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THE GRKAT WORKS

OF

THOMAS

PAINE.

COMPLETE.

POLITICAL

AND THEOLOGICAL.

D. M. BENNETT: LIBERAL AND SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING HOUS1.


141

EIGHTH STREET.

NEW

YOBK.

CONTENTS
LIFE OF PAINE,

COMMON
THE

SENSE,

CRISIS,

THE BIGHTS OF MAN,


THE AGE OF REASON,
EXAMINATION OF THE PBOPHEOTEB,

BEPLY TO THE BISHOP OF LLANDAIF


LETTER TO MR. ERSKINE,

AN ESSAY ON DREAMS,
LETTER TO CAMILLE JORDAN,

THE BELIGION OF DEISM,


LETTER TO SAMUEL ADAMS

INTRODUCTION,
A full and impartial history
that, the omission of

of

which

falsifies

THOMAS PAINE alone can supply every work pretending to give

an account of the war for the national independence of the United


States.

The American Revolution of 1776, of which THOMAS PAINE was the author-hero, was the prelude to that far more sanguinary struggle against oppression and wrong which overturned, or irreparably shook, every throne in Western Europe including, in the and of which struggle the category, even the chair of St. Peter most prominent author-hero was JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU. This is generally understood. But a truth incalculably more
; ;

important has hitherto been either wholly overlooked, or but glimBoth the American and French it is this meringly perceived Revolutions were but prominent incidents, or crisis-stages, in the irrepressible struggle for human rights which commenced when nature implanted in her highest organism, man, that instinct which
:
;

points to the goal of development ; that unconquerable desire for perfect and sufficiently-lasting or "eternal" happiness, which indicates the common aim and attainable end of science, of art, and of all natural, materialistic, or that thirst for intelligible activities liberty which can be satisfied by nothing short of the revolution
:

which will remove all constraint which will accomplish revelation and thus justify LUTHER, ROUSSEAU, PAINE, FOURIER, and all other revolutionists. Of this crowning revolution, the text-book is " The Positive Philosophy " of AUGUSTE COMTE. Had Thomas Paine beeli seconded as valiantly when he made priestcraft howl, as he was when he hurled defiance against kings, despotism by this time would really, instead of only nominally, have lain as low as did its minions at Trenton and Yorktown. The land over which the star-spangled banner waves would not have become the prey of corrupt, spoil-seeking demagogues, nor would Europa

now tremble at the nod of a military dictator. Not but that priestcraft itself has a substructure,

all but "supei naturally" profound, which must be sapped before justice can be more than a mockery, freedom aught but a mere abstraction, or hapBut man should have conpiness little else than an ignis fatuus. tinued the great battle for his rights when the soldiers and authorheroes of liberty were in the full flush of victory ; instead of making that vain, mischievous and ridiculous (except as provisional) com promise with the human inclinations.called duty ; and falling bach, on that miserable armistice between the wretched poor and the un-

4
happy

INTBODUCTION.
rich, for the conditions of

which, consult that refinement of

treachery,

misnamed a

absurdly entitled law.

constitution, ^and that opaque entanglement, Can right be done and peace be maintained,

under institutions whose ultimatum is to give half a breakfast to the million, and half a million or so to the 'balance of mankind, conditioned on such anxiety on the part of the latter, lest they be added to the million before dinner-time, that dyspepsia, rather than nutrition, "waits on appetite ?" Is man irremediably doomed to a condition which, at shorter and shorter intervals, forces him to seek relief in one of those saturnalias of carnage and devastation which throws progress aback, menaces civilization even, and yet but partially and temporarily mitigates human ills ? Is this the whole sum, substance and end of revolution ? It appears to me, that they who believe this, and who admire and commend Thomas Paine from their stand-point, dishonour his memory far more than his professed enemies do or can. But to enable all to understandingly form their own conclusions,
all the essential facts with respect to the history before with which a long and careful search, under most favourable circumstances, has made me acquainted. For, let facts be fairly

I shall give
us,

and truth be fully known, is the correlate of the proposition (the correctness of which I demonstrated in a former work "The Religion of Science") that nature, simple, scientific and artistic, will prove all-sufficient and neither needs, nor admits the possibility of, a superior: that man, therefore, requires nothing more than what nature is capable of being developed into producing ; nor can he know aught beyond nature, or form what can intelligibly be called an idea of any happiness or good, superior to that which, by means of the substantial, including of course, man himself, can be procured. There needs but to have the light of truth shine fully upon the real character of Thomas Paine, to prove him to have been a far greater man than his most ardent admirers have hitherto given him credit for being. Paine's history is so intimately connected with that of progress both before and since his time, that it will necessarily embrace a very wide range of liberal information. I am not unmindful that there have been hundreds, perhaps thousands of author-heroes and heroines. Bacon, Locke, Luther, Voltaire,* Fourier and Robert Owen were prominently of the former, and Mary Wollstonecraft and Frances Wright were decidedly among the latter. But it appears to me, that none of their writings have been quite such text-books of revolution, as those of Rousseau and Paine were, and those of Comte now are.
stated,
;

Schlosser, in his "History of the Eighteenth Century," whilst speaking of Voltaire, Shaftesbury, and "the numerous deists who were reproachfully called atheists," says, that they "wielded the weapons" which Locke "had

forged."

LIFE
OP

THOMAS PAINE.
PERIOD FIRST.

17371774.
FROM MR. PAINE'S
BIRTH, TO HIS ARRIVAL IN AMERICA.

in Thetford, Norfolk county, on the 29th of January, 1737. England, His father was a member of the society of Friends, and a staymaker by trade his mother professed the faith of the church of England. At the age of about thirteen years, he left the common
;

THOMAS PAINE was born

school, in which, in addition to the branches of education usually taught therein, he had learned the rudiments of Latin, and went to work with his father. But his school teacher,

who had been


into his

chaplain on board a man-of-war, had infused young and ardent mind such an enthusiasm for the

naval service, that after reluctantly toiling about three years at his not very lucrative or promising calling, he left home, " evidently resolved to seek the bubble reputation even in the cannon's mouth," and to pursue his fortune through such chances as the war then imminent between his country and
France, might offer.

Dreadful must have been the conflict between his comnature and his necessities and ambition. Arrived passionate London, without friends or money, he, nevertheless, strove

by every means

in his power to settle himself honorably in the world, without embracing the dreadful profession he had been both constituted and educated to look: upon with horror : he even hesitated so far as to return to his old occupation-

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

After working a few weeks for Mr. Morris, in HanoverLong Acre, he went to Dover, where he also worked a short time for a Mr Grace.
street,

War
;

between England and France had now been de

clared our hero was in all the buoyancy of youth, being not yet seventeen years old ; fortune and glory were possible on the one hand, poverty and toil inevitable on the other. War is murder, 'tis true murder, all the more heinous for being gloried in murder, all the more abominable for the magnificence of the scale on which it is perpetrated murder, which touches the lowest depths of cowardice, in being carried on by vast armies and immense fleets, instead of by smaller and bolder gangs of pirates, and by more venturesome banditti. But its infernal craft would sail, and its death-dealing cannon be manned, equally with or without him and the place which he refused would be taken, probably by some one with far less tenderness for a wounded or surrendered foe. On board the privateer " Terrible," Captain Death, enlisted, probably in the capacity of a sailor or marine, the man who was afterwards the soul of a revolution which ex-' tended elective government over the most fertile portion of the globe, including an area more than twenty times larger than that of Great Britain, and who had the unprecedented honor to be called, though a foreigner, to the legislative councils of the foremost nation in the world. For some unexplained cause, Paine left the " Terrible " " almost immediately, and shipped on board the King of Prussia." But the affectionate remonstrances of his father
; ; ;
;

soon induced him to quit privateering altogether. In the year 1759, he settled at Sandwich, as a master There he became acquainted with a young staymaker.

woman

Mary Lambert, to
same year. His success
he, in the

of considerable personal attractions, whose name was whom he was married about the end of the
in business not answering his expectations, year 1760, removed to Margate. Here his wife

died.
to London thence back again where, through the influence of Mr. Cocksedge, the recorder, he, towards the end of 1763, obtained a
;

From Margate he went


town
;

to his native

situation in the excise.

Under the pretext of some trifling fault, but really, as there is every reason for supposing, because he was too conscientious to connive at the villainies which were practiced

PERIOD FIRST.

by both his superiors and his compeers in office, he was dismissed from his situation in little more than a year. It has never been publicly stated for what it was pretended and the fact that he was recalled in that he was dismissed eleven months thereafter, shows that whatever the charge against him was, it was not substantiated, nor probably, a very grave one. That the British government, in its subse;

quent
of this

efforts to destroy his character,


affair, is

never made any handle

conclusive in his favor. his suspension from the excise, he repaired to During London, where he became a teacher in an academy kept by Mr. Noble of Goodman's Fields and during his leisure hours he applied himself to the study of astronomy and natural phiHe availed himself of the advantages which the losophy. philosophical lectures of Martin and Ferguson afforded, and made the acquaintance of Dr. Bevis, an able astronomer of the Royal Society. On his re-appointment to the excise, Paine returned to Thetford, where he continued till the Spring of 1768, when There the duties of his office called him to Lewes, in Sussex. he boarded in the family of Mr Ollive, tobacconist but at Paine sucthe end of about twelve months, the latter died. ceeded him in business, and in the year 1771, married his
;

daughter. " In 1772, he wrote a small pamphlet entitled The Case of the Excise Officers." Although this was specially intended to cover the case of a very ill paid class of government officers, it was a remarkably clear and concise showing that the only way to make people honest, is to relieve them from the necessity of being otherwise. This pamphlet excited both the alarm and hatred of his
superiors in office, who were living in luxury and ease, and who, besides getting nearly all the pay for doing hardly any of the work, were becoming rich by smuggling, which their
positions enabled

They spared no pains

to carry on almost with impunity. to pick some flaw in the character or conduct of the author of their uneasiness, but could find nothing of which to accuse him, except that he kept a tobaccocient,

them

this however, under the circumstances, was suffiand the most honest, if not the only conscientious exciseman in all England, was finally dismissed, in April,
nist's

shop

1774.

Paine associated with, and was highly respected by the best society in Lowes, although so poor, that in a month after

8
his dismissal

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

from

office, his

goods had to be sold

to

pay

hia
offi-

debts

a very strong proof that he had never abused his

cial trust.

I have twice already so far violated my own taste, to please that of others, as to mention that the subject of these

memoirs had been married. But I cannot consent to meddle further with, and assist the public to peer into affairs with which none but the parties immediately concerned have any
business, except under protest. Therefore, I do now most solemnly protest, that I feel more guilty, more ashamed, and more as though I ought to have my nose rung, for writing any thing at all about Mr. and Mrs. Paine's sexual affairs, than I should, were I to enter into a serious inquiry respecting the manner in which they performed any of their natural functions. Still, reader, you may be sure of my fidelity you need not suspect that I'm going to suppress any of the facts, for if I undertake to do a thing, I'll carry it through, if it's ever so mean. To begin, then In the flowery month of May, exactly one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four years after Jehovah had been presented with a son by a woman whom he never, not even subsequently, married, Mr. and Mrs. Paine separated ; not through the intervention of the grim tyrant who had caused the separation between Mr. Paine and his first wife, but for that most heinous of all imaginable causes, in old fogy estimation, mu; :

On thefourth of June, in the year just designated, Mr. Paine signed articles of agreement, freely relinquishing to his wife all the property of which marriage had legally robbed her for his benefit. This was just but a Thomas Paine would blush to call it magnanimous. Behold them both, in the prime of life, in a predicament in which they were debarred, by the inscrutable wisdom of society, from the legal exercise of those functions on which nearly all their enjoyments, including health
tual consent.
;

depended. All the causes of this separation are not known. Well, I'm heartily glad of it. Yet I delight not in beholding vexation and disappointment, even though the victims are the imStill, I repeat, I'm most heartily pertinently inquisitive. glad of it That neither Mr. nor Mrs. Paine abused, or voluntarily even offended each other, is conclusive from the fact that Mr. Paine always spoke very respectfully and kindly of his wife " and, says the veracious Clio Rickman, frequently seat her
itself,
;

PERIOD FIRST.

money, without letting her know the source whence it came ;" and Mrs. Paine always held her husband in such high esteem, though she differed widely from him in the important and complicated matter of religion, that if any one spoke disrespectfully of him in her presence, she deigned not a word of answer, but indignantly left the room, even though she were If questioned on the subject of her separation from at table. her marital partner, she did the same. Sensible woman. " Clio Rickman asserts, and the most intimate friends 01 Mr. Paine support him," says Mr. Gilbert Vale in his excellent Life of Paine,* to which I here, once for all, acknowl" edge myself much indebted, that Paine never cohabited with his second wife. Sherwin treats the subject as ridiculous but Clio Rickman was a man of integrity, and he asserts that he has the documents showing this strange point, together with others, proving that this arose from no physical defects in Paine." When the question was plainly put to Mr. Paine by a friend, instead of spitting in the questioner's face, or "I had a cause it is no business kicking him, he replied Did you know the feelof anybody." Oh, immortal Paine ings which the writing of the five last paragraphs has cost me, you would forgive ay, even pity me.
; :
; !

dear public, having, to please you, stepped aside from the path of legitimate history, permit me to continue the digression a little, in order to please myself. Surely you can afford some extra attention to one who has sacrificed his feelings, and, but for what I am now going to say, will have sacrificed his self-respect, even, for your accommodation.
large portion of the Christian world believes that the marriage tie, once formed, should continue till severed by This is supposed to be, first, in accordeath, or adultery. dance with scripture secondly, in accordance with the best " What God hath joined, let not man interests of society. " asunder," except for cause of adultery," is the text in put the first place, and the prevention of licentiousness, and regard for the interests of children, constitute the pretext in the eecond place. But society blindly jumps to the conclusion that the constantly varying decrees of legislative bodies desig" nate what God hath joined," and that august body is equally
;

And now,

uncritical with respect to what adultery, both according to When any joining bescripture and common sense, means.
* " This Life of Thomas Paine," by G. Vale, is published at the office of that most able advocate of free discussion, the " Boston Investigator."

10

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

comes abhorent to the feelings which almighty power has implanted in man, to attempt to force the continuance of such joining, under the plea of authority from such power, is most and " Jesus," or whoever spoke in his name, thus atrocious "Whoso looketh on a woman to rationally defines adultery. " " did not. condemn the woman, who, lust after her." Jesus under pressure of legal restriction, committed the " very act " of adultery but he did condemn her accusers, in the severest
; ;

and most cutting manner possible. We have already shown the utter disregard which the supposed almighty father of Jesus showed for monogamic
marriage that he did not even respect vested rights in the connection that he who is believed to have said, " be ye perfect even as I am perfect," trampled on the marital rules according to which the poor carpenter, Joseph, had been be; ;

trothed to his Mary. How well the son of


his
"

father, we have already demonstrated ; and I shall close all I have to say on the supposed divinity of this subject, by calling the attention of the reader to the high re" '' Jesus paid to the woman who had had five spect which

"

Mary followed

in the footsteps of

Almighty

husbands, and who was, at the time he did her the honor to converse with her in public, and to even expound his mission to her, cohabiting with a man to whom she was not married. Nothing in scripture is plainer, than that Jesus was such an out and out free-lover in principle, as to hold that as soon as married people looked on others than each other with lustful eyes, they were no longer so, legally ; but that their old connections should give place to new ones. In tne perfect " " Jesus state which in his parabolical language called " Heaven," he explicitly declared, in reference to what the old fogies of his time called marriage, "that they neither marry " " nor are given in marriage ;" and if the Saviour said this in reprobation of the comparatively slight bondage which en-

cumbered marriage in Judea, eighteen hundred years ago, what would he say, were he to visit Christendom at the
present time
?

Wouldn't he make the


he thrashed

"

" whip of small cords with which

the money changers, whiz about the ears of those legislators and judges, who dare christen their tyrannical and abominable inventions marriage who have the audacity to attribute their wretched expedients and stupid blunders to eternal wisdom ? So much as to the scriptural view of marriage. For in!

PERIOD FIRST.
formation as to the effects of
"

11

" in the cure of legal marriage the welfare of children, conlicentiousness, promoting sult the records of prostitution, the alms-house registers, and

and

in

the swarms of beggars, by which you are continually imporAs to the effect of the " holy bonds " on domestic felituned. I verily believe that if they were suddenly and comcity, pletely severed, the dealers in arsenic who happened to have but little stock on hand, would bless their lucky stars. And I speak from a knowledge of the causes which either favorably or unfavorably affect the human organism, in saying, that it is perfectly certain, that if the unnatural tie which arrogates the name of marriage, was universally severed, suicide would diminish one half, idiocy and insanity would disappear, prolapsus uteri and hysteria would be almost unknown, the long catalogue of diseases consequent on hopeless despair, dreary ennui, and chronic fretfulness, would be shorn of nine tenths its present length, the makers of little shrouds and coffins would have little or nothing to do, and the busiIn short, if matrimoness of abortionists would be ruined. nial bondage was abolished, and our social structure reorgan" broken spirit" ized, so as to correspond with the change, the " " that drieth the bones," would so give place to the merry that doeth good like a medicine," that little of the heart,

and human life would redoctor's medicine would be needed ceive an accession of at least twenty per cent, in length, and one hundred per cent, in value. But indissoluble marriage, and its correlates, adultery,
;

the unmentionable crime against are part and parcel of the present things in man's connection of the treat, when I come to consider the universality and thoroughness of the revolution in which Paine was, without but glimmeringly perceiving it, so efficient
fornication, prostitution, nature, and masturbation, imperfect condition of all remedy for which, I shall
;

an actor.
In 1774, Mr. Paine went again to London where, soon he made the acquaintance of Dr. Franklin, (then on an embassy to the British government, from one of her North American provinces,) who, perceiving in him abilities of no ordinary character, advised him to quit his native country, where he was surrounded by so many difficulties, and try his fortune in America he also gave him a letter of introduction to one of his most intimate friends in Philadelphia. Paine left England towards the end of the year 1774. and arrived in Philadelphia about t\vo months thereafter.
;

after his arrival,

PERIOD SECOND, 17741787.


MB. PAINE'S ARRIVAL IN AMERICA, TO HIS DEPARTURE EMBRACING HIS TRANSACTIONS IN THE
;

FOR FRANCE

AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
Shortly after the arrival of Mr. Paine in America, he was engaged as editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, the publication of which had just been commenced, by Mr. Aitkin, bookThis brought him acquainted with seller, of Philadelphia.

Dr. Rush.

Paine had been a whig. But from the tone of much of his editorial, it is probable that he practical now began to suspect that that speculative abstraction, British constitutionalism, had exhausted its usefulness in the economy of the social organism and that human progress could reach a higher plane than that, the foundations of which were a theological church establishment, and its corresponding hotch-potch of kings, lords, and commons. And here I the will remark, that Paine's distinguishing characteristic trait which constituted his greatness was his capability of being ahead of his time. Were he bodily present now, he would be as far in advance of the miserable sham of freedom to which the majorityism which he advocated, though provisionally necessary, has dwindled, as he was in advance of the governmental expedient, which reached the stage of effete" The Crisis," instead of commencing with ness in his day. " These are the times that try men's souls," would begin with " These are the times that exhaust men's power of endurance." Demagogism, with the whole power of the majority " to enforce its tyranny, has declared that to the victors bethe spoils ;" that it has a right to bind the minority in long all cases whatsoever. Its recklessness is in complete contrast with the regard which even Britain pays to the interests of her subjects and in taxation, and peculation in office, it outdoes Austrian despotism itself."

Up

to this period,

''

PERIOD SECOND
"

18

Majorityisin has carried its insolence so far as to despise nothing so much as the name and memory of him who risked his life, his honor, his all, to protect its infancy ; it has scornfully refused his portrait a place on the walls of the very hall which once rang with popular applause of the elo-

quence, which his soul-stirring pleas for elective franchise


spired."
"
;

in-

Yes the city council of Philadelphia has, in 1859, in obedience to the commands of that public opinion, which was the court of last appeal, of him who first, on this continent,
dared pronounce the words American Independence, refused his portrait a place by the side of his illustrious co-workers thus rebuking, and most impudently insulting Washington, who in an exstacy of admiration grasped the hand of the " author of Common Sense,"and invited him to share his table Franklin, who invited him to our shores Lafayette, to whom he was dearer than a brother Barlow, who pronounced him " one of the most benevolent and disinterested of mankind ;" Thomas Jefferson, who sent a government ship and all the friends of poputo reconduct him to our shores lar suffrage in France, who, at the time that tried men's souls
; ; ;
;

there, elected
"

him

to their national councils."

Like the Turkish despot, who cut off the head, and blotted out of existence the family, of his prime minister, to whom he owed the preservation of his throne, majorityism has

crowded the name of


tory of
"
its rise.

its

"

chief apostle almost out of the his-

Freedom of speech,

particularly on religious subjects, and


;

project, is a myth every seventh day, the freedom of action is restricted to going to church, dozing away the time in the house, taking a disreputable have stroll, or venturing on a not strictly legal ride. nothing like the amount of individual freedom which is enjoyed by the men and women of imperially governed France; and notwithstanding the muzzling of the press by Louis Napoleon, there could be published within the very shade of the TuiUeries,a truer and more liberal history of Democracy ar<l its leaders, and of American Independence, than any considerable house, except the one from which this emanates, dare put forth, within the vast area over which the star-spangled

on the government's pet

We

banner waves. This is but a tithe of the despotism which public opinion, free to be formed by priests, and directed by demagogues, has inflicted but a faint view of how abominably prostituted
:

14
liberty

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

must inevitably become, if unregulated by science, [f democracy has not exhausted all the good there was in it if majorityism has not become effete, and as obnoxious to progress as monarchy ever was in short, if what is now called liberty, is not slavery, there is not such a thing as slavery on
the earth." At the close of the year 1775, when the American Revolution had progressed as far as the battles of Lexington and

Bunker Hill, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, had met together to read thf terrible dispatches they had received. Having done which they pause in gloom and silence. Presently Franklin speaks " " What," he asks, is to be the end of all this ? Is it to
:

Great Britain, to change the ministry, is it for" He paused the word independence yet choked the bravest throat that sought to
obtain justice of to soften a tax ?
utter
it.

