This has definitely been a “John Jay in Public” week for me.
On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of talking about John Jay’s life, his view of religion in public life, and how that fit into a Federalist mind-set. The lecture took place at Cairn University, in Bucks County, suburban Philadelphia. Their president, Todd Williams, was a great host.
It was also a real thrill to talk about John Jay at an event co-sponsored by the John Jay Institute. I think the Institute is doing great work. They have even named me an affiliated scholar.
Then, on Wednesday, I presented a Work-In-Progress Seminar at Princeton. The event was held at Prospect House, the former residence of Princeton Presidents. The event took place in the library, so I was presenting where Woodrow Wilson may once have gone to read.
I presented a chapter on John Jay’s Constitutionalism, which examined Jay’s thought and action during the critical years of the 1780s. I would suggest both Jay’s thought and his actions mattered in helping to place the USA on its constitutional path.
The session went well, and my colleagues offered great input from a range of disciplinary perspectives.
The best comment, though, came from my colleague Adam Macleod, who concluded that I should make up wristbands that said “WWJJD?” for “What Would John Jay Do?” I can already see the marketing tie-ins!
I should also take the opportunity to mention I’m happy to talk about John Jay in public settings for just about anybody who will have me.