Jefferson's Notations in The Federalist Papers

Thomas Jefferson surmised who wrote the various articles as they appeared in The Federalist Papers.  This image depicts the notes he made in his copy of the work.

Jefferson's original copy, with his notes, is maintained at the Library of Congress.  Curators there tell us more about these annotations:

Thomas Jefferson called the collected essays written by Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), James Madison, and John Jay (1745-1829), the "best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written." 

Jefferson, like many other contemporary Americans, tried to determine which essays had been written by each of the three authors.  On this inside cover sheet Jefferson credited Madison with authorship of more than a dozen essays. 

The question of who wrote each of the essays has never been definitively answered.

Click on the image for a much-better view.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.  




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