"TO SHOW THE CONSTITUTIONAL LINES DRAWN BY THE TRUE SPIRIT OF 1776": FIRST EDITION OF ANTI-FEDERALIST LEADER ROBERT YATES' SECRET PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE CONVENTION, 1821
(YATES, Robert). Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, in the Year 1787, for the Purpose of Forming the Constitution …from the Notes Taken by the Late Robert Yates… Albany: Websters and Skinners, 1821. Octavo, full period-style diced calf gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers; pp. 308. $1850.
First edition of the revealing and detailed account of the 1787 Constitutional Convention by leading Anti-Federalist Yates, one of Hamilton's key foes in ratification, issued posthumously like Madison’s Secret Journals (1819), and also deemed "an important source of information… on the philosophy of Madison at the time of the Convention."
Robert Yates' record of the 1787 Constitutional Convention is often deemed second only "in importance" to James Madison's Secret Journals (1819) (Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress). It is also held as "an important source of information… on the philosophy of Madison at the time of the Convention" (American Historical Review). Yates was on the committee that drafted New York's first constitution and also served as a justice and as chief justice on the New York Supreme Court. A prominent Anti-Federalist, Yates was appointed to represent New York at the Constitutional Convention along with John Lansing and Federalist Alexander Hamilton. Like Madison and Hamilton, Yates took detailed notes and this work, like Madison's, was published posthumously.
Yates contended "that the Convention, which had been called to revise the Articles of Confederation, was exceeding its powers in attempting to write a new instrument of government and that the consolidation of the states into a national state would impair the sovereignty of New York" (DAB). At the Convention, given that John Lansing often sided with Yates, Hamilton was denied "the opportunity to promote his nationalist program with his delegation's vote… Yates left Philadelphia before the conclave's end to rouse opposition to his fellow delegates' product, and he was the floor leader of the New York opponents of the proposed federal Constitution in the New York ratification convention" of 1788 (ANB). Edited by Edmund C. Genet. With lengthy appendix containing the Constitution and other documents relating to the convention. Occasional mispagination as issued without loss of text. Howes Y3. Sabin 78749. Shaw and Shoemaker 7482. Early owner signature above half title of "William Hall."
Text fresh with mere trace of foxing, scant edge-wear to preliminary leaf; beautifully bound. Near-fine.