Episode 055: Robb Haberman, John Jay: Forgotten Founder

John Jay
John Jay by Gilbert Stuart, 1793, United States National Gallery of Art

Who was John Jay?

Jay played important and prominent roles during the founding of the United States and yet, his name isn’t one that many would list if asked to name founding fathers.

Today, we explore John Jay and his contributions to the founding of the United States with Robb Haberman, associate editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay documentary editing project.

About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

Robb HabermanIn this episode, we explore the life and legacy of John Jay with Robb Haberman, an associate editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay documentary editing project at Columbia University.

During our exploration, Robb reveals who John Jay was and where his family came from; Details about how Jay became involved with the American Revolution and why he supported the Patriot cause; And, John Jay’s role in the ratification debate over the United States Constitution of 1787.

What You’ll Discover

  • John Jay and his accomplishments
  • Jay’s anti-slavery work
  • How and why Jay’s family migrated from France to New York
  • French Huguenots
  • Dutch familial connections
  • How John Jay became involved in the American Revolution
  • Why Jay became a Patriot
  • Why the Continental Congress sent John Jay to serve as the United States' minister to Spain
  • Jay’s experiences in Spain
  • The Federalist Papers and Jay’s involvement with them
  • Jay’s participation in the New York City Doctors’ Riot of 1788
  • Jay’s anonymous pamphlet arguing in favor of the Constitution
  • The Jay Treaty of 1795 and its reception in the United States
  • Why so few Americans remember John Jay
  • The Selected Papers of John Jay Documentary Editing Project


Links to People, Places, and Publications


Books and Related Episodes


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

In your opinion what might have happened if John Jay hadn’t negotiated the Jay Treaty? How might the history of the United States and Jay’s legacy be different today?

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion?

Get in Touch! Send me an e-mail, tweet, or leave a comment.



Enjoy the Podcast?

Why Not Subscribe?

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Podcasts | Listen to Stitcher


Ratings & Reviews

If you enjoy this podcast, please give it a rating and review.

Positive ratings and reviews help bring Ben Franklin's World to the attention of other history lovers who may not be aware of our show

Click here to rate & review on iTunes | Click here to rate & review on Stitcher

More from this show