. Belisarius was published in five pieces in the Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser
, 11, 15, 22 Sept., 3, 14 October. The elevenpart essay by Valerius appeared in the
, 22 Aug., 1, 9, 17, 25 Sept., 8, 21, 29 Oct., 11, 19 Nov., 1 December. Hancock wrote
five pieces for the Aurora
, 21, 27 Aug., 3, 8, 12, September. The essays by Cato, sixteen in all, appeared in
the New York Argus
, 15, 17, 22, 25, 31 July, 7, 11, 17, 22, 26, 29 Aug., 2, 10, 16, 23, 30 September.
All four series argue against the Jay Treaty. For instance, after a lengthy article-by-article
dissertation on what he perceives to be the failings of the treaty, Cato notes in
his concluding piece, “The treaty has obtained no adequate compensation for the injuries
we have suffered; that it has relinquished important claims that we had upon the British
government. … That it is injurious to our commerce, and ruinous to our navigation.
… That it counteracts the existing laws, and violates the federal constitution, and
that it infringes the rights of individual States” (30 Sept.). Similarly Hancock compares
the treaty to a volcano, which “contains within its bosom the materials of destruction”
(21 Aug.). But these pieces also particularly criticize George Washington and John
Jay, offering direct personal attacks, as well as chastising them for their roles
in negotiating and implementing the treaty. Valerius, for example, describes Washington
as a man who in youth was “unadorned by extraordinary features or uncommon capacity,”
with “none of those sparks of genius, however irregular and inconstant, which mark
the dawn of future eminence” (21 Oct.), and Jay as someone who had displayed “sentiments
of hostility to liberty” and “incompetency” (19 Nov.).