[FEDERALIST PAPERS]. [HAMILTON, ALEXANDER, 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. New York: John and Andrew M'Lean. 1788.
2 volumes bound in 1, 4/so, 159 x 101mm. (6¼ x 4 in.). (Corner loss to *3 in vol.2 affecting a catchword and a chapter number, M6 with clean tear to lower margin, Q5 and U5 with clean tears into text, Aa5 with small tear to fore-margin, scattered spotting, especially at front and back.) Contemporary American mottled sheep, flat spine divided into compartments by simple single fillets, red morocco spine label gilt-lettered "FEDERALIST," and 4th compartment gilt-lettered "I & 2." (Leather darkened, corners and spine extremities a bit rubbed, neatly rehinged.) Cloth folding case.
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION of the 85 influential essays published anonymously in various New York newpapers and adding the full "Articles of the New Constitution" and the resolutions of the Constitutional Convention (signed in type by Washington) on pp.368-384 of vol.2). Church 1230; Evans 21127; Grolier/American 19. Printing and the Mind of Man 234; Sabin 23979; Streeter Sale 1049.
"Justly recognized as a classic exposition of the principles of republican government" (R.B. Bernstein, Are We to be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution, 1987, p. 242). The Federalist essays grew out of the heated pamphlet wars engendered by the question of the ratification of the Constitution. Hamilton enlisted his friend John Jay and fellow Federalist James Madison (a Virginia delegate) to write a series of anonymously published essays supporting the new plan of government. (Due to Jay's illness and Madison's return to Virginia, most of the 85 essays were written by Hamilton.) "Despite the hurried pace at which they worked--they ground out four articles nearly every week--what began as a propaganda tract, aimed only at winning the election for delegates to New York ratifying convention, evolved into the classic commentary upon the American Federal system" (F. McDonald, Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, p.107). The first 36 essays were collected as vol. 1 and issued in March 1788; the final 49 were published as vol.2 in May.
Provenance: Benjamin Perkins, Esq., ink inscription on first titlepage; de Jumelle, St. Domingue, nineteenth-century armorial bookplate; "Brought from South Carolina April 1898," ink inscription on front flyleaf -- Purchased from Charles Sessler, Philadelphia by an ancestor of the present owner.