Tag Archives: Jay Treaty

Photos from the house of Rufus King

My grandparents have lived in Queens for about 60 years. I have been coming to visit them for over thirty years now. Little did I know that just 3.6 miles away (according to Google Maps) is the house of Rufus King–delegate to the Constitutional Convention, first senator from New York, Minister to Britain, co-author of the Camillus essays (with Alexander Hamilton) supporting the Jay Treaty, and Federalist nominee for Vice President in 1804 and 1808 and for President in 1816. And his house is just a few minutes away from my grandparents! I had to go.

The tour was more about the house than it was about the man, which disappointed someone like me. But what the tour lacked, the beautiful home more than made up for.

The dining rooms was obviously set up to host large parties and meetings:

Rufus King reading in his study:

A few blocks away is a church and graveyard where many of the King family are buried. Here is the tombstone of Rufus King’s son John Alsop, who served as the twentieth governor of New York:

Photos from the house of John Jay

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…