At the Virginia ratification convention Mason and Patrick Henry opposed ratification because the proposed new government was potentially too strong.
In addition to being large and populous states, Virginia and New York had the nation's biggest and most diversified economies and could conceivably stand alone if necessary.
Jay was responsible for only a few of the 85 articles.
The papers were meant to be influential in the campaign for the adoption of the Constitution by New York State.
The main organizer and architect of the campaign was Alexander Hamilton, a New York lawyer who had been a delegate to the Philadelphia convention.
Hamilton enlisted the help of fellow lawyer John Jay.- LC copy is Thomas Jefferson's, with his initials at signatures I and T in both volumes. With Jefferson's attributions of all the essays to John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton (Elizabeth), with her signature in both volumes; and passed onto her sister Angelica Church (cf. The essays were published anonymously, under the pseudonym “Publius,” and were contemporaneously known as —the essays were reprinted by a number of other New York newspapers, as well as by newspapers in several other cities and states.In arguing for the adoption of the Constitution, the essays explained particular provisions of the Constitution in detail.These papers are generally considered to be one of the most important contributions to political thought made in America.The essays appeared in bookform in 1788, with an introduction by Hamilton.By virtue of size, population, and wealth New York and Virginia held virtual veto power over the ratification process.Friends of the Constitution in New York organized a campaign to sell the new plan of government by writing a series of newspaper essays.If both were to refuse to ratify, the Union would probably fail.In Virginia, even the friends of the Constitution estimated its support at no more than 50 percent of the voting population, while in New York the opposition seemed even stronger.