John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95).
Jay served as the President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779. During and after the American Revolution, Jay was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion United States foreign policy, and to secure favorable peace terms from Great Britain (with Jay's Treaty of 1794) and the First French Republic. Jay also co-wrote the Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
As a leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was the Governor of New York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to pass laws for the emancipation of all slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799. The new law that he signed into existence brought about the emancipation of all slaves there before his death in 1829.