Skip to main content

The Federalist Papers: Primary Documents in American History

The Federalist Papers were a series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pen name "Publius." This guide compiles Library of Congress digital materials, external websites, and a print bibliography.

Introduction

The Federalist Papers were a series of eighty-five essays urging the citizens of New York to ratify the new United States Constitution. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the essays originally appeared anonymously in New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788 under the pen name "Publius." The Federalist Papers are considered one of the most important sources for interpreting and understanding the original intent of the Constitution.