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Jay's Treaty

Negotiations

War threatened when the British admiralty ordered the seizure of American vessels trading with the French West Indies. To avert further difficulties, George Washington in Apr., 1794, named Chief Justice John Jay as envoy extraordinary for the negotiation of a treaty. The principal American objects were to secure surrender of the posts in the Old Northwest, to obtain compensation for losses and damages resulting from seizure of American vessels and provisions as contraband of war and for the impressment of American sailors, and to remove the restrictions on American commerce, especially on the British West Indies trade. Jay, arriving in England in June, was received favorably, and the treaty was signed on Nov. 19, 1794, by Jay and Lord Grenville.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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