Or

this critical moment, Paine enters. Franklin introduces him, and he takes his seat. He well knows the cause of the prevailing gloom, and breaks the deep silence thus " These States of America must be independent of England. That is the only solution of this question !" They all rise to their feet at this political blasphemy. But. nothing daunted, he goes on his eye lights up with patriotic fire as he paints the glorious destiny which America, considering her vast resources, ought to achieve, and adjures them to lend their influence to rescue the Western Continent from the absurd, unnatural, and unprogressive predicament of being governed by a small island, three thousand miles off. Washington leaped forward, and taking both his hands, besought him to publish these views in a book. Paine went to his room, seized his pen, lost sight of every other object, toiled incessantly, and in December, 1775, the work entitled Common Sense, which caused the Declaration of Independence, and brought both people and their leaders face to face with the work they had to accomplish, was sent " That book," says Dr. Rush, " burst forth on its mission. forth from the press with an effect that has been rarely produced by types and paper, in any age or country." " Have you seen the pamphlet, Common Sense ?" asked " I never saw Major General Lee, in a letter to Washington such a masterly, irresistible performance. It will, if I mistake not, in concurrence with the transcendent folly and wickedness of the ministry, give the coup-de-grace to Great Britain
:

At

PERIOD SECOND.

15

In short, I own myself convinced by the arguments, of the necessity of separation." That idea of Independence the pen of Paine fed with fuel cannot overfrom his brain when it was growing dim. At one time Washingrate the electric power of that pen. ton thought that his troops, disheartened, almost naked, and But the Author-Hero half starved, would entirely disband. of the Revolution was tracking their march and writing by the light of camp-fires the series of essays called The Crisis. And when the veterans who still clung to the glorious cause they had espoused were called together, these words broke " These are the times that try men's forth upon them The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in souls. but this crisis, shrink from the service of his country he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and

We

woman.
have

this consolation

Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered yet we with us, that the harder the conflict, the
;

more glorious the triumph." "

These are the times that try mens souls" was the watchword at the battle of Trenton, and Washington himself set the pen of Paine above any sword wielded that day. But we need not dwell on the fact of Paine's services and influence at this He stood the acknowledged leader of eventful period. American statemanship, and the soul of the American Revolution, by the proclamation of the Legislatures of all the the States, and that of the Congress of the United States " The cantribute of his greatest enemy was in these words non of Washington was not more formidable to the British little than the pen of the author of Common Sense." less modesty, a little more preference of himself, to humanity, and a good deal more of what ought to be common sense on the part of the people he sought to free, and he would have been President of the United States and America, instead of France, would have had the merit of bestowing the highest honor on the most deserving of mankind. If Paine had been consulted to the extent he ought to have been, by those who modeled the republic he was so instru;
:

mental in starting into existence, our social structure would have been so founded, that it might have lasted till superseded by the immeasurably better one to which I shall presently allude, and to which, as I shall show, his measures aimed. It would not notv depend upon a base so uncertain that it has to be carefully shored up by such props as gibbets, prisons, alms houses, and soup-dispensing committees, in order

16
to "

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

On the 17th of April, 1777, Congress elected Mr. Paine In this capasecretary to the committee of foreign affairs. city, he stood in the same relation to the committee that the English secretary for foreign affairs did to the cabinet and it was not from vanity, but in order to preserve the dignity of the new government under which he acted, that he claimed the title which was bestowed on the British minister, who performed a function corresponding to his own. " The Crisis " is contained in sixteen numbers to notice which, separately, would involve a history of the American Revolution itself. In fact, they comprise a truer history of that event than does any professed history of it yet written. They comprise the soul of it, of which every professed history
; ;

prevent its being sapped by the hunger-driven slaves of free labor," nor would our Union be already in such danger of falling to pieces, that the cords which bind it together are as flimsy as cotton, and as rotten as are the souls of those who expose both their religious and their political opinions for sale as eagarly as they do their most damaged goods.

is destitute.

disgrace which this country can never wipe

out.

In January, 1779, Paine resigned his secretaryship, in consequence of a misunderstanding which had tak'en place between him and congress, on account of one Silas Deane. In the early part of the war, it appears that Deane had been employed as an agent in France, for the purpose of obtaining supplies, either as a loan from the French government, But before enteror, if he failed in this, to purchase them. ing on the duties of his office, Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee were added to the mission, and the three proceeded to Paris The French monarch, more perhaps for the same purpose. from his hostility to the English government, than from any attachment to the American cause, acceded to the request As France and the supplies were immediately furnished. was then upon amicable terms with England, a pledge was given by the American commissioners that the affair should remain a secret. The supplies were accordingly shipped in the name of a Mr. Beaumarchais, and consigned to an imaginary house in the United States. Deane, taking advantage of the secresy which had been promised, presented a claim for compensation in behalf of himself and Beaumarchais think ing that the auditing committee would prefer compliance to an exposure of their ally, the king of France, to a rupture with
; ;

England.

Mr. Paine, perceiving the

trick,

and knowing the

PERIOD SECOND.

17

circumstances of the case, resolved on laying the transaction before the public. He accordingly wrote for the newspapers " several essays, under the title of Common Sense to the Pubin which he exposed the dislic on Mr. Deane's Affairs," honest designs of Deane. The business, in consequence, soon became a subject of general conversation the demand was rejected by the auditing committee, and Deane soon afterward
:

absconded to England.

For this piece of service to the Americans, Paine was thanked and applauded by the people but by this time a party had begun to form itself, whose principles, if not the reverse of independence, were the reverse of republicanism. These men had long envied the popularity of Paine, but from their want of means to check or control it, they had hitherto remained silent. An opportunity was now offered for venting Mr. Paine, in exposing the trickery of Deane, their spleen. had incautiously mentioned one or two circumstances that
;

had come to his knowledge in consequence of his office this was magnified into a breach of confidence, and a plan was immediately formed for depriving him of his situation accordingly, a motion was made for an order to bring him before Mr. Paine readily attended and on being asked congress. whether the articles in question were written by him, he reHe was then directed to withdraw. plied that they were. As soon as he had left the house, a member arose and moved " That Thomas Paine be discharged from the office of secre;

tary to the committee for foreign affairs ;" but the motion was lost upon a division. Mr. Paine then wrote to congress, requesting that he might be heard in his own defence, and Mr. Lawrence made a motion for that purpose, which was negatived. The next day he sent in his resignation, conclu" As I cannot, consistently with my ding with these words character as a freeman, submit to be censured unheard therefore, to preserve that character and maintain that right, I think it my duty to resign the office of secretary to the committee for foreign affairs and I do hereby resign the same." This conduct on the part of congress may, in some degree, be attributed to a desire to quiet the fears of the French am: ; ;

bassador, who had become very dissatisfied in consequence of its being known to the world that the supplies were a present from his master. To silence his apprehensions, and the friendship of the French court, they treated preserve Paine with ingratitude. This they acknowledged at a future

18

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

period by a grant of in its proper place.


;

which I

shall

have occasion to speak

Paine was now deprived of the means of obtaining a livelihood and being averse to rendering his literary labors subservient to his personal wants, he engaged himself as clerk to Mr. Biddle, an attorney at Philadelphia. The ingratitude of congress produced no change in Mr. Paine's patriotism. On every occasion, he continued to display the same degree of independence and resolution, which had first animated him in favor of the republican cause. He had enlisted himself as a volunteer in the American cause and he vindicated her rights under every change of circumstance, with unabated ardor. In a communication made many years afterwards to Cheetham, (who would have contradicted it, could he have
; ;

done so without stating what every one would immediately to be false,) he says " I served in the army the whole of the time that tried men's souls,' from the beginning to the end. Soon after the declaration of independence, July 4, 1776, congress recommended that a body of ten thousand men, to be called the flying camp, because it was to act wherever necessary, should be formed from the militia and volunteers of I went with one diviJersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. sion from Pennsylvania, under General Roberdeau. We were stationed at Perth Amboy, and afterward at Bergen and when the time of the flying camp expired, and they went home, I went to Fort Lee, and served as aid-de-camp to Greene, who commanded at Fort Lee, and was with him through the whole of the black times of that trying cam-

know

'

paign.
'

I began the first number of the Crisis," beginning with the well-known expression, These are the times that try men's souls', at Newark, upon the retreat from Fort Lee, and

"

continued writing it at every place we stopped at, and had it printed at Philadelphia, the 19th of December, six days before the taking the Hessians at Trenton, which, with the affair at Princeton, the week after, put an end to the black times." Soon after the resignation of his secretaryship, he was chosen clerk of the legislature of Pennsylvania. This appointment is a proof that, though he had some enemies, he had many friends; and that the malicious insinuations of the former had not been able to weaken the attachment of the
latter.

PERIOD SECOND.

19

In February, 1781, Paine, at the earnest solicitation of Colonel Laurens, accompanied him to France, on a mission which the former had himself set on foot, which was, to obtain of the French government a loan of a million sterling annually during the war. This mission was so much. more successful tfcan they expected, that six millions of livres as a They present, and ten millions as a loan, was the result. sailed from Brest, at the beginning of June, and arrived at Boston in August, having under their charge two millions and a half in silver, and a ship and a brig laden with clothing and military stores. Before going to France, as just narrated, Paine headed a private subscription list, with the sum of five hundred dollars, and the nobleness of his conall the money he could raise duct so stimulated the munificence of others, that the subscriptions amounted to the generous sum of three hundred thousand pounds. Soon after the war of Independence had been brought to a successful termination, Mr. Paine returned to Bordentown, in New Jersey, where he had a small property. Washington, rationally fearing that one so devoted and generous might be in circumstances not the most flourishing, wrote to
;

him the following


I

letter

ROCKY

HILL, Sept. 10, 1783.

have learned, since I have been at this place, that you are at Bordentown. Whether for the sake of retirement or economy, I know not. Be it for either, for both, or whatever it may, if you will come to this place and partake with me, I shall be exceedingly happy to see you at it. Your presence may remind congress of your past services and if it is in my power to impress them, to this country command my best exertions with freedom, as they will be rendered cheerfully by one who entertains a lively sense of the importance of your works, and who, with much pleasure,
;

subscribes himself.

Your sincere

friend,

G. Washington.
In 1785, congress, on the report of a committee consisting of Mr. Gerry, Mr. Petit, and Mr. King, Resolved, That the board of treasury take order for paying to Mr. Thomas Paine, the sum of three thousand dollars.

This, however,

was not a
little if

gratuity, although

it

took that

shape.

It

was but

any more than was due Mr. Paine,

20

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

in consequence of the depreciation of the continental money in which his salary as secretary of the committee of foreign

had been paid. Mr. Paine had resolved not to make any application to the congress on the score of his literary labors but he had several friends in the provincial assemblies who were determined that his exertions should not pass unrewarded. Through their influence, motions in his favor were brought before the legislature of Pennsylvania and the assembly of New York the former gave him 500, and the latter the confiscated estate of a Mr. Frederick Devoe, a royalist. This estate, situated at New Rochelle, consisting of more than three hundred acres of land in a high state of cultivation, with a spacious and elegant stone house, beside extensive outand the readiness with buildings, was a valuable acquisition which it was granted, is a proof of the high estimation in which Mr. Paine's services were held by one of the most opulent and powerful states in the Union. In 1786, he published at Philadelphia, his " Dissertations on Government," "The Affairs of the Bank," and "PaperMoney." The bank alluded to was the one which had been " Bank established some years before, under the name of the of North America," on the capital of the three hundred thousand pounds, which resulted from the subscription which Paine headed with five hundred dollars, as has already been stated which bank, instead of being what banks now are, the stimulants of a gambling credit system, and a ruinous importing system, had been of vast use to the cause of our national independence. Paine advocated a paper currency when it was of use, instead of being an abuse in his days it helped
affairs
; ; ; ; ;

to secure national independence, instead of subjecting the country, as it now does, to a servitude to the interests of Eng-

which could she have foreseen, it is questionable whether even British pride would not have so succumbed to British avarice, that not a gun would have been fired, or a sword drawn against us. England could have afforded to pay ua as many pounds for subjecting ourselves as we have done to her interests, as it cost her pennies to vainly attempt to prevent us from doing this. It is highly worthy of remark, that Paine opposed giving even the Independence promoting Bank of North America, a perpetual charter. At this time Mr. Paine was highly popular, and enjoyed the esteem and friendship of the most literary, scientific, and
land,
patriotic

men

of the age

PERIOD THIRD,
17871809.

MB. PAINE GOES TO EUROPE. His REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS IN ENGLAND. Is ELECTED A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF FRANCE. TAKES AN ACTIVE PART IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. His DEATH,

THE

success which

had crowned Mr. Paine's exertions

in

America, made him resolve to try the effects of his influence in the very citadel of the foes of liberal principles in governAs America no ment, whose out-posts he had stormed. needed his aid, he resolved to attack the English longer

government at home

to free

England

herself.

Accordingly, in April, 1787, he sailed from the United States for France, and arrived in Paris after a short passage. His knowledge of mechanics and natural philosophy had procured him the honor of being admitted a member of the American Philosophical society he was also admitted MasThese honors, ter of Arts by the university of Philadelphia. though not of much consequence in themselves, were the means of introducing him to some of the most scientific men in France, and soon after his arrival he exhibited to the
;

of Sciences, the model of an iron bridge which had occupied much of his leisure time during his residence in America. This model received the unqualified approbation of the Academy, and it was afterwards adopted by the most scientific men of England. From Paris Mr. Paine proceeded to London, where he arrived on the third of September. Before the end of that month he went to Thetford to see his mother, who was now

Academy

borne down by age, and was, besides, in very straightened circumstances. His father, it appears, had died during his

22

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

and he hastened to the place of his birth to relieve the wants of his surviving parent. He led a recluse sort of life at Thetford for several weeks, being principally occupied in writing a pamphlet on the state of the nation, under the " title of Prospects on the Rubicon." This was published in London, toward the end of the year 1787. During the year 1788, Mr. Paine was principally occupied
absence
;

ham

in building his bridge. For this purpose he went to Rotherin Yorkshire, in order that he might have an opportu-

nity of superintending its iron castings. The situation of France had now become of great interest to all Europe, and Mr. Paine was in the confidence of the chief actors in the great events which were there taking place, and he hastened again to Paris to witness and assist in the* downto act his part in the great, drama fall of Bourbon despotism of freedom, the scene of which had shifted from the land of Washington to the country of Lafayette. The French are peculiarly sensitive to the shafts of ridicule and Voltaire,* taking a wise advantage of this, had made such good use of his exquisite wit, that both priestcraft and statecraft had become rather absurd than respectable in the estimation of the higher orders of those who held both their wealth and their positions under such patronage. The writings of the Abbe Raynal had imbued the French with respect for the natural rights of humanity, and consequently with contempt and abhorrence for the vested rights of tyrants and the writings of that great apostle of liberty, Rousseau, had long been preparing the way, in France, for what those of Paine had effected in America ; in fact, Rousseau was the " author hero" of the French Revolution and it was more owing to his pen, than to anything else, that the views of the people of France so differed from these of their rulers, that, whilst the latter, in assisting America to throw off the British yoke, looked no further than the weakening and humiliating of England, the former approved of, and sustained the measure, as initiatory to the destruction of
;
;

monarchy

itself.

The return from America of the troops of Lafayette had


furnished a vast reinforcement to the popular cause, and inMr. Paine fused its principles throughout all France. remarks, that
tionary,'' is

* That Encyclopedia of wit and wisdom, Voltaire's "Philosophies./ published by Mr. J. P. Mendum, at the office of tne

I/io-

Investigator."

PERIOD THIRD.
"

23
military events

As

it

was impossible

to separate the

which took place in America from the principles of the American revolution, the publication of those events in France
necessarily connected themselves with the principles that produced them. Many of the facts were in themselves principles such as the Declaration of American Independence, and the treaty of alliance between France and America, which recognized the natural rights of man, and justified resistance
;

to oppression." This is the proper place to show that neither Paine, Rousseau, nor Voltaire are at all chargeable with the abominations which have been perpetrated, both in America and " France, in the name of liberty and that our scurvy politi" have no more business to spout their impudent clapcians trap in the name of the principles advocated by the author of " The Rights of Man," than Marat, St. Just, and Robespierre, had to mouth Rousseau. Nothing is plainer, than that the two great moving minds in the American and French revolutions aimed at the practical actualization of liberty. Had Rousseau awoke from the dead at the time of the
;

jority-despotism and spoils? Do you thin^k I meant caucus in short, trickery, election frauds, office gambling, corruption, when I said free government ? demagogism, "Are my teachings to be estimated from the stand-point where 'tis difficult, if not impossible to determine whether ' * have the most uncomfortable slaves or free laborers time of it ? In the name of Common Sense,' I protest against your gross misrepresentation of me. The contemptible knave and fool game which you are playing in the name of liberty, is but the back step of the forward one towards freedom, which I helped mankind to take. Call you your miserable hotch-potch of spent supernatural' ' '

he would have exclaimed. be what I meant by the state of nature?" "Miscreants!" Paine would thunder in the ears of our rulers, were he now to visit the land over which the star" Is elective franchise to end in maspangled banner waves.
"

French Revolution, Do you take carnage

"

What !"

to

ism and worn out absolutism, what I meant by freedom ? as well call a rotting heap of building material?, which some architect, whose skill was far in advance of his time, had not lived long enough to put together accor'V.njf to his design, the edifice which he intended.

You might

24

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

"Ye infidels,* who meanly and hypocritically sneak for patronage under the shreds and tatters of the worn out cloak of the church, or who quit the ranks of superstition, only to wasie your energies over an. old book which I completely emasculated (but lived to discover that I had mistaken a
prominent symptom for the disease I sought to cure ;) or to dispute and wrangle over mere speculative abstractions, or at most, to eat and drink and dance, and talk in memory of me, every twenty-ninth of January, when it does not fall on a Sunday. In calling on my name, and looking backward in unavailing admiration of what I did, instead of pushing ahead and carrying on the work which I began, you confer no more honor on me than modern Christians do on their " Jesus." You are no more like me, than papists and protestants
Galilee. to do good.' Yours has thus far been religion was do nothing or worse than nothing. "Why do you not organize, and have your own schools, instead of allowing your children to be supernaturalistically educated ? You allow the reasoning faculties of the scions of humanity to be completely maimed, and then blame nature

Sabbath-breaking

are the true followers of the Pharisee-condemning, son of the world-famous carpenter of
'

"My

to

because they are vicious ;' or, like idiots holding candles for the blind to read by, you ply them with reason, when they arrive at the age when they ought to be reasonable, but are confirmed in folly instead. Has the freedom of the people to chose their own teachers and head their own churches, culminated in schools, the very hot-beds of superstition, and in churches more intimately connected with, and more expensive to the state, sub rosa, than the Catholic church openly is, even in Rome ? "Why do you not elevate woman, instead of letting your

'

daughters grow up under the influence of the priests ? Why do you so stubbornly cling to that immaculate abortion that most pestiferous effluvia of supernaturalism that quintessence of malice that thickest fog that ever darkened the understanding that strong-hold of all that is arbitrary that refinement of cruelty that last relic of absolutistic absurdmoralism ? and why is its correlative, opinionism ity,
;
; ;

* I wish it to be " infidels," particularly observed, that I give the term a much more extended sense than that which it is popularly supposed to convey.

PERIOD THIRD.
still

25

the basis of your political system ? Why are you, like still appealing to that most fallible of all conscience ? And in the name of all that is intelliguides, gible, what good is there in that chronic suicide which you outdo even supernaturalists in lauding as virtue ? Besides, has virtue,' notwithstanding all the pains taken with it, and all the hot-house fostering that that plant has received, grown a hair's breadth since the remotest ages ? " Why has not how to, long since superseded ought to ? "Abandon, I beseech you, that inflicter of martyrdom that watchword of Robespierre, and of the most relentless Let the tyrants that ever tortured humanity, principle. science and art of goodness take its place. "The severest and most persistent scourges of the human race are, and ever have been, men and women of principle. They cannot be even bribed to do right. Robespierre was par excellence, the incorruptible ;' and so was Marat. "Principle is the very bed of Procrustes. Principle is the disguise in which the angel of darkness appears so like an angel of light,' as to deceive, thus far, all but the very But I had not your elect.' It partially deceived even me. means of detecting the cheat. In my day it had not been, as it recently has been, demonstrated that man's will, aided by the force of all that is intelligible fully developed and harmoniously and most advantageously combined, is the measure of his power, and of nature's resources ; that well doing, to any extent worth naming, requires nothing more, and nothing less, than such force, such development, and such combination that to progress, there is no obstruction, even to the unfriendliness of climate, which is not, through human art,

your opponents,

'

'

'

'

'

'

working with, in, and through nature, removeable. "In my time, it had not been shown (as it recently has
been, to a mathematical demonstration) that the only possible way to make people good, is to create the requisite materialistic conditions ; and that therefore the most stupid of blunders the most infernal of cruelties is punishment. "You affect to love science. Make it loveable. Raise it make it the to the dignity of the highest law, or religion basis of government ; and thus avail yourselves of its whole use, instead of the little benefit you derive from its beggarly elements.' "Patiently discover, instead of recklessly and vainly 'en;
'

acting laws scientifically develop, and artistically combine the whole force of physical nature, and the whole power of a
;

'

26

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

man.
is

Assist nature, whose head you are, to create, till supply adequate to demand till creation is complete till harmony is in exact proportion to present antagonism till no
;
;

perfect goodness, perfect freedom, and perfect and sufficiently lasting happiness. Thus, alone, can you eliminate that synonym for ignorance, virtue/ moralism, absomystery and its resulting vice,' lutism, demagogism, slavery, and misery. " If you love, and would truly honor me, act forward, according to the spirit, and not backward, according to the ktLet onward to perfection, be your ter, of what I taught.
' '

obstacle stands between

man , and

motto.
see if you would you are far from poor, on the average, and you include nearly all the learned and scientific but you are somehow or other so averse to organizing and becoming an

"Your numbers are sufficient, as you would


;

but stand out

body, with a head, that like the mutually suspicious eighty-seven millions of Indians, to whom a few well regulated British troops dictate terms, you suffer your even half organized foes to trample your rights under foot, when if you would
efficient

organize on an intelligible,
tistic basis,

TRULY selfish,

scientific
all

and

ar-

your own
secured.

rights,

and those of

men would be

with that barricade of hypocrisy, principle. Liberty, goodness, in short, happiness, can be nothing less than the crowning art. ''Instead of admitting, as you do, that nature ought to have a supernatural guardian or kelper, (inasmuch as you admit that she is incompetent to supply more than a tithe of the satisfaction which her wants, as manifested through her highest organism, man call for,) why do you not meet the question, as it alone can be met, by demonstrating that man no more really wants or needs absolutely eternal self-consciousness, than the infant really wants or needs the moon for a bauble, when he stretches forth his hand to grasp it, and weeps at his failure. But that what man really does want, nature, through Can't you see that what science, art, development, can give ?
in reality means by perfect and eternal happiness, is, perfect and sufficiently-lasting happiness? and that nature must furnish this, or prove a failure which would amount to
'

