to me to be a wish to apply 
European theories to our state of things. We 
are unique as a government, and we must look 
for our maxims in the natural corollaries of the 
Constitution. The real strength of the Union 
is its apparent weakness ; for were we to wish 
to legislate as they do in England, for instance, 
we should soon draw the whole fabric about 
our ears. There is no motive for such legisla- 



lion, since ilic (icncral (jovcrnuKMU is not a 
govcriinicnt ol territory, Ijut (MIc of dclinilc 
objects. The elVects of lliis ( JoverninetU. i)roi)- 
crly consiilered and rij^hlly adnuni!>lered, ap- 
])r()acli as near sul)liniily as can be hoped for 
in any human institution. Internally, it gives 
us uniformity an<l accommodation in a thou- 
sand of our nearest interests, opens a wide 
sphere for individual enterjjrises, and i)recludes 
the necessity of all vexatious and demoralizing 
restraints which are the curse of small terri- 
tories. In addition to all these advantages, it 
produces the negative good of keei)ing iho^e in 
amity who would infallibly l)ecome the bitterest 
foes in the event of a separation. Externally it 
gives us honor, influence and i)rotection, at a 
rate so cheap as to be marvellous. Xow it 
seems to me that these are advantages of suffi- 
cient value to render us (|uiet imder some ap- 
parent feebleness in the central |M>wer. 

" (ruger complains bitterly of the t<)ne of the 
Northern States on the subject of slavery. Is 
he not right ? Reverse the case, and place our- 
selves in their situation, with proj)erty and even 
life in jeo|)ardy at any moment — we should not 
like tf» see or hear what is constantly written 
and proclaimed at the North. He carries his 



resentment too far, no doubt. He tells me that 
his State will retire for a time if Congress does 
not repeal the tariff. I asked him when she 
meant to return, and whether she was sure of 
being received? He thought the separation 
would not be long, and that it would serve to 
settle many constitutional principles. He was 
of opinion that she would open her port. I 
asked him how many sloops of war it would 
take to shut it ! He seemed struck with the last 
question, and wished to know if I thought Mr. 
Jackson would resort to such an expedient? 
How could he doubt it ! The man would be a 
traitor to the Country to do otherwise. You 
see, this simple expedient would effectually 
throw the onus of proceeding offensively on the 
State. Now whom would they attack? Their 
neighbors? They wish them for friends. I 
believe I convinced him that it was easier to 
invent theories on this subject, than to contend 
with a force like that which the Constitution 
gives the Executive. 

" An article lately appeared in the ' Courier ' 
(English paper) which was quoted from a pa- 
per in Carolina. It laid down the ground that 
the Union could easily be divided into five parts, 
viz. : New England, the Middle States, the 



Souihcrn Atlantic Stales, tlic Western and 
Soutli-W cslcrn. riiis <ti)ini«»n may liavc l)ccn 
first |)ul)li>liccl in South Cart)lina, l)Ul it is not 
an American idea. Tlie lCnj.^Iisli have a most 
overweening opinion of their moral inlUiencc, 
and they helieve they can throw <iut itleas in 
this way, for others to act on. \\>u will sec 
that a simple division of the country in moieties 
is not cn(»uj.;h for ICm;land; tiie fraj^iuents 
would be too larj^e. She wishes to cut us up in 
pieces to suit her own views! Xo American 
would have conceived such a j)lan, for no man 
at all ac(|uainted with the country would, for 
instance, think of separating^ New England 
from New ^'ork. X'ermont and Connecticut 
are just as nuich natural dci)cndents of New 
^*ork, i^eoj.jrai)hically speakini^. as (Jtsei^o and 
Ontario counties. Pennsylvania, Xew \>>vk 
and Ohio are. ajj^ain, indissoluhly united, and 
each of them hrincfs its own train of dej)endents 
alontj'. The idea was F.nt^^lish. rely on it. and 
it is part of a systematized plan that is as viij- 
orously acted on as Kngland dare act in her 
present enfeebled state. If she f)crscverc, slie 
will drive us into another war. There i*; no 
safer means, less exj)ensive. or more honorable 
or more constitutional way of pivinqf an im- 



posing aspect to the Union than by an exhibi- 
tion of its naval force. In the event of a Euro- 
pean war, — and it is not distant, — I think we 
shall have to arm in defence of our maritime 

" Of one truth I am deeply convinced. Nei- 
ther the Government nor the people of the U. 
States are sufficiently apprized of what is doing 
in this hemisphere in matters connected with 
these our dearest interests. 

" Very truly yours, 

" J. Fenimore Cooper. 

"P. A. Jay, Esq." 

In 1775 an American wrote upon a window 
of an inn in England the following lines : 

" Hail, happy Britain ! Freedom's blest retreat, 
Great is thy power, thy wealth, thy glory great. 
But wealth and power have no immortal day, 
For all things only ripen to decay : 
And when that time arrives, the lot of all, 
When Britain's glory, wealth, and power must 

Then shall thy sons — for such is Heaven's 

In other worlds another Britain see, 
And what thou art, America shall be." 


J. i-i-..\iM()Ki-: (■()()Im:r k ) mk. jav 

America is now witiicssinj^^ and luij^land is 
also realizinjT^ the tuHilIinj^ of this j)r()i)lH'cv, 
and \vc must look to luij^land's continuous and 
persistent efforts tln<»u^di years to avert this 
resuh to t'lnd tlu- cause of Cooper's indii^nation 
in hi^ letter. 

" DuiMii .\. jui\- j'>. 1S30. 
/ 'car Mr. Jay: 

" J •^'•t your letter at \ enice on our way up 
from lower Italy into (Jerniany. We (juitted 
Florence the last of July, iSj(), and went 1)\ sea 
to Naples, touchintj at the island of I^lha. Our 
stay in and about Xaj)les rather exceeded four 
months, when we went to Rome. I hired a 
house, or rather a castle, at Sorrento, in the 
Bay of Xai)les. where we ])assed three months 
very delij^htfuUy. The huildini^ stands on the 
clitTs and actually overhant^^s the water. The 
house is the one in which Tasso is said to liave 
heeii horn, and I refer you to a description of 
its view in the ni">uth of Seadrift, one of the 
])rincij)al characters in a tale called * The Water 
Witch,* which is already printed. . . . 

"Of Rome it is unnecessary to speak. It is 
still Rome in its ruins, its position .uid its recol- 
lections \s to the society of Rome, it is 



now a mixture of all nations, in which the Eng- 
lish rather predominate. The Buonapartes are 
at Rome in great numbers. I saw them all ex- 
cept Lucien, who lives at his estate of Canino. 
He is much impoverished, though he has lately 
discovered in his grounds a cemetery of those 
who preceded the Romans, — the Etruscans, — 
and he has collected a superb museum of vases 
which he will probably sell for more than $ioo,- 
ooo, and some of them are valued as high as 
$2000 apiece. Jerome lives in a good deal of 
style, and enjoys his ancient reputation, which 
is none of the best. His wife, a sister of the 
reigning King of Wiirtemberg, is a good-na- 
tured, fat personage, who has much merit for 
her domestic virtues, but is a little absurd on 
account of her airs of royalty. She is protected 
by the different Courts on account of her fam- 
ily. We saw the Mother of Buonaparte two or 
three times. She is a plain, unaffected, mo- 
therly old woman, much wrapt up in her chil- 
dren and without the least pretension to ele- 
gance of manner, or to any extraordinary 
quality. She may have been handsome in 
youth, but the character of the Buonaparte 
face, which is certainly fine, is as certainly de- 
rived from old Carlo Buonaparte the Father, 



wlio. ju(l.L,Mn<^^ from a bust, was a handsome 
moclcl for all his sons. Madame- still speaks 
I'Vcnch like an Italian, and Italian like a Cor- 
sican. In >hori. she is a mean resemblance of 
Aunt Jay in exterior; neither so handsome nor 
so nohle. and a very everyday woman in man- 
ner and Ianj4iiai4;e. The absurdity is in trying" 
to make her a heroine. Hortcnse is an atTable, 
good-hearted woman of fifty, with n<i remains 
of beauty, and with manners that are not in the 
least (lignilied. She .seems frank and easy by 
nature, but she is too much of a fidget. I.ouis 
is simple, dignified and gentlemanlike. lie 
lives at Florence, and his wife at Rome ; they do 
not see each other. 

"From Rome we crossed the Apennino by 
the Col Finto, entered the March of Ancona, 
and went to Lorctto. Ancona. Rimini. I'ologua, 
Fcrrara, I*adua and X'enicc. thence through the 
heart of the Tyrol into P)avaria. We have now- 
been in Saxony two months, and hoj)e to stay 
here three months longer 
" Adieu. 

"I. Fi NiMOKi: Cooper." 



"Paris, Sept. 8, 1830. 
^' My dear Sir: 

" I have just seen letters from Constanti- 
nople. They say that the Turks look for the 
intervention of England in the affair of Al- 
giers, and that they hope to regain their lost 
ascendancy over the African regencies. Our 
agents complain there, as they do everywhere 
else, of the English influence being used against 
us. Of this fact be assured there is not a 
shadow of doubt : as a nation, and often as in- 
dividuals, they do us all the harm they can. 
Our consul at Naples told me that, a few years 
since, they actually obstructed his negotiation 
of bills for the use of the squadron, making the 
bankers believe we were not to be trusted. 

" The ignorance of America all over Europe 
is marvellous. They confound us with the 
South American states and with the aborigines. 
My girls were in school at Dresden to learn 
German. When they came away the mistress 
of the school betrayed an important secret. 
During their stay she had received a multitude 
of applications to see them as curiosities. Her 
answer was uniform: 'The children are in- 
trusted to me to be instructed, and not exhibited 



as a show.' Many wore not salisficjl witli tliis 
reply, and wrote to kn(»w of what shade of black 
they were. The school-mistress had hut one 
answer to make, ' I lu\ are the fairest chil- 
dren in my school,' — which 1 really believe 
was the fact. One lady actually wrote to me, 
recjuestin^ an interview. Of course I could not 
refuse, as she ofTered to visit me. i eiUertained 
her as well as I could with remarks about her 
own country, and such information of ours as 
she wished to hear. When she l(K)k her leave, 
she expressed her gratitude for the reception, 
lettiui^ drop, at the same time, an exi)ression 
which said very jilainly that she had not been 
as much anuised by my external apj)earance as 
she had expected to be. 1 desired an explana- 
tion, and with some embarrassment she ac- 
knowledti^ed that had >>lie not known I was an 
.\merican, she miii^ht have suj)j)osed I was an 
luirojiean. Most of those who meet me believe 
I am an luif^lishman naturalized. The Grand 
Duke of Tu.scany asked me ])lainly. 'Of what 
country arc you. in fact? ( He <iuel pays etes 
vous, vraiment ? )' 

"The Kin<( is very sim|)ie in his habits — 
scarcely a Kinj^ in this respect. I have met him 
walkinix in the iuileries, and once ridini^ on 


the front seat of a sort of light wagon, with 
the Queen on the hinder seat. No guards — in- 
deed, there are no guards at present. The re- 
view of the National Guards was really impos- 
ing. There were probably 40,000 men under 
arms, with La Fayette at their head. For a few 
days the old veteran held the fate of France in 
his single hand. He is very active, and still 
very important. 

" I was at the soiree of La Fayette last night, 
when, to the amazement of everybody, old Tal- 
leyrand walked into the room. He is named 
Ambassador to England. We have a hundred 
reports, which fly about from hour to hour. 
One, and it is the most important at this mo- 
ment, says that the English Cabinet is divided 
in opinion concerning the revolution in Bel- 
gium. Wellington says the King of Holland 
must be supported, and his colleagues say no. 
The Dutchmen are very much inflamed against 
the Flemings and excite the King to violence. 
If England lends her aid, and they say there is 
a treaty to that effect, there will be a war in a 
month. If she plays off, the crisis will be re- 
tarded; but on one thing you may rely — the 
frontiers of France will be the Alps and the 
Rhine, whether it be a few years sooner or 


Mk. J \v To j. i"i:\iM()Ui-: coopkr 

" 1 llaller myself y(»u will be j^lad to hear 
thai after five years of iiidii^a-stion, my stomach 
is getting sound aj^ain. and liiat I am imw in 
better health than 1 have been since the illness 
in Beach Street. I have just sent home a book, 
and now am at work on anoiher. whose scene is 
in Italy. 

" \\ ith best regards to all your family. 

"I remain very truly and e^ratefully yours, 
■ I. I'l Ni.MORK Cooper. 

" I'l-.l IK .\. }.\\ . \.^(\." 

An extract of a letter from .Mr. Jay to Mr. 
Cooper under date of November 22, i<S30, suc- 
ceeds : 

" Your account of the state of Iuiroi)e is very 
interesting and accords with that which we re- 
ceive from other (|uarters. .\ sj)irit of discon- 
tent evidently pervades that Continent, and I 
think with you that it proceeds less from par- 
ticular than from general causes. It appears to 
me that the i)oorer classes, having been taught 
their own strength, are desirous to change situ- 
ations with those who are now alxive them. 
This feeling is doubtless exasperated l)y those 
grievances which always occur in all times and 
places. Europe seems to be in a state of tran- 
sition, as a geologist would call it. from its pres- 



ent state to some other — what that other will 
be requires more prescience to predict than I 

" You were too modest to mention your hav- 
ing had the honor to dine with the Citizen 
Monarch, but you see it is known here. I heart- 
ily wish that his power may be permanent and 
his nation happy. That France sighs for Bel- 
gium is well known. She can obtain it only by 
war, and it is not unlikely that war will result 
from the troubles in that country. The politi- 
cal horizon portends a storm. What effect it 
will have upon England it is not easy to con- 
jecture. The government of that country is 
not, as you suppose, a moneyed corporation, 
but one of the strongest landed aristocracies in 
existence. Liberal principles have spread 
widely there, but are not much tainted with 
Jacobinism. With wise management, I think 
she may weather the storm. 

" Mrs. Jay and I are obliged to you for your 
amusing letter to her. Your abode at Sorrento 
must have been delightful, and I shall rejoice 
to read the description of it by Mr. Seadrift. 
The Mediterranean recalls so many recollec- 
tions of ancient history, sacred and profane, 
that it is everywhere interesting; and its old 


MK. J w ri ) j. i'i:\iM( )i<i-: looi'i-.R 

pruinuiUorics, lingcd with purple and crowned 
with huildinj^s of shapes new lo us, anil erected 
lor puri)o>es to whicli we are unaccu^tomed, 
render many i)arts of it wonderfully pic- 
tures(jue. N«iu have skimmed over Murope, 
alii^^htini; anil renewing; your tlij^du like a bee, 
not only sii)ping the sweets, hut, 1 hope, c<jllect- 
ing; honey for the winter. I wish 1 could be a 
wanderer, too. llui I am chained to the oar 
and must perform my daily task. N on will find 
me, when you return, j^rown old. 

" The new government of hVance is very 
lK)i)ular here, and will be more so if they make 
a reasonable settlement of our claims. Some 
of them are as just as ever claims were. If the 
present ministry, like the late Court, persist in 
evading them, they will keep alive much heart- 
burning, which it is the interest of both coun- 
tries to terminate. 

"The late elections in tins Stale have ter- 
minated in favor of General Jackson. The 
state of our parties is so singidar that it would 
be almost impossible to give you a clear idea of 
them. There is <ine. however, called tlie Work- 
ing Men's I'arty. which, owing to our system of 
universal suffrage, is like to become permanent 
and inii)ortant. South Carolina has been a 



little insane, but is recovering. Georgia has 
succeeded in bullying the General Government 
into an alliance with her for the purpose of de- 
priving the friendly Indians of their lands. I 
am sorry for this, for I think it a measure 
which will injure our national character. 

" I hope you will not delay your return to 
America for the sake of beholding the revolu- 
tions of the Old World. Should the tempest 
rage, you may behold it as comfortably seated 
on the shore as if you were in the midst of the 

One of the early students in Mr. Peter A. 
Jay's law office, and afterwards a partner, was 
Mr. James I. Roosevelt, Jr. Retiring tempo- 
rarily from professional life in 1830, he went 
to Europe and was in Paris during the disturb- 
ances that followed the revolution. He became 
subsequently a Justice of the State Supreme 
Court, and still later United States District At- 
torney for Southern New York. From Paris 
he writes to Mr. Jay: 


j. I. K()()Si':\i:i;r. jr.. to mk. jay 

*' I'akis. Dec. 24, 1X30. 

" 7"(> rctcr . } It Justus Jay. /i.s</. 

