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Book Review.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The life of John Jay was perhaps entitled to be written because he was a prominent New York gentleman, and a leader among those patriots who combined to throw off the English yoke. It could not have been omitted from a collection which included the lives of the presidents of the Continental Congress. It would of necessity have been included in a series which sought to lay before the people of New York a complete history of the governors of that state. The future Campbell of this country will be compelled to include it in the lives of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court. Jay's services as representative of the Confederacy at Madrid would entitle him to a place in a history of the diplomats of the country. The life of a man whose claims to posthumous fame are based upon so many conspicuous public services must contain much of interest to American readers. Yet it is evident that the author of "John Jay," in the American Statesmen series, does not rest his real claim for the fame of Jay upon his services as a political leader, governor of New York, or Chief Justice. It is in the character of the negotiator of the Peace of Paris that Mr. Pellew presents Jay in the best light. It is while he was associated with Franklin and Adams that he did his best work; and it is precisely because he was associated with these men of wider fame that justice was done his memory. On another point Mr. Pellew does not make so strong a case. His attempt to show that the first declaration by the Supreme Court of the unconstitutionality of an act of Congress came in Jay's justiceship is weak; for the court's protest in 1790 was a radically different matter from a constitutional decision. On the whole, however, the author has clearly vindicated his claim that Jay is entitled to the grateful memory of his countrymen.

[JOHN JAY. By George Pellow, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1890. 16 mo. pp. 374.]

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