Down

your fellow-

man

'

a greater absurdity, than supernaturalism itself? Do you not see that for man to even desire any thing reaUy beyond nature, is to prove supernaturalism.' Mind, I have said desire ; for man cannot conceive of, and therefore cannot desire the annihilation of duration and space. He cannot really
'

'

PERIOD THIRD.
;

wish for happiness without its conditions if it came merely if he could believe himself into Heaven, or at his bidding, vote himself free, both Heaven and freedom would pall on the appetite as soon as tasted. "Had I lived at the time when Humboldt scanned nature, when Feuerbach demonstrated the naturalness of supernatu'

ralism,'

and showed the all-importance and practiced

signifi-

cancy of man's instinctively inaugurating his abstract subject-

when Comte showed the connection, and the unity of all science, when Fourier discovered the proved equitable relations which should exist between labor, capital, and skill, and which, sooner or later, must displace the present unnatural and ruinous ones had I lived when it had been demonstrated that nature is all sufficient that science, art, development, well prove adequate to all the requirements of miracle ; that the highest aspirations of nature's highest organism, man, indicate the perfection to which nature is spontaneously tending, and which she must attain to ; that the business of man is to discover how to fully gratify, aU the passions which nature has implanted in him (instead of trying to contrive how to mortify, repress, and overcome nearly all, and by far the best of them,) how to live, till he has rung, so to speak, all the changes possible on his five senses, till the repetition becomes irksome ; had I enjoyed the advantages derivable from all this, your steam engines, steam printing presses, sewing machines, and all other maivity almighty,
; ; ;

and your electric telegraph, even, should have had its match in social science and art ; you should, by this time, have had a religion self evidently true, and a system of law and the whole world should have been far necessarily just advanced towards becoming a state spontaneously free." Reader, considering how very far ahead of his time, it was the distinguishing characteristic of the author of the " " Rights of Man" and The Age of Reason" to be, is it too much to suppose that, were he alive now, he would talk thus, except far more eloquently, beyond all question? Would not he who made but two steps from the government of priests, kings and lords, to the people's right to be their own church and their own government, have found out, before now, the means of escaping from demagogism ? As one who is not prepared to admit that liberty is an empty name, that happiness at all answering to that which man desires, is an
chines,
;

impractibility,

I respectfully submit that he would. And I scorn the supposition that he would degrade himself, and the

"28

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE,

cause lie espoused, so far as to make the pitiable and lying excuse which the betrayers of mankind offer in behalf of " free institutions," that they are no worse than those, to escape from which, both earth and ocean have been reddened with human blood, and strewn with the ashes and the wrecks of human industry. Our " free institutions " have come to be so much worse than those confessedly despotic, that it is only the superior natural advantage, which our country enjoys, that has thus far preserved even their name. The proper or natural functions of popularism are but
transitional. The instant it is undertaken to erect democracy into a permanency, it dwindles to a most pitiable imitation to a blundering re-enacting, under false names, of the worn out measures of the religion and politics, from which it is leIt thus becomes so gitimately but a protest and a departure. exceedingly corrupt and morbific, that the social organism, to protect itself from utter dissolution, is forced to reject it, and return again under its old regime. And nothing short of the religion and government of science can furnish an outlet from this vicious circle. Mr. Paine again left France for England, in Nov. 1790, having witnessed the destruction of the Bastile, and been an attentive observer, if not an active adviser, of the revolutionary proceedings which had taken place during the preceding

twelve months. On the 13th of March, 1791, Mr. Jordan, No. 166 Fleet" The Rights of street, published for him the first part of Man." This work was intended to arouse the people of England to a sense of the defects and abuses of their vaunted system of government besides which, it was a masterly re;

futation of the falsehoods

Burke's celebrated France." France.

"Reflections

and exaggerations of Edmund on The Revolution in

About the middle of May, Mr. Paine again went to This was just before the king attempted to escape
his

from

own

dominions.

On the

occasion of the return of the

fugitive monarch, Mr. Paine was, from an accidental circumAn immense stance, in considerable danger of losing his life. concourse of people had assembled to witness the event.

Among

the crowd was Mr. Paine.

An

officer

proclaimed

the order of the national assembly, that all should be silent and covered. In an instant all except Mr. Paine, put on their hats. He had lost his cockade, the emblem of liberty and equality. The multitude observing that he remained

PERIOD THIRD.

29

uncovered, supposed that he was one of their enemies, and a " cry instantly arose, Aristocrat ! Aristocrat t a la lanteme ! a la lanterne /" He was instructed by those who stood near him to put on his hat, but it was some time before the matter could be satisfactorily explained to the multitude. On the 13th of July, 1791, he returned to London, but it was not thought prudent that he should attend the public celebration of the French revolution, which was to take place on the following day. He was however, present at the meeting which was held at the Thatched-House tavern, on the Of the address and declaratwentieth of August following. tion which issued from this meeting, and which was at first attributed to Mr. Horn Tooke, Mr. Paine was the author. Mr. Paine was now engaged in preparing the second part of the ''Rights of Man" for the press. In the mean time the ministry had received information that the work would shortly appear, and they resolved to get it suppressed if possible. Having ascertained the name of the printer, they employed him to endeavor to purchase the copyright. He began by offering a hundred guineas, then five hundred, and at length a thousand but Mr. Paine told him, that he "would never put it in the power of any printer or publisher to suppress or alter a work of his." Finding that Mr. Paine was not to be bribed, the ministry next attempted to suppress the work by means of prosecutions but even in this they succeeded so badly, that the second part " of the Rights of Man" was published on the sixteenth ol February, 1792, and -at a moderate calculation, more than a hundred thousand copies of the work were circulated. In August, 1792, Paine prepared a publication in defense " of the Rights of Man," and of his motives in writing it he " entitled it An Address to the Addressers on the late Proc" " lamation." is one of the severest This," says Sherwin, pieces of satire that ever issued from the press." About the middle of September, 1792, a French deputation announced to Mr. Paine that he had been elected to represent the department of Calais in the National Convention. At Dover, whither he repaired, in order to embark for France, the treatment of the minions of British despotism towards the hated author of the " Rights of Man," was disPlis trunks were all graceful and mean to the last degree. opened, and the contents examined. Some of his papers were seized, and it is probable that the whole would have been but for the cool and steady conduct of their owner and hia
;

30
attendants.

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

When the custom-house officers had indulged their malice as long as they thought proper, Mr. Paine and hia petty friends were allowed to embark, and they arrived at Calais in about three hours. The English-French representative, however, very narrowly escaped the vigilance of the despots he had provoked, for it appears that an order to detain him was received at Dover, in about twenty minutes after his embarkation. salute from the battery announced to the people of Calais the arrival of the distinguished foreigner, on whom

they had bestowed an honor unprecedented. His reception, both military and civic, was what a monarch might well have been proud of. " The garrison at Calais were under arms to receive this friend of liberty ; the tri-colored cockade was presented to him by the mayor, and the handsomest woman in the town was selected to place it

on

his hat."*

This ceremony being over, he walked to Deissein's in the Hue, de VEgalite (formerly Rue dc fioi), the men, women, and children, crowding around- him, and shouting" Vive Thomas Paine He was then conducted to the town-hall, and there presented to the municipality, who with the greatest affection embraced their representative. The mayor addressed him in a short speech (which was interpreted to him by his friend
!'*'

M. Audibert), to which Mr. Paine, laying his hand on his heart, replied, that his life should be devoted to their service. At the inn he was waited upon by the authorities, and by
the president of the Constitutional society,
:

who

desired that

he would attend their meeting that night he cheerfully complied with the request, and the whole town would have been the hall of the Hinimes was so there., had there been room crowded that it was with the greatest difficulty they made way for Mr. Paine to the side of the president. Over the chair in which he sat were placed the bust of Mirabeau, and the colors of France, England, and America united. A speaker from the tribune, formally announced his election, amid the plaudits of the people for some minutes after nothing was heard but
:

* The

least unfair

view of Thomas Paine's character and merits which

has hitherto been found

in the -'historical writings of any American author except Randall, Savage, and Vale, (who quotes copiously from Sherwin), " is taken by an ecclesiastic, Francis L. Hawkes, D.D., L.L.D. His Cyclopedia of Biography," from which 1 have quoted above, is published by the Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., who also publish Buckle's" History of Civilization in England ;" a work which would have fully satisfied the author of the " Age of Reason" himself, had he lived to read it.

PERIOD THIRD
"
Five la Nation
I

31

Vive

Thomas

Paine," in voices both male

and female.

On the following day an extra meeting was appointed to be held in the church in honor of the new deputy to the convention, the Minimes having been found quite suffocating, from the vast concourse of people which had assembled, on
At the theatre, on the evening after box was specially reserved for the author of the Rights of Man," the object of the English proclamation. " Such was the enthusiasm of the people for the authorhero" of the American Revolution, that Mr. Paine was also elected deputy for Abbeville, Beauvais, and Versailles but
the previous occasion.
his arrival, a "
;

the people of Calais having been beforehand in their choice, he preferred being their representative. After remaining with his constituents a short time, he proceeded to Paris, in order to take his seat as a member of the National Assembly. On the road thither he met with similar honors to those which he had received at Calais. As soon as he arrived at Paris, he addressed a letter to his fellow-citizens, the people of Prance, thanking th^m for both adopting and electing him as their deputy to the convention. Mr. Paine was shortly after his arrival in Paris, appointed a member of the committee for framing the new constitution. While he was performing the important duties of his station, the ministry of England were using every effort to counteract the (to them) dangerous principles which he had disseminated. For this purpose ttiey filed informations. against the different individuals who had sold the "Rights of Man," and also against the author. The trial of Mr. Paine came on at Guildhall, on the 18th of December, before that most cruel and vindictive of creatures that ever disgraced the bench of even a British court of justice, Lord Kenyon. As the judge was pensioned, and the jury packed, a verdict of guilty follow-

ed as a matter of course. Mr. Erskine's plea for the defence was, as Mr. Paine observed, on reading a report of the farce which had been enacted under the name of a trial, " a good speech for himself but a very poor defence of the " Rights of Man"* Seldom has the cowardice which a sense of guilt excites, reached such a panic as that into which the government of
Paine's work," [the Rights of Man,"] says Schlosser, in bis History of The Eighteenth Century," " made as great and as lasting an impression on certain classes in England as Burke's did upon the great majority of tin.* higher and middle ranks."

"

"

"

32

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

England was thrown by Thomas Paine. In France h v was from their malice, but no less than ten individuals were prosecuted for selling his works, and by corrupted judges and packed juries, nine of the number were convicted, and severely
safe

Rights of Man,"'' say? Sherwin, the ministry saw that it inculcated truths which they could not controvert; that it contained plans, which, if adopted, would benefit at least nine tenths of the community, and that its principles were the reverse of the existing system of government they therefore judged that the most politic method would be to treat the work with contempt, to represent it as a foolish and insignificant performance, unworthy of their notice, and undeserving the attention of the public. But they soon found the inefficiency of this mode of treatment the more contempt they showed, the more the book was read, and approved of. Finding, therefore, that their declarations of contempt were as unsuccessful as their project of buying up the work, they determined upon prosecuting the author and publisher. Mr. Paine was not at all surprised at this resolution of the ministry indeed, he had anticipated it on the publication of the second part of the work, and to remove any doubt as to his intention of defending the principles which he had so effectually inculcated, he addressed the following letter to his publisher
; ; ; :

fined or imprisoned, or both. "On the first appearance of the

'

FEBKUARY
SIR
:

16, 1792.

Should any person, under the sanction of any kind of authority, inquire of you respecting the author and publisher " of the Rights of Man," you will please to mention me as the author and publisher of that work, and show to such person I will, as soon as I am made acquainted with it, this letter. appear and answer for the work personally.

Your humble servant, THOMAS PAINE.


MR. JORDAN, No. 166 Fleet Street.
" The first intimation which Mr. Paine received," continues " Sherwin, of the intentions of the ministry, was on the 14th of May, 1792. He was then at Bromly, in Kent, upon which on his arrival he found that lie came immediately to town Mr. Jordan had that evening been served with a summons to appear at the court of King's Bench on the Monday following, but for what purpose was not stated. Conceiving it to be on
;

PERIOD THIRD.

33

account of the work, he appointed a meeting with Mr. Jordan, on the next morning, when he provided a solicitor, and took the expense of the defense on himself. But Mr. Jordan, it appears, had too much regard for his person to hazard its safety on the event of a prosecution, and he compromised the affair with a solicitor of the treasury, by agreeing to appear in court and plead guilty. This arrangement answered the purpose of both parties That of Jordan in liberating himself from the risk of a prosecution, and that of the ministry, since his plea of guilty amounted in some measure to a condemnation of the work." The following letter from Mr. Paine to the Attorney-General, Sir Archibald Macdonald, shows, that but for the circumstance of his being called to France, as just related, it was his intention to have formally defended himself in the " prosecution against him as author of the Rights of Man." " SIR Though I have some reason for believing that you were not the original promoter or encourager of the prosecu" tion commenced against the work entitled Rights of Man," either as that prosecution is intended to affect the author, the publisher, or the public yet as you appear the official person therein, I address this letter to you, not as Sir Archibald Macdonald, but as attorney-general. You began by a prosecution against the publisher, Jordan, and the reason assigned by Mr. Secretary Dundas, in the house of commons, in the debate on the proclamation, May 25, for taking that measure, was, he said, because Mr. Paine could not be found, or words to that effect. Mr. Paine, sir, so far from secreting himself, never went a step out of his way, nor in the least instance varied from his usual conduct, to avoid any measure you might choose to adopt with respect to him. It is on the purity of his heart, and the universal utility of the principles and plans which his writings and he will not dishonor it contain, that he rests the issue by any kind of subterfuge. The apartments which he occupied at the time of writing the work last winter, he has con: ; ;

tinued to occupy to the present hour, and the solicitors of the of which there is prosecution know where to find him a proof in their own office as far back as the 21st of May, and also in the office of my own attorney. But admitting, for the sake of the case, that the reason for proceeding against the publisher was, as Mr. Dundas stated, that Mr. Paine could not be found, that reason can
;

now

exist

no longer.

34

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

The instant that I was informed that an information was preparing to be filed against ine, as the author of, I believe, one of the most useful books ever offered to mankind, I

my attorney to put in an appearance and as I meet the prosecution fully and fairly, and with a good and upright conscience, I have a right to expect that no act of littleness, will be made use of on the part of the prosecution toward influencing the future issue with respect to the This expression may, perhaps, appear obscure to author. you but I am in the possession of some matters which serve
directed
shall
;
,

to show that the action against the publisher is not intended to be a real action. If, therefore, any persons concerned in the prosecution have found their cause so weak as to make it appear convenient to them to enter into a negotiation with the publisher, whether for the purpose of his submitting to a
verdict, and to make use of the verdict so obtained as a circumstance, by way of precedent, on a future trial against myself or for any other purpose not fully made known to me ; if, I say, I have cause to suspect this to be the case, I shall most certainly -withdraw the defence I should otherwise have made, or promoted, on his (the publisher's) behalf, and leave the negotiators to themselves, and shall reserve the whole of the defence for the real trial. But, sir, for the purpose of conducting this matter with at least that appearance of fairness and openness that shall justify itself before the public whose cause it really is (for it is the right of public discussion and investigation that is questioned), I have to propose to you to cease the prosecuand as the reason or pretext can tion against the publisher no longer exist for continuing it against him because Mr. Paine could not be found, that you would direct the whole process against me, with whom the prosecuting party will not find it possible to enter into any private negotiation. I will do the cause full justice, as well for the sake of the
;
;

nation, as for

my own

reputation.

Another reason for discontinuing the process against the publisher is, because it can amount to nothing. First, because a jury in London cannot decide upon the fact of publishing beyond the limits of the jurisdiction of London, and therefore the work may be republished over and over again in every county in the nation and every case must have a separate process and by the time that three or four hundred prosecutions have been had, the eyes of the nation will then be fully open to see that the work in question contains
;

PERIOD THIRD.

35

a plan the best calculated to root out all the abuses of government, and to lessen the taxes of the nation upwards of six
millions annually.

Secondly, because though the gentlemen of London may be very expert in understanding their particular professions and occupations, and how to make business contracts with government beneficial to themselves as individuals, the rest of the nation may not be disposed to consider them sufficiently qualified nor authorized to determine for the whole nation

on plans of reform, and on systems and principles of government. This would be in effect to erect a jury into a national convention, instead of electing a convention, and to lay a precedent for the probable tyranny of juries, under the pretence of supporting their rights. That the possibility always exists of packing juries will not be denied and, therefore, in all cases where government is the prosecutor, more especially in those where the right of public discussion and investigation of principles and systems of government is attempted to be suppressed by a verdict, or in those where the object ol the work that is prosecuted is the reform of abuse and the abolition of sinecure places and pensions, in all these cases the verdict of a jury will itself become a subject of discussion and therefore, it furnishes an additional reason for discontinuing the prosecution against the publisher, more especially as it is not a secret that there has been a negotiation with him for secret purposes, and for proceeding against me only. I shall make a much stronger defence than what I believe the treasury solicitor's agreement with him will permit him to do. I believe that Mr. Burke, finding himself defeated, and not " being able to make any answer to the Rights of Man," has been one of the promoters of this prosecution and I shall return the compliment to him by showing, in a future publication, that he has been a masked pensioner at fifteen hundred pounds per annum for about ten years. Thus it is that the public money is wasted, and the dread of public investigation is produced.
; ; ;

I am, sir,

SIR

A MACDONALD, Attorney-General.
On

Your obedient humble servant, THOMAS PAINB.


Duke
of Brunswick issued

the 25th of July, 1792, the

36

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

were resolved

his sanguinary manifesto, in which he declared that the allies to inflict the most dreadful punishments on the

national assembly, for their treatment of the royal family ; he even went so far as to threaten to give up Paris to military execution. This made the people furious, and drove them to deeds of desperation. party was consequently formed in the convention for putting the king to death. Mr. Paine labored hard to prevent matters from being carried to this extremity, but though his efforts produced a few converts to his doctrine, the majority of his colleagues were too enraged at the duplicity of the king, and the detestable conduct of the foreign monarchs, with whom he was leagued, to be satisfied with anything short of the most dreadful vengeance. The conduct of Louis was too reprehensible to be passed over unnoticed, and Mr. Paine therefore voted that he should be tried but when the question whether he should be put to

death, was brought forward, he opposed it by every argument in his power. His exertions were, however, ineffectual, and sentence of death was passed, though by a very small maMr. Paine lost no opportunity of protesting against jority. this extreme measure when the question, whether the sentence should be carried into execution, was discussed, he combated the proposition with great energy. As he was not well versed in the French language, he wrote or spoke in English, which one of the secretaries translated. It is evident that his reasoning was thought very persuasive, since those who had heard the speeches of Buzot, Condorcet, and Brissot, on the same side of the question, without interruption, broke out in murmurs, while Paine's opinion was being translated and Marat, at length, losing all patience, exclaimed that Paine was a quaker, whose mind was so contracted by the narrow principles of his religion, that he was incapable of the liberality that was requisite for condemning men to death. This shrewd argument not being thought convincing, the secretary continued to read, that the execution of the sentence, instead of an act of justice, would appear to all the world, and particularly to their allies, the American States, as an act of vengeance, and that if he were sufficiently master of the French language, he would, in the name of his brethren of America, present a petition at their bar against the execution of the sentence.' Marat and his associates said that these could not possibly be the sentiments of Thomas Paine, and that the assembly was imposed upon
; ;
'

PERIOD THIRD.

37

by a false translation. On comparing it with the original, however, it was found to be correct. The only practical effect of Paine's leniency to the king was that of rendering himself an object of hatred among the most violent and now dominant actors in the revolution. They found that he could not be induced to participate in tlioir acts of cruelty they dreaded the opposition which he might make to their sanguinary deeds, and they therefore marked him out as a victim to be sacrificed the first oppor;

tunity.

indeed, one of the most features in his character, and he exercised it, prominent whether on public or private occasions. Of his strict attention to his public duty in this respect, even at the hazard of his own safety, we have just seen a convincing proof in his and of his humane opposition to the execution of the king and charitable disposition in private matters, the following circumstances are sufficient to warrant the most unqualified conclusion.
;

The humanity of Mr. Paine was,

Mr. Paine was dining one day with about twenty friends, at a coffee-house in the Palais Egalite, now the Palais Royal, when, unfortunately for the harmony of the company, a captain in the English service contrived to introduce himself.
military gentleman was a strenuous supporter of the English system of government, and of course, a decided enemy of the French Revolution. After the cloth was removed, the conversation turned on the state of affairs in England, and the means which had been adopted by the government to check political knowledge. Mr. Paine gave his opinion very freely, and much to the satisfaction of every one present, ex-

The

Captain Grimstone, who finding himself cornered, answered his arguments by calling him a traitor to his country, and applying to him other terms equally opprobious. Mr. Paine treated his abuse with much good humor, which rendered the captain so furious, that he struck him a violent blow. But the cowardice of this behavior on the part of a Btout young man, toward a person upward of sixty years of The captain Lad age, was not the worst part of the affair. struck a citizen deputy of the convention, which was an insult to the whole nation the offender was hurried into cusand it was with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Paine tody, prevented him from being massacred on the spot. The convention had decreed the punishment of death to any one who should be convicted of striking a deputy Mr.
cept
;

38

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

Paine was therefore placed in a very unpleasant situation. He immediately applied to Barrere, president of the committee of public safety, for a passport for his imprudent adverHis request being, after much hesitation, complied sary. with, he still had considerable difficulty in procuring his liberation but even this was not all of which the nobility of his nature was capable. The captain was without friends, and penniless and Mr. Paine generously supplied him with money to defray his travelling expenses, home to England. A Major Munroe, who lodged at the same hotel with Mr, Paine, and whose business it was to inform Pitt and the ministry of England, of what was going on in France, remaining after the war was declared, was thrown into prison. He applied to Mr. Paine, who, by great exertion, procured his
;

release.

The reign of terror had now fairly begun, and Mr. Paine's humane disposition conspicuously marked him for one of its
victims. In allusion to the dreadful proceedings which were making such havoc among the best patriots of Prance, he says " As for myself, I used to find some relief by walking alone in the garden after it was dark, and cursing with hearty good will the authors of that terrible system that had turned the character of the revolution I had been proud to defend. "I went but little to the convention, and then only to make my appearance because I found it impossible for me to join in their tremendous decrees, and useless and dangerous to
:

oppose them. My having voted and spoken extensively, more so than any other member, against the execution of the king, had already fixed a mark upon me neither dared any of my associates in the convention to translate, and speak in French Pen and ink for me anything I might have dared to write. No good could be done by were then of no use to me. and whatever I writing, and no printer dared to print might have written for my private amusement, as anecdotes of the times, would have been continually exposed to be ex: ;

amined, and tortured into any meaning that the rage of party might fix upon it and as to softer subjects, my heart was in
;

distress at the fate of

my friends, and my harp was hung upon the weeping willows." But the gentle, conciliating, and open manner of Mr. Paine rendered it impossible to impeach his political conduct, and this was the reason why he remained so long at liberty. The first attempt that was made against him, was by means

PERIOD THIRD.

