The Federalist Papers were written specifically to advance the cause for a U.S. Constitution in New York. Their publication in book form was, in part, an effort to provide other states with a playbook for ratification, but the book appeared late in the process. Although it was widely known that the eighty-five essays that made up The Federalist were the work of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the initial curious speculation about attribution of specific essays gradually developed into heated controversy. The authorship of some essays are still being debated by scholars. The edition on the left was once owned by Hamilton’s wife, whose sister gave it to Thomas Jefferson. As his notes indicate on the volume, Jefferson attempted to determine the authorship of each essay.
The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favor of the New Constitution. New York: A. and J. McLean, 1788.