The Fœderalist

A Collection of Essays, written in Favor of the New Constitution, as agreed upon by the Fœderal Convention, September 17, 1787. Reprinted from the Original Text. With an Historical Introduction and Notes, by HENRY DAWSON. In Two Volumes. Volume I. 8vo. New York: Charles Scribner.

THIS volume contains the entire text of “The Fœderalist,” with the notes appended by the authors to their productions, preceded by an historical and bibliographical Introduction, and an analytical Table of Contents; in the second volume will appear the Notes prepared by Mr. Dawson, which will embrace the more important of the alterations and corruptions of the text, manuscript notes which have been found on the margins and blank leaves of copies formerly owned by eminent statesmen, and other illustrative matter, such as the author justly supposes will be useful to those who may examine the text of the work, together with a complete and carefully prepared Index. Mr. Dawson has devoted himself to the preparation of this edition of “ The Fœderalist,” and labored diligently to make it perfect, generally with success ; but he is in error when he says, in the Introduction, that there does not appear to be a copy of the first edition of the work in any public library in Boston. There are two copies of it in the Library of the Boston Athenæum, both of which we have seen. This mistake is an unhappy one. as it tends to shake our faith in the accuracy of the editor’s researches. Of “ The Fœderalist ” itself it is not necessary to say more than that it has the position of an American classic, and that the political principles which it advocates are of peculiar importance at this time, when the loyal portion of the American people are engaged in a terrible struggle to maintain the existence of that government which Hamilton and Madison labored so diligently and successfully to establish. Mr. Dawson’s edition is one of rare excellence in everything that relates to externals, and in this respect is beyond rivalry. An edition of “ The Fœderalist,” edited by John C. Hamilton, Esq., son of General Hamilton, is announced to appear, and will undoubtedly be welcomed warmly by all who feel an interest in the fame of the chief author of the work, the man, next to Washington, to whom we are most indebted for the establishment of our constitutional system of government.