"Plebeian" (Melancton Smith?)

An Address to the People of the State of New-York: Shewing the Necessity of Making Amendments to the Constitution

[New York: Thomas Greenleaf? 1788]
New-York Historical Society Library

This pamphlet, signed "A Plebeian," has long been attributed to Melancton Smith. It has also been noted that the pseudonym was used by John Lamb before the Revolution. Smith and Lamb were both New York City Antifederalist leaders. It was published on April 17, 1788, just two days after Jay's pamphlet "A Citizen of New-York," and the author responds to some of Jay's arguments in a "Postscript." He criticizes Jay's praise for the members of the Philadelphia Convention: "Some of the characters which compose it I revere; others I consider as of small consequence, and a number are suspected of being great public defaulters, and to have been guilty of notorious peculation and fraud, with regard to public property in the hour of our distress. I will not descend to personalities."