Select Bibliography

Collections of Selected John Jay Correspondence

Jay, William. The Life of John Jay: with Selections from his Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1833.

Johnston, Henry P. Johnston, ed. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1763-1826. 4 vols. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1890-1893.

Morris, Richard B. John Jay: The Making of a Revolutionary, 1745-1780. New York: Harper & Row, 1975

——. John Jay: The Winning of the Peace, 1780-1784. New York: Harper & Row, 1980.


Johnson, Herbert A. John Jay, 1745-1829. Albany: N.Y. State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1970. A brief but useful overview of Jay’s life.

——. John Jay, Colonial Lawyer. New York: Garland, 1989. Jay’s pre-revolutionary career as a practicing attorney.

Frank Monaghan. John Jay: Defender of Liberty. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1935. The only full-scale modern biography of Jay that draws on Jay’s personal papers; after more than sixty years, however, badly outdated.

Morris, Richard B. Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny. New York: Harper & Row, 1973. Jay is one of the seven Founding Fathers examined in this book.

Pellew, George. John Jay. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1890. A worthy but badly outdated biography.

New York Politics in Jay’s Lifetime


Becker, Carl Becker. The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776. Madison, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1909.

Bonomi, Patricia U. A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. New York, 1971.

Countryman, Edward. A People In Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760-1790. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1981.

DePauw, Linda. The Eleventh Pillar: New York State and the Federal Constitution. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1966.

Fox, Dixon Ryan. The Decline of the Aristocracy in the Politics of New York. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1919.

Klein, Milton M. Klein, ed. The Empire State: A History of New York. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2001. A survey with useful chapters on the period of Jay’s active political life by Ronald Howard and Edward Countryman.

Spaulding, E. Wilder. New York in the Critical Period, 1781-1789. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1932.

Young, Alfred F. The Democratic Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763-1797. Chapel Hill: Univ. of N. C. Press, 1967.


Klein, Milton M. “John Jay and the Revolution.” New York History 81(2000).: 19-30.

Foreign Affairs During the Revolution and Confederation Period


Bemis, Samuel F. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. New York: Appleton-Century Company, 1935.

—— . The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy. Vol. I (Robert R. Livingston and John Jay). New York: Knopf, 1928.

Burns, Michael M. “John Jay as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 1784-1789.” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of N.C., 1974.

Gruver, Rebecca G. “The Diplomacy of John Jay.” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, 1966.

Kaplan, Lawrence S. Colonies into Nation: American Diplomacy, 1763-1801. New York: Macmillan, 1972.

Marks, Frederick W. Independence on Trial: Foreign Affairs and the Making of the Constitution. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1973.

Morris, Richard B. The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

Ritcheson, Charles R. Aftermath of Revolution: British Policy Toward the United States, 1783-1795. Dallas: Southern Methodist Univ. Press, 1969.


Bowman, Albert H. “Jefferson, Hamilton and American Foreign Policy.” Political Science Quarterly 71(1956): 18-41.

Boyd, Julian P. “Two Diplomats between Revolutions: John Jay and Thomas Jefferson.” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 66 (1960): 131-146.

Jay, the Constitution, and “The Federalist”


Morris, Richard B. Witnesses at the Creation: Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and the Constitution. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985.

Wills, Gary. Explaining America: The Federalist. Garden City: Doubleday, 1981.

Wood, Gordons. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787. Chapel Hill: Univ. of N.C. Press, 1969.


Blackmun, Harry A. “John Jay and the Federalist Papers.” Pace Law Review 8 (1988): 237-248.

Morris, Richard B. “John Jay and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution in New York: A New Reading of Persons and Events.” New York History 63 (1982): 133-164.

Ferguson, Robert A. “The Forgotten Publius: John Jay and the Aesthetics of Ratification.” Early American Literature 34 (1999) 223-240.

Furtwangler, Albert. “Strategies of Candor in the Federalist.” Early American Literature 14(1979): 91-109. Kaminski, John P. “Shall we have a King? John Jay and the Politics of Union.” New York History 81(20000): 31-581

National Politics in the Federalist Era

Elkins, Stanley, and Eric McKitrick. The Age of Federalism. New York: Oxford, 1993.

Sharp, James R. American politics in the early republic: The new nation in crisis. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

The Early Supreme Court


Goebel, Julius, Jr. Antecedents and Beginnings to 1801. Vol. 1 of History of the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1971.

Casto, William. The Supreme Court in the Early Republic: the Chief Justiceships of John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth. Columbia: Univ. of S.C. Press, 1995.

Marcus, Maeva , ed. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800. 7 vols. to date. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985-.

Richard B. Morris. John Jay, the Nation and the Court. Boston: Boston Univ. Press, 1967.


Durham, G. Homer. “John Jay and the Judicial Power.” Brigham Young University Studies 16(1976): 349-361.

Frankel, Robert P., Jr. “The Supreme Court and the Supreme Court and Impartial Justice: The View from the 1790s.” Journal of Supreme Court History 1(1994) 103-116.

Johnson, Herbert A. “John Jay and the Supreme Court.” New York History 81(2000): 59-90

Sirvet, Ene and R. B. Bernstein. “Documentary Editing and the Jay Court: Opening new Lines of Inquiry.” Journal of Supreme Court History 2(1996): 17-22.

——. “John Jay, Judicial Independence, and Advising Coordinate Branches.” Journal of Supreme Court History 2(1996): 23-29

VanBurkelo, Sandra Frances. "’Honour, Justice and Interest’: John Jay’s Republican Politics and Statesmanship of the Federal Bench.” Journal of the Early Republic 4(1984): 239-274

The Jay Treaty


Bemis, Samuel F. Jay's Treaty: A Study in Commerce and Diplomacy. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale, 1962.

Combs, Jerald A. The Jay Treaty: Political Battleground of the Founding Fathers. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1970.


Estes, Todd. “Shaping the Politics of Public Opinion: Federalists and the Jay Treaty Debate.” Journal of the Early Republic 20(2000): 393-422.

The Jay Family and Social Reform: Religion and Slavery


Budney, Stephen Paul. "William Jay and the Influence of Federalist Antislavery." Ph.D. Dissertation: Univ. of Mississippi, 2000.


Bonomi, Patricia U. “John Jay, Religion, and the State.” New York History 81(2000): 8-18.

Littlefield, Daniel C. "John Jay, the Revolutionary Generation, and Slavery." New York History 81(2000): 91-132.

Trendel, Robert. “John Jay II: Antislavery Conscience of the Episcopal Church.” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 45 (1976): 237-252.


Ide, John Jay. The Portraits of John Jay (1745-1829). New York: New-York Historical Society, 1938.

McLean, Jennifer P. The Jays of Bedford: The Story of Five Generations of the Jay Family who lived in the John Jay Homestead. Katonah, N.Y.: Friends of the Jay Homestead, 1984.

Mary-Jo Kline, American History Specialist

John Hay and Rockefeller Libraries, Brown University

December 2002