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500 COPIES PRINTED.

No.

ON THE

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,

PUBLISHED DURING

ITS DISCUSSION BY THE PEOPLE

1787–1788.

EDITED

BY

PAUL LEICESTER FORD.

BROOKLYN, N. Y.:

HISTORICAL PRINTING CLUB.

INTRODUCTION.

IN 1888 the editor selected from the pamphlet arguments published during the discussion of the Constitution of the United States, prior to its ratification by the States, a collection of fourteen tracts, and printed them in a volume under the title of Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States. The reception given that collection clearly proved that these writings were only neglected because of their rarity and inaccessibility, and has induced the editor to collect another, though largely similar class of writings, which he believes of equal value and equally unknown.

In the great discussion which took place in the years 1787 and 1788 of the adoption or rejection of the Constitution of the United States, one of the important methods of influencing public opinion, resorted to by the partisans and enemies of the proposed frame of government, was the contribution of essays to the press of the period. The newspapers were filled with anonymous articles on this question, usually the product of the great statesmen and writers of that period. Often of marked ability, and valuable as the personal views of the writers, the dispersion and destruction of the papers that contained them have resulted in their almost entire neglect as historical or legal writings, and the difficulty of their proper use has been further increased by their anonymous character, which largely destroyed the authority and weight they would have carried, had their true writers been known.

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