Talk:The Federalist

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Information about this edition
Edition: Copied from The Federalist, published by M. Walter Dunne (New York and London), 1901. Proofreading ongoing against Dawson (Morrisania, N.Y.), 1814.
Source: Copied from Google Books; proofread against Internet Archive
Contributor(s): Zhaladshar
Level of progress: 75%.svg75%: complete, proofread by one user, and standard.
Proofreaders: Zhaladshar, Spangineer

Major problem with Dawson edition[edit]

Federalist #29 should be "Concerning the Militia" but in the DjVu scan text we have, Federalist #35 is "Concerning the Militia". Since all modern editions have "Concerning the Militia" as #29, posting an old Dawson edition with different numbers starting at Federalist #29 would just be a mess. I propose we junk the Dawson scan, and find a more suitable edition (i.e., one consistent with the text we already have). I suppose we could keep the Dawson scan as a special project but in that case it needs to be kept completely separate from the The Federalist Papers we now have.Ingram (talk) 01:20, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Wow, this is frustrating. I originally looked through so many editions of this blasted book to find the best one, and here we are months and hundreds of edits later having to reconsider it. Glad you noticed the issue though. Here are my thoughts:
  • The most important thing is to use a Dawson or Dawson-like edition (with respect to the actual text). Gideon's edition does not match the original and shouldn't be the "standard" Federalist on Wikisource (IMHO).
  • We could use another (more recent) Dawson reprint that reflects the modern numbering. Not opposed to that, but it might not be possible to find one that carefully reproduces the original typeface. For example, we could use the 1901 edition (from which the current text came), but it drops the ligatures and changes the methods of emphasis.
  • The option I prefer would be to simply have two numbering systems. Use the current scanned Dawson text as the source, but use modern numbering in the default Table of Contents. Perhaps include a link to a parallel table of contents that numbers them as in the original Dawson. On the "Concerning the Militia" page (which is titled "Federalist 29" on the default TOC), put in the note something along the lines of "In the original numbering this was #35, but all modern editions place it as #29", perhaps with some additional explanation if we can find it. It might be slightly confusing, but it would give readers the version of the text closest to the original.
What do you think?--Spangineerwp (háblame) 06:01, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the simple answer would be: just ignore the Dawson numbering system in the scan text. So, as we proofread a chapter/paper in the Dawson book, add that chapter/paper to the respective page that is already set up (header, audio, etc.) with the orthodox Federalist number. (I think the above is a variation of your third option, only we just ignore Dawson's numbering altogether.) Also, the more I learn about the Dawson edition, the more I agree with your first point.Ingram (talk) 18:35, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm fine with that. The "original" numbering seems to be completely ignored at this point (not even mentioned on the Wikipedia pages, for example), so there's probably no need to maintain it. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 20:04, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Propose rename and structure change[edit]

Currently this work is named "The Federalist Papers" and set up as The Federalist Papers/No. 100. I was the one to set up that structure back in the day, but I now don't think this is optimal. Consider:

  • The work is referred to in the introduction as "The Federalist" (ignoring the ligature).
  • The original collection (published 1788, and of which Dawson is essentially a copy) was called "The Federalist; or, The New Constitution"
  • Wikipedia uses the naming structure "Federalist No. 100"
  • In general I think using "No. 100" in the link is ugly

Thus, I propose renaming this to "The Federalist" and replacing the current structure with something along the lines of "The Federalist/1" and "The Federalist/100". Or, if numbers alone aren't desirable, then "The Federalist/Number 1". Thoughts? —Spangineerwp (háblame) 18:00, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Most other highly recognized works, such as the Analysis and Interpretation of The Constitution of the United States of America (better understood as the ongoing annotated supplement(s) to the COTUS by the government), typically references/cites the Federalist papers throughout its various sections as follows
The Federalist, No. 39 (J. Cooke ed. 1961), 250-257 (Madison).
nearly always WITH a comma after 'Federalist' but most certainly always with the 'No.' prefix
If the subpage names aren't going to follow that scheme ( [The] Federalist>comma< No. ### ), which I think would be pretty ugly by WS standards, it really makes no difference what the structuring uses for sub-page titles or numbering as long as there are redirects following the basic citation format given above. Of course, the older the work in question citing 'the Papers' is, the more likely the use of Roman numerals -- redirects of both flavor are probably the optimal way to start addressing this I guess. George Orwell III (talk) 05:16, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Original and modern numbering revisited[edit]