■' \nu fed. 110 (l<)iil)t, s. niK- interest in what 
is j^oini^ on at tliis i)lace at tlie i)resent moment. 
Iwist week everytliin^ was apparently (|uiet. 
The trial of the ministers. allhouL,^h anxiously 
watched, proceeded willi perfect calmness. I 
was fre(|uently in the neii^dihorhood of the Lux- 
emhonr.uf for the express j)uri)ose of walcliin^ 
the movements as well of the military as of the 
jM)pulace. To ohtain admission I was told was 
im|X)Ssil)le. ICvery seat had hccn loni.^ pre- 
viously engaged. On Sunday morning last, 
however, I was so fortunate as to receive a po- 
lite note from General La h'ayettc enclosing a 
carte d'cntrcc for the Amhassador's Box. As 
you may well suppose, 1 immediately went, and 
remained the whole day. Peyronnet was sj)eak- 
ing as I entered. He ajipealed strongly, hut I 
cannot .say manfully, to the feelings of the court 
and the audience, lie was exceedingly agi- 
tated and fre(|uently in tears. I'olignac and 
the two others seemed to he wrajjt in intense 
thought. After Peyronnet had finished his own 
personal explanations, which the court very 
pro[)erly. though somewhat irregularly, al- 



lowed him to make, his counsel rose and made 
as good an argument for his chent as the case 
would perhaps admit ; but in point of eloquence 
he was completely eclipsed by a young advocate 
from Lyons who immediately followed him in 
defence of Chantelauze. You will be surprised 
to hear that in a case of life and death, and one, 
undoubtedly, of the gravest that ever engaged 
the attention of a court of justice, not only were 
the audience permitted, but the peers even per- 
mitted themselves, frequently to clap the 
speaker. On the ensuing day, it being under- 
stood that the trial was drawing to a close, the 
people began to assemble in the neighborhood 
of the Luxembourg. The court in consequence 
determined to adjourn before dark. The next 
day, Tuesday, having heard that there was a 
probability of trouble, and wishing to see for 
myself the modus operandi of a French revolu- 
tion, — in case another, as was apprehended, 
should take place, — I crossed the river again 
with Mr. Cooper (my former clerk) and Mr. 
Hammersley. The whole population seemed to 
be in the streets, and more than half of it in 
military uniform. We pushed our way along 
until we came to the St. Germain market. Here 
we soon heard the shouts of what seemed a 


j. 1. KonsFA 1.1.1. jK.. r( ) Mk. j.w 

mob ill one of ihc ncij.;lilM>rinfj streets. The 
gales of tile market and the doors and windows 
of the sht)|)S were instantly closed, in a few 
minutes the smrrcii^fis came retreating into the 
scjuare, with a iroii|)r of soldiers charging 
bayonets at their heels. No harm. Iiowever, 
was done, unless it might have been to the 
lungs of s«ime of their majesties. This scene 
being over, the market gates were reopened 
and we issued forth in search of further adven- 
tures, r.ut T find I have no room for further 
descriptions. The result of all is that the City 
of I\'iris, after exhibiting for four days the ap- 
pearance of the camp (►f an inuncnse army on 
the eve of battle, is at length (Saturday) as 
quiet, to all a])pcarance. and as orderly as Xew 
^'ork itself. The agony, it is generally sup- 
posed, is over, so far as France is concerned. 
In consef|uence of the troubled state of Hol- 
land, which I intended lo have visited ne.xt. 1 
am inclined to think 1 shall take a trip to Italy 
in the course of two r)r three weeks, and leave 
my visit to the land of my ancestors until 

** In F.ngland I was delighted. My friends 
there, particularly the two legal gentlemen en- 
gaged in the Wallis Estate, were all kindness 



and attention, and, had it not been for the death 
of a relation, would have joined me in my 

" In France I have found a great number of 
American acquaintances, and my vanity has 
been in no small degree gratified by the atten- 
tion and, I may add, the retainers of La Fay- 
ette. All this, however, cannot make me for- 
get for a moment my relations and friends at 
home. The further I remove myself from 
them, the more strongly I become attached to 
them. Even the strong excitement of a con- 
stantly occupied curiosity cannot always keep 
from my mind the feeling of loneliness which, 
in spite of all my efforts to get the better of it, 
will at times come over me when I think of some 
of those I loved in New York, particularly 
yours and Mr. Clarkson's families. There are 
no such domestic circles here. One cause is 
sufficient : there is no religion in Paris. Re- 
member me to Mrs. Jay, and believe me, 
" Yours affectionately, 

"'James I. Roosevelt, Jr." 

Mr. Roosevelt writes again, this time giving 
some account of the discussion of the Reform 


J. I. KC)( )SI\ !i;|-, JR.. TO MR. JAV 

" London. Jiil\ i i. 1S31. 
" .1/ V iU\ir Sir: 

" \\)uv kiiul Ktltr \\a> n<»i rcccix «.•(! l)y mc 
until a tew ilays aj;u; it liad made a lour to 
Rome, tlu'iicc hack to I'ari^. and from I'aris to 
London. . . . 

■' riic discussion, in Conuniticc of llic W hole, 
on the ' Reform Ihll,' commenced last ni^ht. 
AllhouL;;h the evening; heftjre. hy the politeness 
of the Sjjeaker. 1 was admitted on the tloor of 
the House. 1 thoui^ht it would he rather tres- 
passing to ask the favor a second lime, es- 
pecially when so many hetler entitled were ne- 
cessarily excluded. I. therefore, contented 
myself with listening to the Lords. (J wing 
to an exi)ccted sf)arring hetween Lord Lon- 
donderry and Lord IMunket. the Upper House 
was unusually crowded. I find these high 
dignitaries are (piite as disorderly as the Mem- 
l)crs of a certain Body of which I had once 
myself the honor of forming a comj)onenl part : 
and as to the House of Commons, even a very 
loyal h'nglish gentleman, who sat alongside of 
mc the previous evening, observed, in reply to 
my remarks on the aj)parent confusion, that it 
was in truth a perfect hear-garden. I think 


they act wisely in making little or no provision 
for the accommodation of spectators. 

" Wednesday noon : My brother-in-law Mr. 
Ouseley has just come in. He was in the 
House of Commons last night. He says they 
did not adjourn till after seven this morning. 
The Bill will, no doubt, pass that Body, but its 
fate in the House of Lords is yet uncertain. 
Some new Peers are to be created, but some 
say that seventy will be necessary. Every- 
thing, externally, is as yet quiet ; no crowds in 
the streets, nor even in the vicinity of the Par- 
liament House. Should the Lords, however, 
reject the Bill, an explosion, I apprehend, is in- 

" You may tell the ladies that we were at the 
celebrated Almack's the other night, but saw 
nothing very extraordinary, except Dom Pe- 
dro. A New York Assembly and an Almack's 
Ball are pretty much alike. 

" Yours most sincerely, 

"James L Roosevelt, Jr. 

"Peter A. Jay, Esq." 

The University at Cambridge sends Mr. Jay 
a diploma : 


n\K\ \Iv'I) WlJ LULLMliiA Dil'l.OMAS 

" 1 lAia \ui» L'NiVKRsn V. 

" ( .\.mhkiik;k. Sci)tcinlKT J4, 1^31. 

"My dear Sir: 

" I have the honor to transmit a 1 diploma of 
the (k'j^rcc <tf Doctor of Laws, conferred at the 
last ineetiiii^ of tlie I 'resident and I"\*llo\vs of 
llarwird I 'iii\ ersity. and avail myself of the 
occasion to express the happiness I feel at being 
the organ of communicating this evidence of 
the respect entertained by the overseers of this 
literary Seminary for your talents and virtues. 

" I am. sir. with great respect, 
" ^'()U^ obed't servant. 

" President of Harvard University. 

"PetkkA. Jay. I.L.J).- 

Mr. jay was tlie recipienl of a similar hon- 
orarv diploma fr'»m ('••hmibia ( hIIi'l^c. New 
\'ork. in 1835. 

In tJK- year iS:^i he was made President of 
the Public ScluM)l Society, succeeding in otVice 
Henry Rutgers and I)e Witt Clinton. His 
term of ofTice embraced six vears. from 1S31 to 


In the same year his services were sought by 

21 ^ 


a committee, representing the mercantile in- 
terests of New York, to attend a convention, to 
be held in Philadelphia on September 30, 1831, 
which had in view the revision and reduction 
of the tariff. The gentlemen who composed the 
committee were Mr. Preserved Fish and Mr. 
Jonathan Goodhue. 

On the 8th of November, 1831, a little more 
than two years after Mary's marriage, her bro- 
ther, John Clarkson Jay, was married to Miss 
Laura Prime, a sister of Mary's husband. 
Upon the inheritance of the Rye Estate in 1843, 
after his father's death, Mr. and Mrs. Jay made 
Rye their permanent residence. 

The Cooper correspondence requires a word 
of explanation. In a letter to Mr. Cooper, Mrs. 
Jay had requested him to exercise his taste 
when he visited Paris, and select for her a wall- 
paper for her dining-room in the Broadway 
house. Mr. Jay, in his letter, which is now 
given, corrects the false impression which Mr. 
Cooper possessed that the choice was not to 
Mrs. Jay's taste. 



*'Ni:\v \(»KK. l'\-l)ru;ir\ _'i, 1S32. 

" .U V lii'tir Sir: 

I have jiisl r(.'Ct'ivc<l your IctUT n\ llit- J(\ 
Jaiiuarv. It ha> made inc so licartily asliaincd 
t)l luy^cll' thai I sil down inuuctlialcly to an- 
swer ii. N'ou are mistaken abtnil Mrs. Jay's 
opinion of llie i)ai)er, ihouj^^li I confess llial her 
un.i^raleful silence jjavc you a very plausiljle 
reason for sui)i)osing llial il was not lo her 
ia>te. 1 1 was ))ut up in llie l-'all. and is much 
admired. She hkes it mucli, and will thank you 
for it herself as soon as she is able. At present 
she is sick with a bilious remitliiijL^ fever wiiicii 
has reduced her to a state of great weakness. 
We ai)i)rehend no dani^er, but still she is (|uite 
-ick. though getting better. 

" Some years ago, our Sui)reme Court being 
unable lo get through its business, a new court, 
calletl the Superior Court, was established for 
this city. Mr. Samuel [ones is Chief Justice, 
and Mess. J. Ogden IlotTman and T. J. Oakley 
the other Judges. This Court sits every month, 
and though it has proved very convenient to 
the merchants, it is excessively annoying to the 
lawyers, who have no longer any vacation. 
Three years ago we entered into an agreement 


to try no causes in August, that we might have 
one month in the year for relaxation. The first 
year I went to Niagara and returned through 
upper Canada, and the next year to Boston. 
Last summer Mrs. Jay, Sarah and I went to 
Quebec. Basil Hall's prejudices never ap- 
peared to me more ridiculous than when I 
passed through upper Canada. In lower Can- 
ada the people appeared to me much better off 
than I expected to find them. There is much 
faction and discontent in both provinces. I 
bought a great many of their pamphlets to 
learn, if I could, something of their politics. 
On reading them, I could find nothing to occa- 
sion so much excitement. Their Governors are 
not always wise, but the policy of the English 
Government has been conciliatory. The griev- 
ances of which they complained are petty af- 
fairs, and I suspect the truth to be that their 
ambitious men have no other way to distin- 
guish themselves than by making a figure in the 
opposition. This very circumstance will prob- 
ably lead them, sooner or later, to independence. 
But they have little love for us, and I could dis- 
cover no desire to be incorporated in our Union. 
Another cause of dissatisfaction is that the 
officers of the Army, of whom there are many, 


\iK' I \>' I<> I 1 I MMURL CUUi'LK 

ciuciiaiii a .sovereign ctJiitcmpt for the Cana- 
dians and arc at no pains U) conceal it. 

" In our domestic politics there is nothinj^ re- 
niarkal)Ie. ( ieneral Jackson's re-election is con- 
sidered as nearly certain. It is mooted whether 
the rejection of Mr. \'an lUiren's appointment 
will do him more i^ood or harm. 1 incline to the 
former opinion. I lis i)arti/ans are exerting 
themselves to make him \ ice- 1 'resident. There 
is. however, a hitler hostility to him at the 
South, which renders his success douhlful. In 
Congress the only (juestion in which the puhlic 
take much interest is the tariff. The revenue 
is more than is wanted, and to levy taxes solely 
to compel the Southerners to huy dear of the 
Kastern manufacturers what they could huy 
cheap of Europeans is revoltinir. .\11. ilierc- 
f(Tre. agree that the duties should l)c reduced, 
hut they cannot agree in the mode of reducing 
them; and, unfortunately, the Southern i)eoj)lc 
are so violent and unreasonahle. and insist ujKin 
doctrines .so inconsistent with the powers of 
Congress anci with the I'nion of the States, that 
they drive from their standarrl very many and 
very influential persons in the Middle and iCast- 
ern States who would gladly rally round it. 

"In Europe a dark cloud is hovering on the 


horizon. When, or where, the storm will break 
I cannot foresee. But it would be wonderful if 
the sky should clear up without a storm. A 
spirit of discontent seems to pervade a great 
part of that quarter of the world, and it is min- 
gled with so much rancor and malevolence that 
I look for its effects with as much fear as hope. 
The present governments are, I suppose, bad 
enough; but is there reason to expect that the 
revolutionary governments which may succeed 
them will be better? Is it not strange that, 
from the time of Charlemagne till this day, 
France was never better governed than under 
Louis XVIIL and Charles X. ? They did right 
to dethrone the latter for breaking the charter ; 
but if they mean to break it themselves and put 
to sea anew without knowing where they shall 
land, they may find that they have gained little 
by the glorious three days. I cannot think that 
a Republic can stand in France. 

" Your Dresden letter was very interesting 
and shows that you possessed no small degree 
of prescience. 

" I thank you for your kind offer respecting 
the wine and for the specimens you promise. I 
will speak to some of our friends, and we shall 
probably trouble you to send us some. Your 


MK. ].\\ r( ) j. ii:.\iM()Ki': coof^hk 

licallli lias often been driiiik anionj^ us, and I 
promise you it shall uol i)e !or_i(otlen when 
every .i,'lass will remind us of you. . . . 

" \'()ur ' r.ravo * is threat ly admired amonp^ us 
as well as in lun-oi)e. N'our new novels and 
your travels will all he looked for anxiously 
and read with j)leasure. Toor Sir Walter 
Scott ! his last hook made me sorrowful. I am 
^lad to hear such <^ood news of our friend 
Morse. I helieve he is a worthy man as well 
as a efood artist. I hear that Greenout^h is to 
he emj)loyed to make a statue of \\ ashini.^ton. 
The exhihition of your cherubs has, 1 fear, 
hrouL^fhl him hut little money. It is surj)risin.e^ 
how few people here know or care about sculp- 

■■ I hear, from others as well as yourself, 
the most p^ratifyini::;' accounts of the Miss 
Coopers. . . . 

" My sisters returned froni Charleston with- 
out nuich chanj^e in Mrs. I-)anyer's health. . . . 
She was pleased, as you may suppose, by your 
kind expressions concerninj^ her. and she and 
Xancy often talk of you with nuich re.L::ard. In 
one of your letters you complained of your 
countrymen. You have really no reason. 
^'otIr cr)untrv is jjrnnd of you. and nobody 



seems desirous in the least to lessen your fame 
—unless, perhaps, some of your brother au- 
thors who are jealous. They write reviews. 
But the public read your books and are pleased, 
and you need not trouble yourself about re- 
views — you are above them. 

" I hope that, long before this reaches you, 
Mrs. Cooper will be restored to health. Be 
pleased to remember us all most respectfully 
to her and the young ladies. 
" Very truly yours, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 

"J. Fenimore Cooper, Esq." 

The kidnapping of negroes in the city had 
lately created no little excitement, and Mr. Jay, 
now President of the Society for the Manumis- 
sion of Slaves, was invited by the Anti-Slavery 
Society to co-operate with it to repress these in- 
iquitous proceedings. 

Reference should be made here to Mr. Jay's 
activities as a churchman. In his earlier life he 
had been a member of Trinity Church and one 
of its vestrymen. In later years he attended 
the Church of the Ascension, situated on the 
north side of Canal Street between Broadway 


AtTl\ITll-,> .\> (Hl'KCIIMAX 

and I-lin Slrcct, of which ihc Kcv. Maiiton 
Masihiini. afterwards I'ishopof Massachusetts, 
was rector. 1 Icrc also Mr. Jay wiis vestryman. 
Indeed, tlie estal)hshnient oi lliis church— for 
it formed a new i)arish — was the resuU, in no 
small dcL^'^ree. oi the influence exerted hy Mr. 
jay and hy his relatives and friends, all of 
wh«>m promoted its success by liberal c«)ntril)U- 

r»esides his lej^al attainments, a wide prac- 
tical knowledt^e of affairs made Mr. Jay con- 
stantly the counsellor of his friends, and IJishop 
( )nderdonk fre(|uently consulted him alK)Ut 
matters pcrtaininq^ to the diocese. 

