THOMAS PAINE’S “THE CRISIS, NO. IX”
The Pennsylvania Packet, Philadelphia,
Saturday, June 10, 1780
On Dec. 23, 1776, patriot Thomas Paine, author of the popular pro-American pamphlet, “Common Sense,” penned the first in a series of essays designed to build the spirit and confidence of the hard-pressed Continental Army and the American people, and to argue for complete independence of the newly-formed United States of America. He began that first letter with the famous words, “These are the times that try mens’ souls….” General George Washington found the essay so inspiring that he ordered it read to his beleagured army.
Here in full, is the first printing of Paine’s ninth letter. He writes in part, “The war, on the part of America, has been a war of natural feelings. Brave in distress; serene in conquest; drowsy while at rest; and in every situation generously disposed to peace; a dangerous calm, and a most heightened zeal have, as circumstances varied, succeeded each other. Every passion but that of despair has been called to a tour of duty; and so mistaken has been the enemy, of our abilities and disposition, that when she supposed us conquered, we rose the conquerors. The extensiveness of the United States, and the variety of their resources; the universality of their cause, the quick operation of their feelings, and the similarity of their sentiments, have, in every trying situation, produced a something, which, favored by providence, and pursued with ardor, has accomplished in an instant the business of a campaign. We have never deliberately sought victory, but snatched it; and bravely undone in an hour the blotted operations of a season.”
I have taken the time to scan the entire essay for all to read and ponder–it takes you back in time to the War for Independence in a way no history textbook can truly match. A newspaper like this one is to be preserved and treasured for as long as America has its being.
4 pages, complete, and in excellent condition throughout. Again, this is the very first printing of “The Crisis No. IX.” Other newspapers printed it in the days and weeks afterward as it made its way throughout the new country. First printings are highly sought-after by collectors and historians alike.