John Jay (1745-1829) was the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, and an American diplomat to Spain and Great Britain. Jay played a critical role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Paris, urging American diplomats to pursue talks with Britain independent of France. He is best known for the treaty he negotiated with Great Britain in 1794 and ratified in 1795.
Jay contributed five essays to The Federalist Papers (numbers 2-5 and 64), chiefly discussing foreign affairs. He had served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1784-89 and had executed minor treaties, but was frustrated with his powerlessness under the Articles of Confederation to settle major disputes with Great Britain and Spain.