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John Jay: The Education of an Enlightened Constitutional Thinker

June 19, 2016 @ 3:00 pm

Pathway through historyWho was the author of New York State’s historic Constitution, signed in Kingston? And why should we know more about him?

The enlightening answers will be found in this lecture to be delivered by Dr. Ray Raymond. In this lecture, Dr. Raymond will examine how the brilliant John Jay was initially home-schooled before enrolling at King’s College (now Columbia University). This combination of private and college tutoring enabled him to master the key concepts of Enlightenment constitutional thinking. This intellectual command equipped him for the daunting task of writing New York State’s first constitution in Kingston, New York, the original state capitol, thereby allowing John Jay to emerge as an important constitutional thinker.

Jay made an immense impact on the formation of our government and the US Constitution through his major contributions to the Federalist Papers. He was president of the wartime Continental Congress, then served as secretary of foreign affairs, precursor to secretary of state, after the Revolutionary War ended. He was an essential diplomat whose peace negotiations with England, leading to the Treaty of Paris, vastly expanded U.S. territory.

Dr. Ray Raymond is a former British diplomat who held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Yale University in American History. He is Associate Professor of Government and History at SUNY Ulster and also teaches government and politics at the United States Military Academy, West Point. In addition, Dr. Raymond is a regular visiting lecturer at the US Air Force Academy. He is currently working on a new biography of John Jay as well as a collective biography of five recipients of West Point’s Ninninger Medal, the Academy’s equivalent of the Medal of Honor. Dr. Raymond has been honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and by the Chief of Staff of the United States Army for his contribution to the development of the academic program at West Point.

Free admission to the lecture for UCHS members, $7.00 for non-members, $5.00 for students, seniors and military. 



June 19, 2016
3:00 pm


Bevier House Museum
2682 Route 209
Kingston, NY 12401 United States
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845 338-5614