America’s First Chief Justice


Portrait of John Jay by Gilbert Stuart, 1794

~ October 19th, 1789 ~
John Jay sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States

“The Americans are the first people whom heaven has favoured with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing forms of government under which they should live.”

“Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country. . . .By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated and be the better prepared to defend and assert them.”

– John Jay,
selections from his “Charge to the Grand Jury of Ulster County”, 1777


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