39

of an act of the convention, which decreed that all persons residing in France, who were born in England, should be imprisoned but as Mr. Paine was a member of the convention, and had been adopted a "citizen of France "the decree did not extend to him. A motion was afterward made by Bourdon de 1'Oise, for expelling all foreigners from the conIt was evident from the speech of the mover, that vention. Mr. Paine was the principal object aimed at, and as soon as the expulsion was effected, an application was made to the two committees of public safety, of which Robespierre was the dictator, and he was immediately arrested under the former decree for imprisoning persons born in England. On his way to the Luxembourg, he contrived to call upon his intimate friend and associate, Joel Barlow, with whom he left the manuscript of the first part of the "Age of Reason." This work he intended to be the last of his life, but the proceedings in France, during the year 1793, induced him to de;

lay

it

no longer.
the time

of Reason was written, Mr. Paine was in daily expectation of being sent to the guillotine, where many of his friends had already perished the doctrines, therefore, which it inculcates, must be regarded as the sentiments of a dying man. This is a conclusive proof that the work was not the result of a wish to deceive. Mr. Paine had measured his time with such precision, that he had not finished the book more than six hours, before he was arrested and conveyed to the Luxembourg. Had such a singularly favorable coincidence as this happened in the transactions of a Christian theological writer, it would undoubtedly have been ascribed to the interposition of Divine Providence. After Mr. Paine had remained in prison about three weeks, the Americans residing in Paris, went in a body to the convention and demanded the liberation of their fellow-citizen. The following is a copy of the address presented by them to the president of the convention an address which sufficiently shows the high estimation in which Mr. Paine was at thia time held by the citizens of the United States "Citizens! The French nation had invited the most illustrious of all foreign nations to the honor of representing
the

At

when

"

Age

"

her.

Thomas Paine, the apostle of liberty in America, a profound and valuable philosopher, a virtuous and esteemed oiti Particular oen, came to France and took a seat among you.

40

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

circumstances rendered necessary the decree to put under arrest all the English residing in France. "Citizens Representatives come to demand of you Thomas Paine, in the name of the friends of liberty, and in the name of the Americans, your brothers and allies was there anything more wanted to obtain our demand we would Do not give to the leagued despots the pleasure of tell you. inform you that the seals put seeing Paine in irons. upon the papers of Thomas Paine have been taken off, that the committee of general safety examined them, and far from
! !

We

We

finding among them any dangerous propositions, they only found the love of liberty which characterized him all his lifetime, that eloquence of nature and philosophy which made him the friend of mankind, and those principles of public morality which merited the hatred of kings, and the affection

of his fellow-citizens.

"In short, citizens! if you permit us to restore Thomas Paine to the embraces of his fellow-citizens, we offer to pledge ourselves as securities for his conduct during the short time he shall remain in France." The Americans who presented the foregoing address, received for answer, that Mr. Paine was born in England/
'

and him

was also hinted to them that their attempt to reclaim as a citizen of the United States, conld not be listened to, in consequence of its not being authorized by the American
it

government. I wish the reader to particularly note what I have here italicised, as I shall hereafter refer to it in a very important connection. Soon after this, all communication between the prisoners and their friends was cut off, by an order of the police and the only hope that during six months, remained to Mr. Paine, was, that the American minister would be authorized to inBut even this quire into the cause of his imprisonment. hope,' Mr. Paine observes, in the state in which matters were daily arriving, was too remote to have any consolatory effect ; and I contented myself with the thought that I might be remembered when it would be too late.' During this long imprisonment he amused himself by writing a variety of pieces, both in poetry and prose, some of which have since been published. He also wrote a considerable portion of the second part of the Age of Reason.' When he had been in prison about eight months, he was seized with a violent fever, which nearly deprived him of
;
' ' '

PERIOD THIRD.
life,

41

and from the effects of which he never perfectly recovered. This fever, which rendered him insensible for more than a month, was, however, the means of preserving his life ; for had he remained in health, he would no doubt have been dragged before the tribunal, and sent to the guillotine. After the fall of Robespierre, Mr. Paine, seeing several of his fellow-prisoners set at liberty, began to conceive hopes of his own release, and addressed a memorial to Mr. Monroe, the American minister, on the subject. The following is a copy of Mr. Monroe's letter to Mr. Paine on this occasion
:

" I

PARIS, September 18, 1794.

DEAR

SIR

was favored, soon after my arrival here, with several from you, and more latterly \* ith one in the character of a memorial upon the subject of your confinement and should have answered them at the times they were respectively written, had I not concluded, you would have calculated with certainty upon the deep interest I take in your welfare, and the pleasure with which I shall embrace every opportunity in my power to serve you. I should still pursue the same course, and for reasons which must obviously occur, if I did not find that you are disquieted with apprehensions upon interesting points, and which justice to you and our
letters
:

country equally forbid you should entertain. You mention that you have been informed you are not considered as an American citizen by the Americans, and that you have likewise heard that I had no instructions respecting you by the government. I doubt not the person who gave you the infor-

mation meant well, but I suspect he did not even convey accurately his own ideas on the first point for I presume the most he could say is, that you had likewise become a French citizen, and which by no means deprives you of being an American one. Even this, however, may be doubted, I mean the acquisition of citizenship in France, and I confess you have said much to show that it has not been made. I really suspect that this was all that the gentleman who wrote to you, and those Americans he heard speak upon the subject, meant. It becomes my duty, however, to declare to you, that I consider you as an American citizen, and that you are considered As universally in that character by the people of America. such you are entitled to my attention and so far as it can be given, consistently with those obligations which are mutual
: ;

42

LIFE OF THOMAS PAIAJS.

between every government and even transient passengers, you


shall receive
it.

The congress have never decided upon the subject of citizenship, in a manner to regard the present case. By being with
us through the revolution, you are of our country as absoyou had been born there, and you are no more of England than every native American is. This is the true doctrine in the present case, so far as it becomes complicated with any other consideration. I have mentioned it to make you easy upon the only point which could give you any dislutely as if

quietude. It is necessary for me to tell you, how much all your countrymen I speak of the great mass of the people are interested in your welfare. They have not forgotten the history of their own revolution, and the difficult scenes through which they passed nor do they review its several stages without reviving in their bosoms a due sensibility of the merits of those who served them in that great and arduous conflict. The crime of ingratitude has not yet stained, and I trust never will stain, our national character. You are considered by them, as not only having rendered important services in our own revolution, but as being, on a more extensive scale, the friend of human rights and a distinguished and able advocate in favor of public liberty. To the welfare of Thomas Paine, the Americans are not, nor can they be, indifferent. Of the sense which the president has always entertained of your merits, and of his friendly disposition toward you, you are too well assured, to require any declaration of it from
;

me. That I forward his wishes in seeking your safety is what I well know and this will form an additional obligation on me to perform what I should otherwise consider as a duty. You are in my opinion, at present, menaced by no kind of danger. To liberate you will be an object of my endeavors, and as soon as possible. But you must, until that event shall be accomplished, bear your situation with patience and fortitude you will likewise have the justice to recollect, that I am placed here upon a difficult theatre, many important It becomes me objects to attend to, and with few to consult. in pursuit of those, so to regulate my conduct with respect to
: ;

each, as to the

manner and the

time, as will, in

my judgment,
me
personally

be best calculated to accomplish the whole. With great esteem and respect consider
your friend.

JAMES MONBOE.'

PERIOD THIRD.

43

Mr. Paine was released from prison on the 4th of November, 1794, having been in confinement for eleven months. After his liberation, he was kindly invited to the house of

Mr. Monroe, where he remained for about eighteen months.

The following extract from one of


his return to

his letters, written after

America, is a highly interesting description of his situation while in prison, and of another narrrow escape which he had in addition to the one already noticed. 1 was one of the nine members that composed the first committee of constitution. Six of them have been destroyed. Syeyes and myself have survived. He by bending with the The other survivor joined times, and I by not bending. Robespierre, and signed with him the warrant of my arrestation. After the fall of Robespierre, he was seized and im'

prisoned in his turn, and sentenced to transportation. He has since apologised to me for Laving signed the warrant, by saying, he felt himself in danger and was obliged to do
it.

Herault Sechelles, an acquaintance of Mr. Jefferson, and a good patriot, was my suppliant as member of the committee of constitution that is, he was to supply my place, if I had not accepted or had resigned, being next in number of votes to me. He was imprisoned in the Luxenburg with me, was taken to the tribunal and the guillotine, and I, his principal,
;

was

left.

There were but two foreigners in the convention, Anacharsis Cloots* and myself. We were both put out of the convention by the same vote, arrested by the same order, and carried to prison together the same night. He was taken to
* " J. B. De Cloots, a Prussian Baron, known since the revolution by the name of Aracharsis Cloots, was born at Cleves, on the 24th of June, 1755, and became the possessor of a considerable fortune.
In September, 1792, he was deputed from the Oise to the Convention. In the same year he published a work entitled " The Universal Republic,'' wherein he laid it down as a principle that the people were the sovereign of the world that fools alone believed in a Supreme nay, that it was God' He soon afterwards fell under the suspicions of Robespierre, was Being,' &c. arrested as a Hebertist, and condemned to death on the 24th of March, 1794. He died with great firmness, and on his way to execution lectured Hebert on materialism,' to prevent him' as he said, from yielding to religious feelings in his last moments.' He even asked to be executed after all his accomplices, in order that he might have time to establish certain principles during the fall
' '

'

of their heads. See, also,

Biographic Moderns. for a fuller account of Baron

De

" Cloote, Thier's History

tfu Frenclt, Revolution."

44

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

the guillotine, and I was again left. Joel Barlow was with us when we went to prison. Joseph Lebon, one of the vilest characters that ever existed, and who made the streets of Arras run with blood, was my suppliant as member of the convention for the department of 'the Pais de Calais. When I was put out of the When I was convention he came and took my place. liberated from prison, and voted again into the convention, he was sent to the same prison and took my place there, and he went to the guillotine instead of me. He supplied my

place all the

of the Luxenbourg in one night, and a hundred and sixty of them guillotined the next day, of which I know I was to have been one and the manner in which I escaped that fate is curious, and has all the appearance of accident. The room in which I was lodged was on the ground floor, and one of a long range of rooms under a gallery, and the door of it opened outward and flat against the wall so that when it was open the inside of the door appeared outward, and the contrary when it was shut. I had three comrades, fellow-prisoners with me, Joseph Vanhuile of Bruges, since president of the municipality of that town, Michael Robins, and Bastini of Louvain. When persons by scores and hundreds were to be taken out of prison for the guillotine, it was always done in the night, and those who performed that office had a private mark or signal by which they knew what rooms to go to, and what number to take. We, as I have said, were four, and the door of our room was marked unobserved by us, with but it happened, if happening is that number in chalk a proper word, that the mark was put on when the door was open and flat against the wall, and thereby came on the inside when we shut it at night, and the destroying angel passed few days after this Robespierre fell, and the by it. American ambassador arrived and reclaimed me and invited me to his house. During the whole of my imprisonment, prior to the fall of Robespierre, there was no time when I could think my life
;

way through. One hundred and sixty-eight persons were taken out

worth twenty-four hours, and my mind was made up to meet its fate. The Americans in Paris went in a body to the convention to reclaim me, but without success. There was no party among them with respect to me. My only hope then rested on the government of America that it would remember

PERIOD THIRD.
me.

45

But the icy heart of ingratitude, in whatever man it placed, has neither feeling nor sense of honor. The letter of Mr. Jefferson has served to wipe away the reproach, and done justice to the mass of the people of America." Soon after Mr. Paine's release, the convention, by a unanimous vote, reinstated him in the seat he had formerly Mr. Paine did not refuse, being resolved to show occupied. that he was not to be terrified, and that his principles were neither to be perverted by disgust nor weakened by misfortune. His bodily health was very much impaired by his long confinement, and in September following, he was taken dangerously ill. He states that he had felt the approach of his disorder for some time, which occasioned him to hasten

may be

to a conclusion of the second part of the Age of Reason." This work was published at Paris, early in 1795, and was very phortly afterward reprinted both in England, and the

"

United States.
called forth a great many replies, but the only one whose fame has outlived its author, is the

The

"

Age

of Reason
"

"

Apology for the Bible." Even this is in defiance of the plainest rules of reason and logic, and
Bishop of Llandaff's

would have shared the fate of its companions in the same cause, if it had been written by an ordinary person. The advocates of the Christian faith were themselves so conscious of the imperfections of their system, and placed so little reliance on the Bishop's arguments, that they commenced a prosecution against Mr. Williams, the publisher of the " Age of Reason.' They retained Mr. Erskine on the part of the crown, who made every effort to procure a verdict. Mr. Kyd made an ingenious and able reply, in behalf of the defendant, but the jury, being special, readily found him guilty, June 4, 1797. Mr. Paine addressed a letter to Mr. Erskine on the proceedings of this trial, in which he ridiculed the absurdity of discussing theological subjects before such men as special juries are generally composed of, and cited fresh evidence in support of his former arguments against the truth of the Bible.

But. although the anti-biblical works of Mr. Paine were well able to withstand the Bishop of Llandaff's attacks, and have unquestionably made a greater number of mere unberelievers than have those of any other writer, they strongly mind those who comprehend the all-important materialistic " significancy which underlies supernaturalism," of the suggestions which their author so sensibly threw out, in his

4:6

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

Mr. Erskine, with respect to the abilities of juries with theological matters. Paine himself took far less pride in his Theological writThis is too observable to ings than in any of his others. need to be pointed out in detail. He had comparatively such small expectations with respect to the good which he believed he had the talents to perform by meddling with " supernaturalism," that he postponed the execution of that part of his life's mission to the latter end of his career and it is worthy of note, that in his will, he requested that it should be engraved on his tomb-stone, not that he was the author of " The Age of Reason," or of the " Examination of The Pro" phecies ;" but of Common Sense" In the perfected, or even half regenerate future, the author " of the world is my country ; to do good my religion" though " he had never written Common Sense," " The Crisis," or " of Man ;" nay, though he had never written another Rights line, will stand higher than will the ablest mere exposer and denouncer of error and delusion, that ever handled a pen. There is, it must be confessed, in Mr. -Paine's treatment " of the great question involved in anthropomorphism, or theletter to

to deal

ology," nothing of the profundity of Feuerbach, or of the thoroughness, and searching and learned inquiry concerning the mythical substructure of Christianity, which so eminently and there is but little of the careful distinguishes Strauss research of Volney, Dupuis and Robert Taylor, in either the " " " Age of Reason or the Examination of The Prophecies." Their author is altogether too deficient in the bland and winning persuasiveness of Greg, and has not an overstock of the candour, and patient criticism of Macnaught. For proof of this, compare Paine's theological master" Critical Examination of pieces, just named, with Strauss's " Ruins of Empires," and " New the Life of Jesus," Volney's " Researches on Ancient History," Dupuis's Origine de tous
;

les Cultes,"* Taylor's "

"

"

Diegesis," Astronomico-Theological " Creed of ChristenDevil's Pulpit," Greg's dom Its Foundations and Superstructure," Macnaught on " The Doctrine of Inspiration," and that natural history of " '' Essence of Christiansupernaturalism," Feuerbach's

Sermons," and
;

tty.

"

* Published by Mr. Gilbert Yale. " The other works here referred to, and also Age of Beaaor.,' and Examination of The Prophecies," arc published by C. Blanchan*.

The

PERIOD THIRD.

47

There is nothing like constructive revolution in Mr. Paine's attacks on the ecclesiastical hierarchy which has been, notwithstanding its faults, and its now, and for some time the nurse of civilization the initiapast, abominable abuses, tor of human progress. But there is, in the effects of his attacks on venerable abuses, that which is fast neccessitating constructive revolution.
Still, it is

to be regretted that so

many

of those

whom

Mr. Fame's caustic arguments put in more zealous than formidable battle array against priestcraft, run away with the idea, so unjust and humiliating to human nature, that the whole gospel system was, from the beginning, but a nefarious scheme of priests and kings, whereby to destroy liberty that the Church has always been but a hypocritical and tyranniFor in consequence of these views, they cal organiiution. think that they have found out all that need be known with respect to the great question of man's instinctive faith; and vainly imagme, that through the power of reason alone, all the temples of superstition can be demolished, or shaved down TO common shool-houses and think that this will make the woild about as good as it is capable of becoming. The plain truth is, that Mr. Paine's theological views are
; ;

as superficial as his religious conceptions are profound. [It " to do good," was Mr. Paine's reliwill be recollected that " His belief in a supernatural God." in " happiness gion.] and in " some punishment for the wicked," after death," though immeasurably less atrocious than the Judaistic and
" more intelligible and had The Age of Reason " been written by some sharp-witted magazine critic, instead of by the " The Crisis," " Common Sense," and " Rights of author of Man ;" or by some obscure individual, instead of by the companion of, and co-worker with, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and Lafayette, its notoriety never would have
;

Paganistic Christianism which he combatted, are not a whit

it immediately arose, and which, owing to clerical persecution, and to the abominable injustice and ingratitude with which Paine has been treated, it will no doubt gain upon for some time to come. But we must, in full justice to Thomas Paine, take into account the fact, that his theology is susceptible of a very liberal interpretation. I, too, materialist though I am,*

reached the height to which

* Of

all

the Oeistical works that I hare examined, none appear to

me

48
believe

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

as infinite as is all of which we can God as almighty as is materiwhich is at once both agent and act, and out of whose ality presence we cannot go even in thought, will prove to be, through that only intelligible miracle, development. I believe, furthermore, in the punishment of the wicked and that, too, after death. Nay, I know that the punishment of all sin is inevitable. Is not that monster of iniquity, so" trespasses and sins," ciety, though dead and all but rotten in the very torments of the damned ? undergoing I hope for, nay, I know that I shall have, happiness after death; that every particle of me will, through chemical change, and the refinements which nature is with rapidly increasing speed, elaborating, go -to form material beings as much happier than any which now exist, as " glorified saints " and angels are imagined to be. But Mr. Paine has won such laurels through his political writings, that he can richly afford to yield the palm with renot that he has not, though negatively, spect to theology done good service, even in this field. His theological writings have cleared the way for the practical and positive in social affairs, by showing that reason, or speculativeness, though of importance in starting the march of human progress, is utterly inefficient in the all important respects of the motive and the creative power, necessary to speed that progress to
;

ma
;

God

God

conceive
;

ay,

and as

real ; a

its goal.

of Reason negatively prepared the way for the introduction of science and art into social architecture for the inauguration of the knowable, the practical, the humane the efficient, in place of the mysterious, the speculative, the vindictive, the provisional, and otherwise abortive. I know that these views will be somewhat distasteful to many of Mr. Paine's admirers but I have undertaken to give an impartial history, and therefore cannot let my own admiration or that of others for the great man I am writing about, blind me to the great truth, that, till the perfection point be gained, means, even those as powerful as Mr. Paine

The

"

Age

"

to be less inconsistent than the one

by Henri Disdier, avocat, published at Geneva, in 1859. His remarks on the clergy's great lever, education, ought The work is entitled " Conciliation Rato be read by every reformer. tionnelle du Droit et du Devoir." It appears to me that M. Disdier has omitted no argument that can be adduced to support the proposition that " " there exists a Supernatural God," or Dieu Personnel."

PERIOD THIRD.

49

used, must, as fast as they exhaust their efficacy, be thrust aside for those of greater and greater potency. Opinionism has long since fulfilled its function in the social organism, and therefore cannot too soon be rejected, along with its correlative, moralism, and that now main dependence of vice, virtue. Principle has become an excrescence, and should be immediately expelled for enlightened Principle is the barricade behind which hyposelfishness. It encumbers the path through which actual crisy hides. progress ought to have a free passage. But to return to the thread of this history
:

In April, 1795, a committee was appointed to form another new constitution, (the former one having been abolished) and the report of this committee was brought forward on the

23d of June following, by Boissy d'Anglais. In 1795, Mr. Paine wrote a speech in opposition to several of the articles of the new constitution which had been presented for adoption, which was translated and read to the convention by Citizen Lanthera, on the seventh of July. He particularly contended against the unjust distinction that was attempted to be made between direct and indirect taxes. Whatever weight his objections ought to have carried, they were not listened to by the convention, and the constitution
of Boissy d'Anglais was adopted. By this decree the convenand as Mr. Paine was not aftertion was formally dissolved ward re-elected, it also terminated his public functions in France. The reign of terror* having somewhat subsided, Mr.
;

* Let me not be misunderstood, in speaking as I have, and shall, of de" " I by no means approve of oppressors generally. magogues, priests, and He the avalanche of blame in which Robespierre has been overwhelmed. and his colleagues were but the instruments of an infuriated populace which an unfortunate train of circumstances had let loose upon those whom equally unfortunate causes had made their oppressors.
highly worthy of attention, that all the blood shed during the long "reign of terror," amounted to but little more than half what had flown in a single day, (St. Bartholomew's) under the reign of supernaturalisThe whole number guillotined by order of the Revolutionary tfc terror. tribunal was, 18. 603, viz Nobles, 1,278. Noble women, 750. Wives of Common laborers and artisans, 1,467. Priests, 1,135. Religeuses, 350. persons, not noble, 13,623. The lowest estimate of the number of victims of the St. Bartholomew but there is every reason for supposing that the ann> massacre, is 25.000 her was not less than 30,000. In six weeks time, the supernaturalistically misguided duke of Alva, inIt
is

"

infidel

"

60

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

Paine resumed his pen. About the time when he brought " out the second part of the Age of Reason," he published several pamphlets on subjects less likely to inflame the pasthe principal of these are sions of we bigoted and ignorant " " his Dissertation on first Principles of Government," Agra" Decline rian Justice opposed to Agrarian Law," and the and Fall of the English System of Finance." The first of these is a continuation of the arguments advanced in the " Rights of Man ;" the second is a plan for creating in every " to pay to every person when arcountry a national fund rived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, to enable him or her to begin the world, and also ten
;.

sterling,

per annum, during


fifty years,

life,

to every person,

now

and to all others, when they shall arrive at that age, to enable them to live without wretchedness, in old age, and to go decently out of the world." " In 1796, he published at Paris a Letter to General WashThe principal subject of this letter was the treaty ington." which had recently been concluded between the United States and Great Britain. From the articles of the treaty, Mr. Paine contends, that those who concluded it had compromised the honor of America, and the safety of her commerce, from a
Sounds of the age of ving,
disposition to crouch to the British ministry.
lect of

The

cold neg-

Washington toward Mr. Paine during

his imprison-

ment, forms likewise a prominent subject of the letter, and but for this circumstance, it is probable that it would never have appeared. Notwithstanding the high opinion which

Washington professed to entertain of his services in behalf of American independence, he abandoned him in a few years afterward to the mercy of Robespierre, and during his imprisonment of. eleven months, he never made an effort to reThis was not the treatment which the author of lease him. " The Crisis " deserved at the hands of Washington, either as a private individual, or as president of the United States. Exclusive of Mr. Paine's being a citizen of the United States, and consequently entitled to the protection of its government, he had rendered her services which none but the unhe had therefore no reason to expect grateful could forget that her chief magistrate would abandon him in the hour of
;

dom

stigated the murder, for conscience sake, of 18,000 people, in the small kingof the Netherlands. IB it not time that the murderous system of blame and punishment, to

gether with their correlate, principle,

was superseded

PERIOD THIRD.
peril.