He was sent from the Church of the ;\scen- 
sion as a delcijate to the Diocesan Convention, 
and hy that body as a Deputy to the General 
('onvention. In tlie former convention in iS,^J 
he was made a Trustee of the General Theo- 
l«><^rical Senn'nary. of the Protestant Rpiscopal 
Church in the I'nited States, and also served 
on a committee to revise the canons of the dio- 
cese. He was a member of both conventions 
on several occasions, and took an active part in 
their deliberations as well as in the work of 
the committees. 

22 ^ 


Towards the end of his life, in 1842, Mr. Jay 
was again elected to the Vestry of Trinity 

In the autumn of 1832, New York was for 
the first time visited by the Asiatic cholera. 
From June 25 until the middle of September of 
the same year, there were 5,835 cases in the 
city, and 2,996 deaths. On the 7th of August 
Mr. Jay writes to his brother : 

" I came to town yesterday to attend meet- 
ings of the trustees of the College and gover- 
nors of the Hospital and to see to some business 
of my own. I shall return to Rye to-morrow. 
Sister's house is safe, and her woman looks the 
very picture of good health. Her garden is in 
pretty good order. Mine is completely over- 
grown with weeds. Dr. Stevens tells me he 
thinks the cholera is on the decline, and that it 
will soon be as safe for prudent people to return 
to the city as to remain in the country. At 
Philadelphia the disease is spreading rapidly. 
Though there are fewer people in the street 
than usual, yet the difiference is much less 
than I had expected to find it. I have, however, 
been scarcely out of Broadway, thinking it pru- 
dent to expose myself to as little risk as pos- 
sible. Business of all kinds is interrupted, and 


Till-: \i:\V YORK Ilosri lAL 

as niuliiuulcs will liavc cxiJcndcd llicir .'ill, there 
will, I k'.ir. l)c a great deal of .sutlering next 
winter. W e have enj(n'ed so much prosperity, 
and ha\e. I I ear, al)U>ed it ^o much, that tliis 
chastisemeiU may he as useful as it is deserved. 
Many will despi>c it, l)ut 1 trust that many will 
lay it to heart. " 

A writer of this period says: " 1 he conduct 
of the i^entlenicii of the city in this time of dis- 
tress was heyond all praise. Ihc New York 
Hospital, which then ()ccui)ied its beautiful 
grounds on Broadway between Readc and 
Duane streets, o|)posite the opcinnL; <»f Tear! 
Street, was under the management of a board 
of governors, to belong to which was one of the 
most esteemed honors of a New Yorker. Daily 
throughout this season they attended personally 
to their volumary duties, and 1)\- their stead- 
fastness greatly encouraged the ^ulTering citi- 

Mr. jav had been |)resi(lenl of the .\ew N oik 
Hospital since iSjj; but in the year iS.vv hnd- 
ing that his avocations were such that he could 
no longer perform his duty to the Institution 
with convenience or in a manner satisfactory 
to himself, lie sent in his resignation to the gov- 
ernors. Mr. Thomas I^ddy preceded him in 



office as president, and Mr. Jay's successor was 
Mr. George Newbold. As a member of the 
board of governors, Mr. Jay had served the 
hospital since 1809, a period of twenty-four 
years. Soon after his resignation, Mr. New- 
bold sent him the letters and resolution which 
are given below : 

" New York Hospital, June 8, 1833. 

" Peter A. Jay, Esq. 
"Dear Sir: 

" I have the pleasure to hand you enclosed a 
copy of a resolution unanimously adopted by 
the board of governors of the New York Hos- 
pital at their meeting on Tuesday last, express- 
ing their thanks for your long and faithful ser- 
vices as President of the Society, and I have 
the additional gratification to request in behalf 
of the board that you will sit for your portrait 
for the use of the Institution. Permit me, Sir, 
to express the hope that you will be pleased to 
favor us by a compliance with this request, and 
I shall be happy if you will advise me accord- 

" I am very respectfully 

" and sincerely yours, 

"Geo. Newbold, Pres't. 

TIIK .\i:\V V( )KK IK )SI'ir.\L 

"At a iiionihly mcclinj^ <»f the governors of 
the New NOrk I held <»n Tuesday, llic 
41I1 day ol juiK'. i'"^.vv it was 

" Rcsoh'cd, tliat tlic tlianks <»l' tliis lioard l)c 
presented to Peter A. Jay, ICs(|., tor his loiij^ 
and laitlil'ul services as President of tlie Society 
of the Xcw \'ork Hos|)ital. and tlial the Presi- 
dent communicate tlie same and re(|uest Mr. 
Jay to sit for lii^ jiortrait for ihe u^e of tliis 

" l^.xtract from the minutes of the LC(>vernt)rs. 

"For RoHKKT |. Ml KUAV, 

" Secretary. 

■' Joii N W. Stkrunc, 

" Clerk of tlic N. Y. Hospital." 

**Xi:\v N'ouK. June S, iS^^. 
" Dear Sir: 

"I have received your letter enclitsiuL: the 
resolution of the L;o\ernor^ of the New NOrk 
Hospital, passed on the 4th inst. P.e pleased 
to assure them of the sensihility with which I 
receive this mark of ap|)rol)ation. the sincere 
rej^ard and esteem which I feel for each of them 
indivitiually. and my undiminished attachment 
to tlie excellent Institution over which they 
preside — and accept, .^ir, my acknowledi^ments 


for the manner in which you have been pleased 
to communicate their resolution. 
'' With great respect and regard, 
" I am, dear Sir, 

" Your obed't serv't, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 
" Geo. Newbold, Esq." 

"New York, June ii, 1833. 
*' Dear Sir: 

" I am pleased to believe that you will afford 
the governors of the New York Hospital the 
opportunity to obtain your portrait for the use 
of the Institution; and wishing to employ the 
artist to take it that may be most agreeable to 
yourself, I will esteem it a favor if you will in- 
form me who you prefer. 

" With great regard I am, dear Sir, 
" Very sincerely yours, 

" George Newbold. 
"Peter A. Jay, Esq." 

The portrait was painted by A. B. Durand, 
and a copy has lately been made and presented, 
at its request, to the New York Historical So- 
ciety. From this picture the plate is taken 
which appears in this volume. 



On accoiiiil ol cniiiiiuR-(l iiuliruTcnl hc.illli 
and to escape the incleniencv of the chniate at 
linnR'. .Mrs. IJanver and her sister Miss Ann 
Jay spent tlie winter of iS^j^ at Santa Cruz. 
Mrs. P.anycr writes to lu-r l)rotlR-r: 

" S.wiA Ckiz, January j-^, 1S33. 

" My rcry dear Hrothcr: 

" We were truly rejoiced to receive so many 
letters by the Hucnos Ayrcs and heartily thank 
one and all of the dear friend-^ who conferred 
on us the j^reatest i)leasure we can enjoy while 
absent from them. . . . 

" \'ou were not forLTotlen. dear brother, at 
the season t'or mutual L^ratulalioii and kind 
wishes, which were ai;ain fell. tIioUL,di they 
could not be ex|)ressed. on your birthday. 
Lonj^ may your precious life be sj)ared to bless, 
as you have ever done, all around you; and. 
finally, mav our belovefl father's wish be ful- 
filled— to meet all his children in 1 lea\ en. 

"We are seriously concerned for the fate of 
the I'liion; thoui^h Carolina cannot do much 
harm to other States in any other way, it is no 
small injurv to disturb tin- harmom- of our 
happy confederacy, and may lead to trouble. I 



sincerely pity the minority in that unhappy 
State. . . . 

" The Governor here gives a grand ball next 
week in honor of the King's birthday. . . . 
The Governor is a perfect Viceroy, and I am 
told the Government House vies with the Pal- 
ace at Copenhagen. Every one wonders that 
we can decline his invitation to the ball. An in- 
vitation to one of his subjects is considered as 
a command; happily, we are Republicans, free 
and independent. He was so polite as to send 
his Secretary to say that he would send his car- 
riage for us. His salary amounts to $50,000 a 
year. . . . 

" I am, my very dear brother, 

" Yours most afTec'y, 

"M. Banyer. 

" Peter A. Jay, Esq., 
"New York." 

In the spring of 1833, Mr. Jay was appointed 
by Governor Marcy one of three commissioners 
from New York State to settle the boundary be- 
tween New Jersey and New York. The letter 
of appointment is given below : 



"Albany, March 5. iS^^^^. 

r.y ail Aci passctl al ihc present session ul 
llie Lej^islalure il is made my duly to ajjpoint 
three Commissioners to meet a similar number 
from the State of New Jersey to settle the con- 
troversy between that State and New York in 
relation to the boundary and jurisdiction (A 
them, riie importance of the duty to be j)er- 
formed has induced me to consider well the 
(lualifications which the ( tunniissinners should 
possess, and to feel a solicitude to select persons 
who have them in the hit^hest dec^ree. X'arious 
considerations, to which 1 need not allude, in- 
duce me to wish that you would consent to act 
as one of them. 1 olTer you the aj)pointment 
and shall be q^ratified to learn that you are will- 
ing to accept it. Mr. lUitler will be one of your 
associates. I have not fully determined to 
whom I shall ofTer the other appointment. 

" T have received information from the Kx- 
ecutive of Xew Jersey that Mr. Frelini^huysen. 
now in the I'nitcd States Senate; Mr. b'lmer, 
now or lately .Vttorney-General of that State; 
and .Mr. Parker, of Perth .\mboy. h.ive been 
selected Commissioners for Xew Jersey. 



" I should be pleased to be informed of your 
determination on this subject at as early a day 
as it will be convenient for you to make it 
known to me. 

" I am, with great respect, 

" Your obed't serv't, 

"W. L. Marcy. 
''Peter A. Jay, Esq." 

Mr. Jay replied with the following letter of 
acceptance : 

"New York, March 9, 1833. 

" I have received your letter of the 5th inst., 
and cannot but be flattered by the offer it con- 
tains and the manner in which it is conveyed. 
If you think that I can be useful as one of the 
Commissioners to meet those of New Jersey, I 
will accept the appointment. I could not have 
a colleague more agreeable than Mr. Butler. 

" I am. Sir, with great respect, 

" Your very obed't serv't, 

"Peter Augustus Jay. 

" Governor Marcy." 

Henry Seymour was the third commissioner 
appointed by the Governor. Soon after his ap- 



poinliiiciU. Mr. ilciijamin !•. Ilulkr wroic U> 
Mr. Jay in rct^ard to tlic various mailers lo be 
discussed l)y tlic coiiiinissjon. and concluded l)y 
sayinp^: " In arranginj.^ ihese delails, we shall 
very greatly rely on your sui)erior knowledge 
of what is ilue lo the commerce, health, police 
and improvemenls of your city, all which are to 
be carefully considered in tlu- propositions we 
may submit or receive." 

After numerous sessions held during the 
summer of iS^j^. an agreement was made and 
entered into by the joint connnissioners, on 
September i6, defining in particular and with 
the nn'nutesl detail the boundary line between 
New Jersey and New York, the rights of prop- 
erly and exclusive jurisdiction of each State, 
etc. This agreement was confirmed by the 
Legislatures of the two Stales in b\*l)ruary, 
1834. and apjiroved by Act of Congress. June 
2S! 1S34. 

Mr. Sedgwick, having finished his " Memoir 
of Governor I,i\iiig<t«Mi." sfn(N. with a copy of 
the book, his acknowledgments: 



"New York, March 31, 1833. 
*' My dear Sir: 

"With this you will receive a copy of the 
' Memoir of Governor Livingston.' Allow me 
once more to thank you for the assistance you 
have so obligingly furnished me in this under- 
taking, and to assure you of the respect. and re- 
gard with which, 

" I am your most faithful servant, 

"Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. 

"P. A. Jay, Esq., 
"New York." 

Mr. Sedgwick's father, Theodore Sedgwick, 
was the eminent jurist whose opinions, as 
Judge, were remarkable for clearness of ex- 
pression and elegance of diction. He married 
Mr. Jay's first cousin. Miss Susan Ridley, a 
granddaughter of Governor William Living- 

Again Mr. Jay writes to Mr. Cooper, now 
but a short time before his return from his long 
residence abroad: 


MR. J,\^ l<> J. I*I-:XIM()RE COOPER 

'* N'kw ^"<)l<K. Mav 14. i-'^.^3. 
" Dear Sir: 

" I laving- rci)calc(lly heard \nii were cnminj^ 
home this Si)rin<;-, I have duuljled wlielher let- 
ters would reach you; but Miss Martha dc 
Laucey, who was here tiiis eveninic. tells nic 
that your return will he delayed till autumn. . . . 

** My brother William has just published a 
Life of my father, which I would sdid you if 
1 knew how. I lavinj4' commenced autlmr, lie 
must expect criticism. 1 liope he will wince 
under it less than you do. 

" I iiave seen a beautiful i)iclure by your 
dauL^hter. Sarah knew Miss Susan's portrait 
immediately. . . . li would really do credit to 
any artist. . . . 

" W'c saw a q^ood deal of the Mar(|uis C. Tor- 
rij^iani. who broui^ht a letter from you. lie is 
a modest, well-informed youn^ man. a liberal 
in his politics, and is much pleased with New 
^'ork. I le has c^one South. I le seemed aston- 
ished at the absence of bei^trars and soldiers, 
.ind at the immense l)usiness which is doinp^ 
here. . . . This city has become the c^reat place 
of import for the whole Union. It has. I be- 
lieve, very nearly doubled since you have been 



in Europe; its population cannot, I think, be 
less than 220,000, besides Brooklyn, which con- 
tains 12,000. 

" If we can but remain united for another 
generation, this country will become a power 
which the Europeans will cease to sneer at, 
though they may not cease to dislike us. The 
storm from Carolina has passed over with 
much thunder, but little damage. There is, 
however, a very bad spirit remaining in that 
State; and Georgia, North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia are partially infected with it. The agi- 
tators are exerting themselves to create discord 
and break up the Union. This was to be ex- 
pected, because nothing but agitation can pre- 
serve their influence. A separation might make 
them little Kings or Dictators. Concord and 
content will be fatal to them. The conduct of 
the President in relation to the Carolina affair 
was, I think, firm, temperate and wise, and 
might atone for many errors. It was unex- 
pected because very different from the spirit of 
his proceedings respecting Georgia. Our gov- 
ernments often play the fool, and I suppose are 
not more honest than those in other parts of the 
world; yet, with all their faults, we are the 
freest and most prosperous people on the 



j^l«>l)o. .111(1 <)Ui;lit ti> l»c .ilmndaiuly iiumc lliank- 
lul than \vc- arc f<»r ihc blcssinj^s wo receive 
from a bencticent rrovidence. 

" Mrs. Jay l)C}^s you lo accept her lliaiik^ lor 
llie l)eautifiil box you sent her l)y Mr. 'I'horne. 
She ami all the family hej;^ to be remembered 
to you. Mrs. L'ctopcr and llie \Muni^ ladies and 
i^emleman. . . . 

" \\ lu'U -hall we see " ihc I leadsniati *>l 
ijeriie " : 

" rielie\e me. my dear sir. with sincere re- 

" ^''lll^ friend and servant, 

" Pktkr Augustus J.\y. 

"J. F. CooricR, Escj." 

In the earlier pap^es of this volume Mr. Jay 
has i^iven us his experiences of travel in boats 
propelled by steam soon after their introduction 
on the Hudson. An opportunity now presents 
itself of learnin*:^ from Mrs. Jay -AUi] Mr. Wil- 
liam Jay their ex|)eriences of railway travelliu}^ 
with a loc<Mnotive. 

