List of pseudonyms used in the American constitutional debates
During the debates over the design and ratification of the United States Constitution, in 1787 and 1788, a large number of writers in the popular press used pseudonyms. This list shows some of the more important identities and the probable real authors (where known); question marks indicates attributions that should be regarded with greater caution and skepticism.
|Agrippa||James Winthrop||Eighteen essays appeared under this name in the Massachusetts Gazette between November 23, 1787 and February 5, 1788.|
|Americanus||John Stevens, Jr.|
|Aristedes||Alexander Contee Hanson||Federalist.|
|An Assemblyman||William Findley|
|Brutus||Robert Yates||Anti-Federalist. After Marcus Junius Brutus, a Roman republican involved in the assassination of Caesar. Published sixteen essays in the New York Journal between October 1787 and April 1788.|
|Candidus||Benjamin Austin[disambiguation needed]|
|Centinel||Samuel Bryan||Alternately, the author possibly was George Bryan.|
|Cincinnatus||Arthur Lee||After Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. Six essays addressed to James Wilson appeared under this name in the New York Journal beginning November 1, 1787.|
|A Citizen of America||Noah Webster|
|A Citizen of New Haven||Roger Sherman|
|A Columbian Patriot||Mercy Warren|
|A Countryman||Roger Sherman|
|A Country Federalist||James Kent|
|Federal Farmer||Anti-Federalist. The Federal Farmer letters are frequently attributed to Richard Henry Lee, but modern scholarship has challenged Lee's authorship.|
|Foreign Spectator||Nicholas Collin|
|Genuine Information||Luther Martin|
|Helvidius Priscus||James Warren|
|An Independent Freeholder||Alexander White|
|A Landholder||Oliver Ellsworth||Thirteen essays, some of the most widely circulated commentary on the proposed Constitution, appeared under this name, with the first publication coming in the Hartford papers. The essays were certainly written by one of the Connecticut delegates to the Convention, and Ellsworth is the only likely possibility.|
|An Officer of the Late Continental Army||William Findley|
|A Pennsylvania Farmer||John Dickinson|
|A Plain Dealer||Spencer Roane|
|A Plebian||Melancton Smith|
|Publius||Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay||After Publius Valerius Publicola. Under this name the three men wrote the 85 Federalist Papers. Hamilton had already used the name in 1778.|
|A Republican Federalist||James Warren|
|Rough Hewer||Abraham Yates|
|Senex||Patrick Henry?||Published an article in the Virginia Independent Chronicle, August 15, 1787, which was reprinted in four states. James McClurg wrote that the author was "supposed by some to be Mr. H---y."|
|The State Soldier||St. George Tucker|
|Timoleon||After Timoleon of Corinth.|
- The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vols. XIII-XVI. Ed. John P. Kaminski and Gaspare J. Saladino. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1981. (Appears in notes as DHRC)
- Main, Jackson Turner. The Antifederalists: Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1788. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1961.
- DHRC, XV, 181.
- Main, 287
- DHRC, XV, 51.
- DHRC, XIII, 412.
- DHRC, XV, 120.
- DHRC, XIII, 489.
- DHRC, XIII, 376.
- DHRC, XIII, 529.
- DHRC, XIV, 15-6; see also Wood, Gordon S. "The Authorship of the Letters from the Federal Farmer." The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 31, No. 2. (Apr., 1974), pp. 299-308.
- DHRC, XV, 454
- DHRC, XIII, 561
- DHRC, XIII, 90.