61

However deserving of our admiration some parts of General Washington's conduct towards Mr. Paine may be, his behaviour in this instance certainly reflects no honor upon and we are utterly at a loss for *n excuse his character for it, on recollecting that when the American residents of Paris demanded Paine's release, the answer of the convention mainly was, that the demand could not be listened to in consequence of its not being authorized by the American government" Mr. Paine regarded the United States as his home and although his spirit of universal philanthropy, his republican
;

'*

and his resolution in attacking fraud in politics and superstition in religion, rendered him rather a citizen of the world, than of any particular country, he had domestic feelings and pivotal attachments. During his residence in Europe, he always declared his intention of returning to America the following extract from a letter of his to a lady at New York, will show the affectionate regard which he cherished for the country whose affairs were the means of first launching him into public life You touch me on a very tender point, when you say. that my friends on your side of tJie water cannot be reconciled to the idea of my abandoning America even for my native England. They are right. I had rather see my horse, Button, eating the grass of Bordertown, or Morrissania, than see all the pomp and show of Europe. A thousand years hence, for I must indulge a few thoughts, perhaps in less, America may be what England now is. The
principles,
;
: '

innocence of her character, that won the hearts of all nations in her favor, may sound like a romance, and her inimitable virtue as if it had never been. The ruins of that liberty, which thousands bled to obtain, may just furnish materials for a village tale, or extort a sigh from rustic sensibility while the fashionable of that day, enveloped in dissipation, shall deride the principle and deny the fact. When we contemplate the fall of empires, and the extinction of the nations of the ancient world, we see but more to excite our regret than the mouldering ruins of littl^
;

pompous palaces, magnificent monuments, lofty pyramids, and walls and towers of the most costly workmanship but when the empire of America shall fall, the subject for contemplative
:

sorrow will be infinitely greater than crumbling brass or marble can inspire. It will not then be said, Here stood a temple of vast antiquity, here rose a Babal of invisible height;

52

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

Theophilanthropists." Of this society, Mr. Paine was one of th = principal founders. More of this anon. This year Mr. Paine published a Letter to the People of France, on the Events of the eighteenth Fructidor.' About the middle of the same year he also wrote a letter to Camille Jordan, one of the council of five hundred, respecting his report on the priests, public worship, and bells. It is want of feeling,' says he, to talk of priests and bells, while so many infants are perishing in the hospitals, and aged and infirm poor in the streets from the want of necessaries. The abundance that France produces is sufficient for every want, if rightly applied but priests and bells, like articles of luxury, ought to be the least articles of consideration.' The publication of his deistical opinions lost Mr. Paine a great number of his friends, and, it is possible, that this might be one of the causes of General Washington's indifference.
'

"

or there a palace of sumptuous extravagance but here, ah I the noblest work of human wisdom, the human glory, the fair cause of freedom, rose and fell Read this, then ask if I forgot America.' In 1797, a society was formed in Paris, under the title of
;

painful thought greatest scene of


!

'

'

clear, open, and bold manner in which he had exposed the fallacy of long established opinions, called forth the indignation of the whole order of priesthood both in England and America, and there was scarcely a house of devotion, in either country, which did not ring with pious execrations " against the author of the Age of Reason." The apostles of witnessed with amazement and terror the imsuperstition mense circulation of the work, and trembled at the possibility that men might come to think for themselves.*

The

H. Evans, (one of the first movers of the land reform question) -was the first collector and publisher of Paine's Works in this country and the late Frances Wright D'Arusmont rendered, and Mrs. E. L. Eose is now rendering, most efficient aid in disseminating such views of these works as the popular mind is capable of taking. The constructive revolutionist must admire the stand she has so bravely
;

* The late Mr. George

and ably taken with respect to woman's rights, however exceptionable som& of the measures she has advocated may be considered. Bat there is no danger that the legitimate object of man's Adoration, woman, can be drawn into that maelstrom of abomination, caucusand-ballot-boxism, and if I mistake not. Mrs. Rose does not press the
extension of " elective franchise" to her sex quite as vigorously as she used to. At all events, she is doing- good service to the cause of human emancipation she has been a pioneer in a reform on which further progress im" portantly depends , for which she deserves the hearty thanks of man and
;

woman."

PERIOD THIRD.

5S

On

leaving the house of Mr.

Monroe, Paine boarded

in the family of Nicholas Bonneville, a gentleman in good <: circumstances, and editor of a political paper, the Bouche de

Fer." " In 1797, the society of Theophilanthropists" was formed Men capable of any reflection began to see how in Paris utterly monstrous was the attempt to dispense with religion with a universal higher law to which to appeal with something to satisfy, or at least prevent from being utterly discouraged, the instinctive aspirations of the human heart. Robespierre objected to atheism as aristocratic but Paine saw somewhat further than this, and Lare"villiere, a member of the Directory, was impressed with the necessity of a systym which should rival the catholic church itself. The idea was supremely great, and lacked only the Comtean conception of science to make it a success. As it was, however, it proved a worse failure than has even Christianism. Pure Deism is not at all more intelligible than is that mixture of Deism,
; ;

Buddhism, Judaism, and Paganism, called Christianity and the cold moralism which is attached to the one God system, the human heart instinctively abhors. Paine, and all the other doctors of divinity with whom he was in unison, were far behind even Mahomet, or Joe Smith, in respect to theo;

first

Haiiy, a brother of the eminent crystallogist, assembled the society of Theophilanthropists. They held their meetmgs on Sunday, and had their manual of worship and hymn-

book.
fete in

Robespierre had, three years before, given a magnificent honor of VEtre Supreme, and Paine now delivered a discourse before one of the Theophilanthropist congregations,
Abner Kneeland was, I believe, the first editor of the first "openly avowed Intidel paper" in the United States, the Boston Investigator now edited by Horace Seaver, Esq. As to Theodore Parker, his exertions in the cause of free inquiry are of
;

world-wide notori ty
Christianity,"

by John

look toreason, free the salvation of the

The Evidences against hand-book of all those who discussion, and to an exposure of falsehood and error, for
;

and

I will

here mention that "

S. Hittell, should be the


race.

human

which Mr. Joseph Barker has rendered the liberal cause will not soon be forgotten. His debate with Dr. Berg floors Christianity to the almost that argument can. But I much prefer the valedictory letter which
services

The

he published in the " Investigator," previous to his departure for Europe. Evidently, the writer is beginning to see that something more than mew

negativism

is

needed to put

down

superstition.

54

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

in which he attempted to blend science and " supernaturalism." That some parts of this discourse would have done honor to an Orthodox divine, the following extracts will attest " Do we want to contemplate His [God's] power ? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate His wisdom ? We see it in the unchangeable order fty which the incomprehensible whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate His mercy ? We see it in His not withholding His abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is ? Search not written
:

books, but the Scriptures called the Creation." The finale of the miserable political and religious farce

which had been played in France, was,


;

that, in 1799, Bonaparte sent a file of grenadiers to turn both the political and and the sooner some theological quacks out of their halls Bonaparte does the same thing in the United States, the sooner will the cause of liberty be at least delivered from the management of those who are insulting, disgracing, and

treacherously betraying it. Whilst writing this, the two great parties of spoil-seekers in the United States, have been caucusing for, and have at length decided on, two individuals out of some thirty millions, one of whom is to be demagogism's cat's-paw general for the next four years. The qualifications of one of these candidates for the pres-

common workman

idential chair, consist in his having been a farm-laborer, a in a saw-mill, and a boatman on the abash and Mississippi rivers ;" a wood-chopper, a hunter, a soldier in the Black war, a clerk in a store, and finally

"

Hawk

a sham-law manufacturer and monger a member of a LegisThe qualifications of his opponent on lature, and a lawyer.
the political race-course, are probably about as different in respect to value, from those just enumerated, as fiddlededum is from fiddlededee. Those convenient tools of both parties, those chessmen with which the political game is played The People, however, have great expectations of reform from which ever candidate they vote (tJiey vote do they ? Faugh /) for, pro1

vided he
ers
;

is elected.
all,

But mark me well,

my dear

fellow-suffer-

of the fifty or a hundred office-seekers whose thievish fingers itch for the public treasury, are destined to utter, and most woeful dispointment. Still, I neither blame the demagogues nor yourselves. In the concluding sentences of this history, I shall you, and

except about one in

PERIOD THIRD.
tell
;

56

you where the fault lies for I hope, that the political scamps who, iu this country, are making the name of freedom a scorn and a derision throughout the rest of the world, will be eliminated by those who will make liberty an actuality. How this may be done, I claim to have demonstrated in " Tfie " Religion of Science," and Essence of Science."

Throughout Paine's political writings, notwithstanding their popularistic dressings, there runs a tone entirely conscience

demnatory of demagogism, and highly suggestive of social and art. And there is no question but that the miserable abortion in which the liberty-agitation seemed to terminate in France, and the failing aspect which it took on
in America, even in his day, all but

and made him somewhat


with respect to his person.

careless,

burst his mighty heart," though far from slovenly,

"

Paine's opposition to the atheists, on the one hand, and to the cruelty of those who, headed by Robespierre, had instituted " the worship of the Supreme Being," on the other, had rendered him unpopular in France. His remittances gradually from the United States not being very regular, M. Bonneville added generosity to the nobleness which he, considering the circumstances displayed, in opening his door to Mr. Paine,

by lending him money whenever he wanted


;

it.

This kindness, Paine had soon both the opportunity and the means of reciprocating for majority absolutism had now become so unbearably despotic, so exceedingly morbific tc the social organism in France, that to save civilization even from destruction, Bonaparte had to be invested with supreme power in the State, and the nominally free press of M. Bonneville was consequently stopped. Mr. Paine's liberty mission in France, having now evidently failed, [always remembering that nothing in nature is an absolute failure that progress is the constant rule and the seeming contrary but an aberration] he at once resolved to return to the United States, where he offered an asylum to M. Bonneville and family in consequence of which, Madame Bonneville and her three sons soon left Paris for New York. Owing to some cause or other, but not to the one which Paine's slanderers were afterwards mulcted in damages, even in a Christian court of Justice, for assigning, M. BonneThe eldest son returned to ville did not accompany them. but Mr. Paine amply provided for the his father, in Paris maintenance of Madame Bonneville and her two sons who remained in America.
;

56

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

At Paris, such personages as the Earl of Lauderdale, Dr.. Moore, Brissot. the Marquis de Chatelet le Eoi, General Miranda, Capt. Imlay, Joel Ba^ow, Mr. and Mrs. Stone, and Mary Wollstonecraft,* sought the honor of Mr. Paine's company.

That Mr. Paine's eloquence and power of reasoning were unsurpassed even by Cicero. Demosthenes or Daniel Webster, his political writings fully attest. Before it became known who wrote " Common Sense," it was by some attributed to Dr. Franklin others insisted that it was by that elegant writer of English, John Adams.f " It has been very generally propagated through the con;

that I wrote this pamphlet.*** I tinent," says Mr. Adams, could not have written any thing in so manly and striking a This eulogy, be it remembered, was pronounced by style." one who was so jealous of Paine's credit in the matter of the Declaration of Independence, that, says Randall, in his Life " of Thomas Jefferson, he spares no occasion to underrate Paine's services, and to assault his opinions and character."^ Mr. Randall continues
:

"

"

A more effective popular appeal

'

[than

Common

Sense']

never went to the bosoms of a nation. Its tone, its manner, its biblical illusions, its avoidance of all openly impassioned appeals to feeling, and its unanswerable common sense were exquisitely adapted to the great audience to which it was
* Authoress of " Vindication of the Rights of Woman, with Stricand Moral Subjects." work, the exceeding merit of which has been lost sight of, in its name, since woman's rights have beenclaimed to consist in the liberty to degrade herself to the level of the polititures on Political

cian.

f That that great patriot, John Adams, and many other revolutionary " Gomroon worthies vaguely entertained the idea of Independence before " was published, there can be no doubt. But the question ig, who. Sense had the courage to first propose the thing, and in a practical shape ? That Mr. Adam's prudence predominated over his courage, great as that was, is further deducible from the strung reason there was for the inference

that his religious opinions, if openly expressed, would have appeared as far from the orthodox standard, as were those of Paine. See Randall's Life of
Jefferson,

on

this point.

have before called the attention of the reader to the fact that Rous" author hero seau was, like Paine, an ;" his writings were prominently the I will further remark, that whoever drew text of the French Revolution.
J I

Declaration of Independence," has given indisputable evidence of " " " having well studied the Control Social of the author of the world-famous"

up the
u

"

Confessions."

PERIOD THIRD.
addressed

57

and calm investigation will satisfy the historical ; student, that its effect in preparing the popular mind for the Declaration of Independence, exceeded that of any othei paper, speech, or document made to favor it, and it would scarcely be exaggeration to add, than all other such means
put "together."

No

writer," says

Thomas

in

ease and familiarity of


elucidation,

" has exceeded Paine Jefferson, in perspicuity of expression, style,

happiness of language."

and

in

simple

and unassuming

few more such flaming arguments as (Jan. 31, 1776) were exhibited at Falmouth and Norfolk, added to the sound doctrine and unanswerable reasoning contained in the pam" Common Sense,' will not leave numbers at a loss to dephlet cide on the propriety of a separation."
;

Says General Washington, in a letter to Joseph Reed, "

skill, his

That Paine possessed a very superior degree of mechanical model for iron-bridges, abundantly proves. That

his genius for poetry lacked but cultivating, I think will sufficiently appear from the following little efifusion, extracted from his correspondence with a lady, afterwards the wife of

Sir Robert Smith

FROM " THE CASTLE IN THE

AIR," TO

THE " LITTLE CORKER OF TH1

WORLD."

IN the region of clouds where the whirlwinds My castle of fancy was built
;

arise,

The

turrets reflected the blue of the skies,

And

the windows with sun-beams were

gilt.

The rainbow sometimes,

in its beautiful state,

Enamelled the mansion around,

And

the figures that fancy in clouds can create, Supplied me with gardens and ground.

I had grottoes and fountains and orange tree groves, I had all that enchantment has told ;

I had sweet shady walks for the gods and their love% I had mountains of coral and gold.

58

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

But a storm that

I felt not,

had

risen

and

rolled,

"While wrapt in a slumber I lay : And when I looked out in the morning, behold

My

castle

was carried away. and


valleys,

It passed over rivers,

and groves

The world,
I thought of

it

was

all in

my

view

my

friends, of their fates, of their lovea,

And
At

often, full often,

of you.

length it came over a beautiful scene, That nature in silence had made The place was but small but 't was sweetly
:

serene,

And

chequered with sunshine and shade.

I gazed and I envied with painful good will, And grew tired of my seat in the air :

When
As

all
if

of a sudden my castle stood some attraction was there.


it

still.

Like a lark from the sky

came

fluttering

down,
retreat,

And placed me exactly in view When who should I meet, in this charming
This corner of calmness
but you.

Delighted to find you in honor and ease, I felt no more sorrow nor pain ;

And the wind coming fair, I ascended the And went back with my castle again.'

breeze,

On

the subject of the simplicity of Mr. Paine's habits, and

usually rose about seven, breakfasted with his friend Choppin, Johnson, and two or three other Englishmen, and a Monsieur La Borde, who had been an officer in the ci-devant garde du corps, an intolerable aristocrat, but whose skill in

his general amiability, his friend Clio "

Rickman remarks

He

mechanics and geometry brought on a friendship between him and Paine for the undaunted and distinguished ability and firmness with which he ever defended his own opinions when controverted, do not reflect higher honor upon him than that
;

unbounded

liberality toward the opinion of others stituted such a prominent feature in his character,

which conand whicls

PERIOD THIRD,

59

never suffered mere difference of sentiment, whether political or religious, to interrupt the harmonious intercourse of friendship, or impede the interchanges of knowledge and information. After breakfast he usually strayed an hour or two in the garden, where he one morning pointed out the kind of spider whose web furnished him with the, first idea of constructing a fine model of which, in mahogany, is prehis iron bridge served at Paris. The little happy circle who lived with him here will ever remember these days with delight with these select friends he would talk of his boyish days, play at chess, whist, piquet, or cribbage, and enliven the moments by many interesting anecdotes with these he would sport on the broad and fine gravel walk at the upper end of the garden, and then retire to his boudoir, where he was up to his knees in letters and papers of various descriptions. Here he remained till dinnertime and unless he visited Brissof's family, or some particular friend in the evening, which was his frequent custom, he joined again the society of his favorites and fellow-boarders, with whom his conversation was often witty and cheerful, always acute and improving, but never frivolous. Incorrupt, straightforward, and sincere, he pursued his political course in France, as everywhere else, let the government or clamor or faction of the day be what it might, with " shadow of turnfirmness, with clearness, and without a
;
:

ing."

In all Mr. Paine's inquiries and conversations he evinced the strongest attachment to the investigation of truth, and was always for going to the fountain-head for information. He often lamented we had no good history of America, and that the letters written by Columbus, the early navigators, and others, to the Spanish court, were inaccessible, and that many valuable documents, collected by Philip II., and deposited with the national archives at Simanca, had not yet been promulgated. He used to speak highly of the sentimental parts of Raynal's History."

being

Mr. Paine did not escape the imputation of immoral." The cry of " immorality " and " licen" tiousness has been raised against every one who has ever proposed a social system different from the prevailing one, from the time of him who preferred harlotry to phariseeism, to that of Charles Fourier. Luther no more escaped the accusation of being a sensua"

Of

course,

60
list,

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

than did Thomas Paine and had not Milton -written Paradise Lost," and professed the " orthodox " religion, his " Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce " would have placed him on the same historical page with those reformers Dr. T. L. Nichols, Dr. E. Lazarus, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.* Paine did not, as we have seen, live with his wife but if he refrained from sexual intercourse, it must have been because he was afraid of what the world might say, (a supposition too absurd, in his case, to be entertained for a moment) or because he had little taste for amorous pleasures or, lastly, because he wanted to show the world that liberalism was such a matter of moon-shine, that it was not even mimi;

pology," and " Love vs.

Hon. Horace Greeley, and is author of " The Science of Society," and several other progressive works, and of an admirable system of instruction in the French language. It is difficult to see how a person of Mr. Greeley's understanding could have taken the side he did in the controversy just alluded to, and also in the renewal of that controversy between himself and the Hon. Robert Dale
like polygamy, has served a useful purpose, every one capable of tracing progress, can of course see but how such an one can fail to perceive that these institutions have about equally become worn out, and morbific to the social organism, both in Western Europe and the United Are not those crowning curses, (exStates, is to me somewhat mysterious. cepting, of course, demagogism) prostitution, and pauperism, alarmingly on the increase? And does not the former flourish most, where the cords of
;

of these gentlemen favored mankind with " Esoteric AnthroMarriage Its History," &c. The second is the author of Marriage ;" and the third took the free love side of the question in the famous discussion on Marriage and Divorce between himself and the
first

* The

"

Owen. That monogamy,

matrimony are drawn the tightest? But the fact that Mr. Greeley magnanimously opened the columns of " " The Tribune to the other side of the question, shows that he had full confidence
his sincerity,

doubts as to arguments on his side, and this ought to dispel all and the uprightness of his intention. It is only hypocrites or downright fools, who wish to have truth, with respect to religious or soin the

cial questions, suppressed.