Mrs. Jay ijoes in the spring; of iS^^ to Phila- 
delphia. Haltiniore and Washini^ton. and in her 
letter to lur husband says: "So far our jour- 
ney has been very apfreeable. The sail, if 1 may 



so call it, was very pleasant. We had a fair 
breeze, and the views on each side the river are 
pretty. At half-past twelve we entered the cars 
on the Railroad— there were five, with about 
twenty-four persons in each. The baggage on 
board the boat was put into immense trays and 
slung by machinery in the cars appropriated 
for it. It remains in these cars until put in the 
cart at Philadelphia ; so that you have no care 
of it from the time you see it put in the tray. 
The road from Amboy to Bordentown is unin- 
teresting, with few exceptions, until you come 
to the last ten miles, which is through a very 
pretty country. Joseph Bonaparte's house and 
grounds are very pretty, and I recognized, with 
many agreeable observations, the waters of the 
Delaware, upon which I had floated so often in 
early life. The views along the river are con- 
fined, on account of the country being so flat ; 
but the little towns and country-seats are beau- 
tifully interspersed among the clustering trees. 
You would not suppose you were approaching 
a large city in coming here by water. You see 
no masts crowding the wharves, and no spires 
of churches, but a dull level, as flat as possible. 
We arrived at seven, and walked to the United 
States Hotel, where we were at first told we 



cuuld iiul l)c accuiiiiiiudalcd ; l)Ul aller licariiig 
who \\c were our informant said he w«)uld try 
and make us coml'urlal)le. We liave excellent 
separate r(K)ms, with a lar^e private parlor. 
Only think how cheap travelling is to this place! 
I have only paid for llelen and myself seven 
dollars, meals included. " 

The next day, the Juth. Mrs. Jay writes from 
I'altimore that in Philadelphia she had been to 
Mr. lledell's church, but heartl Mr. Kenshaw. 
The Messrs. Norris, Newhold, I'isher and the 
de Lanccys had called; and she adds: "This 
mornini^ we j^ot up early and went on hoard the 
Robert Morris, an excellent steamboat; passed 
Chester and \\ ilmin^^ton. and at Xewcastle 
tcxik tile Railroad the cars drawn by a loco- 
motive enijine. \\ i- went sixteen miles an 
hour! most deli.i;^ht fully, without the least fear. 
I think there were eii.;^ht or ten cars. \Vc had 
a car for our party, and it really was almost 
the same as if we had been sitting in a steam- 
boat. Goinpf so ra|)idly produced a deli^ditful 
breeze, which inspirited us all. and we enjoyed 
our ride exceedini^ly. We all i^ot to I'rench- 
town too soon, when we went immediately on 
bo.ird the steamlMiat on the b-lk River and en- 
tered the Chesapeake Bay, which i^ very wide. 



and in some directions the land is not visible; 
but as soon as you enter the Patapsco River the 
scenery changes. We then went on the upper 
deck and viewed with pleasure the approach to 
Baltimore, which is beautiful. I only wonder 
I have not heard it mentioned before. We de- 
termined to proceed immediately to Washing- 
ton, and all got in a stage, when it commenced 
to rain, and continued to rain as hard as it could 
pour ; so we changed our mind and went to the 
hotel. While on board the steamboat, the Nor- 
folk boat passed and took off the passengers for 
that place ; so that if a person felt inclined to go 
there from New York, he could leave that city 
on Monday morning and be in Norfolk on 
Wednesday morning, without the slightest fa- 
tigue and very little expense. My dear hus- 
band, you must take this jaunt. I am sure you 
would be pleased, everything is so new and the 
travelling is like magic. . . ." The party soon 
went to Washington for a few days, and were 
introduced to the President (Andrew Jackson). 
The letter continues: "I was very agreeably 
disappointed with his appearance, which is 
really like that of a gentleman of the old school. 
His health is very feeble." 

Mr. William Jay writes from Saratoga in 


the .suiniiicr <•!' ilic n.iiiic year ( i-'^.v^' '" ''"^ 

" W c have just r».'liirne«l ir«tni a ride to l'>all- 
slon on ihc Kailzoay. ll is an cxpcdilious inude 
of travcHini;;. I)iit for i)leasiire I prefer a coach 
and four on a j^ood turnpike. We set utf in a 
train of cii^lit cars, each containing seats for 
ei,i;;hteen i)ers()ns, toj^ctlier witli three heavy 
haj^j^ai^e-watjons. The monientuin of sucli a 
mass niovin*^ witli tlie velocity of nearly twenty 
miles an hour is, indeed, fearful, and your una- 
voidable rellcctions on the trenRii<lous crash 
that would follow the breaking of a wheel axle 
are far from pleasant. The rattling of fifty 
iron wheels renders conversation dillicult, and 
the smell and smoke of the engine are fre- 
(juenily offensive. Add to all this an incessant 
tremulous motion, which, without jolting, agi- 
tates every part of the body, and you have an 
idea of railway travelling." 

Tliis same year (i«^33). •>n the 23d of Scp- 
tcTiiber, Mr. Peter Jay Munro died. He was, 
as we have already seen, a former law j)artner 
of Mr. Jay and his first cousin. 

Mr. Munro was the only child of Rev. Dr. 
Harry Munro l)v his wife. Kve Jay. and was 
l)orn January 10. 1767. At the age of thirteen 

24 T 


he was taken by his uncle, Mr. Jay, on the lat- 
ter's mission to Spain. On his return with Mr. 
Jay, he studied law in the office of Aaron Burr, 
subsequently representing Westchester (in 
1 8 14-15) in the State Assembly and (in 1821) 
in the Constitutional Convention. He gained 
lucrative practice and prominence as a lawyer, 
but in 1826 paralysis disqualified him for fur- 
ther active business, and the residue of his life 
was spent in retirement. His wife was Mar- 
garet, the third daughter of the Hon. Henry 
White, of the Governor's Council of New York. 
Mrs. Henry White was Eve Van Cortlandt, a 
daughter of Frederick Van Cortlandt and 
Frances Jay of Yonkers. Twelve children were 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Munro— four sons and 
eight daughters. Henry married Anne Mar- 
garet Bayley, and he alone of all the sons had 
issue. Frances married Bishop de Lancey. 
Harriet became the wife of Augustus Freder- 
ick Morris (afterwards Van Cortlandt), great- 
grandson of Frederick Van Cortlandt and 
Frances Jay. Anne Maria became Mrs. Elias 
Desbrosses Hunter, and Sarah Jay became 
Mrs. Asa Whitney. All of Mr. Munro's mar- 
ried daughters had issue except Mrs. Whitney. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jay were very hospitable ; their 



parloiN in llic 1 1 road way house wc-rc conslaiuly 
filled with friends. Ilieir dinners were func- 
tions of more tlian u^ual interest. Al sucli 
times tlie quests liad an <>i»i)ortunity of listening 
to the hrilliant conversation of manv who had 
lari^e anil varied experiences and were delii^ht- 
ful in their way of relatinj^ them. There is a 
list extant. tlioui^Ii unforiuiialcly without date, 
which refers to a tlinner i^iven by Mr. jay to 
which the followiiiL,'' LTcntlemen were invited: 
The .May.r. Mr. IMniip Hone. .Mr. I'hilip 
Schuyler. Mr. W ashiiiLjton ir\inL;-. .Mr. Wil- 
liam jay, Mr. \\ alter Smith of IJaltimore, Mr. 
J. {''enimore Cooi)er, Mr. Ponaldson. Mr. (ias- 
ton of North Carolina. Mr. Robert Kay, Com- 
modore Ridj^ely. Mr. James Lenox. Mr. Jona- 
than Goodhue. Mr. Peter Schermerhorn. Chan- 
cellor Kent. Mr. I'eter ( i. Stuyvesant. Mr. (i. 
M. Wilkins. Mr. Philip \'an Rensselaer. Rev. 
Dr. \\'ainwri<..,'^ht, Mr. David S. Jones. Mr. 
Daniel Webster. Mr. Merman Leroy, Mr. W'il- 
liam P. \ an Rensselaer. Mr. Campbell P. 
White, Mr. Joseph White <)f P.altimore. Mr. 
O'Donnell of Paltimore. Mr. Albert (iallatin. 
Dr. J. Aut^istine Smith. Mr. j. de I'eyster C)^- 
den. Commodore Chauncey, Mr. Rufiis Prime, 
Mr. Prinu'. Mr. Gilmore of Haltimore. 



Records also exist of another dinner at which 
Mr. Jay had for his guests all the bishops com- 
prising the House of Bishops of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, then in session in the city; 
and from numerous other records in the same 
note-book, all without dates, are lists of names 
of the persons present at dinners, balls and 
evening parties. We give but one other list — 
these were the guests at a tea-party: Mr. Clem- 
ent Moore, Rev. Dr. Bethune, General Robert 
White, Mr. Robert Emmet, Mr. Theodore 
Sedgwick, Mr. and Mrs. Charles King and 
daughters, Mr. William P. Van Rensselaer, 
Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Wainwright, Mr. J. Laurie, 
Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt, Messrs. de Peyster, 
Mr. D. J. Costar, Colonel Trumbull, Mr. and 
Mrs. Robert Lenox, Messrs. Hamersley, Chan- 
cellor and Mrs. Kent, Mr. and Mrs. Archibald 
Gracie, Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Berrian, Mr. Meri- 
deth, Mr. and Mrs. W. Beach Lawrence, Dr. 
and Mrs. Delafield, Colonel and Mrs. Fish, 
Misses Livingston, Mr. Philip Schuyler, Miss 
Huger, Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson, Mr. and Mrs. 
James P. Van Home, Bishop and Mrs. Onder- 
donk, Mr. S. F. B. Morse, Mr. and Mrs. G. M. 
Wilkins, Mr. Kemble, Mr. and Mrs. Robert 
Morris, Messrs. Coit, Mr. Stephen C. Williams, 



Mr. and Mr>. Jacob Lcioy, .Miss Douglass. Mr. 
aiul Mrs. I'ctcr ScluTmcrhorn, Mr. and .\irs. 
William Sc-toii. .Mi-. Ilamiiinii I'ish. Miss Hd- 
j^ar. Mr. Xcwlxild. Dr. and Mrs. Stevens, Mr. 
and Mrs. James Kinj;. Mr. and Mrs. iiard. 
Messrs. Kutherl'urd. Mr. and Mrs. Ledyard. 
Misses de Lancey. Mr. Uowdoin. l\t\. 1 )r. 
Muhlenl)erJ.^^ Mr. William Dawsnn, .\lr. and 
Mrs. Henry Laij^hl. Mr. and Mrs. Ileyward. 
Mr. Ulis, Dr. J. Augustine Smith and (lanj.^h- 
ter, Mr. Corhin. Dr. Wilkes. 

The list comi)rises, besides other members of 
the above families, members also of the fami- 
lies following: 

The C"«)nstables. .Mc\ ickars. Joneses, I>a- 
kcrs, Roj^^, F'almers. (arys. .Monti^^omerys, 
Primes, i^hihpses. Kearne\s, W atises, Thomp- 
sons. Cuttini^s, Wilsons, Davises. Callenders, 
Crugers, W'ellses, Posts, Piersons, llotVmans, 
Goelets, Fords, Hayleys. Lows, Dorrs, Stough- 
tons. Baldwins. \"an WaLTcnens. W inlhrops. 
P.runells, Oppenheimers. 

The death of Mrs. Prime, which (»ccurred on 
September 9, i}^35, at her husband's residence. 
Hell Gate, was the first death in the home cir- 
cle, and a severe affliction. When Mary was 
only thirteen, Mrs. P>anyer wrote to her bro- 



ther : " Your daughter Mary, as Papa often 
says, ' is one of a thousand.' If her principles 
and good sense were not equal to her beauty 
and accomplishments, I should almost tremble 
for her ; but I delight to contemplate the loveli- 
ness of her person and the endowments of her 
mind deriving increased lustre from her virtue 
and piety." These qualities were still further 
developed in her womanhood, making her a 
great favorite in society. 

Mrs. Jay, already feeble in health, never re- 
covered from the sorrow which the death of her 
daughter produced ; and, indeed, it was thought 
that this sorrow tended to increase her feeble- 
ness and, perhaps, to accelerate the pulmonary 
trouble with which she was threatened. Mr. 
Jay, in a letter to his sister, Mrs. Banyer, said: 
" There is no love so strong as a mother's, and 
my wife suffers more than any one else " ; then 
he adds: "We have infinite cause for thanks- 
giving, and though we cannot but feel the 
smart, it would be impious to murmur." 

December of this year (1835) was one of 
the coldest known for many years. On the six- 
teenth day of the month occurred a fire which 
for its extent and destructiveness will ever be 
memorable in the annals of the city. All the 


gri-:at fire in nkw ycjkk 

lower puriioii of New \ Ork was cnvclopctl in 
flames. Six liuiulrcd and fifty l)uiklings, in- 
volving a loss of ciglUccn millions of dollars, 
were destroyed before the conflagration could 
he arrested. All business was paralyzed, in- 
surance companies could not meet their obliga- 
tions, and in ilie next year the banks suspended 
specie payments. The effect of this calamity 
was felt in l)usiness circles for many years. 

Every family shared more or less in the 
losses which this ruin had created, yet two pro- 
jected marriages in .Mr. Jay's family UK)k place 
notwithstanding. ( )n the day after the out- 
break of the fire (December 17. 1S35). Cath- 
erine I lelena was married to 1 )r. i lenry A. Du 
Bois; and two months later. I'ebruary 11. 1S36. 
her sister Sarah married William Daw.son. 

Mr. [ay had now made the house at Rye his 
summer residence for many years, and under 
his direction and the taste of his wife the place 
had l)een greatly improved. Its farm-like 
character had given way to great rural beauty; 
fences were removed and haw-haw;, when nec- 
essary, were substitiUed for them; fields of 
grain or stubble, under the skilful hand of the 
gardener, were succeeded by a lawn of luxu- 
riant verdure, undidating .and reaching to the 



water's edge. To produce a pleasing land- 
scape, trees of various kinds were planted, be- 
tween which glimpses could be had of the 
Sound and the shores beyond. The house itself 
had undergone but little change — it was still a 
long, low building of two stories with its gables 
and chimneys; its rooms were numerous, but 
small, and the ceilings low. The house and the 
piazza on the eastern front were eighty feet in 
length ; it was a picturesque, but not an impos- 
ing structure. There were two doors of en- 
trance, one on the east side and the other on 
the west; each was divided into two parts — the 
upper part could be opened while the lower part 
remained closed. The sitting-room was in the 
north end of the house, having three windows 
opening towards the Sound and one towards 
the road. In this room some of the family with 
their guests were constantly gathered, for the 
house was nearly always full of company ; and 
during those drear and anxious days of the 
cholera season in New York, in 1832, a little 
paper known as "The Rye Budget" was im- 
provised by the guests, which contained, in 
prose and verse, comic and tragic, the inspira- 
tion of young and old, and to which Mr. Jay 
himself was an occasional contributor. 



Already plans were hcin^ considered and 
arranj^enienls inakin.i^ for reniovinj^ llie <>ld 
house and hnildin^ a new one on the same site. 
Tlie plan |)r()posed was a si met n re of wood 
having a front of ahoul eij^hly feel, with a pro- 
ject in.i^ l)orlict) supi)orted hy columns on the 
side nearest to the approach from the road, and 
a spacious veranda on the Sound side. Iliis 
plan was finally ad<i|)ted. 

Mrs. I'anyer is ai^ain away from home; she 
is now in ICni^land. and always finds in her hro- 
iher I'eler a readv correspondent. This letter 
makes reference to the sufTerinj^s ^till felt as 
the result of the t^^reat hre: 

"Xr:w N'ouK. March 7,0, i<^.>7. 

'■ My dear Sister: 

"... The commercial emharrassmcnls are 
Pffcater than 1 have ever known them. Many 
who have s|)eculated in land will he ruined. 
The credit of merchants has suffered, and 
much alarm prevails. . . . A son of Lady 
Hayes has arrived here, hut 1 have not yet seen 
him. . . . Our last accounts fr<^m I'Vederick 
(Prime) arc of the Qtli I'ehruary lie was 
then at Rome, hut meant soon lo Ka\i- it, and 



expected to be in England in April or May, 
where I hope he will find you out and see you. 
His health and spirits have improved. ... I 
am surprised to hear that Mr. Wilberforce's 
sons are very High Churchmen. It has ap- 
peared to me, for many years, that the English 
High Church clergy were undermining the 
foundations of their own Church. Instead of 
adapting the Establishment to the altered cir- 
cumstances of the country, they have, to every 
ancient regulation and even to every abuse, 
taken pains to irritate the dissenters, who al- 
ready form a large number of the nation, and 
who, if different measures are not pursued, will 
become the majority. While the population of 
the Kingdom has doubled, the number of 
churches has scarcely been increased. A Pres- 
byterian may erect a Meeting House and col- 
lect a congregation at pleasure, but a clergy- 
man of the Church may do nothing of the kind. 
Neither can a new parish be established, un- 
less with the greatest difficulty, lest the tithes 
of the actual Rector should be diminished; so 
that a large portion of the people are excluded 
from the churches and must go to Meeting or 
not worship at all. If they prefer the former, 
they are railed at as schismatics. The right of 



l)alrona{^c <>r of ai)|>(iiinin^^ Ministers lOr dis- 
tant con^rejifations is openly sold and is lK)ught 
as a i)n»visi()ii for youiii^cr sons. ( )\ course, 
improper jjcrsoiis are often intro(luce<l into the 
C'hurcli. and llicre can l)c Iml little sympathy 
between the pastors and their flocks. Many 
reforms are. 1 believe, necessary; and I believe, 
too, that they will be made, but I ouild have 
wished them made by the friends and not by 
the enemies of the Church. Whatever of this 
kind is done by its enemies is cfenerally done in 
a manner and spirit not calculated to conciliate. 
I trust, however, that its present troubles will 
tend to purify and finally to strenp^then the 
Church of F.nL;;lan(l. which, with all its faults, 
is. I believe, the best in l"uro])e. . . . 
** \'our affectionate brother. 

