In Service to the New Nation: The Life and Legacy of John Jay

As part of Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s celebration of the completion of the seven volume Selected Papers of John Jay publication project, the physical exhibition “In Service to the New Nation: The Life & Legacy of John Jay” sheds light on the different aspects of John Jay’s personal and public life. Drawing on the correspondence, public papers, printed items, portraits, and drawings located in RBML, the show also includes selected items on loan from some of Columbia’s other distinctive collections.

In Service to the New Nation exhibitposterThe exhibition is curated by Robb K. Haberman, associate editor, The Selected Papers of John Jay, with contributions by associate editor, Brant M. Vogel.

Items on display include the Matriculation Book of King’s College with Jay’s name entered in 1760, the Laws of King’s College copied out by Jay as an incoming student, a letter book kept by his wife, Sarah Livingston Jay, his Congressional Commission for Negotiating a Treaty of Peace with Britain issued in 1781, Jay’s manuscript draft of The Federalist 5, his Oath of Office as the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and period sheet music of Governor Jay’s March, from his two terms as governor of New York State. Selections from the RBML Kempner Gallery exhibition are online in the accompanying web presentation.

Funding for the exhibitions and related programming was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Columbia University Libraries, and the Office of the Provost.

The exhibition “In Service to the New Nation: The Life & Legacy of John Jay” will be on display in the Kempner Gallery, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Butler Library 6th Floor East, October, 2021 through February 2022.

Please note that due to COVID restrictions, at this time the exhibition galleries are only open to Columbia students, faculty, and staff.