" The New York Tribune," did Still, I respectfully ask you, Mr. Editor of of Salt Lake^City, you during your visit to Mormondom: observe any part in our in which humanity touched a lower depth than that to which it sinks Five Points, and in the vicinity of the junction of Water- and RooseveltAnd do you really think, that even in the harem of Brigham Young, streets ?

female degradation is greater than in the New York palaces of harlotry ? En passant, one of these has just been fitted up, the furniture alone in which thousand dollars ! Yet New York is almost the only State in cost

thirty the Union, wherein exists what Mr. Greeley considers orthodox marriageis no escape, except through the marriage, from the bonds of which there door of actual adultery, natural death, or murder ; often by poison, but of mental agony ! generally through the infliction

PERIOD THIRD.
jal to

61

what a

religious system
its

rfelf-der ial,

palms of on

ism has no virtue of its adopt that the very basis of which is supernaturalistic selfenslavement that free-thinking is a mere speculative, impracticable, abstract sort of freedom, which it would not be " " that liberty, even virtuous to accompany by free acting in the most important particular, (as all physiologists know) is but a mere figment of the imagination, over which to debate or hold free discussions or, at most, to write songs,
; ;

which upholds crucifixion and " dupes for virtue ;" that liberaland therefore has to borrow and own,

and novels about. But what is most worthy of remark in this connection is, that had the discoverer of the steam-engine, or of the electrical telegraph been a very Rochester, or Caesar Borgia, the circumstance would not have been mentioned as an objection to a steam-boat passage, or to a telegraphic dispatch and only when sociology is rescued from the wild regions of the speculative and becomes an art, will it have a rule of its own a rule which will free att the natural passions from the shackles
plays,
;

of ignorance of how to beneficially gratify them. For a reason which will presently appear, I shall now call the readers attention, to the letter of Joel Barlow, written in answer to one from that vilest of slanderers and renegados, James Cheethain. This letter was written to obtain information nay, not information, but what might be tortured into appearing such, with a view to sending forth to a prejudiced world, that tissue of falsehoods, which Cheetham had the audacity to palm off on it for the Life of Thomas Paine.
;

To JAMES CHEETHAM. "SiR: have received your letter calling for information

re-

the life of Thomas Paine. It appears to me that this is not the moment to publish the life of that man in this country. His own writings are his best life, and these are not read at present. The greatest part of the readers in the United States will not be persuaded as long as their present feelings last, to consider him in any other light than as a drunkard and a deist. The writer of his life who should dwell on these topics, to the exclusion of the great and estimable traits of his real character, might, indeed, please the rabble of the age who do not know him ; the book might sell ; but it would only tend to
lative to

62

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

render the truth more obscure, for the future biographer that

was before. But if the present writer should give us Thomas Paine complete in all his character as one of the most benevolent and disinterested of mankind, endowed with the clearest perception, an uncommon share of original genius, and the greatest
it

breadth of thought
his literary iaoors,

if this

piece of biography should analyze

and rank him as he ought to be ranked the brightest and most undeviating luminaries of the among age in which he has lived yet with a mind assailable by flattery, and receiving through that weak side a tincture of vanity which he was too proud to conceal with a mind, though strong enough to bear him up, and to rise elastic under the heaviest load of oppression, yet unable to endure the contempt of his former friends and fellow-laborers, the rulers of the country that had received his first and greatest services a mind incapable of looking down with serene compassion, as it ought, on the rude scoffs of their imitators, a new generation that knows him not a mind that shrinks from their Bociety, and unhappily seeks refuge in low company, or looks
;
;

for consolation in the sordid, solitary bottle, till it sinks at last so far below its native elevation as to lose all respect for

and to forfeit that of his best friends, disposing these friends almost to join with his enemies, and wish, though from different motives, that he would haste to hide himself in the grave if you are disposed and prepared to write his life, thus entire, to fill up the picture to which these hasty strokes of outline give but a rude sketch with great vacuities, your book may be a useful one for another age, but it will not be relished, nor scarcely tolerated in this. The biographer of Thomas Paine should not forget his
itself,

mathematical acquirements, and his mechanical genius. His invention of the iron bridge, which led him to Europe in the year 1787, has procured him a great reputation in that branch of science, in France and England, in both which countries his bridge has been adopted in many instances, and is now

much

in use.

ask whether he took an oath of allegiance to France. Doubtless, the qualification to be a member of the convention required an oath of fidelity to that country, but involved in ii no abjuration of his fidelity to this. He was made a French citizen by the same decree with Washington, Hamilton, Priestley, and Sir James Mackintosh. What Mr. has told you relative to the circum-

You

PERIOD THIRD.

63

stances of his arrestation by order of Robespierre, is erroPaine did not lodge at the house neous, at least in one point. where he was arrested, but had been dining there with some - may have been one. I Americans, of whom Mr. Paine was intoxicated that night. never heard before, that Indeed the officers brought him directly to my house, which was two miles from his lodgings, and about as much from the place where he had been dining. He was not intoxicated

and

when they came to me. Their object was to get me to go It employed us the assist them to examine Paine's paper.
;

and the whole of the next day at Paine's lodand he was not committed to prison till the next evening. You ask what company he kept he always frequented the best, both in England and France, till he became the object of calumny in certain American papers (echoes of the English court papers), for his adherence to what he thought the cause of liberty in France, till he conceived himself neglected, and despised by his former friends in the United States. From that moment he gave himself very much to drink, and. consequently, to companions less worthy of his
rest of that night,

gings

was always a peevish person this is possible. So was Lawrence Sterne, so was Torquato Tasso, so was J. J. Rousseau ;* but Thomas Paine, as a visiting acquaintance and as a literary friend, the only points of view in which I knew him, was one of the most instructive men I ever have known. He had a surprising memory and brilliant fancy his mind was a storehouse of facts and useful observations he was full of lively anecdote, and ingenious original, pertinent remark upon
;
;

better days. It is said he

almost every subject. He was always charitable to the poor beyond his means, a sure protector and friend to all Americans in distress that he found in foreign countries. And he had frequent occasions to exert his influence in protecting them during the revolution in France. His writings will answer for his patriotism, and his entire devotion to what he conceived to be the best
interest

and happiness of mankind.

This, sir. is all I have to remark on the subject you mention. Now I have only one request to make, and that would doubt less seem impertinent, were you not the editor of a news* The peevishness of the famous Dr. Samuel Johnson is notorious and " David, the man after God's own heart," was so inveterately peevish IK to whilst he forced the sweet tones of his harp to accompany the spiteful ring,
;

canticle,

'

All

men are

liars.'

64
;

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

paper it is, that you will not publish my letter, nor permit a copy of it to be taken. I am, sir, &c.,

JOEL BARLOW.

KALORAMA, August
<;

11, 1809."

Mr. Barlow," says Mr. Vale, " was in France at the time of Mr. Paine's death, and knew not his habits. Cheetham wrote to him, informed him of his object, mentioned that Paine was drunken and low in his company towards the latter years of his life, and says he was informed that he was drunk when taken to prison in JYance. Now Mr. Barlow does not contradict Cheetham he could not, as Cheetham had the better opportunity of knowing facts, and Mr. Barlow does not suspect him of falsehood as who would ? He therefore presumes Mr. Cheetham correct in the statement, and goes
; ;

on, not to excuse Paine, but to present his acknowledged Then Cheetham publishes this qualities as a set-off. letter, and presents, to a cursory reader, Mr. Joel Barlow as

good

acknowledging Mr. Paine's intemperance, and other infirmiwhich had no other foundation than Cheetham's declawho afterwards, as we have ration, given to deceive Barlow
ties,
;

in the city of New York, and who, when a boy, was clerk in the store which furnished Mr. Paine's groceries, personally assured the writer of this, that all the liquor which Mr. Paine bought, both for himself and his friends, at a time, too,

seen, gives Barlow's letter to deceive the public." The late Mr. D. Burger, a respectable watch

and clock

maker

fashionable, was one quart a week. Before returning to the thread of this narrative, I will call the attention of the reader to the following letter, from Mr. Jefferson, written to Mr. Paine, in answer to one which the latter wrote to him, from Paris
:

when drinking was

" You express a wish in your letter to return to America a national ship Mr. Dawson, who brings over the treaty, by and who will present you with this letter, is charged with orders to the captain of the Maryland to receive and accomodate you back, if you can be ready to depart at such a short warning. You will in general find us returned to sentiments worthy of former times in these it will be your glory to have steadily labored, and with as much effect as any man living. That you may live long to continue your useful labors, and reap the reward in the thankfulness of nations, is my sincere
;

PERIOD THIRD.
prayer. Accept the assurances of my high esteem, ate attachment.

65

and affection-

THOMAS JEFFERSON."
Mr. Jefferson had, during the election campaign which seated him in the presidential chair, been pronounced an in" " fidel It was and, says Randall, in his Life of Jefferson" asserted in the Federal newspapers generally, and preaclied from a multitude of pulpits, that one of the first acts of the President, after entering office, was to send a national vessel ' to invite and bring Tom Paine to America." " Paine was an infidel," continues Randall. " He had written politically against Washington. He was accused of inebriety, and a want of chastity, [of the truth of both which accusations Randall strongly indicates his unbelief.] But he was the author of " Common Sense " and the " Crisis." On the occasion of Paine's writing to Jefferson, that he was coming to visit him at Monticello, Randall again remarks "Mrs. Randolph, and we think Mrs. Epps, both daughters of the Church of England, were not careful to conceal that they would have much preferred to have Mr. Paine stay away. Mr. Jefferson turned to the speaker with " his gentlest smile, and remarked in substance Mr. Paine is not, I believe, a favorite among the ladies but he is too well entitled to the hospitality of every American, not to cheerfully receive mine." Paine came, and remained a day or **** and left Mr. Jefferson's two, mansion, the subject of lighter prejudices, than when he entered it."
; '
:

Mr. Paine was to have accompanied Mr. Monroe back to the United States, but was unable to complete his arrangements in time. This was fortunate for the vessel in which the American minister embarked was, on her passage, boarded a by " British frigate, and thoroughly searched for the author of The Rights of Man." Paine then went to Havre but finding that several British frigates were cruising about the port, he returned to Paris. Seeing himself thus baulked, he wrote to Mr. Jefferson, as before stated, for assistance, which produced the letter above copied. He did not, however, for some cause or other, take passage in the Maryland. He next agreed to sail with
; ;

Commodore Barney, but was accidentally detained beyond the time, and the vessel in which he was to have embarked,
was
lost at sea.

66

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

In addition to these remarkable preservations, Paine, in was shot at through the window of his own house, at New Rochelle, and escaped unharmed also the privateer in which, but for the interference of his father, (as we have seen) he would, when a youth, have sailed, lost 174 out of her crew of 200 men, in a single battle and when he was in prison, as has already been related, he missed going to the
1805,
; ;

guillotine, in consequence of the jailor, whose business it was to put the death-mark on the cell doors of the doomed, not

noticing that the door of the cell which contained the author " Age of Reason" was open flat against the wall, so that the inside was marked for the information of Paine, instead of the outside for the instruction of the executioner.*

of the

He was far more blood-thirsty than was Robespierre not the proof of his atrocities indubitable, it would be imposYet such a " man of sible to believe that such horrors ever took place.
lutionary Tribunal.
himself.

* " But in this set of Tumbrils [the dung-carts in which the victims of the Reign of Terror were dragged to execution] there are two other things notable : one notable person and one want of a notable person The notable person is Lieutenant-General Loiserolles. a nobleman by birth, and by nature laying down his life here for his son. In the prison of Saint-Lazare, the night before last, hurrying to the gate to hear the death-list read, he " I am caught the name of his son. The son was asleep at the moment. at Tinville's bar, an error in the Christian Loiserolles," cried the old man name is little small objection was made. The want of the notable person, Paine has sat in the Luxembourg since again, is that of Deputy Paine January ; and seemed forgotten but Fouquier had pricked him at last. The Turnkey, list in hand, is marking with chalk the outer doors of to-morrow's Fournee. Paine's outer door happened to be open, turned back on the wall the Turnkey marked it on the side next him, and hurried on another Turnkey came, and shut it no chalk-mark now visible, the Fournee went without Paine. Paine's life lay not there." Carlyle. Fouquier Tinville, above alluded to, was the head juryman of the Revo; ; . ; ; ; ! ; ; ;
;

Was

principle,"

VILLE WAS, PAST ALL QUESTION, VIRTUOUS, HONEST, SINCERE, CONSCIENTIOUS. Had this miserable victim of the crudest and hardest to be got rid of delusion that mankind were ever infatuated with, been as destitute of all "virtuous" qualities as was Alexander VI., he could, at worst, have been bought off, and would probably not have perpetrated a tithe of the evil he did. He at last, like Robespierre, " sealed his testimon) on the scaffold. The French, like ourselves, had been taught to venerate a religious sys'

of his power, have amassed an impoor, and his wife is said to have His lodgings were destitute of every comfort their whole died of famine. seduction furniture, after his death, did not sell for twenty pounds. could influence him." I will add, so muck for principle. FOUQUIER TIN;

and so incorruptible was this the pleasures of the table, or of He might during the period to him.*** mense fortune ; he remained to the last

"women,

horrible wretch, that, says Allison, the theatre, were alike indifferent

No

tem whi ?h

deifies that

crowning atrocity, crucifixion

to

satisfy justice

and

PERIOD THIBD.

67

a missionary of superstition been thus preserved, how the " God " would have been seen in the matter. He at last sailed from Havre, on the 1st of September, 1802, and arrived at Baltimore, on the 30th of October, fol-

Had

hand of

lowing.

From Baltimore he went to Washington, where he was kindly received by the President, Thomas Jefferson. This of him, that a few days before gentleman thought so highly MB arrival, he remarked to a friend, " If there be an office
I suitable for him to fill, I will give it to him abandon old friends to make room for new ones." Jefferson was one of the few among Paine's illustrious friends, in

my

gift,

will never

the priest ridden multitude against him. corresponded with him up to the time of his death. Mr. Paine was now between sixty and seventy years of age, yet vigorous in body, and with a mind not at all im-

who never joined

He

paired.

Of the manner in which he was generally received on his return to the United States, we can form a very fair judgwhich consequently canonizes daily and hourly self-crucifixion. dour I ask, was not practical faith in the guillotine the natural
:

In

all

can-

result ?

and

are not war, duelling, torturing, hanging, imprisoning together with blaming and despising our unfortunate fellow creatures as vicious, as less holy " than our stupid selves, the practical logic of " virtue and " principle ?" And were not Marat, Joseph Lebon, St. Just, Robespierre, Tinville, and the the agents the faithful servants, and finally the rest of that ilk, the tools victims of the supernaturalistically educated and virtuously inclined majority! The arch tyrant who was at the bottom of all this. I shall take in hand ay, annihilate him. presently, and show how to conquer If the grand truth was taught us from our cradles, that we can no more
;

expect weil-doing without the requisite materialistic conditions, than we can expect a watch to keep time except on condition that every wheel and spring shall be in artistic harmony with each other, where would be malice And if we practiced in accordance with this grand truth, where would be either wholesale or retail murder ? where would be wrong of any description ? " I don't know about that," methinks I hear the mildest of the old fogiei exclaim. Well, my dear fellow biped, I'll tell you one thing you do most assuredly feel to be true ; and you know it to be true, as sure as you are caIt is this. The present method pable of the slightest connection of ideas. of reforming the world, has, since the most barbarous age, never done aught but make it a great deal worse. Are people more honest or less gallant now than they ever were ? And if civilized nations are not quite so cruel, especially in war time, as are savages, is not that clearly traceable to science and art? Show me where man is least cruel, and I will show you where " " virsuptfrnaturalism." the synonym for ignorance, and the very basis of tue," principle, and moralism, has lost the most ground, and where science an<? art have gained the most
!

88
inent

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

from the following


:

letter

to his friend, Clio

Rick-

man

MY DEAR FRIEND Mr. Monroe, who is appointed minister extraordinary to France, takes charge of this", to be delivered to Mr. Este, banker in Paris, to be forwarded to you. I arrived at Baltimore 30th October, and you can have no idea of the agitation which my arrival occasioned. From New Hampshire to Georgia (an extent of 1500 miles), every newspaper was filled with applause or abuse. My property in this country has been taken care of by my friends, and is now worth six thousand pounds sterling which put in the funds will bring me 400 sterling a year. Remember me in friendship and affection to your wife and family, and in the circle of our friends.
:

"

Yours

in friendship,

THOMAS PAINE."
With respect to the course which Mr. Paine intended, for the future, to pursue, he says
:

I have no occasion to ask, nor do I intend place or office in the government. There is none it could give me that would equal to the profits I could make as an author, established fame in the literary world) could I

to accept, in

any

(for I

any way be have an


;

reconcile it to principles to make money by my politics or religion I must be in everything as I have ever been, a disinterested volunteer my proper sphere of action is on the common floor of citizenship, and to honest men I give my hand and my heart

my

freely.

I have some manuscript works to publish, of which I shall give proper notice, and some mechanical affairs to bring forward, that will employ all my leisure time."

to New York, and at the City Hotel, where the mayor and De Witt put up Clinton called on him and, notwithstanding the influence of the emissaries of superstition and their dupes, he was honored

From Washington, Mr. Paine went


;

with a public dinner, by a most respectable and numerous party and it is worthy of remark that Cheetham, then editor of a democratic daily paper, was particularly officious in
;

helping to make the arrangements. In respect to Chatham's fictions about the slovenlmess

PERIOD THIRD.

69

of Mr. Paine, if there had been any truth in his assertions, would not his most intimate friends, such as De Witt Clinton, the mayor of New York, and Mr. Jarvis, have noticed The truth about this is, that Mr. Paine, though always it ? clean, was as cardess in his dress as were Napoleon and Frederic the Great and almost as lavish of his snuff. We have the positive and very respectable testimony of Mr. John Fellows, that Mr. Paine's slovenliness went no further than this, But the sun of liberty had now so evidently passed meridian in America, that most of the leading politicians of the day considered it for their interests to turn their backs on Mr. Paine this threw the great martyr to the cause of free;
;

dom
and

into the society of a class of people with better hearts, except in respect of political gambling and fraud, with

sounder heads.

Among this class was a respectable tradesman, a blacksmith and veterinary surgeon, of the name of Carver. When a boy, he had known Paine, who also, recollected him by some little services which Carver reminded him that he had
performed for him at Lewes, in Sussex, England such, for Mr. Carver was instance, as saddling his horse for him.
;

comfortably situated, and was honest and independent enough to openly avow the religious opinions of the author of the " Age of Reason." Paine boarded at his house some time
before going to live at New Rochelle. In a fit of anger, however, the unsuspicious Mr. Carver afterwards became the tool of Cheetham 'a circumstance which he (Carver) sorely regretted to the day of his death. I once met him at a celebration of Paine s birth-day, and shall never forget the anxiety which the venerable old gentleman exhibited to do away with the wrong impression which the great libeller of Mr. Paine had betrayed him into making on the public mind. The circumstances were, in Carver had presented a bill for board to Mr. short, these Paine, which the latter (who, as truly generous people usually are, was very economical) considered exorbitant, and, there;
:

proposed paying off-hand, and having nothing do with Carver. Carver would probably not have presented any bill at all, had he not been, just then, in rather straightened circumstances, and at the same time aware that Mr. Paine was in affluence. He got into a passion at the manner in which Mr. Paine treated his claim, wrote him some angry letters, and unfortunately kept copies of them which Cheetham, without letting him know what use he intended
fore, hastily

more

to

TO

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

to make of them, managed to get hold of, and publish after Mr. Paine's death, though the difficulty which elicited themhad been immediately and amicably adjusted between the

parties concerned. This piece of chicanery, however, cost Cheetham a conviction for libel on Madam Bonneville, who had been, though only by inuendo, mentioned in the letters aforesaid, in a manner which society, in its present state of wisdom, pleases to consi^ der scandalous.

When Mr. Paine went to New Rochelle, he boarded with Mr. Purdy, who lived on his farm. He offered Madam Bonneville and her two sons his small farm at Bordentown. But that rural retreat was so different from Paris, that she chose to remain in New York, where she taught French occasionally, but was almost wholly supported by Mr.
Paine.

Madam Bonneville, though generally amiable, sometimes contracted debts which Mr. Paine conceived unnecessary. She furthermore, says Mr. Vale, " did not scruple to send bills in to him which he had not sanctioned." To check which propensity, Mr. Paine once allowed himself to be sued by a Mr. Wilburn, for a debt of thirty-five dollars for her board but after nonsuiting the plaintiff, he paid the debt. As a proof that there was never any serious quarrel between Mr. Paine and Madam Bonneville, that lady, her husband and fam;

ily

were, as

we

shall presently see,

Mr. Paine's principal

legatees.

To oblige his friends, Mr. Paine after a while left his farm at New Rochelle, and went back to Carver's to board where he remained till he took up his residence at the house of Mr. Jarvis, the celebrated painter, who relates the folowing anecdote of his guest " One afternoon, a very old lady, dressed in a large scarlet cloak, knocked at the door, and inquired for Thomas I am very sorPaine. Mr. Jarvis told her he was asleep. ry,' she said, for that, for I want to see him very particularly.' Thinking it a pity to make an old woman call twice, Mr. Jarvis took her into Paine's bed-room and waked him. He rose upon one elbow, and then, with an expression of eye that staggered the old woman, back a step or two, he askWhat do you want ?' Is your name Paine ?' Yes.' ed Well then, I come from Almighty God, to tell you, that if you do not repent of your sins and believe in our blessed Saviour Jesus Chr'st, you will be damned, and
; : '
'

'

'

'

'

PERIOD THIRD.
poh,
it is

71

not true.

You were

not sent with such an imper-

Jarvis, make her go away. Pshaw, he would not send such a foolish old woman as you about with Go away. Go back. Shut the door. The his messages.

tinent message.

old lady raised both her hands, kept them so, and without saying another word, walked away in mute astonishment." In 1807, Mr. Paine, now in the seventieth year of his age, removed to the house of Mr. Hitt, a baker, in Broome-street, " An Examination of the Whilst here, he { ublished street. Passages in the New Testament, quoted from the Old. and called Prophecies of the Coming of Jesus Christ."

Mr. Paine lived

in Partition-street successively
;

and

af-

terwards, in Greenwich-street but becoming too feeble to be thus moving about among boarding houses, Madam Bonneville, in May, 1809, hired for his accommodation a small house in Columbia-street, where she attended on him till his death. Mr. Paine had moved from house to house, as we have seen, not because he had not ample resources, but, partly to oblige his friends, and partly for the variety it afforded, partly because it suited his plain and simple habits, and partly because, like most old people, he had become a little too frugal.

