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mentions that when President Washington visited the Eastern states, in 1789, HANCOCK took the ground, that as the representative of state sovereignty in his own dominion, he was to be visited first, even by the chief magistrate of the Union. This the president was given to understand, but he did not deem it proper. Written communications ensued. Washington finally refused to see Hancock except at the residence of the former, (corner of Court and Tremont streets.) The Governor at length yielded, and on the third or fourth day, went in his coach, enveloped in red baize, to the president's lodgings, where he was borne in the arms of servants into the house. The delay was by the public imputed to his debility.
Entered according w the act of Congress in the year 1834 by James Herring in the clerka office of the
District Count of the Southern Distret of N York.
The revocation of the edict of Nantes compelled a large number of the best citizens of France to abandon their country, or apostatize from their religion. Among those huguenots who sought a home upon a foreign shore was Pierre Jay, the great-grandfather of the subject of this memoir, who emigrated to England in 1685, with a sufficient property to place him above dependence.
His son, Augustus, was abroad when his family left France, and shortly afterwards returned without being aware of the troubles and flight of his friends. He soon found means to escape from the risk and danger to which he was exposed in his native land, and embarked for America.
He landed at Charleston, S. C., but finding the climate unfavorable to his health, he proceeded to the north, and finally settled in New York, where he married the daughter of Mr. Balthazar Bayard, who was also a descendant of a protestant French family. Surrounded by friends who were able and willing to promote his interests, he successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits, and lived in the enjoyment of the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens until 1751, when he died at the age of eighty-six.
He left three daughters, and one son, named Peter, who was married to Mary, the daughter of Jacobus Van Cortlandt, by whom he had ten children. Peter Jay was a merchant, diligent in business, persevering and prudent; so that by the time he had arrived at the meridian of life, he had acquired a sufficient fortune, and retired to an estate he had purchased at Rye, on Long Island Sound.
His wife was a lady of mild temper and gentle manners, and of a cultivated mind. Both were pious. The subject of this sketch was their eighth child, of whom it will now be our business to speak more particularly.
John Jay was born in the city of New York, on the 12th of December, 1745. From childhood he manifested a grave and studious disposition. He acquired the rudiments of English and Latin grammar under the instruction of his mother; and at eight years of age, was placed at the boarding school of the Rev. Mr. Stoope, at New Rochelle, where he remained two years; after which he had the advantage of a private tutor until he was fourteen. In 1760, he entered King's, now Columbia college, where he pursued his studies with a devoted application and perseverance, and conducted himself with exemplary propriety. Some defects, which had probably passed unnoticed in the circle of his own family, gave him no little trouble when he came to mingle with strangers. His articulation was indistinct; his pronunciation of the letter L, exposed him to ridicule; and he had acquired such a habit of rapid reading, that he could with great difficulty be understood. These imperfections by a determined effort he corrected. Before he had completed his collegiate course, he had decided to study law, and therefore, paid particular attention to those branches which he considered most useful in his future profession.
He graduated on the 15th of May, 1764, with the highest collegiate honors, and soon after became a student in the office of Benjamin Kissam, Esq., a lawyer of eminence. The late Lindley Murray, who was his fellow student for about two years, thus speaks of him. “ His talents and virtues gave at that period pleasing indications of future eminence; he was remarkable for strong reasoning powers, comprehensive views, indefatigable application, and uncommon firmness of mind. With these qualifications, added to a just taste in literature and ample stores of learning and knowledge, he was happily prepared to enter on that career of public virtue by which he was afterward honorably distinguished and made instrumental in promoting the good of his country.
In 1768, Mr. Jay was admitted to the bar, and immediately entered on an extensive and profitable practice. He married in 1774, Sarah, the daughter of William Livingston, Esq., afterwards governor of New Jersey. At this time his professional reputation was high, and his prospects bright, but the political horizon was darkened by the approaching storm. He espoused the cause of his country with all the ardor of youth, while the dignity and gravity of his deportment gave him the influence of riper years. Where he was known he was confided in, and the reputation of his talents and sterling qualities went before him. Thus he entered the broad field of politics, not to work his way to eminence by slow and toilsome steps, but to take his stand at once among the sages and chosen fathers of the people.
The first news of the Boston Port Bill roused the patriots of New