" Pktkr AuGUSTi\s Jay. 
"Mrs. IUnvf-.k, 

" 76 Morland Place. 

" Southampton, Rnpfland." 

li N%.i- u.<\s the year iS.^S. and the new house 
at Rye was finished and furnished and the fam- 
ily had moved into it. Mr. lay was now sixty- 
two years old. Mrs. Jay's health had not im- 
proved, and fears were entertained that her dis- 



ease — an affection of the lungs — was making 
progress. To endeavor to arrest this progress 
if possible, — at least, to secure some ameliora- 
tion of the symptoms which attended her ill- 
ness, — it was determined, upon the advice of 
her physician, that she should spend the winter 
on the island of Madeira. 

There were few vessels trading between the 
island and New York, and none at this particu- 
lar time. Through the agency of his son-in- 
law, Mr. William Dawson, a merchant in the 
city, the Whitmore was chartered by Mr. Jay; 
and as soon as the necessary preparations could 
be made the family embarked. The party con- 
sisted of Mr. and Mrs. Jay ; a maid, Kitty Cas- 
sidy; Dr. and Mrs. Du Bois and their son Cor- 
nelius ; and Mrs. Du Bois's sisters, Anna Maria 
and Matilda,— all three being daughters of Mr. 
and Mrs. Jay. Besides a few others, they had 
for fellow passengers Mr. Eugene Livingston 
and his two unmarried sisters, Margaret and 
Matilda, the latter also an invalid. 

They left New York on the 25th of Septem- 
ber, and after an unpleasant voyage of thirty- 
eight days arrived at Funchal, the port of Ma- 
deira, on the 2d of November.- "We had," 
said Mr. Jay, "almost continually a heavy 


" 7: 
2. n^ 


Nwcll. and ircquciuly S(|ualls, so llial the >lii[) 
rolled excessively. ^ )n the iSih of October we 
lost our tnrclopniasl. which wriil over the side, 
and in its tall broke olV the head of the fore- 
mast and the head of the niaintoj)niasl. A jury 
topmast was j^ot up in a couj)le of days, but we 
could not afterwards carry topj^allant sails." 

riu- city of I'^mchal had no harbor — not 
even a wharf or (|uay. The ship lay half a mile 
from the shore, and a landiuL;- had to be made 
in a small boat throuq^h the surf which broke 
ui)on a pebbly beach. " Mrs. Jay was lowered 
into the boat in a chair swuni:;" on the yard- 
arm." continued Mr. Jay. "When we ap- 
proached the shore the boat was turiuul round 
and pushed sic-rn foremost throui^h the surf. 
and then the boatmen. iumpiiiL; <»iit. drew her 
a little way on the beach. A roj)e was instantly 
fastened to the stern, bv which a yoke of oxen 
<lrew her hii]fh and dry." 

.\ furnished hcuse. called a qiiinta. or coun- 
try house, pleasantly situated just outside of the 
city, had been rented for their use. A small 
urarden. full of flowers, was attached to it. 
I'Vom the west windows of the drawins^-room 
the city, the sea, and the vessels in the road- 
stead could be seen: also, the l.oo Rock. 


crowned with a castle. This view, which in- 
cluded the mountains opposite, was rendered 
still more attractive by the sunsets. Mrs. Jay 
from her wheel chair would sit and gaze upon 
the magnificent spectacle until the last tint had 
faded from the sky. 

The letters state that during the first fort- 
night after her arrival, Mrs. Jay's symptoms 
were more favorable, inspiring her and even 
the doctor with hope. Occasionally she would 
go out in a palanquin, there being no wheel-car- 
riages on the island. Her improvement, how- 
ever, was but temporary; her strength con- 
tinued to diminish, the disease increased rap- 
idly, and by the middle of December all hope of 
recovery had been lost. Though realizing her 
condition, her spirits never failed — she was 
cheerful to the last. In reply to questions put 
to her, she would say that she had not the 
slightest fear of death. Until a few hours be- 
fore she died, her mind remained perfectly clear 
and strong. Her death occurred on the day 
before Christmas, about half-past two in the 
morning. The remains were brought home, 
and the interment was made in the Jay ceme- 
tery at Rye on April 30, 1839, a few only of the 
near relatives being present. 


1)1-:ath of mivS. n:ri:i< a. ] w 

Mr. jay liad at no lime indul.uicl the san- 
t^uinc li«ii)c'> that were held l)y oilier niemhers 
of ihe faiiiiiy; he was therefore, as he writes, 
lookiiii^ forward to the result with much anx- 
iety. After all was over, he wrote to his wife's 
uncle. Mr. kiitherfurd: " My fears that the ex- 
periment had been made in \ain have been veri- 

The i.ivinj^stons were neii^hbors of the Jays 
at Funchal. Matilda Livini^ston's health failed 
to improve, and. like Mrs. Jay, she did not live 
to go home. 

An immediate retiHMi to Xew ^'ork proved 
inijjracticahle. Mrs. 1 )u liois had just c^iven 
hirth to a son. and there was no vessel to facili- 
tate the home trij). Mr. Jay. moreover, was 
not well. 

During- the four months and upwards of the 
residence of the family at Funchal they found 
the climate pleasant. Of the common people 
Mr. Jay writes: "They were remarkably civil 
and even ceremonious to one another, as well 
as to their superiors. They had received no 
education, and could neither write nor read. 
They were a p^ood-huniored, lijjht-hearted race. 
We heard of no murders, or robberies, or riots, 
or f)fFenccs accoiupanied with violence. lUit 



cheating- and lying are so much matters of 
ccnn-so that tlicir detection occasions no shame. 
The cahins of the i)casants were about ten or 
twelve feet sc[uare. The walls w'ere of stone, 
without mortar, six feet high, and thatched. 
They have no chimneys, and often no windows, 
and the floor was of earth. They were dirty 
within, but the ground around them was kept 
neat and almost always contained flow^ers." 

Mr. Jay thought "the Romish religion had 
become imbecile; no one seemed to care any- 
thing about it; even its forms were not ob- 
served. There was no preaching in the 
churches, except on particular occasions. No 
jealousy of the Protestant religion seemed to 
exist, nor any curiosity about it." When he ap- 
plied for seats in the English chapel, he was re- 
ferred to a Roman Catholic, who w^ent wnth him 
to the church, showed him the vacant seats, and 
agreed with him for the rent. The sexton was 
a Roman Catholic. The government collected 
the tithes and undertook to support the clergy, 
but they were wretchedly paid. Many churches 
were closed, but open churches were very nu- 
merous, some of them large, but none hand- 

Of the island Mr. Jay wrote, describing the 

HIS uicsckii'iiox ' '!■ ^i.\i)i:iK.\ 

ascent of one of llic numnlaiu.^; ' 1 said llial we 
saw the sea, l)iit in irutli wc looked down on 
white, tleecy clouds which covered the sea, un- 
less where an occasional opening allowed us to 
perceive the dark waters of the ocean. Over 
our heads the sky was perfectly clear, and of a 
light, deep hlue. We were 5500 feel above the 
sea. The clouds I have mentioned filled the bot- 
toms of the ravines and the (urral into which 
we looked down. The prospect was irre}.;:ular 
and errand. We were now in the centre of what 
seems to have been the princii)al theatre of the 
convulsions and fiery eruptions by wliich this 
island has prol)al)ly been formed, and were im- 
pressed with the astonishiiiL^ power of the tre- 
mendous aq^ents which had ])een at work. The 
rent and shattered mountains cloven by abysses, 
api)arently lx)ttomless. the rocks cracked and 
the earth parched by fire, larp^e tracts sunk 
down and peaks thrust up thousanrls of feet 
into the air. reminded one of that day when the 
elements shall melt with fervent heat. The 
scene of itself was excecdin.c:ly p^rand. and by 
the ideas which it su^^pjested became sublime 
and even awful." 

The island, only thirty-two miles hmij;, is an 
irre^ilar mass of mountains divifled by im- 



mensely deep and precipitous ravines. It is 
traversed by zigzag roads, making easier ap- 
proaches to distant places practicable, though 
requiring much time in accomplishment. 

The time at length arrived for a vessel to sail, 
and the Jays, accompanied by the Livingstons, 
embarked on the Mexican on March i6, 1839, 
and arrived at New York after an uneventful 
voyage of thirty-six days. 

Hearing of his brother's arrival, Mr. Wil- 
liam Jay writes : 

"Bedford, April 24, 1839. 
''Dear Peter: 

"A letter from Augusta received last even- 
ing informed me of your arrival. I shall hasten 
to town as soon as possible to see you. 

" You return with many painful recollections, 
but you have also many present blessings, and 
there are many, I trust, still in reserve for you. 
Your trial has been great, and so also has been 
your consolation. 
" I am, dear Peter, 

" Your very affectionate Brother, 

" William Jay. 
" Peter A. Jay, Esq." 

MR. \.\\ li) JLUGI-, JUNES 

Mr. Jay was at tliis lime in Xcw N'ork. as we 
sec by llie l\)llo\\ iiij^ leller, but was j)rei)arinf^ to 
go into the country. He is writinjj^ to liis old 
and uinch valued friend, judi^e Jones, bcgj^inj^ 
liini and Mrs. Jones to make him a visit at Kye. 
Mr. Jones was a man of i)ure and lofty feelini(, 
of refined character, and of warm, t^cnerous 
affections. Mrs. Jones was the eldest dauj^^iitcr 
of I )e Will Clinton. 

*' Ni-:\v York. May 30. 1S30. 
" Dear Jones: 

"... 1 don"l know when 1 shall be able to 
comply with your kind invitation. 1 have not 
yet been to see my brother. Xexl week my chil- 
dren will all be collected around me at Rye, and 
I meant, as soon as we were settled there, to 
entreat you and Mrs. Jones to pass some lime 
with us. As soon as possible after next week 
do come. Alas ! she for whose sake, principally. 
I have been buiklinj.:;; and iinprovins^^, and who 
would have delighted to welcome you both,— 
and in her you have lost a sincere friend. — is 
not there. I'ul my daughters will endeavor to 
make it agreeable to you. I take a melancholy 
pleasure in recollecting an excursion to Mon- 



tauk. Happy is it that we cannot penetrate the 
future. How it would have poisoned my enjoy- 
ment if I had then foreseen that in a few 
months I should behold the commencement of 
that disease which was to prove so fatal ! But 
I shall not trouble you with my unavailing re- 
grets. As my old friends drop off, I value the 
more those w^ho remain ; for new acquaintances, 
however estimable, cannot supply the places of 
those who were the companions of our youth. 
When I observe how few of these survive, I 
am reminded of an observation in one of my 
father's letters, that ' as we are here mere birds 
of passage, this is not the place to build our 
nests.' But I won't preach. Come and see me, 
and you shall find that I can still be a cheerful 

" I am sorry to hear that Mrs. Jones has been 
indisposed. T trust that her health is now re- 
stored. Remember me to her very respectfully, 
and believe me, dear Jones, 

" Very sincerely your friend, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 

" D. S. Jones, Esq." 

Mr. Jay returned to the city from Rye for the 
winter. He was broken in spirit, but resumed 


MK. J.\\ H ) Jl I )(.!•: JONKS 

lii.s law practice-, and anionj^ oilier avocations 
took up his duties as Cliairniau of the Board of 
Trustees of Colunil^ia College and as Trustee 
of the (leneral Theological Seminary. 

Ant)ther letter to his friend Judi^a- Jones. 
Iiowever. intimated that the jjursuit of his pro- 
fession would prohahly not he of very lonj^ con- 

** New ^'oRK. December 3. 1S39. 

"Dear .hmcs: 

" I lia\e received \»tur letter of the J9th ulto. 
... I have nt)t yet decided to i^ive uj) my oflice, 
and think 1 shall keej) it another year. 

"The times are indeed out of joint. . . . 
Should \nii return to your profession, you nuisl 
not be disapj)ointed or discouraged if you tnid 
it less profitable than formerly. lUisiness aban- 
doned, like water spilt, is very diflicult toji^ather 
again. However. I cannot but think that com- 
mercial affairs will, in the course of another 
year, assume a better aspect, that money will 
be more plenty, and that the value of property 
will airain increase. 

\<n\ know my father's old maxim. 
* Prepare for the worst, but liope for the best.' 


I have always practised at least the last part 
of this apothegm. Hope, if it had no other ad- 
vantage, is a much more agreeable inmate than 
despondency, and is, besides, ranked by St. 
Paul as one of the three great Christian virtues. 

" I hope and trust that Mrs. Jones is recover- 
ing her health, and that next spring I shall have 
the pleasure of seeing you both at Rye. 

" Be pleased to remember me to her very par- 
ticularly and respectfully. 

" I am, dear Jones, 

" Yours truly, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 

" D. S. Jones, Esq." 

Mr. Jay's reminiscences of his father always 
make most pleasant reading. The late Master 
of the Temple in London said: " We cannot af- 
ford to forget the great and good men who 
have lived among us." Some of these reminis- 
cences are recorded in a letter to William Jay: 

'* I have often thought that the harmony 
which has subsisted in our family has been one 
of the greatest blessings we have enjoyed, and 
I have felt this the more sensibly from seeing 
the dissensions which have divided others. . . . 

" Our father's character will always be more 


adiiiirc-d in i)r<»|)()rli()n as it is uiulcrstood and 
considered. Ii was fnrinol i)rincii)ally I)y a 
judj^jnicnl uncommonly slr()n^^ an inflexible 
resolution to do what lie believed to be riL,dit, a 
tender heart and warm alYeclion, which, under 
the influences of Christianity, filled him with 
love to God an<l man, without blindini; him to 
the corruption of human nature, or the frailties 
of individuals, of which he was an admirable 

The Presidential canii)ai.L;n of the summer 
and aulunm of 1S40 was one of intense excite- 
ment throughout the country. Martin \'an 
liuren was nominated for re-election by the 
Democrats, while the W'hij^s nominated Gen- 
eral William II. Harrison. One notable fea- 
ture of the campaign was the great number of 
mass meetings held, and the use, to an extent 
liilherto unknown, of stings, banners and de- 
vices of every kind and description in the pro- 

Mr. Jay took a great interest in the canvass, 
and on several occasions spoke to helj) pr«»mole 
the success of the W hig candidate. The Whigs 
invited him to run for Congress, but he de- 

"I think \ oil acted wi.^elv 111 declining; a 


nomination for Congress," wrote Judge Jay to 
his brother. " Had you been elected, you would 
have found it difficult to satisfy a party so many 
of whose leaders boast of their Jefifersonian 

The result of the election was the complete 
overthrow of the Democratic party. 

The following letter expresses Mr. Jay's 
views on the subject: 

" New York, November 23, 1840. 

"Dear William: 

" I went to Rye on Tuesday last to set out 
some trees and shrubs, and returned on Thurs- 
day, leaving the ground covered with two 
inches of snow. . . . 

" I do not know what will be the conse- 
quences of the late election, but I rejoice at the 
fall of the Van Buren Administration, which I 
think has been the most corrupt we have seen. 
The result in Tennessee shows the fickleness of 
popular favor. A few years ago. General Jack- 
son could do as he pleased and laughed at all 
opposition, even when a majority of Congress 
was against him; now, with all his efforts, he 



lui.s Ijccu unaMc to inilnciKc lii- <>\\]\ Stale, 
county, nr town. 

