John Jay was born in New York City in 1745. He graduated from King’s College in 1764. He studied law, and in 1768, he passed the final exam and became a certified lawyer. He was appointed president of the Continental Congress from December 1778 to September 1779. Afterwards he became minister to Spain. In 1783, he helped frame the Treaty of Paris. Then he held the position of secretary of foreign affairs from 1784 until the government was reorganized under the Constitution. George Washington appointed him Chief Justice in 1790, and in 1795, Jay resigned to become governor of New York. He died in 1829. 

While John Jay was Chief Justice, he negotiated the Jay Treaty in England in 1794. The Americans wanted a treaty because the British would stop and search all American vessels for deserters. Later on, Great Britain claimed the right to capture American merchant vessels carrying provisions from the United States to France. The British had also agreed in the Treaty of Paris that they would give up their garrisons in various forts across the northwestern frontier, but they had not done so. On the other hand, the British subjects were not allowed to collect debts owed to them before the war. The Treaty of Paris had promised them that they could. The Tories (British sympathizers) who had remained in America after the war were not being treated well. Both countries had not kept their agreements made in the Treaty of Paris. 

John Jay was sent by Washington to England to draw up another treaty. This treaty was called the John Jay Treaty. In it, the British agreed to withdraw their garrisons and America promised not to discriminate against the Tories. The United States was granted the permission to trade with the East and West Indies. The two governments agreed on joint commissions to compensate the illegal capture of American ships and the payment of debts owed to the British.

But both countries were not satisfied. The British delayed in removing their garrisons. Americans complained that the restrictions of trade with the West Indies were too severe. Jay was accused of selling his country to England. But after the article about restrictions in trade with the West Indies was removed, the treaty was ratified in June 1795.

The John Jay Treaty was a significant agreement between Great Britain and America. It resolved many arguments between the two countries.