December 21, 1784 — John Jay became the first US Secretary of State today. The American statesman and diplomat was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a signer of the Treaty of Paris and the second Secretary of Foreign Affairs — until the office was changed to “Secretary of State.”
During this time in office, Jay, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, began working on a series of periodicals which would eventually be known as The Federalist Papers. Jay wrote the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and sixty-fourth articles.
Born into a wealthy family of merchants and government officials in New York City, Jay was later the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95), and the Governor of the State of New York (1795–1801), where he became the state’s leading opponent of slavery.
Words of Wisdom
This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a ban of brethren, united to each other by the strongest of ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.