Jay, William,1789–1858, American jurist and reformer, b. New York City; son of John Jay (1745–1829). For most of the period from 1818 to 1843 he served as judge of the county court of Westchester co., N.Y. An active abolitionist, Jay helped establish (1833) the New York City Anti-Slavery Society, was a strong opponent of the African colonization plan as a solution to slavery, and wrote vigorous pamphlets and articles, which were collected in his Miscellaneous Writings on Slavery (1853). He was a founder (1816) of the American Bible Society and president (1848–58) of the American Peace Society. His writings include a two-volume life of his father (1833).
See study by B. Tuckerman (1893, repr. 1969).