While in New York this summer, I am trying to visit some of the sites of historical significance. Two recent trips took me to the houses of two leading Founding Fathers. These houses, much like these two Founders, are not as well known as some of the bigger names and not too frequently visited, as a result.
John Jay, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers and negotiator of the controversial Jay Treaty, lived up in Westchester after his retirement from politics. My friend and I were the only visitors there. We were told by the tour guide and curator (two different people working there) that they only have a few visitors each day.
Like so many other retired politicians, John Jay became a “gentlemen farmer” upon retirement from politics. I could not imagine a more beautiful place to grow crops:
Upon entering the house, to the right is the dining room:
To the left of the entrance way was a parlor for entertaining the family and guests:
The bedrooms are upstairs:
Returning downstairs, John Jay certainly spent a lot of time in his study:
The chairs seen in the above photo and below are not just any ordinary old chairs. These are three of the original twenty-six chairs from the original Senate chamber when the capital was in New York City. When the chairs were shipped to Washington, D.C., three of them were “accidentally” sent to John Jay. I could not figure out how these chairs were sent to the wrong place or why Jay kept them, but these are certainly pieces of history.
But to the Jay grandchildren, these were not important pieces of history. It’s hard to see in the picture, but these chairs have wheels and made perfect engines for racing down the hallway. It is amazing that the chairs are still in such great condition.
My visit to another home of a Founding Father will have to wait for another day…