" I he \\ liij^s, whose hfMid <»i ninon has been 
a common enemy, will |)r<)l)ahly (hvide, and 
what measures will he pursued cannot he fore- 
seen. rerhaj)s to do nothinij; will he more cx|)e- 
ditious than anything else ; the dread of innerva- 
tions and the iniixjssibility of calculating.;; their 
effects has liad a most pernicious influence on 
all husiness. Let peoi)le alone, and thinj.;s will 
gradually recover. Unhaj)j)ily we have no 
statesmen in whom imich confidence can he 

" I .am. dear W'il'iam, 

" \'our most afTectionale hrolher, 

*' Pkter Augustus Jay. 

■■ \\'lI.l.I.\M I AY. h'sfj. 

■' I'edf'ird." 

General Harrison remained in office just one 
moiuh. his death occurring on April 4, 1S41. 
Mr. Jay was invited by the committee of ar- 
rangements to be one of tlie twenty-six pall- 
l)earers. a number chosen to correspond with 
tlie number of States in the l^nion. 

Tt nnist not be forgotten that at this period 
great excitement prevailed throughout the 



country relating to a dissension which had 
lately arisen about the boundary-line between 
the State of Maine and the British province of 
New Brunswick, commonly known as " the 
Northeastern Boundary question." The sub- 
ject, agitated for a long time, threatened dan- 
ger to the peaceful relations which subsisted be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain. 
Eventually it was settled by a treaty dated Au- 
gust 20, 1842. The negotiations were con- 
ducted at Washington by Daniel Webster, then 
Secretary of State for the United States, and 
by Lord Ashburton for Great Britain. 

The letter which follows takes its color from 
the times in which it was written; it was ad- 
dressed by Mr. Jay to his cousin, formerly 
Captain, now Admiral, White of the Royal 

"New York, March 8, 1841. 

''My dear Sir: 

"... I hope, as you do, that peace will be 
preserved between our countries; and it is so 
much the interest of both that I cannot yet be- 
lieve that it will be disturbed. One regiment 
would, in one year, cost as much as the whole 
value of the land in dispute on our north-east- 


MK. ]\\ Ti) ADMIRAL W H 1 li:. K. N. 

crn I'ronlicr. lly-ilK- liyr. I jicrccivc tiial llic 
Knglish i)a|)crs take for ^ranlcd llial <»ur claim 
is uiijusl and frauduk-nl. This is certainly not 
so. I have in my jxxssession a larj^e map, for- 
merly helonj^in.i^ to my father, which was used 
by the Ministers who si.Lcned the Treaty of 
Peace, on which llu- r.<»iin(lary Line, as marked 
by Mr. Oswald, the Jhitisit Minister, is laid 
down exactlv in accordance with the American 

"As to the business of the Caroline, both 
parties are in tiie wroni;". When our j)eoplc 
committed hostile acts on your side of the line, 
you hani^ed or transjiorted them, and we did 
not complain. Xow you threaten us with war 
for imilaiin:^ your example. If the ofticers of 
Don Carlos had attacked and destroyed, in an 
Knijlish harbor, a transport havinq; on board 
Colonel ICvans and his trooi)s, avowedly i^oinj^ 
to assist his enemies, w hat would your Ciovern- 
nient have said? . . . 

" That you may lon^^ enjoy health an<l ha|)i)i- 
ness is the sincere w ish of. 
** Dear Sir. 

"Your friend and servant. 

' Pktkr Augustus Jay. 

" .\dnural \\ u ri i .'" 


An institution known as the Public School 
Society, of which Mr. Jay had for many years 
been a trustee, received an annual appropria- 
tion from the State for educational purposes. 
The appropriation was made with the distinct 
reservation that it should not be used in pro- 
mulgating the views of any religious sect or 
organization. The Roman Catholics, in order 
to possess themselves of a share of this fund, 
contended that the Public School Society, in 
violating their trust, had forfeited their right 
to the benefits of the fund. The Catholics 
claimed that a Protestant Bible was read in the 
schools of the Public School Society, and that 
Protestant tenets were taught there. The sub- 
ject excited public attention. Mr. Jay was ear- 
nestly importuned to serve in the Assembly to 
combat the contentions of the Catholics, but he 
replied that the state of his health obliged him 
to decline the nomination. At length a Bill 
was introduced in the Legislature which led to 
bitter and acrimonious debate — but later it was 
determined to distribute the fund under the 
same reservation, so that Catholics and Protes- 
tants might both share in the distribution. 
Later still the new system gained so much in 
popular favor, that the Public School Society, 


marki.\(;e of anna makia jav 

allcr an cxi>lc'ncc ui lil'ly ycar> and ni)\var(ls, 
was in 1S53 dissolved by an Act <•! ilic Legis- 

This year ( 1S41 ). on llic oi 1 ->fccinl)cr, 
tlic lionsc in Uroadway was made cheer fnl by 
the niarriaj^e of anollier dan^hier of Mr. Jay — 
Anna Maria — to I Icnry ICvelyn I'icrrcixtni. 

Mr. jay had now nearly attained his sixty- 
sixlli year. ( )f eiL,dit children only three re- 
niainctl at home with him, and these were the 
younp^est, — all the others havinj^ married. Af- 
ter his death. I'eler Au,ti^nstus married Miss 
Josej)hine Pearson, and Susan Matilda married 
Matthew C'larkson. IClizaheth remained un- 
married. All his children survived him hut his 
eldest daut^hter. .Mr--. I 'rime, whose death has 
already been recorded. 

Occasionally durinj^" the summer. Mi-, jay, 
with his daui^hters, would take a trij» to Sara- 
totja Sprinpi-s. Philadel|)hia. or elsewhere. Fre- 
quently he would exchane^e visits with Judj^e 
Jones, whose home was at Massapecjua. l>on,c^ 
Island. In the '^prinp^ of 1842, takini^ with him 
I'llizal)eth, he went to Xewton Falls. ( )hio, to 
visit his dauj^hter Helen I )u \\<>\<. 



On his return, he writes to his brother Wil- 
Ham : 

" New York, May 7, 1842. 
"Dear William: 

" I have made a visit to Helen, going by- 
way of Buffalo and Lake Erie and return- 
ing through Pennsylvania. I found Dr. Du 
Bois very much improved in health, and 
Helen better than when she went to Ohio, 
though still weak and troubled with pain in her 

"The State of Ohio is more improved 
than I expected. It is full of flourishing 
villages, and the soil, so far as I saw it, is 

" The State of Pennsylvania, south of the 
mountains, is also very fertile and extremely 
well cultivated. North of the Alleghanies and 
all through Ohio there is an abundance of bitu- 
minous coal of excellent quality. It can usu- 
ally be purchased at the pits for five cents the 
bushel, and is in very general use even where 
the trees are burned upon the ground to get rid 
of them. But in both States they are suffering 
for want of currency. The banks have re- 



sumccl >i)ccic i)aymcnl>. Inil ha\c withdrawn 
their hills from circulation, so thai scarcely 
any money can he ohtained except the notes of 
non-specie hanks in Indiana and other States 
where there has heen no resumi>tion and which 
are at a j^reat discount. I had no ditliculty 
in passini^ New York money, and ihoHL^h 1 
took ^old with me. l>roUL;ht almost all ot it 

"Mr. (iiildini^s was a day and a ni.^hl in a 
canal-hoat with me on his return to Cone^ress. 
His election took i)lace while I was at Xewton 
Falls. There was no excitement; the election 
was over in one day. and was very {[uiet. The 
constituents are nearly all opi)oscd to slavery 
and Southern j)olicy. ]'(nt are (|uite popular 
there. . . . 

"The journey has improved my health, 
which tor the past six months has heen very 
indilTerent. A month later it would have 
heen more aj^reeahle. 1 made it earlier in 
order to have the company of 1'. IViiiie. 
who went with me to the Doctor's, hut K-ft u-^ 

"The Pennsylvania Canal. I am satisfied, 
cannot rival ours. Nevertheless, their line of 
Canals and Railroads is a j^reat work, hut w ill 



never, I think, pay interest on the money it 

" Our love to all your family. 
'' I am, dear William, 

" Your affectionate brother, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 
" William Jay, Esq., 
" Bedford." 

Ten days after the Ashburton Treaty had 
been signed, a public dinner was given to Lord 
Ashburton in New York, at which Mr. Jay pre- 
sided. The invitation to preside was tendered 
to him by letter and in person: 

" New York, August 25, 1842. 
"Dear Sir: 

" The undersigned, a committee of arrange- 
ments, request, as a favor, that you will consent 
to preside at the public dinner to be given to 
Lord Ashburton on the ist of September. 

"We will not, and do not, anticipate a re- 
fusal. At the same time, we may be allowed 
to say that there appears to us a peculiar fitness 
in having the son of that Revolutionary father 
who signed the first Treaty with Great Britain 




aiUT uur ln(lf]i<inl. n, .■ I,, nii-.j.lf :ii ihe pres- 
ent cclcbraliun. 

" Great liritain, in order to jnove lier earnest 
desire to settle all diniciillies between the two 
countries, has on this occasi<Mi sent :i Minister 
<»f hi.i^h rank and advanced age to treat with us 
at our own capital. 
" W itli s^M-eat esteem. 

" N'our obedient servants, 
'* Jamks Liii:, 
*'\Vm. B. Astor, 
" riiioDORE Sedgwick, 
"Stephen Whitney, 
"James he Peyster Ogden, 
"James G. King. 
"Prosper M. W i imore, 
" (jeorge Griswold. 
" Pi-rrER A. Jay, Rsri." 

" \\\\, .Saturday, Au^u^t jy, iS^j. 

■ .\/ V dear Sister: 

" It was my intention to j^o lo lied lord, . . . 
but yesterday three i^entlemen. Mr. dc Peyster 
Djrdcn, Mr. Griswold and Mr. Theodore Sedcf- 
wick, came up from New ^'<irk. beini; sent by 
the committee of arranj^ements to retiuesi that 



I would preside at a dinner to be given to Lord 
Ashburton on Thursday next, and they pressed 
me so much that I very reluctantly consented. 

''As soon as the dinner is over I will come 
up, and can then spend some days with you. 
" I am, my dear sister, 

" Your affectionate brother, 

" Peter Augustus Jay. 
" Mrs. Banyer." 

The dinner took place on Thursday evening,, 
September i, 1842, at the Astor House, and 
was one of the most notable gatherings in the 
history of the city of New York. About two 
hundred guests attended, whose number in- 
cluded many men distinguished throughout 
both State and nation. The room was taste- 
fully decorated with flags and draperies, among 
which were hung banners bearing in large let- 
ters the legends, " Great Britain and the United 
States," "The Treaty," and "Ashburton— 
Washington— Webster: 1842." 

Lord Ashburton was escorted into the room 
by Mr. Prosper M. Wetmore, and was seated 
between Mr. Jay (who occupied the chair) 
and the Rev. Dr. Wainwright. After a toast to 
" the President of the United States " and to 



" the QiR-fii (if (ileal Llrilain ami Ireland," Mr. 
Jay proposed a toast to *' Our guest, i,«»rd Ash- 
hurion: llapi)iness and hoiK^r in him who has 
coiiirihuied l<» jireserve i)eaee helweeii two 
great nalion>. " 

Lortl Ashhurton, on rising to speak, was re- 
ceived with great applause, hi a felicitous way 
he referred to tlie occupant of the cliair as " the 
immediate descendant of a man whose name, 
as long as honor or virtue or |)alriolism is 
prized, will he forever venerated. 1 mean," he 
said, '■ -Mr. j.iy, wh«> in his day was eminently 
successful in his mission of peace and concilia- 
tion, — a mission, now closed, having the same 
objects in view, being lately entrusted to me." 
l.nnl AsliburiiMi dwell on the early i)arl i>\ his 
Hfe, speiu in commercial jnirsuits, and said he 
had hoped to spend the remainder of it in that 
quiet and peace which a life of industry had 
secured for him; but when an opi)ortunity of- 
fered In keep in harmony two great countries 
on the verge of hostilities, this object |)recluded 
all thoughts of jiersonal comfort. Again al- 
luding to the elder Jay. he added that the task 
allotted to him was a more arduous task, under- 
taken as it was under circumstances which ren- 
dered the voice of a messenger of peace difhcult 



to be heard ; yet, nevertheless, he supported the 
independence of his country, and at the same 
time kept it aloof from the great war which was 
then raging in Europe. In concluding, Lord 
Ashburton desired to express his homage to 
that great man, Mr. Webster, who was so 
largely instrumental in the settlement of the 

The next toast was " Daniel Webster," Mr. 
Webster being ill and unable to be present. 
The toast was responded to by the Hon. David 
E. Evans. The giant intellect and noble patri- 
otism of the Secretary of State was Mr. 
Evans's theme. 

Other toasts were responded to by Philip 
Hone, Commodore Perry, James de Peyster 
Ogden, General Tallmadge, James W. Gerard, 
Lord John Hay, Robert H. Morris, Mayor of 
New York, and Thomas C. Grattan. 

A letter of regret from John Quincy Adams 
was read, and after a few remarks by Lord 
Ashburton expressing the great pleasure he 
had experienced during the day and evening, 
the meeting adjourned at twelve o'clock. 

Lord Ashburton (formerly Mr. Alexander 
Baring) was at that time senior member of the 
great banking house of Baring Brothers and 


NKW \<>I<K llisr« )RiCAl. SOCIKTY 

Company oi Lnn<l<>n. Mr. Joshua r.alcs of 
Massacluisclls was also a proiiiincnl mciuher 
of the firni. I-or«l Aslilmrton received many 
ci\ihiic> in ihi^ coiiniry. wliidi no douhl liclped 
to hL;lUfn \\\v la>k that occupied him. 

In tlie year iS(j5 ilie New N'ork Historical 
Society was incorporated, with l\L;heri Benson 
as its first President. Occupyini,^ this oflice. a 
^<M)dlv arrav of names f(^llo\v: Gouverneur 
M..rris. iSkk 1 )e Witt Clinton, 1S17; David 
Hosack, 1S20; James Kent. iSj;; Mor.^^an 
Lewis, 183J; Peter C.erard Sluyvesanl. 1S36. 

Mr. lav. who had served as its Vice-Presi- 
dent, was made its President, in 1S40. in suc- 
cession to Mr. Stuyvesant. a position which he 
continued to hold durinc: the remainder of his 


Previous to Mr. Jay's incumhency the So- 
cictv had led a somewhat wanderini,^ existence, 
without a permanent home anywhere. In the 
year following: hi^ induction to the presidency 
he received from Mr. Stuyvesant a letter to 
which the followini^ was a reply: 



" New York, January 20, 1841. 

" I have laid before the New York Historical 
Society your letter containing an offer of two 
lots of ground for the erection of a fire-proof 
building for the reception of their books and 
manuscripts, on condition that they raise funds 
for that purpose by the ist May next; and I 
am now to return you their hearty thanks for 
this very liberal offer. 

" Whether it will be in their power to comply 
with the condition is uncertain, but in every 
event they will acknowledge with pleasure 
the generous and friendly disposition which 
prompted you to this act of munificence. 
"With great respect and esteem, 
" I am, in behalf of the Society, 

" Your very obedient servant, 

" Peter Augustus Jay, 

" President. 

" Peter G. Stuyvesant, Esq." 

Arrangements were made to enable the So- 
ciety to comply with the conditions contingent 
with the gift; a suitable building was erected 
on the site, which has continued to be the home 


HIS i.rn-KAin hknrfactions 

of the l-ilnarv inv over half a cciuurv. It is 
located at 170 Second Avenue, nearly opposite 
v*^t. Mark's Episc(ipal Cliiuch. 

Mr. Jay's learning; and education were rec- 
ognized by many institutions, and lliis further 
testimony of his worth in his selecti(^n as the 
Society's President evoked an earnestness and 
faithfulness in his administration surpassed by 
none of his predecessor^. 1 le was a lari^e con- 
tributor to the Lil)rary. liis benefactions em- 
l)raced nuich curious and most valuable mate- 
rial, indudinj^ a rare list of newspai)ers printed 
lonj^ I)efore the Revolution, and which were, 
probably, an inheritance from his fatiier. 

Mr. Jay was always most .solicitous touching 
the objects of the Society. He was desirous that 
the Association should restrict itself to its 
specified desiq^iation. Rverything relative to 
its historical transactions he wt)uld cherish, for 
he deemed New York the theatre in which the 
great events of the period of our Colonization 
and of the War of Independence t(M)k place. It 
is in no wise remarkable, he would say, that 
the Library was so rich in news()aj)ers and 
other periodical journals. .\ file of newspapers, 
he thought, was "of far more value to our de- 
sign than all the Hyzantine historians." 



