Feb 04, 2016 - Sale 2404

Sale 2404 - Lot 126

Price Realized: $ 87,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 90,000 - $ 120,000
FIRST EDITION OF THE FEDERALIST PAPERS (CONSTITUTION.) The Federalist: A Collection of Essays Written in Favour of the New Constitution. 2 volumes. vi, 227; vi, 384 pages. 12mo, later full calf, minimal wear; inked inscription erased from title page: "By Col. Alexr Hamilton late Aide de Camp to Genl Washington"; inked date and number stamps on verso of title pages, very faint erased Newberry Library stamp on first title page. New York: J. & A. McLean, 1788

Additional Details

first edition of the most important commentary on the constitution and arguably the most significant american contribution to political theory. These 85 essays were written under the pseudonym Publius for New York newspapers to garner support for the ratification of the Constitution. Most were written by either Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, with five of them contributed by John Jay. The first one appeared in October 1787. This first collected edition was published in 1788: the first 36 essays in March and the remaining essays (together with the text of the Constitution) in May. The final eight numbers actually appeared here in book form before their first newspaper appearance.
Most New York delegates were initially opposed to the Constitution, but the Federalist Papers (and Hamilton's own personal influence) played a role in the state's ratification on 26 July 1788 by a three-vote margin. While the Federalist Papers were produced to help secure passage of the Constitution, they soon became a seminal source for interpreting the Constitution and understanding the intentions of its framers. The Supreme Court has referenced the Federalist Papers in hundreds of its decisions. Madison told Thomas Jefferson in 1825 that "the Federalist may fairly enough be regarded as the most authentic exposition of the text of the federal Constitution, as understood by the Body which prepared & the Authority which accepted it."
"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. Evans 21127; Ford, Hamiltoniana 17, Grolier, American Hundred 19; Howes H114 ("c"); Printing and the Mind of Man 234; Sabin 23979; Streeter sale II:1049.