Now that I've got to the point in the TOC where the two diverge I've got to argue this again. I feel really icky about chopping this edition into modern numbering exclusively. Not only does it seem unlike any other practice on WS, but Dawson has evident disgust for the modern order, and Hamilton himself requested that there not be any alterations to The Federalist presented as the original. Moreover, it probably compromises links of direct mentions of one paper in another. My proposal is as follows: for the early numbered papers which are numbered identically in both, no action; for papers which are numbered differently but textually identical, create The Federalist/XX (modern numbering) and in it transclude The Federalist/YY (which I think would work with search engines &c); for papers with divergent texts, create separate The Federalist/XX (modern numbering) and The Federalist/YY; where divergent note in header notes section and link to both in previous and next. For the front-page we could use something like (or even it itself) the correspondence and authorship table found in pp. cxl-cxlii, with sortable class applied. Prosody (talk) 18:56, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually I've been thinking about how there are different editions of the Federalist, and that in the long run it may be worth having multiple editions hosted here. Short run, perhaps only a few of the especially significant numbers (10, 46, etc.). So what if we set something up similar how the Bible is set up? See, for example, Jeremiah. We could do the same thing for Federalist/46 and all the others. The different editions might be named Federalist (Dawson), Federalist (Gideon), Federalist (Hopkins), etc. Then Federalist/46 would have links to Federalist (Dawson)/46 and Federalist (Gideon)/46. I don't recall if 46 is one of the ones with divergent numbers, but there we could have links with explanatory text, perhaps something like:
[[Federalist (Gideon)/46|Federalist 46]], Gideon edition
[[Federalist (Dawson)/46|Federalist 46]], Dawson edition, original numbering.
[[Federalist (Dawson)/47|Federalist 46]], Dawson edition, modern-day numbering.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Where we only have one edition and there's no confusion, maybe we leave a redirect from Federalist/1 to Federalist (Dawson)/1. But otherwise using disambig pages may be a simple way to handle the issue. —Spangineer (háblame) 01:05, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
That's definitely the best solution, though a lot more labor intensive. Whatever, I'm in for a penny, in for a pound. Do you know of any editions which would be good representative samples of the other types? Prosody (talk) 16:21, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
There are numerous Gideon editions on Two originals that I've found ([1] and [2]), but I'm a bit concerned about the text quality. Not sure how easy they would be to proof. There are also many reprints that seem to have higher quality (for example, [3] from 1831). Unfortunately the reprints seem to have different page numbers, and some of the later ones have dramatically different page numbers.
A Hopkins edition (2 volumes, 1802) is at [4] and [5]. Looks good, but Hopkins isn't as interesting to me.
There are several Cabot editions (1889), the best seems to be at [6].
Ford's edition ([7], 1898) uses the same base text as Dawson (apparently) but has useful annotations.
I'm most interested in Ford, Cabot, and Gideon. Ford and Cabot seem to be widely cited, especially Ford. Gideon is interesting from an historical perspective. Personally, I'm inclined to start with Ford and work on the most significant/my favorite numbers.
On a related note, are you at all interested in proofing related documents? Ford also published collections of essays written about the Constitution around the time of the Federalist: Pamphlets ([8]) and Essays ([9]). Some of these writings I may find interesting; take a look and see what you think. —Spangineer (háblame) 18:30, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
The Dawson edition is exeptional not only for any previously mentioned reasons but simply because its a "rarity" in every sense. It's sure not easy to find online and even his POV suggests a distaste for revising the originals as mentioned somewhere above. Its 615 pages are basically the same standard recycling that came before his version and as done in the editions that followed (minus the differences in typeset, layout, etc.). The whole thing with No. 35 "being" No. 29, No. 36 on up to I forget which being +1 and any other "modern variations" are all well explained in his front matter. You can't hold the reader's hand in every instance and just because Twitopedia says something doesn't make it right either. The disconnect here is that Dawson's notes & intro (the front matter) is not easily connected by interlink to the mainspace Federalist Papers' pages -- well at least I can't locate the Introduction subpage from the main menu that is.
That said - the more editions the better; I'd think hosting additional editions shouldn't be all that much more work as well. If you isolate the "inline" footnotes, annotations & any other editorial notations from the actual 85 essays, then separate that from each author's front matter & back matter, we could do the same recycling of the main content. I think there are something like 8 paragraphs total that actually "differ" from one edition to some other (see HERE and search for "E1" minus the quotes) -- after nailing that down, its all about adding back any annotations to that same ~615 pages of content (the equivalent of ~580 out of 888 pages in the Ford edition for example) plus each Author's front and/or back matter (about 300 "new" pages to add using the same Ford example). Of course copying, subst'ing or transcluding those core pages still requires work but it's not like starting every edition being added from scratch either. -- George Orwell III (talk) 21:51, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Specific proposal for new structure[edit]

Below is a proposal for restructuring The Federalist Papers in order to accommodate additional editions and supplementary materials found in individual editions.

