The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, Agreed Upon By the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787.

"THE MOST FAMOUS AND INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN POLITICAL WORK,” VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION OF THE FEDERALIST

The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, Agreed Upon By the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787.

HAMILTON, Alexander; MADISON.

$250,000.00

Item Number: 108950

New York: Printed and Sold by J. and A. McLean, 1788.

First edition of The Federalist, one of the rarest and most significant books in American political history, which “exerted a powerful influence in procuring the adoption of the Federal Constitution.” 12 mo, bound in full contemporary calf. In very good condition with volume one with an old inscription and repaired, scattered spotting. A very nice example of this landmark book.

“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 85 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” (PMM, 234). The Federalist “exerted a powerful influence in procuring the adoption of the Federal Constitution, not only in New York but in the other states. There is probably no work in so small a compass that contains so much valuable political information. The true principles of a republican form of government are here unfolded with great clearness and simplicity” (Church 1230). “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 of the Constitution, the influence of the Federalist has been profound” (Grolier American 100, 56). Of the only 500 copies published, Hamilton is said to have sent nearly 50 copies to Virginia for the ratifying convention. The remaining 450 copies sold poorly, and “the publishers complained in October 1788, long after New York had ratified the Constitution, that they still had several hundred unsold copies” (Maggs, 815).

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If you are interested in an item from one of our catalogues or our website and would like more information before ordering it, please give us a call; one of our salespeople will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you might have. For some items, we can also email digital photographs.

All of our items are guaranteed as described and are shipped on approval. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, checks and wire transfer. For first-time buyers, we prefer a credit card and we will only ship to the billing address on the card. We do ask that if you are not satisfied with the item, you contact us by phone as quickly as possible and return the item within ten days.

We ship worldwide and all packages will be sent via UPS or Federal Express unless another carrier is requested. Next-day or second-day air service is available upon request. Shipping and insurance charges are additional.