Perceiving his end approaching, Mr. Paine applied to Willit Hicks, an influential preacher of tie Society of Friends, Mr. Hicks for permission to be buried in their cemetary. laid the proposition before the members of his meeting, who, to their eternal disgrace returned a negative answer. Of course, the author of " Age of Reason," was now beset the emissaries of superstition. The clergy themselves not by being aware of the momentous, eternal, and impregnable materialistic truth which the folly they teach encrusts, were panic-struck at finding the battery of reason, which had proved so powerful, under Paine's management, against kings, aimed at them, and by the same skilful engineer. They therefore spared no pains which malice and the mean " cowardice which a " consciousness of guilt inspires, could to get up some show of materials, out of which to invent, manufacture a recantation. But not the least particle of any proof of what they sought did they obtain all the pious tales with which they have insulted the world on the subject, are sheer fabrications. Yet the Christian judge who sentenced Cheetham for libel on account of one of these wretch " ed impositions, did not blush, says Mr. Vale, to coinpli
;

72
"

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE

ment that arch impostor for having by the very act for which he was legally compelled to condemn him to pay " hea" * vy damages produced a work useful to religion !" Not long before his death, Mr. Paine, in the course of conversation with his friend Jarvis, at whose house he then was, " observed Now I am in health, and in perfect soundness
:

" I don't believed that Mr. Paine's last words were, wish to hear anything more about that man ;" in answer to " Do you wish to believe in Jesus Christ ?" I the question, think I remember Dr. Manly's words correctly, though Mr. Vale says that the answer of Paine, as reported by Dr. Man" I have no wish to believe on the subject." It ly, was, will be perceived, however, that there is no material difference and that Dr. Manly might, on two several occasions, and at wide intervals, have stated the answer in both ways ; either of which, conveys essentially the same meaning. On one occasion, a Methodist preacher obtruded himself " on Mr. Paine, and abruptly told him that, unless he repented of his unbelief, he would be damned." To which, the almost dying man, partly rising in his bed, indignantly answered, that if he was able, he would immediately put him out of the room. This scene is related by Mr. Willit Hicks, of whom mention has already been made.

now is the time to express my opinion." He then solemnly declared that his views, as set forth in his theological writings, remained the same. The late Dr. Manly, on the occasion of my calling his attention to an article in an English Encyclopedia which conveyed the idea that he testified to Paine's recantation, assur" The Age of Reason " " did not ed me that the author of recant ;" and the Doctor seemed not over pleased, that his words had been tortured into giving the impression they did.
of mind
;

He

The clergy condescended, in their desperation to blacken the character, and destroy the influence of him who they feared would otherwise put an end to the craft by which they had their wealth, to make use of means which, in pity to poor human nature, would I gladly consign to oblivion, and shall,
Thorburn and Thomas by Mr. Oliver White, I learn that a religious publisher in New York has, within a few years past, had to pay damages for a malicious article aimed at the character of Paine, but which inci*

From a
"

"large

" Grant pamphlet, entitled

Paine,

recently put forth gratis

dentally hit

somebody
he
is

else

memory

(for

now

which article, it is but justice to the publisher's ; dead) to say, he was betrayed into publishing, proba-

bly without any

ill

intention on his part

PERIOD THIRD.
r

73
cases.
I

-therefore,

mention only some

prominent

have

named Cheetham, as he was a public character an editor. But I shall in mercy let the names of the private individuals who were the tools which the priesthood made use of in this
in fact, I feel not altoconnection, sink beneath contempt gether guiltless of sacrilege, in placing the name of any one of Thomas Paine's slanderers in the same volume which con;

tains his. It has herein been indubitably proven that the first part
infidel proof Paine's and that ductions, be it remembered, was written in 1793 Franklin the second part was written some time thereafter. " died in 1790. Yet the American Tract Society" has not " Don't Unchain the scrupled to assert, in a tract entitled " that When an infidel production was submitted Tiger,"

of

"

The Age of Reason,"

the first

"

"

probably by Paine to Benjamin Franklin, in manuscript, he returned it to the author, with a letter, from which the " I would advise you not to attempt following is extracted UNCHAINING THE TIGER, but to burn this piece before it is seen " by any other person" If men are so wicked with religion wJiat would tJiey be WITHOUT it ?" " Think" said he to Paine, in a letter, to which allusion " has been made, how many inconsiderate and inexperienced jouth of both sexes there are, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it tiU it becomes habitual." It will be perceived that the above pretended extract is given as though it was verbatim ; though from a letter which, in a very circuitous manner, and one most ingeniously calculated to deceive is, after all, confessed to be only "probably" written. The concluding portion of the extract, is given only after considerable pious dust has been most artistically thrown in the eyes of the more prayerful than careful reader. " Here, the author of Don't Unchain the Tiger," resolves no " to let I dare not, wait upon I would," but fully delonger clares, though in a manner that would do credit to the most
:
,

trickish Jesuit, that ever mentally reserved the truth, that the " letter to which mention has been made," was written by

FRANKLIN

to Paine, evidently, as all can see, who have mastered the second rule of arithmetic, three years after the death of the writer." Yet Protestants laugh at Catholics, for swallowing transubstantiation. How firmly did they who put forth " Don't Unchain The Tiger," believe in revelation ? How much faith had

74

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.


"

book wherein it is printed, that God >f Liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone ?" Mark this "probably" well. There is in it such an exquisiteness of all that is mean, cowardly, mendacious, and conthey, in the truth of a
"

had declared

temptible. " If the writer of Don't Unchain the Tiger " ever saw any letter from which he extracted what he pretends he has, did not that letter inform him, past all " probably," and before he made the first part of the extract, BY whom, and TO whom,
it

was written

?
!

How low are ye fallen What lower Oh, ye priests depths can human degradation touch ? How much smaller can you, your own contemptible selves, suppose the intellectual calibre of your poor dupes to be ? What satisfaction can you feel in the reverence of those whose understandings you
!

thus estimate

Compare

the present position, in the social organism, of

your sincere disciples, with that which they occupied when what you teach was the highest which man was prepared to
receive.

tract

But unless my memory serves me very badly, this "Tiger" was originally published without the " probably ;" and
"

unequivocally named the Age of Reason." I recollect well r that about twenty-five years ago, a committee, one of whom was the famous infidel lecturer, the late Mr. Benjamin Offen, called at the Tract Society's agency, and pointed out how " impossible it was that this Tiger" publication which hailed from thence, could be true and I am strongly impressed that " this miserable "probably has been the result. it is neither in malice nor anger, but with Clergymen, feelings of unfeigned sorrow and pity, that I use such language to and respecting you. I have not a wish that would not be gratified, were you at this moment at the head of mankind, teaching the Jcnowable ; and until you are worthily reinstated in youi -rightful your natural position in the social
;

organism, violence, fraud,

there revel, and you will be its degraded purveyor. How do you relish the impudence with which demagogism now snubs " you back to the supernatural," whenever you dare utter a
practical

humbug

in fine, demagogism, will

word ?

fill twenty pages or more with extracts, many of them documentary, from previous histories of Paine, going to " " prove that the author of The Age of Reason never recanted.

I could

PERIOD THIRD.

75

But can it be possible that those who possess a spark of reason, even, can consider the matter of the slightest consequence?

The question of the truth or falsehood of a proposition is a matter for the judgment to decide. Is the judgment of a dying man more clear than that of a perfectly healthy one ? Was there ever an instance known, of a human biped being so big a fool, as to go to a dying man for advice in preference to going to him for it when he was in health, where any Itnoivn value was concerned ? The thing is too absurd to waste another word upon and I have noticed it at all, only to show to what meanness* modern priests will stoop to what miser;

able shifts the corrupt hangers on to the superanuated and At this day the wretched foreffete, are at length reduced. tune-teller who deals out supernaturalism by the fifty cents worth, may justly feel proud by the side of the archbishop by the side of the successors of those who, before the dawn of science, taught the highest which man was capable of receiving, thus starting civilization into existence, and justly becoming mightier than kings. But the time is fast approaching when they will teach the knowable and efficient, and resume their natural position, that of the head of the social organism. Till when, confusion will keep high holiday, folly

and superstition and demarampant, ignorance supreme, Man gogism will be rife. The case is as clear as this comes into the world ignorant, and of course needs teaching. Yet what has been palmed off on man for elective governbe
:

ment, confessedly but represents him. The clergy professedly teach him ; and of course, when they teach him right, as they will soon find out that it is immeasurably more for their own advantage to do, than it is to teach him wrong, all will be well. The human race will, from that point in teaching, rapidly develop into a harmoniously regulated organism ; a grand being, or God, to whom all the conceivable and desirable will be possible. Each individual will act as freely as do the wheels and springs of a perfect, because scientifically

and

and harmoniously regulated time-keeper. stage of development caucus-and-ballot-boxism takes charge of man, it assumes that he is, in the main, wise enough already that the majority is the fountain-head of both wisdom and power that rulers are legitimately but
artistically,

At whatever

the servants of the ruled.

What

The only government, except


bug, that

man

ever has had,

now

balderdash. that of despotism or humhas, or ever can have, was,

76
is,

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

and must

be,

under simple nature, that of science and art

that of teaching.

"Let me make the people's songs, and I care not who makes their laws," said Napoleon. " Let me make the people's cradle-hymns and Sunday-school catechisms," say I, " and I will defy all the power which can be brought against
to supplant me in their government, except by adopting method." And when the people's cradle-hymns and Sunday school catechisms are composed by those who qualify themselves to lead, direct, or govern mankind by science and art, and who derive human law from the whole body of the knowable, instead of from the wild regions of the speculative, and from the arbitrary subjective, the world will be delivered from

me

my

"

'

religious, political, social, and moral quackery ; but not till then. And to whomsoever says " lo here," " lo there," or lo where except to the science of sciences and art of arts ol any

to be free, I say, and appeal for my justification, to the entire past, you are deceived or a deceiver. If the world was not deluded with the idea that reason and free discussion are the only means that are available against priestcraft and statecraft, it would long since have discovered and applied the true remedy, viz to seize the citadel of the infant mind of education and thus institute a religion and government of science and art, in place of a religion of mystery and a government of despotism and humbug. False religion and its correlate bad government, must be prevented. Whatever religious or governmental no: ;

how

tions are bred into man, can never to

any

efficient extent,

be

got out of him. Priestcraft and statecraft, in England and the United States, would like nothing better than an assurance, that mankind's reformers would henceforth confine their efforts to reason and free discussion, and to the furtherance of education on its present plan in all our schools and colleges. craft and statecraft would then forever be as safe as
Priest-

would a

well regulated army among undisciplined savages, who did nothing but find fault with their oppressors ; and to the various cliques of which savages, the regulars would suggest as many various plans for their own -(the' regular's) overthrow, for them, (the savages) to discuss over and divide upon. In one of the most purely monarchical countries in all Europe (Germany) common school and collegiate education prominently form one of the government's pet projects.

PERIOD THIRD.

77

In England, where the wheels of the state machinery mutually neutralize each other's action, neither monarchs nor ecclesiastics can do aught but keep themselves miserably rich, and the great body of the people wretchedly poor. Free discussion and reason have done what little good in church and state affairs it was their function to do, except as will be hereinafter mentioned ; anfl they are now in both England and the United States, but the safety-valve which preTents the boiler of the ecclesiastical steam-engine from burst-

and secures political despotism, swindling, and corrupfrom having to do any thing but change hands. Reason and free discussion are now the fifth wheel of the car of progress, whose useless noise and comparatively singular appearance diverts attention from the slow nay, backward movement, of the other four wheels, and thus prevents any change for the better being made. If, on the continent of Europe, monarchs and the Pope forbid political and religious free discussion, it is not because
ing
;

tio*n,

they are afraid that the

first

will lead to liberty, or the sec-

perfectly aware that/ree talking but disturbs political and religious affairs ; and would only displace themselves who are well seated in, and have grown fat on, religious and political abuse, to make way for an ungorged shoal of political and ecclesiastical leeches. Passing lightly over the pitiable trash which in the United States more than in any other country is palmed off on the multitude for knowledge, look at our higher literature. See how it truckles to the low, and narrow, and unscientific views which confessedly had their rise when man was a mere savage. Where, throughout the United States, is the magazine which has the liberal and independent tone of the Westminster Review, which hails from the capital of mon-

ond

to practical

wisdom.

They are

archy- governed and confessedly church-taxed England ? The most independent magazine of which the United States can " Atlantic Monthly ;" but I have strong misgivboast, is the ings as to whether they whose monied interests are staked in it will thank me, or would thank any one, for such
praise.

the orthodox clergy are already, owing almost wholly to what mere fractional science and art have done, the laughing-stock of nearly the entire scientific world, and the headclergy are writhing under the tortures of self-contempt, in such agony, that the main drift of their preaching is to try, without arousing their dupes, to let the knowing ones (whom

But

78

LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.

curiosity, interest, or a desperate attempt to dispel Sabbatical ennui may have brought into their congregations) see that they are not the fools which they, for bread and butter's sake,

pretend to be. The following extract from a letter of Baron Humboldt to his friend Varnhagen Yon Ense, is a fair sample of the contempt in which the apostles* of mystery are held by men of
science
"
:

BERLIN, March 21, 1842. My dear friend, so happily restored to me It is a source of infinite joy to me to learn, from your exquisite letter, that the really very delightful society of the Princess's has benefited you physically, and, therefore, as I should say, in my criminal materialism, mentally also. Such a society, blown together chiefly from the same fashionable world of Berlin (somewhat flat and stale), immediately takes a new shape in the house of Princess Pueckler. It -is like the spirit which should breathe life into the state the material seems ennobled.
!

"

"

still

retain your

"

Christliche Glaubenslehre," [a cel-

work on the Christian Dogma, by Dr. David Friedrich Strauss] I who long ago in Potsdam, was so delighted with Strauss's Life of the Saviour.* One learns from it not only what he does not believe, which is less new to me, but rather what kind of things have been believed and taught by those black coats (parsons) who know how to enslave mankind anew, yea, who are putting on the armour of their
ebrated

former adversaries." But a still more encouraging aspect of the case is, that a knowledge of the great truth is rapidly spreading, that all in the human connection is a vast material organism, the possible modifications of which are indicated by the organ of its highest consciousness, man ; and that the whole family of man is a grand social organism, (however, as yet, unjointed) the well-being of every part of which, is indispensable to that of

every other part. But more of this, shortly. Mr. Paine suffered greatly during his last illness, (his disease being dropsy, attended with cough and constant vomitHumboldt's Letters to Varnhagen Von Ense, have just been published by Messrs. Rudd & Carleton and Strauss' Life of the Saviour, or, to give the work its full title, " The Life of Jesus Critically Examined," is published by Calvin Blanchard. The translation is by Marian Evans, the accomplished authoress; of Adam Bede, and is pronounced by Strauss himself to be moet
:

elegantly done and perfectly correct

PERIOD THIRD.
ing), yet his

79

mental faculties remained unimpaired to the last. the 8th of June. 1809, about nine o'clock in the forenoon, he expired, almost without a struggle. I have, as the reader has seen, noticed some of the little foibles and excentricities of Mr. Paine not, however, that

On

they were of any account, but simply because they attest that he was not superhumanly perfect* that he was not that ridi" 7 culous cross between man and God/ which the biographers of Washington have placed him in the position of appearing
to be.

Lovers are sure to have their petty quarrels, else, they would be indifferent to each other and when prejudice shall be done away with, mankind will love Thomas Paine none the less for the human frailties which were just sufficient to show that he belonged to human nature. The day after Mr. Paine's death, his remains were taken to New Rochelle, attended by a few friends, and there buried on his farm and a plain stone was erected, with the follow; ;

ing inscription

THOMAS PAINE,
AUTHOR OP
Died June
8,

"

COMMON SENSE."
and jive, months.

1809, aged seventy-two years

Mr. William Cobbett afterward removed the bones of Mr. Paine to England. In 1839, through the exertions of a few friends of the liberal cause, among whom Mr. G. Vale was very active, a neat monument, was erected over the grave of Mr. Paine. Mr. Frazee, an eminent artist, generously volunteered to do the This monument cost about thirteen hundred dolsculpture. lars. On it is carved a representation of the head of Mr.
Paine, underneath which,
is this

inscription

THOMAS

PAINE,
SENSE.

AUTHOR OP

COMMON

Reader, did it ever occur to you, that all the crimes which an individmal can commit, are in reality, summed up in the word misfortune? Such is the fact. Society, therefore, not altogether without reason, however regardless of justice, considers nothing more disgraceful than misfortune and hence it
;

80
is,

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE


that of all the slanders got up to injure the reputation of
his influence,

none have been and none have proved more successful, than those which represented him as being in extreme poverty. Without further remark, therefore, I shall call your attention to THE WILL OF THOMAS PAINE.

Mr. Paine, and thus prevent

more industriously

circulated,

"

The People of the State of New York, by the Grace of God. Free and Independent, to all to whom these presents shall come or may concern, Send Greeting :

ye that the annexed is a true copy of the will of Paine, deceased, as recorded in the office of our surIn tesrogate, in and for the city and county of New York. timony whereof, we have caused the seal of office of our said Witness, Silvanus Miller, surrogate to be hereunto affixed. Esq., surrogate of said county, at the city of New York, the twelfth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine, and of our independence the thirty-

Know

Thomas

fourth.

SILVANUS MILLER.
will

and testament of me, the subscriber, Thomas Paine, reposing confidence in my Creator God, and in no other being, for I know of no other, nor believe in any other, I, Thomas Paine, of the State of New York, author of the

The last

Common Sense,' written in Philadelphia, in 1775, and published in that city the beginning of January, 1776, which awaked America to a Declaration of Independence, on the fourth of July following, which was as fast as the work could spread through such an extensive country author also of the several numbers of the American Crisis thirteen in all/ published occasionally during the progress of the revolutionary war the last is on the peace author also of the Rights of Man/ parts the first and second, written and published in London, in 1791, and '92 author also of a work on religion, Age of Reason/ parts the first and second. N. B. I have a third part by me in manuscript and an answer to the Bishop of Landaff ;' author also of a work, lately published, entitled Examination of the passages in the New Testament quoted from the Old, and called prophesies concerning Jesus Christ/ and showing there are no prophecies of any such person author also of several other works not here enumerated, Dissertations on the first Principles of GoDecline and Fall of the English System of Fivernment/ nance Agrarian Justice" etc., etc., make this my last will
work
entitled
' '

; '

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

PERIOD THIRD.
:

81

and testament, <fcut A $ to say I give and bequeath to my executors hereinafter appointed, Walter Morton and Thomas Addis Emmet, thirty shares 1 hold in the New York Phoenix Insurance Company, which cost me 1470 dollars, they are worth now upward of 1500 dollars, and all my moveable effects, and also the money that may be in my trunk or elsewhere at the time of my decease, paying thereout the expenses of my funeral, in trust as to the said shares, moveables, and money, for Margaret Brazier Bonneville, wife of Nicholas Bonneville, of Paris, for her own sole and separate use, and at her own As to my farm in disposal, notwithstanding her coverture. New Eochelle, I give, devise, and bequeath the same to my said executors, Walter Morton and Thomas Addis Emmet, and to the survivor of them, his heirs and assigns for ever, in trust, nevertheless, to sell and dispose of the north side thereof, now in the occupation of Andrew A. Dean, beginning at the west end of the orchard and running in a line with the land sold to .Coles, to the end of the farm, and to apply the money arising from such sale as hereinafter directed. I give to my friends, Walter Morton, of the New York Phoenix Insurance Company, and Thomas Addis Emmet, counsellorat-law, late of Ireland, two hundred dollars each, and one hundred dollars to Mrs. Palmer, widow of Elihu Palmer, late of New York, to be paid out of the money arising from said sale, and I give the remainder of the money arising from that sale, one half thereof to Clio Rickman, of High or Upper Mary-la-bone street, London, and the other half to Nicholas Bonneville of Paris, husband of Margaret B. Bonneville aforesaid and as to the south part of the said farm, containing upward of one hundred acres, in trust, to rent out the same or otherwise put it to profit, as shall be found most advisable, and to pay the rents and profits thereof to the said Margaret B. Bonneville, in trust for her children, Benjamin Bonneville and Thomas Bonneville, their education and maintenance, until they come to the age of twenty-one years, in order that she may bring them well up, give them good
:

mentioned, to be employed in their education. And after the youngest of the said children shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, in further trust to convey the same But to the said children share and share alike in fee simple. if it shall be thought advisable by my executors and execu-

and useful learning, and instruct them in their duty to God, and the practice of morality, the rent of the land or the interest of the money for which it may be sold, as hereinafter

82

LIFE OP THOMAS PAINE.

New York
Emmet,

trix, or the survivor or survivors of them, at any time before the youngest of the said children shall come of age, to sell and dispose of the said south side of the said farm, in that case I hereby authorize and empower my said executors to sell and dispose of the same, and I direct that the money arising from such sale be put into stock, either in the United States bank stock or New York Phoenix Insurance company stock, the interest or dividends thereof to be applied as is already directed, for the education and maintenance of the said children and the principal to be transferred to the said children or the survivor of them on his or their coming of age. I know not if the society of people called quakers admit a person to be buried in their burying-ground, who does not belong to their society, but if they do, or will admit me, I would prefer being buried there, my father belonged to that profession, and I was partly brought up in it. But if it is not consistent with their rules to do this, I desire to be buried on my farm at New RoThe place where I am to be buried to be a square chelle. of twelve feet, to be enclosed with rows of trees, and a stone or post and railed fence, with a head-stone with my name and age engraved upon it, author of Common Sense.' I nominate, constitute, and appoint Walter Morton, of the
7

'

Phoenix Insurance company, and Thomas Addis

counsellor-at-law, late of Ireland, and Margaret B. Bonneville my executors and executrix to this my last will and testament, requesting them the said Walter Morton and Thomas Addis Emmet, that they will give what assistance

they conveniently can to Mrs. Bonneville, and see that the children be well brought up. Thus placing confidence in their friendship, I herewith take my final leave of them and of the world. I have lived an honest and useful life to mankind my time has been spent in doing good and I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my Creator God. Dated this eighteenth day of January, in the year one
; ;

thousand eight hundred and nine, and I have also signed my name to the other sheet of this will in testimony of its being THOMAS PAINE. (L. s.) a part thereof.
Signed, sealed, and published and declared by the testaour presence, who, at his request, and in the presence of each other, have set our names as witnesses thereto, the words published and declared first interlined.
tor, in
'

'

WILLIAM KEESE. JAMES ANGEVIEN,


CORNELIUS RYDEB."

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

88

I have now, so far as I can discover, recorded all the facts in relation to Thomas Paine, with which the public

have any concern. I have even repeated some things (under remembered) with which the public have no business whatever. But the most important part of the task which, on reference to my title-page, it will be perceived that I undertook remains to be completed. Every one will unquestionably draw their own concluBut I assure sions from facts or what they consider such. all whom it may concern, that I should not consider myself justified in troubling them with my views on matters of the
protest, be it

vast importance of religion or highest law, and governsocial science, had I not devoted to these subjects long years of assiduous preparation had I not, rightly or wrongly, systemised facts; even now, I do so with a full consciousness of my need of vastly more light. Facts, separately considered, are but the unconnected links of a chain truth is the chain itself. Facts, in themit is only the truths that are deselves, are worth nothing ducible from them through their systemization that is of use. Brick, and mortar, and beams, are facts entirely useless,

ment or

however, until systemized into an edifice. Every man's life is a fact, but the lives of such men as Rousseau, Paine, which are Comte, Luther, and Fourier, are sublime truths to help to give to the lives of the individuals of our race, all " that can be conceived of even eternal" value. all authors are, like Paine, and RousStrictly speaking,

But those writers who merely reseau, and Comte, heroes. vamp, or polish up old, worn out ideas, and then sell them back again to those from whom they stole, or borrowed, or begged them, are no more authors than they are manufacturers who steal, borrow, beg, or buy for next to nothing, old hats, iron them over, and sell them back for new to their

who in their delight to find how truly they their heads, do not suspect the cheat. It's a somewhat dfficult thing to make new hats fit heads. It's a Herculean task to make new ideas fit them. It's next to impossible to make
former owners,
fit

new habits fit mankind. The American Revolution,

auof which Paine was the thor hero," and the French Revolution, of which Rousseau was the great mover, were, as I trust we have already seen, but closely connected incidents in the grand Revolution which began with man's instinctive antagonism to all which stair .1

"

34

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

in the way of the perfect liberty which nature has, by one and the same act, given him both the desire for, and the assu-

rance of. All which exists or has taken place, is connected with all which ever has existed, or will exist or take place and unless the historian shows that connection, so far as it has a perceptibly practical bearing, history becomes but a mere collections of curious, and otherwise barren details. I have before directed the attention of the reader to the fact, that whoever penned the Declaration of our National " Contrai Independence, must have well studied Rousseau's
;

Social."