The gist of this proposal is to use a central page—The Federalist—as essentially a disambiguation page, which contains a list of links, numbered 1–85. Depending on what numbers are available in the various editions, the links on this central page will either link to a disambiguation page (offering a choice of edition) or redirect to Wikisource's only edition of that essay.

Once viewing an essay of a particular edition, the user will have the option of navigating within that edition, or returning to the central navigation page.

Individual editions will have their own pages (like The Federalist (Ford)), where front matter and links to all included material, including supplementary material, will be kept.

Many redirects will be maintained: the current structure, The Federalist Papers/No. 1, will redirect to the appropriate page, so as not to break incoming links (of which there are many from Wikipedia and perhaps elsewhere).

Below are the details of the structure and steps required for implementation.

Proposed structure:

Implementation procedure:

  1. Move all subpages of The Federalist Papers to The Federalist (Dawson). Leave those redirects in place, or edit them to point to a subpage of The Federalist if more than one edition of that number exists.
  2. Create new redirects at The Federalist/1, etc. that point to Dawson if no other edition of that number exists.
  3. Add a note on navigation to the notes field of all subpages
    Template:Federalist subpage: "This is a selection from a particular edition of The Federalist. To navigate within this edition, use the above navigational links. To navigate through all available editions of the Federalist, please use the generic table of contents.")
  4. Add a note on numbering to Dawson numbers that do not match
    Template:Federalist number: "The widely accepted number for this essay is now x. However, the publisher of this edition did not use that numbering system, and instead numbered this essay y. If you are looking for the essay commonly called y, go to y."
  5. Remove {{edition}} from the headers of subpages, and add to the high level pages (The Fœderalist (Dawson) and The Federalist (Ford))
  6. Move Libravox recordings to the disambiguation page for those essays that have more than one edition (i.e., instead of putting Libravox on The Fœderalist (Dawson)/44, put it at The Federalist/45, if it is not a redirect)


Please add questions and comments here. Thanks! —Spangineer (háblame) 16:43, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the late response - I don't know how I missed your proposal.

I'm pretty much OK with what you are laying out above though I'm not sure about a thing or two.

  1. Is there agreement that the actual content (1-85) does not differ from version to version - only the commentary, annotations, header, etc. do? (the caveat being the numbering used of course)
  2. If #1 is yes, then why confuse things by what I assume will be reproducing the same content over and over again in the various editions to be added - ahouldn't the disambig/versions be separate from the actual Papers?
George Orwell III (talk) 23:34, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Your #1 is sort of true... but not entirely. There are two major versions of The Federalist, one that is a faithful reproduction of the originals and one that was updated by the authors a number of years later. The first one includes editions like Dawson, Ford, and most modern versions. The second one includes the Gideon edition and a few modern versions.
But even within editions, there are differences in the texts. You mentioned the example of divergent numbering schemes. In addition, Dawson's version uses ligatures (which most others don't) and a particular set of formatting rules (italics vs. small caps vs. large caps for emphasis, for example). Other editions that have virtually the same "text" don't use the ligatures and use different formatting rules.
Also, it would be difficult to strip the annotations from the text. See Page:The_Federalist_(Ford).djvu/383: Ford's edition includes cross references in sidenotes and extensive notes in footnotes. I don't see an easy way to capture that in a meaningful way without including Ford's text.
I don't think that it makes sense to prioritize making several more editions of the Federalist available on WS... but I at least have interest in proofreading several numbers in a few more versions. Given that I feel like a more adaptable structure is needed.
OK I follow your reasoning but still wish there was more elegant way of adding editions without always repeating the same content at the editing stage is all.
On a related note: what are your thoughts on using the ligature in the title of Dawson's edition? I'm thinking it may be better to not use it. --Spangineer (háblame) 00:07, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
That's always been a pet peave of mine on WS. Readers searching for the work aren't going to use meshed-lettering so why should we. I accept the rationale that doing so is being "faithful" to the original but at the same time contributors frequently forget to create redirects/anchors/etc. without the ligatures so I'm sort of against using them whenever possible. -- George Orwell III (talk) 01:04, 18 January 2011 (UTC)