I checked out a whole lot of books I never read.  To be honest, I never intended to.  From the beginning, I thought I would be able to prove my point with just the numbers.  So all I was interested in was raw and [generally] unbiased data.  What letters were written?  When were they written?  Who wrote them?  Where were they published?  So the reason I got so many books was because I thought I would need to dig through them all to find what I needed.  I had already learned from browsing the Library of Congress web site, finding information, especially for the losing side would be difficult.

As it turned out, I stumbled onto the TeachingAmericanHistory.org web site. For what I was looking for, this web site was an absolute gold mine. It had answers, at least partially, to all the questions above. I did still have to search around for some information as even this site tended to focus on key players, rather than all players. Thus, all the key players were clearly identified as either Federalist or Anti-Federalist. Others however, I had to continue searching elsewhere. Of course, few other resources, at least online had the same detailed interest so many of the other players I labeled for one side or the other involved some guess work on my part. I looked for key phrases such as “supported a strong central government.” In other cases I searched for associations such as “supported his good friend James Madison.” Finally, although the political parties were not active until after the Constitution was ratified, I looked for membership in either the Federalist or Democratic-Republican parties which drew pretty much along the Federalist/Anti-Federalist lines. However, there were flaws in this approach. For instance, Luther Martin, a strongly outspoken Anti-Federalist later joined the Federalist party.

So in the end, nearly all of my actual data came from secondary sources. Since I was not intending to evaluate the content of the letters, this pretty much makes sense. However, were I to do it over, as I mentioned in my conclusion, I would indeed dig through the letters themselves to find other connections. I would also like to find the actual newspapers or broadsides these letters were originally published in.

Finally, as you probably noticed, I did not actually complete the time line I made.  I only added text and links for about 85 of the 300 or so documents. I guess that idea was just a tad to ambitious.

— Robert Kuropkat