15 June 2017
[PAINE, Thomas (1737-1809).] “The American Crisis. Number I. By the Author of Common Sense.” In The Connecticut Gazette; and the Universal Intelligencer. New-London: Timothy Green, January 17, 1777. Vol. 14, No. 688.
“These are the times that try men’s souls....”
A full, front-page printing of Thomas Paine’s American Crisis No. 1, perhaps the single-most inspirational polemic of the American Revolution. Paine witnessed the retreat of the main force of the Continental Army to the Delaware River and wrote this essay among their camps. It appeared in newspaper and pamphlet form soon aftwerwards and Washington found it so effective that it has long been traditional myth that he ordered it to be read to the troops as they prepared to cross the Delaware and attack Trenton, turning the tide of the War. This printing fills the entirety of the front-page and just over a column on the second page, making it eminently displayable. We find no other examples of front-page newspaper printings at auction.
Four pages, folio (368 x 243mm). (Second leaf with small piece of tape and old ink splash.) Contemporary manuscript docket “Crisis no. 1.”
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