The annual Commencement of Columbia 
College was held in the Middle Dutch Church 
on Cedar Street on October 4, 1842. The cus- 
tomary exercises were preceded by the inaugu- 
ration of the President-elect, Nathaniel F. 
Moore, LL.D. Dr. Moore had received the ap- 
pointment upon the resignation of President 
William A. Duer. As Chairman of the Board 
of Trustees, Mr. Jay delivered the inaugural 
address, to which Dr. Moore responded. The 
attendance was much greater than usual ; many 
distinguished persons were present, among 
them the Governor of the State. The subject 
of Mr. Jay's address was mainly a vindication 
of the collegiate course of study in the face of 
popular objections, while President Moore 
dwelt upon the responsibilities of the office. 
Both addresses are reported to have been pro- 
ductions of merit; Mr. Jay's was spoken of at 
the time as being distinguished for its ability 
and classic beauty. 

At the ensuing meeting of the New York 
Historical Society, in January, Mr. Jay again 
received the nomination as President, but 
other engagements and impaired health obliged 
him to decline it. The Society then submitted 
the following resolution, which was unani- 
mously adopted : 


ki:\ii:\v oi- iiis life 

" Rcsohcd, lliai llii- thanks of iliis Society 
are due to iIr- lion. IV-u-r A. jay. I.I..1).. its 
late I'rcsiclciit. for tlic di^iiilN , courtesy and im- 
partiality with which he has diirinj^ the last 
three years presided omt iIu- di-Ii!)erati»(ns of 
the Societ} 

in reviewing Mr. Jay's life it may mean little 
to those of the present j^eneration to be told 
that durini^ his i)rofessional career he was re- 
tained by the District Attorney to assist him in 
the famous consj)iracy trial of Jacob Barker 
and others; or that he won the " Brick Church 
suit" in iSj^), niakine;' an able and ingenious 
argument ; or. yet again, that he was engaged 
in unravelling the intricacies of the great Jaun- 
cey will case in the early thirties. The records 
of the courts of chancery and of common law, 
crowded though they are with cases in which 
he was engaged, furnish but a dim outline and 
bear bin fragmentary testimony to the suc- 
cesses of forty years of active i)ractice. The 
cases have been won and lost; both f)laintitT 
and defendant have long since gone their way; 
counsel have been forgotten; only the legal 
principle enounced by the judge remains im- 

Oi far more significance f«»r our |)urpose is 
it to recall the fact that he fought his battles at 


the Bar in conjunction with, or in opposition to, 
such men as Ogden and Duer, Hoffman and 
Butler; Lansing, Kent and Walworth being 
upon the " throne of Equity," and Spencer and 
Jones upon the Bench; that, in addition to 
banks, insurance companies and other corpora- 
tions, he numbered among his clients the names 
of many of New York's most prominent citi- 
zens. In the management of estates and as a 
real-estate lawyer Mr. Jay was also distin- 
guished. It is related by a contemporary that 
upon one occasion, when in court, the title to 
a piece of property being in dispute, the law- 
yer submitted to the Judge that since the title 
had been drawn by Peter A. Jay, nothing more 
was necessary — a sentiment warmly endorsed 
by the Judge, who straightway passed the title. 

Gifted with a logical mind and with that 
subtle perspicacity which is wont to disarm an 
opponent, Mr. Jay was often able to direct his 
argument with telling effect. Perhaps no bet- 
ter instance of this could be cited than in an 
address which he made at the founding of the 
American Bible Society, where he says : 

" Though the diffusion of the Scriptures is 
the great end of the Institution, yet another 
blessing will spring from it. Too long have 


ki-.\ ii;\\ ( )i- Ills LIFE 

Clirisliaiih been (li\ ukd. Seel lias been (^p- 
jK)sc(l to sect, angry controversy has agitated 
the Churcii, niisrepresenlations have been made 
and believed, and good men who onglu ti> have 
loved eacli other have been kej)! asunder by 
prejudices which, in truth, owed tlieir origin to 
ignorance. . . . 

■ I )o any refuse to join us because we (hfTcr 
t"rom them in tlie interpretation of tlie Scrij)- 
tures? Let them remember we distribute 
those Scriptures without any interpretation. 
Is it right to make known the Word of God? 
'I'hen let them assist ns in doing so. Are we 
friends or enemies? If friends, why refuse to 
do good in our company? Are we enemies? 
Then are liiey not commanded to do i^ood to 
us/ And if so. will they refuse to do good 
with usf " 

It has been seen that Mr. j.iy was averse to 
holding political office, and only yielded at 
times in that respect out of deference to his 
friends. To one as closely associated as he 
was with the leaders of the Federalists, the de- 
cline of that parly in the beginning of the cen- 
tury and the subsec|uent bitter partizan strifes 
rendered political activity distasteful to him. 
Although preferring the (piieter jiursuits of his 


profession, he occasionally did throw himself 
into the political whirl, and then, as Judge Wil- 
liam W. Van Ness once said in speaking of his 
bearing in the legislative debates, " he was his 
father all over again." 

In the Constitutional Convention of 1821 
Mr. Jay displayed great restraint and consist- 
ency of character. It may, indeed, be said that 
" there were giants in the convention in those 
days," and no more difficult task was per- 
formed than that of the unswerving minority 
in that body, of whom, with Chancellor Kent 
and Chief Justice Spencer, Mr. Jay made one 
in preventing the " ancient landmarks " of the 
Constitution from being swept away. 

But it is not our purpose to review here the 
achievements of a life spent in the service of 
State, of Church and of Humanity. No higher 
tribute to Mr. Jay's character could be paid 
than that by the Hon. Benjamin D. Silliman 
when, advanced in years and having earned the 
title of "Nestor of the Bar," he said of Mr. 


" In the nearly sixty years that I have been 
at the bar, no man has had a more exalted 
standing. His great learning and strength of 
intellect, his masterly reasoning, his wisdom 



.111(1 liis i)rc'-cniitu'nt niDral excellence, combined 
with his ini; rained ihoroni^h refmenienl and 
diL,niily as a j^enllenian, made him a very 
marked and remarkahle jurist and member of 
society. In every ([uestion of ethics or moral 
rij^hl hi> word was law. I believe that his ar- 
i^mnents and written (»|)ini()ns were marked not 
onlv by threat lei^al erudition and lo<^ical |)ower, 
l)Ut by broad and rare j.;^eneral learninj^. illus- 
trating^ the history of the law involved in the 
case and its ai)i)lication to the (|uestions in- 
volved. Such was the character of his opinions 
which I have read." 

Mr. Jay'.s two sisters, Mrs, Banyer and Miss 
.\iin |a\-. and his brother William survived 

" The sisters were widely known and as 
widely honored. They were so much one in 
all their fcclinp^s and efforts, their two lives so 
blended and flowed on to«.;;ether. that what we 
mij.:;ht say concernintj each would be true of 
both" — so wrote the Rev. Or. Cooke of St. 
Bartholomew's, then in La I'ayette l^lace, tlie 
church which the sisters attended. In a memo 
rial sermon Dr. Cooke added : " They were not, 
however, entirely alike; and if as Christians we 


were to compare them, for the sake of gaining 
a nearer view of their characters, with any of 
the saints whose Hves are famihar to us, we 
sliould say that the one first called [Ann Jay] 
had more the characteristics of St, Paul, and 
the other [Mrs. Banyer] of St. John. Both 
were noble witnesses for Christ, and the world 
is darker now that their lights are quenched. 
Thus lived, and thus almost together died, these 
two sisters." 

Miss Ann Jay's death occurred on Thursday, 
November 13, 1856, and Mrs. Banyer died on 
Friday of the next week. 

William Jay was a stanch champion of the 
cause of negro emancipation ; his name is indis- 
solubly connected with it. He was also very 
active in the promotion of many other public 
and worthy interests, being a lifelong worker 
in the cause of temperance, and for a number 
of years a member and President of the Peace 
Society. " His philanthropy," says his biogra- 
pher, " was religious in its motive and practical 
in its activity." Quoting from a letter of 
Bishop Coxe, who was a frequent visitor at 
Bedford in his youth, the same authority 
writes : " There was much of the Huguenot in 
the piety of the Judge, but nothing of the Puri- 


jrnci-: wii.ijam jav 

t;m. I k- was little seen. !)iil greatly felt." I'or 
more llian l\\ enty-fivc years lie exercised the 
duties of jiul.i;e of Westchester County. Marly 
in life Mr. Jay married Auj^usta, daughter of 
|<»hn McX'ickar. a merchant of New York. 
"She li\e(l to he Ikt hushand's sympathetic 
conii)anion," writes Mr. luckerman. the hiog- 
rapher. " imlil 1X5^. when he himself was near 
his end. Her accomplishments added much to 
the happiness of jay's life." *' I ler sweet sim- 
])licity and dignity." said the late T.ishop Pot- 
ter, "hespoke a peaceful and elevated spirit, 
and made an impression on the most transient 
visitor never to he effaced." 

Judge Jay died at Bedford, ( )ctol)er 14. 1S5S. 

I'eter A. |a\ had for many years heen con- 
nected with the Corporation for the Relief of 
the Widows and Children of Clergymen, etc. 
As Treasurer of this Society, and to protect its 
property, he made a journey to Schenectady in 
midwinter. The cold was intense, and when it 
is rememhered that the conveniences and i)ro- 
lection from the weather which now attend 
travelling did not then exist, it will he .seen that 
the discomforts must have been great. After 
an ab.sence of eight days. Mr. Jay returned to 
the citv, apparentlv well, though owning to fa- 


tigue. He met, at a dinner given by Mr. Stuy- 
vesant, many of his friends. On Wednesday, 
the 15th of February, while writing in his h- 
brary, a chill came, which was followed by an- 
other chill on the next day. He refused to see 
a doctor until Friday. Dr. Watts was then 
sent for, and other medical aid afterwards se- 
cured. On Saturday he remained in bed. On 
Sunday he realized his illness, seeming to un- 
derstand perfectly his condition and the treat- 
ment of the doctors. His breathing was la- 
bored and occasioned much suffering, and he 
asked his daughter Eliza to pray for him. The 
disease — pneumonia — now made rapid prog- 
ress. On Monday his strength began to fail. 
In the afternoon his children gathered around 
the bed and asked him to say something to 
them, for he was apparently in possession of 
all his faculties. With great difficulty, owing 
to his labored breathing, he replied, " I cannot 
say much," and after an interval he added, 
" My children, read your Bible and believe it." 
A lethargic sleep followed. Later he awoke, 
sent a kiss to his daughter Helen (Mrs. Du 
Bois), recognized his sisters, Mrs. Banyer and 
Miss Ann Jay, and his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Goodhue, but did not speak again. The Rev. 
Mr. Balch offered a prayer. Mr. Jay seemed to 


be lislcnini;; wiili tlio c<iiRlu>i()n oi llie prayer, 
his brcatliiii}^ died ini|)ercei)tibly away. 

\\\> dealli Mciin Tfd al lii> residence, No. 398 
liroadway, on Monday, l-'ebrnary 20, 1843, in 
llie sixty-eij^htli year of his a^e. 

I lie inneral >er\ iee> were held in Si. Jolni's 
Chapel. St. John's Park, nn iIr- aflerncxin of the 
J2i\, and the hnrial took place on the next day 
in the Jay cemetery at Rye. 

The remains were |)laced in a j^rave next to 
that of Mrs. Jay. .\n obelisk n\ white marble 
restini^ on a stone base, which .Mr. Jay caused 
to be erected on the occasion of his wife's death, 
now bears the following;" commemorative in- 
scriptions : 




JULY 2. 1786, 




DECE.MUER 24, 1 838. 








BORN JANUARY 24, 1 776, 

DIED FEBRUARY 20, 1 843. 








Peter Augustus Jay had many friends, and 
the pubHc announcement of his death carried 
with it much sorrow^. The press with great 
unanimity extolled his virtues and regretted the 
loss the community would suffer in his decease. 
The law courts immediately adjourned after 
appropriate remarks by the judges. 

The proceedings at the Court of General Ses- 
sions, over which Mr. Jay had formerly pre- 
sided as Recorder, were concluded with re- 
marks on the death of Mr. Jay by James R. 
Whiting, District Attorney of New York, who 
offered the following resolutions: 


RESOLUTIONS ON 11 IS l)i:.\lli 

■ Kcsoh'Cii, Thai lliis Couri liavc licanl with 
nn ordiiiar) t'ccliIl^^s of regret of the decease of 
Peter A. Jay, so lon_t( known as one of those oc- 
cujninj^ the first rank in the ic.nal profession. 

" KcsolzcJ, That Mr. Jays distinj^uished po- 
sition durinjj the early periods of our national 
and State existence, his upriL^htness and integ- 
rity in private life, his ac(|uircnicnls as a 
scholar, and his lont^ continuance with honor 
and credit in the field of puhlic service and as 
presidini:;' Judi^e of thi> (niinty. demand from 
the Court the expression of their regret for iiis 
death, their synij)athy with his survivini,'^ rela- 
tives and their resi)ect for his memory. 

" Resolved, That the Clerk enter these reso- 
lutions on tlu- minutes of this Court, and trans- 
mit a coj>y, duly authenticated, to the family 
of the deceased." 

At the opening of the Superior Court. Chief- 
Justice Jones addressed the Court as follows: 

" U|xni the amiouncement of the death of 
our estimahle friend and brother. IVter A. Jay, 
I cannot forbear to exj)ress my deep sense of 
the loss we have sustained in his decease. I 
have known him most intimately from the ear- 
liest fieriod of life, and from that jicriod to the 



lamented hour of his decease I have ever loved 
and respected him. The name of Peter A. Jay 
has ever been associated with all that was lofty 
and honorable. He was among the most tal- 
ented, high-minded and purest of men, and one 
of the most distinguished members of the Bar. 
He commanded through life the respect, esteem 
and high regard of all who knew him. He was 
the lawyer, the scholar and the gentleman." 

A meeting of the Bar was called at the Su- 
perior Court room on the morning of the 226. 
of February. A large attendance was present 
and Ex-Chancellor Kent presided. After a 
few appropriate and eloquent remarks by the 
Hon. David B. Ogden, the following resolu- 
tions were offered : 

" Resolved, That we receive with deep regret 
the communication of the death of our la- 
mented friend and brother, Peter A. Jay, long 
an esteemed and distinguished member of the 
New York Bar, and one of its brightest orna- 

''Resolved, That the members of the New 
York Bar, in common with their fellow citizens, 
feel that by this melancholy event they have sus- 
tained a loss to be deplored and exciting feel- 



ings of impressive- ami aliidinj^ iiiicrfsi. Tlie 
professional and social iiilcrcourscof <»ur vener- 
able and highly cslccnied hrollicr with ihc mem- 
bers of the Uencb and ilu- liar, his nniformly 
inj^cnuiHis, just and honorable course in all his 
relations tu them, had endeared him to all who 
knew him; while the hi.ijh order of his intellect 
secured him their admiration and re.L,^■lrd. In 
a \on^ course of professional, and durmi;^ the 
brief but brilliant term of his judicial life, both 
as a jurist and as a judj^e his eminent abdities, 
the simplicity and purity of his character, and 
the estimal)le (jualities of his heart trained him 
the warmest affections of his friends and the 
respect, esteem and confidence of the whole cir- 
cle of his fellow citizens. In him was seen the 
diq^nified. the intellectual and respectful advo- 
cate, with the courtesy of the j^entleman, and 
the |)ure. disinterested friend and adviser. It 
may be most truly said of him that those who 
knew him best admired, esteemed and Inved 
him most. 

" Kcsolrcd, That the members of the liar, as 
a token of respect for the memory of their de- 
ceased friend, will wear the customary badc^e 
of mournine: for thirty days, and v. ill attend his 
funeral this afternoon. 


"Resolved, That a copy of the proceedings 
of this meeting, signed by the Chairman and 
Secretary, be transmitted to the family of the 
deceased and pubhshed in the daily papers of 
this city." 

Chancellor Kent then made an impressive 
address, and upon the passage of the above 
resolutions the meeting adjourned. 

