The American Crisis, Number III. By the Author of Common Sense
The American Crisis, Number III. By the Author of Common Sense

The American Crisis, Number III. By the Author of Common Sense.

[Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by Styner and Cist, 1777].

First edition, second state. pp. [2], 27-56. 1 vols. 8vo. Modern three-quarter morocco and marbled boards, bound in antique style, spine gilt lettered. Title-page trimmed, slightly repaired at fore-edge. Light tanning and dampstaining. About very good. Gimbel 20; Shipton & Monney 15494; Howes P16; Sabin 58207. Evans 15494; Hildeburn 3595; ESTC W31713; Reese REVOLUTIONARY HUNDRED 46. Item #311185

The very rare third part of the series by Paine, written to boost the morale of American troops. The pamphlet is dated "Philadelphia, April 19, 1777" at the end of the text. The verso of the title-page prints proclamations by Gen. George Washington dated April 6 and 8, 1777, offering pardons to all army deserters who rejoin their corps before May 15, 1777. Paine thus wrote the pamphlet in mid-April 1777.

In the text Paine predicts that Philadelphia will be a target of the British armies, as indeed it was that summer. "Britain, like a gamester nearly ruined, hath now put all her losses into one bet, and is playing a desperate game for the total. If she wins, she wins from ME my life; she wins the continent as the forfeited property of rebels; the right of taxing those that are left as reduced subjects; and the power of binding them as slaves." Paine goes on to argue that complete independence is the only path forward.

The separate pamphlet editions of THE AMERICAN CRISIS, all of which are rare, were printed in various cities and towns, and all seem to be distinguished by having caption titles only. The older references, such as Evans and Howes, describe the Philadelphia printings of Parts I-III, but later findings by Edwin Wolf 2nd and R.W.G. Vail have uncovered other early editions of this historical American political work. See especially Wolf's explanation of the various Philadelphia editions of the first three parts of THE AMERICAN CRISIS printed by Styner and Cist ("Evidence Indicating the Need for Some Bibliographical Analysis of American-Printed Historical Works" in PBSA 63 [1969], pp.266-68). Accordingly, the present copy is the second state.

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