Guest Essayist: Justin Dyer, Ph.D., Author and Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri

Scholars generally attribute the authorship of the letters of Brutus to Robert Yates (1738-1801), a prominent New York politician and judge who was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.  After voicing his opposition to the plan of the Convention, Yates returned home to New York. During the state ratification debates, he then became an outspoken opponent of the proposed Constitution. In his polemical essays against the Constitution, Yates’ chosen pen name was Brutus, and his objective was to slay Ceasar. Read more

Supporters of the Constitution dubbed their opponents “Anti-Federalists.” Opponents resented the label, but it stuck. The Anti-Federalist author Brutus–most likely New York lawyer Robert Yates–penned this essay, the first of sixteen, a month after the Constitution was completed. Having attended the first month of the Constitutional Convention, Yates had left, disgusted with what he perceived as a plan that would give far too much power to the central government. Read more