As an accompaniment to what has preceded 
it, that which is subjoined invites attention 
as further testimony of Mr. Jay's worth and 
influence. The following resolutions were 
passed at a large public meeting of colored 
citizens, held at Philomathean Hall, on the 
evening of February 27, " for the purpose of 
expressing sentiments of condolence with the 
family and friends of the lamented philanthro- 
pist, Peter Augustus Jay " : 

"Resolved, That in the demise of Peter Au- 
gustus Jay, Esq., society has lost an invaluable 
member, humanity an undeviating advocate, 
the man of color a firm and tried friend, his 
country a true patriot and the world a philan- 

"Resolved, That when we look at the pub- 
lic acts of the late Hon. Peter A. Jay, his sin- 
cere and philanthropic maintenance of our po- 
litical rights, his early and unremitted exer- 



tions in the Manumission Society, liis interest 
in nur educational and religious advancement, 
we feel cause of thankfulness to Almighty God 
for the gift antl the life of such a great and 
good man. such a benefactor of our despised 
race, such a sincere and impartial rej)ul)lican; 
and now that he has departed from the scenes 
of mortal existence, we esteem it a privilege to 
linger gratefully and mournfully around his 
fresh-turned sod and breathe our blessing on 
his honored memory. 

" Rcsoh'Cci, That we sincerely condole with 
the family and friends of the lamented Peter 
Augustus Jay in their severe bereavement, and 
tender them this humble token of our esteem. 

" Rcsok'cd, That Messrs. Aart^n L. Poyer, 
Ik)ston Crummell and P. A. Bell be a commit- 
tee to convey to the family of Hon. Peter A. 
Jay the above resolutions. 

(Signed) "WM. .\. Tyson, Chairman, 
"Jno. J. Qrii.i.K. Secretary." 

Before closing these memorials of Mr. jay's 
life, it seems fitting to add the resolutions 
pas.sed in the little church at Rye. which for 
long years he so constantly attended, and 
whose rector was P. S ( "b luncy, a >^'•n of ('(un- 
inodore Chauncy. 



At a meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church, 
Rye, convened, at the request of the Rector, on 
Wednesday, the ist of March, 1843, the follow- 
ing" resolutions were adopted : 

"Resolved, That we have heard with un- 
feigned regret of the death of our venerable 
and esteemed associate, Hon. Peter Augustus 


"Resolved, That while we desire to recog- 
nize in this heavy dispensation the hand of God, 
and to submit to his blessed will, we cannot but 
express our sense of the loss which has been 
sustained by this vestry, church and community 
in the death of one whose example and precepts 
both tended to the glory of God, the honor of 
his church and the happiness of mankind. 

"Resolved, That we will ever entertain the 
most grateful recollection of the interest mani- 
fested by Mr. Jay in the prosperity of our 
church and the purity of life by which he 
adorned his Christian profession. 

" Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings 

be entered on the minutes of this vestry, and 

that another copy, signed by the Rector and 

Secretary, be sent to the family of the deceased. 

" P. S. Chauncy, Rector. 

" James D. Halsted, Sec'y." 





I, Peter Augustis Jay, make tliis my I^st Will and 
Testament as follows : 

I'trst. 1 return humble and hearty thanks to Al- 
mighty God for the happiness I have enjoyed and the 
numerous hlessijigs which He has lx>unti fully l)est«>wed 
xiytun me. but alx>ve all for His inestimable love in the 
Redemption of mankind through our Ix)rd Jesus 
Christ, and for the means of grace, and for the Iiojk* 
of glory. 

I disjxjsc of my worldly estate as follows : I give and 
devise to my son John Clark son Jay and his heirs, all 
my real estate, situate in the town of Rye in the county 
of Westchester. I give and devise to my son FVtcr 
Augustus Jay and his heirs my lot or parcel of land 
in the city of New ^'ork, bounded easterly in front 
by Broad Street, southerly by Stone Street, northerly 
by land of my brother William Jay. 

I have nriihcr the power iht inti-ntion to render the 


parcels of property above devised inalienable ; but there 
are recollections and circumstances connected with 
them which make me desirous that they should remain 
in the family. 

The lot in Broad Street was purchased by my great- 
grandfather about 1720, and was the first land owned 
by our family in America. At Rye repose the bones 
of my ancestors, of my wife and my dear daughter, 
I earnestly request my sons not to sell or mortgage 
these lands. 

I authorize and empower my brother William Jay 
to sell and convey in fee my real estate in the county 
of Broome, and I direct that the proceeds thereof be 
considered as part of my personal estate and be divided 
and disposed of accordingly. 

I give and devise all the residue of my real estate 
which I may be seized of or entitled to at the time 
of my death to such of my children as shall be then 
living, and to the child or children then living of every 
child of mine who shall have died before me, as ten- 
ants in fee; the child or children of a deceased child 
of mine taking the same share only as his, her or their 
parent, if living, would be entitled to. 

I give to my son John my brooch or breast-pin con- 
taining the hair of General Washington, and to my son 
Peter Augustus my Spanish fowling-piece and my 
gold watch. 

I give to my excellent brother my sett of the Ency- 
clopaedia, and I desire each of my dear sisters to take 
from my library such and so many books as she shall 
choose as tokens of my affection, 



I direct luy debts u, Ik- pai'l out of my jHTSonal es- 
tate. I give to my son I'ltrr Augustus one thousand 

I give to my druit^hter I'.li/alM-th threr thousand dol- 

1 givi- ii>iii_\ ii.uiL;iitii .^ll-^.lIl .M.itu'i.i tmcr thousand 

I give to my son-in-law Henry A. I )ii Hois one 
thousand dollars. 

1 release to m\ son John tin- money for wliirh I now 
hold his promissory note^ 

I give to ("liles Clrcen. who has In-en long in my 
employment and has served me faithfully, if he shall 
survive me, two hundred and fifty dollar^- 

1 give to Caesar Valentine, a black man, long a 
servant in my family, an annuity of forty-eight dol- 
lars a year during his life, which annuity I charge 
upon my estate at Kye. by the owner of which it is to 
be paid ; and I recjuest my children not to let him 
suffer if. through age or infirmity, he shoulti be un- 
able to supjiort himself with comfort. 

I give and lx(|ueaih all the residue of my i)or.sonal 
estate to such of my children as shall be living at the 
time of my death and to the child or children of any 
child of mine who shall then be dead, the child or 
children then living of a deceased child of mine taking 
the same share only which his, her or their parent, 
if living, would be entitled to. 

In consideration of the advances I have already 
ma<Ie for mv son John and the devise of the Rye estate. 
I charge his share of my resi<luarv real and |>ersonal 



estate with the sum of twelve thousand dollars, to be 
paid by him in one year after my decease, and to be 
divided and disposed of as part of the said residuary 
personal estate. 

I direct that the share of the children of my dear 
deceased daughter Mary R. Prime in my residuary 
personal estate be paid to their father, Frederick 
Prime, to be managed by him for their benefit. 

I authorize my executors to lease and demise any 
part or parts of my undivided residuary real estate 
for any term or terms of years not exceeding twenty 
years, at such rents, on such condition as they shall 
think expedient, and out of the rents and profits thereof 
to keep the same in repair and to pay the taxes and 
assessments and the expenses incidental therto, and to 
divide the rest among the persons entitled to the prop- 
erty, itemized in proportion to their respective interests 

I authorize my executors to make partition of my 
real estate which at the time of my death I may be 
seized of or entitled to, in common with any other per- 
son or persons, and to execute all proper deeds and 
conveyances for that purpose, and every such partition 
shall be binding on all persons claiming under me. 

I authorize my executors, during the minority of 
any child of mine, to sell and convey the interest of 
such child in any part or parts of my real estate, and 
to pay over the proceeds of such sale to the guardian of 
such child for the child's benefit ; and such sales may 
be made at auction or at private sale, for cash or on 
credit, or partly for cash and partly for credit, as 
my executors shall think best. 



I autliorizo my son-in-law P'rcclfrick Prime to sell 
and convey the interest of his minor children in any 
part or parts of my residuary real estate in like maimer. 

I authorize my brtUher William Jay to represent any 
child of mine who shall be under lawful age. for the 
purpose of makinp partition of all or any of my rcsidu- 
ar>- estate among the jK-rsons entitled thereto, and to 
make such partition in behalf of such minor children, 
and to execute proiH*r deeds and conveyances for that 

And I authorize the said Frederick Prime in like 
manner to represent each of the minor children of my 
deceased daughter Mary for that like purpose and 
with the like |)owers. And every partition so made 
shall be as effectual and binding on all persons claim- 
ing under me as if it had Ix'en made by the child or 
children so represented when of full age. Such parti- 
tion may be made from time to time of any parts or 
parcels of my said residuary estate. 

I authorize my executors to submit to arbitration or 
umpirage all claims and demands by or against them, 
and to j)erform the awards which shall be made thereon, 
and also to compromise and compound debts due to 
my estate, and any claims and demands they may have 
against others, and tt) accept less than the wluile for the 
whole, and property or securities of any kind in lieu 
of money : and also to compromise and comp<xjnd all 
claims and demands against n)y estate or against them 
as executors and to pay money in discharge thereof. 

It is my will and I direct that all the jxiwers and au- 
thority herein given and confided to my executors may 
be executed by such one or more of them as shall <luly 



undertake the execution of this will and the major 
part of them and the survivors and last survivor of 

I appoint my daughter Anna Maria Pierrepont 
guardian of her sisters during their respective minor- 
ities, and my son John guardian of his brother dur-;- 
ing the minority of the latter. 

I appoint my sons Jolin Clarkson Jay and Peter 
Augustus Jay, and my sons-in-law Frederick Prime, 
William Dawson, Henry A. Du Bois and Henry E. 
Pierrepont, executors of this will. 

I hereby revoke all former wills and testaments by 
me made, and declare this to be my Last Will and 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand 
and seal (the word "neither" over the eighteenth line 
in the first page being interlined, and word " children " 
in the seventh line of the third page being obUterated) 
on the thirteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord 
one thousand eight hundred and forty-two. 

Peter Augustus Jay. (L.S.) 

Subscribed, sealed, published and declared, by 
the said Peter Augustus Jay as his Last Will 
and Testament in presence of us, who, in his 
presence and at his request and in presence of 
each other, have subscribed our names as wit- 
nesses hereto. (Signed) 

Frederick de Peyster, 

residing at 88 University Place; 

John Hone, 

residing at 56 Bleecker Street. 



Page i. 

William I-ivinpston, (iovcrnor of N'cw Jersey, was 
the son of riiilip and grandson of Rolx-rt. the latter 
the earliest American ancestor of the Livingston fam- 
ily, and both known, respectively, as the first and 
second Lords of the Manor. Philip, the signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, was a brother of the 
Governor, and Robert R. (Judge), the father of Robert 
R. the Chancellor, and of Edward, author of "The 
Livingston Co<le," was the Governor's first cousin. 
Henry Hrockholst Livingston, son of the Governor, 
was a Judge of the .Supreme Court of the I'nitecl 

Pack 7. 

Ju«lilh (Jay) \'an Home's son, Augustus \"an 
Home, married her sister I*' ranees (Jay) Van Cort- 
landt's daughter, Anna Maria V'an Cortlandt, and they 
were the parents of Mrs. Thomas Streatfeild Clarks«ni 
and Mrs. I^vinus Clark.son. 

Mary (Jay) Valletc had children, but no grand- 


Page io. 

The church referred to, — Trinity Church, — which 
had been erected after the Revolution and occupied 
the site of an earlier church, was pulled down in 1839. 
The present building stands where the former building 

Page 51. 

The character sketch of his grandmother, Mrs. John 
Jay, by the late Mr. John Jay, was a contribution to 
Mrs. Ellet's " Queens of American Society." 

Page 57. 

Dr. Valentine Seaman, Mr. Jay's companion in 
travel, was a surgeon of the New York Hospital. He 
served the institution twenty-one years, and died in 
office in 1817. 

Page 82. 

Mr. Peter A. Jay's maternal grandmother, Mrs. 
William Livingston, and Mrs. Jay's paternal grand- 
mother, Mrs. David Clarkson, were daughters of Philip 

Page 82. 

Mrs. Peter A. Jay (Mary Rutherfurd Clarkson) 
was the only child by the earlier marriage of her 
father. General Matthew Clarkson. 

By his later marriage with Miss Sally Cornell (Feb- 


niary i.|, 1792). a dauf^liti-r «»f llie late Samuel Cor- 
lull. I",s(i. (one of his Majesty's Council for the Prov- 
ince of North Carolina). Mr. Clarkson had seven 
children: Klizabeth, died luunarried ; Catherine Ruth- 
erfurd, married Jonathan (i<x>dhue and had issue; 
David. marrie<l his first cousin. IClizalK'th Streatfeild 
Clarkson, ami had issue; Matthew, married his second 
cousin, Catherine l".li/alKtli Clarkson. and had issue; 
William Hayard. married Adelai<le Livini^ston and had 
issue; Susan Maria, married James herj^uson tie I'ey- 
ster and had issue; and Sarah Cornell, married Rev. 
William Richmond, no issue. 

Page 99. 

Sec "Cases of Contested Elections in Confess" : 
Case XXW'I, Blydenberc: and Jay xs. Sage and Lcf- 
ferts of \. \. 

P.u-.i-: 100. 

The elder Banyer wrote his name Goldsbrow Ban- 
var ; his son, havinp; tin- sami- name, changed the sj)ell- 
ing to Goldsborough Banyer. 

Page iii. 

Mary Duyckinck. the wife of Peter Jay (blind), 
was a daughter of ICvert Duyckinck and Elsie Harden- 
broeck. Margaretta Hardenbroeck (probably a rela- 
tive of Elsie) was the first wife of Frederick Philipse; 
he subsequently married Catharine \'an Cortlandt. 
and his daughter ,,r irl..|)tcd daughter, Eva. was the 



grandmother of Peter Jay (blind). This is suggestive, 
perhaps, of the way Mr. Peter Jay made the acquain- 
tance of the lady he afterwards married. 

Elsie Duyckinck was a sister of Mrs. Peter Jay. 
Elsie had married John Dunscomb, and their daughter, 
Euphemia Dunscomb, was the second wife of Freder- 
ick Jay, a brother of the above Peter Jay. 

A grandnephew of Mrs. Peter Jay, Richard B. 
Duyckinck, married Eliza H. Cornell ; and her brother, 
Isaac R. Cornell, married Elizabeth M. Duyckinck, a 
sister of the above Richard B. Duyckinck. A brother 
and sister married a brother and sister. 

To a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard B. Duyc- 
kinck has descended a silver tea-service (P. and M. J.), 
described as very handsome, which belonged to Peter 
and Mary Jay ; and the Rev. John Cornell of the Epis- 
copal Church, a son of the above Mr. and Mrs. Isaac 
R. Cornell, is the inheritor of a portrait of Mrs. Peter 


Page 146. 

The members of one of the orders of the Tammany 
Society in New York wore the tails of deer in their 
hats on certain occasions. They were called "Buck- 
tails " by friends of Governor Clinton, which term was 
later applied to all Anti-Clintonians in the State. 

Page 154. 

Mrs. Henry White (Eva Van Cortlandt) was born 
May 22, 1736, and died August 19, 1836, at the great 



ape of imc Inuulri'il years, two months and twcnty- 
cij^'lu (lays. On May 13. 1761, she was married to 
Mr. Henry White, one of the most prominent mer- 
chants of New York, and at one time President of its 
Chamber of Commerce. In 1769 he was ap|X)inted one 
of His Majesty's Council for the I'rovince of New 
Yt)rk. He returned to ICnpland in 1783, before the 
Evacuation; died in London. December 23. 1786; and 
was buried in the churchyard at St. James's. W'estmin- 
ster. Piccadilly. His widow subsequently took up her 
residence ag^in in New York. 

They had four sons and three daughters: Henry; 
Sir John Chambers White, an Admiral in the British 
Navy; Frederick Cortlandt White, a General in the 
British Army ; William White ; Ann. married Sir John 
MacNamara Hayes. Bart. ; Marparet. married I*eter 
Jay Muiiro; and i'rances. married Archibald Bruce, 

The eldest son, Henry White, married his cousin 
Amie Van Cortlandt. and their sons. Augustus and 
Henry, assumed the name oi Van Cortlandt and suc- 
cessively inherited the Yonkers I'lstate. The other 
children of Mr. and Mrs. Henry White were: Helen, 
married .\braham Schermcrhf»rn : Catherine, married 
Richard Bayley ; Francina. married Dr. droshonjj ; 
Harriet, unmarried ; and Augusta, married Dr. E. N. 
Bibby : and to the eldest son of these latter. .Xupustus 
Bibby, who assumed the \'an C\^rtlandt name, the Yon- 
kers Estate descended uiwn the decease of the above 
Henry (White) \'an Cortlandt. 


Page 241. 

The sons of Mr. Peter Jay Munro were Peter Jay, 
died young; Peter Jay, died unmarried; Henry, mar- 
ried Ann Margaret Bayley and had issue ; John White, 
married Frances Augusta, daughter of Dr. E. N. Bibby 
and widow of Thomas James de Lancey, had no issue.