Winner of the Thomas Jefferson Prize from the Society for History of the Federal Government
Caustic, witty, and rich in anecdotes and personal observations, the diary of William Maclay is the preeminent unofficial document of the First Federal Cogress and, whth James Madison's notes from the Federal Convetion, one of the two most important journals in American political and constitutional history.
The first U.S. Senate met in secret, and much of what is known about its proceedings comes from Pennsylvania senator William Maclay, who kept a diary of what was said on the floor and who seldom failed to make an entry for each day. To this record he added his analysis of the debate, details about behind-the-scenes pliticking and social list in New York and Philidelphia, and comments on the character, motives, and morals of those with whom he associated-including Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton.
The diary establishes beyond any doubt that the Founding Fathers practiced legislative politics much as their descendants do today. Rich in both information and opinion, the book makes an engrossing reading.
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