“Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America”

“Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America”

Collection ID

PBK.002289

Type

Printed Book

Date

1776

Geography

Boston, (United States)

Language

English

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

7.2 × 4.5 × 0.7 in. (18.2 × 11.3 × 1.75 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The Impact of the Bible, Bible in the World


Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was one of the most influential publications of the American Revolution. The pamphlet was published in Philadelphia in January 1776, only six months before the Declaration of Independence. Writing anonymously as “an Englishman,” Paine persuasively drew from Enlightenment political, moral, and religious ideas, as well as biblical passages that seemed to oppose monarchical government, to galvanize support for American independence. By the end of the year, over twenty editions had appeared in both the American colonies and Britain. This early copy of Common Sense is a rare first Boston printing, published in the spring of 1776 along with supplemental writings titled Large Additions to Common Sense.

Printed in 1776 by Benjamin Edes, John Gill, and Thomas and John Fleet, Boston, Massachusetts. Acquired by Bauman Rare Books, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Privately purchased by 2013 by an anonymous collector, United States; Purchased at auction in 2013 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[1]

Notes: [1] Purchased at Sotheby’s: New York on June 4, 2013, Lot 120.

Select References :

Carol Sue Humphrey, The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013).

Sotheby’s, The Library of a Distinguished American Book Collector, Lot 120 (Sotheby’s: New York, June 4, 2013).

Trish Loughran, The Republic in Print: Print Culture in the Age of U.S. Nation Building, 1770-1870 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

Richard Gimbel, Thomas Paine: A Bibliographical Checklist of Common Sense, with an Account of Its Publication (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1956).

Description

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was one of the most influential publications of the American Revolution. The pamphlet was published in Philadelphia in January 1776, only six months before the Declaration of Independence. Writing anonymously as “an Englishman,” Paine persuasively drew from Enlightenment political, moral, and religious ideas, as well as biblical passages that seemed to oppose monarchical government, to galvanize support for American independence. By the end of the year, over twenty editions had appeared in both the American colonies and Britain. This early copy of Common Sense is a rare first Boston printing, published in the spring of 1776 along with supplemental writings titled Large Additions to Common Sense.


Provenance

Printed in 1776 by Benjamin Edes, John Gill, and Thomas and John Fleet, Boston, Massachusetts. Acquired by Bauman Rare Books, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Privately purchased by 2013 by an anonymous collector, United States; Purchased at auction in 2013 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[1]

Notes: [1] Purchased at Sotheby’s: New York on June 4, 2013, Lot 120.

Select References :

Carol Sue Humphrey, The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013).

Sotheby’s, The Library of a Distinguished American Book Collector, Lot 120 (Sotheby’s: New York, June 4, 2013).

Trish Loughran, The Republic in Print: Print Culture in the Age of U.S. Nation Building, 1770-1870 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

Richard Gimbel, Thomas Paine: A Bibliographical Checklist of Common Sense, with an Account of Its Publication (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1956).


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