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Paine, Thomas

The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. I. - The American Crisis (1783)

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The first "Crisis" was printed in the Pennsylvania Journal, December 19, 1776, and opens with the famous sentence, "These are the times that try men's souls", the last "Crisis" appeared April 19,1783, (eighth anniversary of the first gun of the war, at Lexington,) and opens with the words, "The times that tried men's souls are over." The great effect produced by Paine's successive publications has been attested by Washington and Franklin, by every leader of the American Revolution, by resolutions of Congress, and by every contemporary historian of the events amid which they were written.

The first "Crisis" is of especial historical interest. It was written during the retreat of Washington across the Delaware, and by order of the Commander was read to groups of his dispirited and suffering soldiers. Its opening sentence was adopted as the watchword of the movement on Trenton, a few days after its publication, and is believed to have inspired much of the courage which won that victory, which, though not imposing in extent, was of great moral effect on Washington's little army.

 

The Writings of Thomas Paine serie: 1. The American Crisis, 2. The Rights of Man, 3. ..., 4. The Age of Reason


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