Now considered to be the most significant American contribution to political thought, The Federalist essays supporting the ratification of the new Constitution first appeared in New York newspapers under the pseudonym “Publius.” Although it was widely known that the eighty-five essays were the work of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the initial curious speculation about authorship of specific essays gradually developed into heated controversy. Hamilton left an authorship list with his lawyer before his fatal duel. In his copy, Madison identified the author of each essay with their initials. Thomas Jefferson penned a similar authorship list in his copy. None of these attributions exactly match, and the authorship of several essays is still being debated by scholars.