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Gilbert Stuart portrait of John Jay, 1794
John Jay, in a Gilbert Stuart portrait, 1794. Courtesy John Jay Homestead State Historic Site

The Jay Heritage Center

John Jay, the only great Founding Father native to New York State, grew up on a farm in Rye, New York. From that place of beautiful open space, trees, ponds, fields, and Long Island Sound shore, Jay went on to his extraordinary career of public service. He was the only Founding Father to serve his country in every branch of government. His efforts led to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and to the writing of the Bill of Rights. He served as our first Chief Justice; he was President of the Continental Congress, and he negotiated the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. John Jay's life was moved entirely by patriotic motives.

The farm where John Jay spent his formative years is now the home of the Jay Heritage Center, a not-for-profit education corporation. The property's natural area on Long Island Sound and its more formal upland estate are Westchester County parkland. The elegant Peter Augustus Jay house, a Greek Revival house built in 1838 by John Jay's son, and the Carriage House on the property are owned by the Jay Heritage Center. The Center is now rehabilitating these two historic buildings.

The site is also home to the Marshlands Conservancy, a 157-acres nature sanctuary in Westchester County, which encompasses woods, pond, field, shore, and an extensive saltmarsh on Long Island Sound. Within the woods of Marshlands Conservancy is the cemetery where John Jay and Peter Jay and their descendants are buried.

The project comprises photographs of the Jay Heritage Center buildings and grounds, several brochures about John Jay, the Jay Heritage Center, the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, a paper on the Jay Treaty, a newsletter, newspaper clippings, and several portraits of John Jay.

Originally submitted by: Nita M. Lowey,Representative (18th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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