Part VI. Letters from the Federal Farmer

Abstract

A systematic criticism of the proposed Constitution and full elaboration of anti-federalist though was provided in a series of articles published in New York in the Poughkeepsie Country Journal from November, 1787, through January, 1788, usually titled Letters from the Federal Farmer. The first five of these articles were also republished as a pamphlet in New York and circulated widely. The full title of this pamphlet was Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government Proposed by the Late Convention; and to Several Essential and Necessary Alterations to it, In a Number of Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican. In addition to this pamphlet, in 1788 the author published An Additional Number of Letters From the Federal Farmer to the Republican Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government Proposed by the Late Convention; To Several Essential and Necessary Alterations in It; And Calculated to Illustrate and Support the Principles And Positions Laid Down in the Preceding Letters, thirteen in all, that expanded on the principles set forth in the earlier articles. The author has long been thought to be Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress then sitting in New York, but many scholars later came to think the author was more likely to be Melancton Smith of New York. It is also possible that the articles were written by both men in collaboration.