First Edition of Second Volume of "The Federalist Papers"Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787. In Two Volumes. Vol. II. New-York: Printed and Sold by J. and A. M'Lean, 1788.
First edition of "the most famous and influential American political work" (Howes). Volume II only. Twelvemo (6.3125 x 3.5625 inches; 160 x 91 mm.). [2, blank], vi, 384 pages.
Contemporary sheep. Smooth spine divided into six compartments by seven decorative gilt rules with a burgundy leather label decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in one compartment and the gilt volume number ("2") in another. Binding somewhat rubbed and stained, corners rubbed (exposing boards), head of spine chipped away, portion of foot of spine chipped away, front joint split but holding strong (repaired?), rear joint starting. Small portion of sheep rubbed away on rear cover. Endpapers and title-page lightly browned at the edges from turn-in glue. Front pastedown abraded where an oval bookplate was removed. Rear free endpaper torn away. Short tear and crease to upper edge of rear flyleaf. Some foxing and browning, as usual. A few small brown stains. Early ink signature of Hough [?] appears twice on the rear cover. Front free endpaper with early ink initial H [?], and date "1796". Previous owner's ink signature, dated 1957, on front free endpaper. Pencil signature of R. Reynolds, dated 1873, on front flyleaf, and additional pencil signature of R. Reynolds on recto of preliminary blank leaf. A very good copy, internally very clean.
Volume II contains essays Number 37-85, as well as the complete text of the Constitution, headed "Articles of the New Constitution; as agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787," and the resolutions of the Constitutional Convention (pages 368-384).
Church 1230. Evans 21127. Ford 33. Grolier, 100 American, 19. Grolier, 100 English, 55. Howes H114. Printing and the Mind of Man 234. Sabin 23979. Streeter 1049.
"These eighty-five essays on the Constitution, almost entirely written by Hamilton and Madison (probably only five were by Jay) and published in the New York newspapers under the name of 'Publius,' were a step in Hamilton's campaign to win over a hostile majority in New York for a ratification of the Constitution. To the people of the time the collected essays were little more than a huge Federalist pamphlet. A generation passed before it was recognized that these essays by the principal author of the Constitution and its brilliant advocate were the most authoritative interpretation of the Constitution as drafted by the Convention of 1787. As a commentary and exposition on the Constitution the influence of the Federalist has been profound" (Grolier, 100 American).
"When Alexander Hamilton invited his fellow New Yorker John Jay and James Madison, a Virginian, to join him in writing the series of essays published as The Federalist, it was to meet the immediate need of convincing the reluctant New York State electorate of the necessity of ratifying the newly proposed Constitution of the United States. The eighty-five essays, under the pseudonym 'Publius', were designed as political propaganda, not as a treatise of political philosophy. In spite of this The Federalist survives as one of the new nation's most important contributions to the theory of government...The first number of The Federalist appeared on 27 October 1787 in The Independent Journal, or The General Advertiser and newspaper publication continued in this and three other papers, The New York Packet, The Daily Advertiser, and The New York Journal and Daily Patriotic Register, through number 77, 2 April 1788. The first thirty-six essays were published in book form on 22 March 1788 by J. and A. McLean of New York and a second volume containing essays 37-85 followed on 28 May. Thus numbers 78-85 were published in book form before they appeared in the popular press" (Printing and the Mind of Man).
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