American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Powerful Polemics

Common Sense: Addresses to the Inhabitants of America . . .
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Common Sense: Addresses to
the Inhabitants of America . . .

Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4
Page 5 - Page 6
Philadelphia: 1776
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
Purchase, 1867 (26.10)

In January 1776, little more than a year after emigrating from England, Thomas Paine penned his famous radical pamphlet Common Sense, in which he urged the American Colonies to declare independence and immediately severe all ties with the British monarchy. Published just as colonists learned of George III's speech proclaiming the American Colonies in rebellion against the Crown, Common Sense became an instant best seller with several thousand copies sold within days.

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