Jay's Treaty

Jay's Treaty, signed 19 November 1794 in London by the US and Britain and named for John Jay, US chief justice and a signatory. This primarily commercial agreement was intended to settle disputes which threatened war, such as British retention of frontier posts in American territory after the Treaty of PARIS (1783), American-Indian disputes over the Ohio Valley, and American anger over British seizure of shipping.

The treaty stipulated that Britain would evacuate western posts by 1 June 1796, and that merchants of both countries would have free access to lands on either side of the border; that the Mississippi River would be open to both countries; that a commission to settle debts to Britain since the start of the American Revolution would be established; and that American shipping would not be hindered in trade with British possessions. The treaty marks the revival of arbitration in international relations, since commissioners were appointed to settle outstanding boundary problems caused by the peace of 1783.