Thursday, May 30, 2019

1782 John Jay's wife on Gardens in France

Robert Edge Pine's (English-born American artist, 1730-1788) drawing of Sarah Van Burgh Livingston Jay daughter of the Governor of New Jersey William Livingston and wife of John Jay

In 1774, John Jay (1745-1829) married New Jersey Governor William Livingston's 17 year-old daughter Sarah (1756-1802).  Five years later, with the American Revolution in full fury, John Jay, president of Congress, was sent to Spain in an unsuccessful search of support for the democratic effort.  In 1782, he traveled to France to join Benjamin Franklin.  His young wife accompanied him on this trip.  She later wrote of France, "I could not but remark their natural inclination for chearful objects displayed in their little flower gardens, for there is scarce a peasant’s cottage without the appurtenance of a garden & many of them have little bowers that discovers a very pretty taste..."