PAINE, Thomas (1737-1809)
Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, on the following interesting Subjects
Norwich, Connecticut: Re-printed and Sold by Judah P. Spooner, and by T. Green, New-London, 1776. 8vo. 56pp. Uncut.
A wonderful contemporary American edition of Thomas Paine's famous Common Sense.
First issued by the Philadelphia printer Bell on January 9, 1776, it is almost unnecessary to comment on the importance of Common Sense. The work was written by Paine in response to the Battle of Lexington in 1775, calling not merely for a revolt against taxation, but demanding independence. The political rhetoric of Paine inflamed the desire for independence, calling for it in clear language which swept the country like wildfire. The editors of the Grolier 100 remark, "It is not too much to say that the Declaration of Independence ... was due more to Paine's Common Sense than to any other single piece of writing." One of a dozen such editions produced in America in 1776 after the initial Philadelphia editions issued by Bell and Bradford. All American editions from 1776 are rare, and many provincial editions such as this possibly more scarce than the earliest ones. The present printing is the first Norwich edition of 56 pages (and the first edition to be published in Connecticut); a new edition, with postscript dated February 14 1776, followed, suggesting this first Norwich printing to be at the end of January 1776, within just a few weeks of the original Philadelphia edition.
Gimbel CS-49; Howes P17; Evans 14957; American Independence 222q; ESTC W32283; cf. Grolier American 100, 14.