Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > History > 99. John Jay

99.  John Jay (1745-1829).  Federalist Number 5. Autograph manuscript, 4 p., 1788. RBML, John Jay Papers

Along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, John Jay formed the triumvirate of authors who wrote and anonymously published The Federalist, an eloquent series of essays in defense of the Constitution of 1787. Jay wrote five of the essays, and this is his manuscript draft for Number 5, which varies from the printed version. It is a concise, tightly argued exposition warning that rejection of the federal form of government would reinforce and worsen the already apparent sectional strife among the thirteen states; therefore, only through the establishment of a united American state could the young nation hope to succeed in its domestic and foreign affairs.

Purchased on the Frederic Bancroft Fund and Various Donors

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