Jay, William

Jay, William,

1789–1858, American jurist and reformer, b. New York City; son of John JayJay, John,
1745–1829, American statesman, 1st chief justice of the United States, b. New York City, grad. King's College (now Columbia Univ.), 1764. He was admitted (1768) to the bar and for a time was a partner of Robert R. Livingston.
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. 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).

Bibliography

See study by B. Tuckerman (1893, repr. 1969).

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The Founders at Home tells the story of the American Revolution and the early years of the Republic by way of biographical chapters on several well known 'Founding Fathers'--George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison--as well as a few lesser-known names (John Jay, William Livingston, the Lees of Virginia), arranged roughly chronologically according to presidential succession and contemporary events.