The Rev. Dr. Smith, and Civilization," speaks


his times "
:

in his

"

Divine

Drama

of History

thus of the relation of Rousseau to

Rousseau was the avenging spirit of the Evangelical Protestants whom monarchical France had massacred or He had the blood and the soul of the Presbyterian banished. in him but he was drunk with vengeance, and he had, according to his own confession, imbibed with his mother's milk the hatred of kings, and nourished that hate and kept it warm. He declared that though man was born free he was everywhere in chains. Being gifted with great eloquence, he de:

He realized the government of the peolighted his readers. ple and became the soul of the Revolution." " Twelve hundred human individuals," says Thomas Car" with the Gospel of Jean Jacques Rousseau in their lyle, pocket, congregating in the name of twenty-five millions, " with full assurance of faith, to make the Constitution :" such sight, the acme and main product of the eighteenth cenFor time is rich in tury, our World can witness only once. wonders, in monstrosities most rich and is observed never to surely least of all this repeat himself or any of his Gospels
;
:

Once it was right and but indispensable, since such had become the belief of man once also is enough." " They have made the Constitution, these Twelve HunGospel according to Jean Jacques.
;

dred-Jean-Jacques Evangelists." " new Fifth Evangelist, Jean-Jacques, calling on men to amend each the whole world's wicked existence, and be saved by making the Constitution." Thomas Carlyle in innumerable other cases speaks most lov" ingly of Poor Jean Jacques." In an elaborate critical estimate of Rousseau and the men of the 18th century, he says

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.
"

86

Hovering in the distance with use struck minatory airAlstern-beckoning, comes Rousseau. Poor Jean- Jacques a deep-minded, highdeified and cast to the dogs ternately minded, even noble, yet woefully misarranged mortal, with all the misformations of nature intensified to the verge of madness by unfavorable Fortune. lonely man ; his life a in The wandering Tiresias of his time long soliloquy whom, however, did lie prophetic meaning, such as none of the others offer. His true character, with its lofty aspirings and poor performings and how the spirit of the man worked so wildly like celestial fire in a thick, dark element of chaos, and shot forth etherial radiance, all piercing lightning, yet could not illuminate, was quenched and did not conquer this
! :

with what
ted." etc.

lies in it,

may now be
"

pretty accurately apprecia"

of Rousseau, have also Confessions powerfully stimulated revolt against the most despotic of tyrannies that ever enchained the human race. No romance was ever half so interesting. With resistless power their author compels us to himself. Every page chains the reader with electric fascination. With absorbing interest we follow him in every step of his strange sad life. Not a scene in the Confessions but what has formed the subject for a master piece by some great artist. Rousseau was one of those men whose fame the world has taken into its own hands. One of those big-hearted, truth-loving, high-aspiring yet sad-

The world-famous

men, whose sufferings have been made up for by an eternal meed of tenderness and love. He has been taken into the heart of mankind. Perhaps nothing could more markedly manifest the place Jean Jacques holds in the heart of the world than the love and reverence which have been lavished on him by all the high-souled poets and writers in every land since his day. Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul, Shelley, Brougham, Byron, Carfated, stumbling

All that is fresh and lofty and spischool of Poetry and Literature, is Bernadin de Saint Pierre, distinctly traceable to Rousseau.
lyle,

Tennyson,

etc.

etc.

ritual in the

new French

Mad. de
cessively

ped him with Emerson,


the

Stael, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, etc., etc., were sucformed under his influence and adoringly worshipas their master. Thomas Carlyle in a conversation
(see English Traits, p. 22,) while speaking of influenced the formation of his character,

men who had

86

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.
to

declared that Rousseau's Confessions had * discwered


that he (Carlyle)

him

was

not

a dunce..
"

Emerson, book so important in translate * * its


good."

R.

W.

The Confessions " as a was weU worth while fe courage and precision of thought win keep it
too, speaks of literature, that it

And
"

the high-souled SchiUer


!

hymns Rousseau thus


!

Thy

Hail grave of Rousseau here thy troubles cease life one search for freedom and for peace
: :

Thee peace and freedom life did ne'er allow Thy search is ended, and thou find'st them now In the dark age When will the old wounds scar
!
!

Perish'd the wise. Light comes how fared the sage The same in darkness or in light his fate, Time brings no mercy to the bigot's hate Socrates charmed Philosophy to dwell
1

On

earth

by

false philosophers

he

fell

In Rousseau Christians marked their victim

when
1

Rousseau endeavored to make Christians men

I'

Reader, please to skip the next six

paragraphs, unless

you can pardon a digression, (and I must confess to have given you some exercise in that respect already) and unless you furthermore love liberty, justice, and equal rights, not as " fought, things to be merely talked about, sung about, and " bled and died about, but as practical realities. In a state of bliss in perfect contrast with what generally
Rousseau spent several years with a lady of noble birth, who was in comfortable circumstances, enjoying a pension from Victor AmaShe was the wife of a man with whom deus, king of Sardinia. she could not live happily, and from whom she therefore sepa" rated. Rousseau, in his Confessions'" thus describes her : " All who loved her, loved each other. Jealousy and rivalry themselves yielded to the dominant sentiment she inspired ; and I never saw any of those who surrounded her, entertain " the slightest ill will towards each other." I hazard the assertion, that if Socrates could esteem Aspasia, he would have " Let my reader," continues respected Madam de Warens." " the enamoured philosopher, pause a moment at this eulogy and if he has in his mind's eye any other woman of whom he
passes for married
life,

Madam De Warens

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.
can say

37

this mudh, let him, as ho values his life's repose, cleave to her, were she, for the rest, the lowest of drabs. After eight years of bliss with Madam de Warens, that Rousseau, lady's taste, though not her affections, changed.

also wishing to visit Paris, they parted in perfect friendship. At Paris, Rousseau resumed the free-love connection with

Le Vasseur, a young girl of small accomplishments, but of a most amiable disposition. Some of the highest nobles in France (including the king and queen) did not disdain to treat her with marked respect and after Rousseau's death, the government of France pensioned Therese, instead of letting her die of hunger, as the government of England,
The're'se
;

to its eternal disgrace, suffered Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson, to do, although to that accomplished Lady and to her influence and shrewd management at the court of Naples, England owes the victory of Trafalgar. One morning, whilst the king and his ministers lay snoring, she managed to obtain from her intimate friend the queen, a permit for her gallant free-lover, Nelson, to water his fleet at Naples but for which, he could not have pursued and conquered the French at Trafalgar. His last request of the country for whose cause he was dying, was, " Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton." Yet England was too " virtuous " to prevent Lady Hamilton from depending on the charity of a poor French washerwoman and from having, at last, to starve to death, in a garret, in the capital of the nation whose navy had been almost destroyed through her management and her lover's bra" " Virtue and " piety " readily accept the services of very. " " those they impudently style vicious and " profane," but generally consider it very scandalous to reward them. Some of the most " virtuous " citizens in every country in Christendom do not hesitate to eat the bread and wear the clothes purchased with the rent of those curses inseparable from present social institutions, prostitution dens and churches and missionaries, draw large revenues from these " " as they are cantingly called. necessary evils Necessary " " evils ? If there is a which &jmt " God " could punish, sin '' it is that of admitting that there exists necessary evils ;" " " for this sin is a most efficient prolonger of the damnation
; ; ;

of the human race. But England did build monuments to Nelson, and lie has had all the honor of the victory of Trafalgar. Why did not Lady Hamilton come in for a share of that honor? In addi-

88

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

tion to what we have seen she did to procure that victory,. can any gallant man doubt, that her charms were the main stimulus of Nelson's courage ? What dangers would not a man that was a man brave, in order to swell with delight, admiration, and just approval, the heart of her whom he adored, and who freely loved him ?

Reader, did you ever ask yourself why it is that gallant all notable men are gallant) are applauded in high society, and are comparatively little blamed or frowned upon among the million? Surely, gallantry in woman is no more " vicious " than it is in man it is simply because, really owing to ignorance with respect to the regulation of love affairs, it is more inconvenient, that it is more discountenanced. It is because women have to be, under present institutions, considered as chattels ; as articles of luxury; which no man wants to be at the expense of, except for his own pleasure,
.

men (and almost

means whereby to dispense with " virtue." and even that most virtuous of all the virtues, self-denial, ay, charity ; to ignorance of how to develop, modify, and combine the substantial, till desire is but the measure of fulfillment till to will is but the precursor of to nave.
of

of course. But for ignorance of how tofuEy gratify every natural desire, there would be no such words as either virtue or and however amiable it is for people vice in the dictionary to forbear to gratify themselves in any respect, at the expense of others, still, we should constantly bear in mind, that all the " honor that has ever been bestowed on " virtue and self-deis primarily due to ignorance and poverty ; to ignorance nial,
;

how to

create the

Human progress is generally divisible into three ages the age of mystery, the age of reason, and the age of practiThese answer to the theological, the crical science and art. tical, and the positive stages of the Grand Revolution just " " alluded to of which revolution, the author hero was Au
:
'

GUSTE COMTE. Rousseau and Paine had their forerunner in Martin LuComte's John Baptist was Charles Fourier. ther To Martin Luther and Charles Fourier, mankind are almost as much indebted, as to those for whom these prepared the way. Fourier was far more in advance of his time than wap Luther still, Luther's step was much the most perilous to Whoever can look on the picture [I saw it in the himself. Dusseldorff Gallery] of Luther at the Diet of Worms, with dry eyes, without feeling an admiration near akin to adora; ;

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

89

tion for The Man who would go where the cause of -liberty " called him, though there should be there as many devils as tiles on the roofs," must be made of sterner stuff than I am. Look on that incarnation of bravery. See how undaunted that single representative of the cause of the human race stands, amidst the terrible array of princes and bishops. There were six hundred of them headed by the Emperor him;

self.

Paine first openly pronounced those trea" American Independence," Luther has words dared to burn the Pope's bull, even when there was not a crowned head in all Christendom, but trembled at that awful document. Surely the heart that warms for Paine must glow for Luther. Materialist though I am, I do reverence that brave monk. Had the Elector of Saxony been the most aband had the Landgrave solute monarch that ever reigned of Hesse, taken as many wives* and concubines as the wisest man, in Jehovah's estimation, that ever was or ever will be, is said to have had, these princes would nevertheless deserve
fearlessly as

As

sonable

the eternal gratitude of mankind, for the protection they afforded to the great apostle of reform, but for the division, in the ranks of despotism, which he created, a Rousseau and a Paine could not so soon have preached liberty, nor could a Fourier and a Comte as yet have indicated how to put it into
practice.

the zeal and liberality of Mr. Albert Brisbane, to the scholarship of Mr. Henry Clapp, Jr., are English readers indebted for an introduction to Fourier's great work, " The Social Destiny of Man^\ And the same class of readers

To

and

are similarly indebted to Mr. Lombe and Miss Harriet Martineas:}: (the latter aided by professor Nichol) for being en" All the theologians of Wittemberg assembled to draw up an answer the Landgrave's petition to be allowed to have two wives,] and the re[to 8ult was a compromise. He was allowed a double marriage, on condition that his second wife should not be publicly recognized."

w?

If, nevertheless, your highness is fully resolved to take a second wile, are of opinion that the marriage should be secret." " Given at Wittemberg, after the festival of St. Nicholas, 1539, Mar-

"

tin Luthar,

lining,
tlier.

Philipp Melancthon, Martin Bucer, Antony Corvin, Adam, John Justin Wintfert, Dionisius Melanther." Mickelets Life of Lu-

Published by Calvin Blanchard.


J Between whom and Mr. Atkinson, there took place that admirabk " Laws correspondence on the subject of the of Mtui's Nature and Develop

90

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

abled to acquaint themselves with " The Positive Philosophy of Augusts Comte."* These great works are carrying on a constructive, and
therefore noiseless and unostentatious revolution they do not (particularly the latter) appeal to the common understanding, and the masses will know but little about them, until they feel their beneficient effects. But the keen observer and the social artist perceive that they have already given a new tone to all the higher literature of Western Europe, and even, to some extent, to that of the United States.
;

'Tis strange that they who are capacitated to think truth, should so generally have made the unfortunate blunder of not seeing that by the masses, truth of any great degree of comTheir religion is addressed almost plexity can only be felt. wholly to their feeling. Their knock-down argument to all " / feel it to be true." more unreasonable opposition, is, scheme never emanated from Bedlam, than that of plying the masses with reason, on subjects so complicated as are religion and sociology. Has not the experiment uniformly proven the truth of what I here assert ? Reason is, of course, connected with every thing which a sane person voluntarily does or thinks of. It is connected with the construction of the steam engine and should be similarly, and only similarly connected with social architecture. Numerous experiments to which the name of Fourier ha& been attached, have failed. But there was not one of them which bore the most distant resemblance to the system of the

great master, whose name they so over-zealously and rashly appropriated. very successful trial of the household economies of Fourier has been going on in New York for the last three years, " under the management of Mr. E. F. Underbill. His CosHotel" comprises four elegant five story brown mopolitan stone front houses, situated in the most fashionable part of

Fourteenth-street.

The world has been prevented from becoming acquainted with Fourier's magnificent discoveries in social architecture, mainly through the agency of the blackest and most impudent falsehood ever uttered. Fourier's system has been denounced as communism whereas it is the very opposite of that. Our
;

ment," republished in a neat volume by Mr. J. P. " Boston Investigator."

Mendum,

publisher of the

* Published by Calvin Blanchard.

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

91

present social hodge-podge is Skidmoreism itself, when com" pared with the system of which The Social Destiny of Man," incidental and non-essential errors is a notwithstanding its bold and true outline. Next in importance to the discoveries of Comte, are Fourier's with respect to the human passions, and with respect to the equitable adjustment of the claims of

and capital. But Fourier's system was, so to speak, the edifice in advance of the foundation on which alone it could stand. Real liberty, substantial happiness, and practical goodness must have a material basis. That basis has been furnished by Auguste Comte. Mr. Lewes, in his Biographical History of Philosophy,* " Comte is the Bacon of the nineteenth century. Like says Bacon, he fully sees the cause of our intellectual anarchy, and also sees the cure. We have no hesitation in recording our
labor, skill,
:

conviction that the Course de Philosophic Positive is the greatest work of our century, and will form one of the mighty landmarks in the history of opinion. No one before him ever dreamed of treating social problems otherwise than upon theological or metaphysical methods. He first showed how possible, nay, how imperative it was that social questions, should be treated on the same footing with all other

And System of Logic,"t speaks thus of The " Positive Philosophy :" work which only requires to be better known, to place its author in the very highest class of European thinkers. * * * sociological system widely removed from the vague and conjectural character of all former attempts, and worthy to take its place, at last, among * * * established sciences. work which I hold to be far the greatest yet produced in the Philosophy of the Sciences. * * * He [Comte] may truly be said to have created the * * * Whose view philosophy of the higher mathematics. of the philosophy of classification is the most erudite with which I am acquainted. * * * His works are the only source to which the reader can resort for a practical exemplification of the study of social phenomena on the true prinOf that method I do not ciples of the Historical Method.

scientific questions." " Mill, in his

"

hesitate to pronounce
*

them a model."
scientific lover of lib-

erty.

This work should be in the possession of every It is published by D. Appleton & Co. f Published by Harper & Brothers.

92

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

" Clearness and depth, comprehensiveness and precision have never probably, been so remarkably united as in Auguste Comte," says Professor GiUespie, of Union College, New

York.

The following extracts from an article (understood to be by Sir David Brewster) which appeared in the Edinburgh fieview will also give some further idea of the aim and charmarked with great acuteness of reasoning, and conspicuous for the highest attributes of intellectual power. It comprehends MATHEMATICS, ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS, and CHEMISTRY, or the sciences of Inorganic Bodies and PHYSIOLOGY, and SOCIAL PHYSICS, or the sciences of Organic Bodies. " Under the head of SOCIAL PHYSICS the author treats of the general structure of human societies, of the fundamental natural law of the development of the human species, and of the progress of civilization. This last Section is subdivided into three heads the THEOLOGICAL EPOCH, the METAPHYSICAL EPOCH, and the POSITIVE EPOCH the first of these embra;

acter of "

The

A work

Positive Philosophy of profound science,

cing FETISHISM, POLYTHEISM, and MONOTHEISM." Referring to the Astronomical part of the work, the Reviewer says, " could have wished to place before our readers some specimens of our author's manner of treating these difficult and deeply interesting topics of his simple, yet powerful eloquence of his enthusiastic admiration of intelof his accuracy as a historian, his honesty lectual superiority as a judge, and of his absolute freedom from all personal and national feelings." But the mental effort which produced the "Positive Phi" was too much for the brain of any one man to make losophy with impunity, as the subsequent writings of the great posiWith respect to these, and particularly to Comtivist show. te's Positive Religion, Mr. Lewes very considerately re" let us draw a veil over them ;" and I, who have marks, made Comte a study, will add, that any other view than this, with respect to the writings which Comte sent forth to the world after the Positive Philosophy, is most unjust. The clergy are at length aware that the slander and abuse which they have bellowed forth from the pulpit against Paine, have advertised his works more effectually than ten per cent of their own salaries could have done through the and hence the profound silence which they newspapers 1 maintain with respeo to the personalty of Comte, and to tho

We

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

93

The Positive Philosophy" Priests know that the world's old religion is dead ; but they mean to prolong its decay to the utmost, in order to feed, like carrion crows, on its rotten carcass they therefore take every precaution
;

name of

"

against having

it

stirred up.

Observe in what general terms the black coats," as Humboldt styles the parsons, denounce the materialism with which all the high talent of the age in which we live is imbued. They do not wish to let their dupes know that such men as Humboldt and Comte did not believe in the existence of the extra-almighty pedant whom they seat on the throne of the
universe.
" Cosmos "* not already seen that the author of held superstition and its ministers in as utter contempt only as did he who wrote " The Age of Reason," but that he was furthermore a thorough materialist and the author of The Positive Philosophy has mathematically annihilated a God who can have no practical existence to man, together with the supposed foundation of a faith, the further teaching of which, can but hold human perfection in abeyance. Yet the aristocracy of Europe were proud of the companionship of
;

"

We have

Humboldt, and emperors and kings presented him with

testi-

monials of their high regard. As to Auguste Comte, it is rumored that the Emperor Napoleon III. held frequent conferences with him ; and the encouragement which that manarch is giving to men of science is matter of public notoriety. But how does " The Model Republic" compare with monarchical Europe in these vitally important matters ? Is not the noise which, in the United States, is made about freedom, as hollow as is the din with which our loud-belled churches call their congregations to the worship of him who they nevertheless say enjoined secret devotion ? In a country where no throned sovereign bears sway, where no crowned pope sends forth his bull forbidding the offices of human kindness to be extended to those who have incurred his displeasure, what dread tyrant willed that Thomas Paine should be shunned by many of his illustrious that his bones should be refused a resting place compeers beside those of even the least persecuting and vindictive of all the Christian sects that his name should be almost left put of the history of the glorious deeds which his inspiration
;

Rppublished by Messrs. Harper

&

Brothers,

94

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

caused to be performed, and even to this day, be held, in utter abhorrence, by nearly all those for whose welfare hia life and spendid talents were so cheerfully devoted ? Who, is that tyrant ? " " Priestcraft readily answer they who zealously ad!

popular free discusson, and an appeal to popular opinion, as a means of finding out how to deal with those most important and complicated of all affairs, religion and government. " Priestcraft !" they exclaim ,as they
vocate
;

lavish their carefully unsystemized sociological facts, their critical exposition's, and their logical deductions, upon the horrified, astounded, and enraged, but not at all edified multitude.

Well, my friends, between you and me, I must acknowledge that you have slapped that tyrant's prime minister, full in the face. Try it again. But first gather up your pearls, lest the many before whom you have indiscriminately cast them, and who want something of which they can make a far more practical and satisfactory use, turn upon and " rend you." "Ignorance! of course we know that priestcraft thrives on ignorance. Ignorance is that tyrant ;" methinks I hear you further answer. Yes, my friends, ignorance is that tyrant. But still, the

most important, and by far most difficult question remains unanswered. He is not ignorance of the fact that the Bible is of human origin. The Bible is but one of the weather-cocks which tell which way the wind of popular folly blows. The Koran is another, and so is the Book of Mormon. And they are all rather useful than otherwise, as they furnish suggestions as to the course to be pursued by scientific and artistic reformers. He is not ignorance with respect to reading, writing, geography, grammar, arithmetic, Greek, Latin in short, he is not ignorance of anything which has hitherto been taught or thought of in any school or college.
;

I'll tell

you what

lie

is

ignorance

of,

presently

and, at the

same

time, I will demonstrate

despotism, and rescue the

how to liberate man from his memory of Thomas Paine from the

reproach which has been so unjustly, so blindly, or else so unintentionally heaped upon it. Are such rights as English Constitutionalism can give us worth contending for ? Independence is the only measure that can be of any avail substantially said Thomas Paine to " those more cautious rebels who, at the commencement of the were glooming pver the misertimes that t'?ied men's souls," able effects which half measure* had produced.
;
'

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

9b

Are such shams of rights


give
us,

as eaucus-and-ballot-boxism can

worth spending any more time, and money, and agitation upon ? I ask, and appeal to what has been most lyingly named free government in Greece, Rome, England, Venice, France, the United States, and wherever else it haa been attempted to make permanent the crisis stage of proNo, my gress which marks the departure from monarchy. friends, Art-Liberty alone, can be of any avail. Art-Liberty may now sound as strange as did American Independence when first pronounced by Thomas Paine ay, and as treasonable, too. Still, I repeat, nothing short of Art-Liberty can prevent the freedom-experiment which Paine so powerfully incited, from failing in the United States, as badly as it has in e^ery other country where it has been
;

tried.

How

far short of such failure is that experiment

now

"

philosophers, ay, and philanthropists, " " are seriously discussing the question, whether free laborers " " or slaves have the most uncomfortable time of it ? Look at the opaque webb of entanglement which our *' re" have wove, or " enacted " for us, and called presentatives " law." Look at the wretched and expensive farces which " " the administerers of these laws play, under the name of
trials."

when statesmen, and

caucusing, balloting, constitutions," laws," sum and substance of the liberty for which Paine stimulated that glorious band which Washington led, to sacrifice their lives ? Is this the end of the revo" lution which Common Sense " instigated ? Was the earth fertilized and the ocean reddened with human blood, and were both earth and ocean strewn with the ashes and the wrecks of human skill and industry, in order to achieve demagogism ? In fine, are nature's resources fully exhausted, only to produce such a miserable abortion that her highest being, man, abjures her for the " supernatural ?"
and. jury-trial-jiistice the

Are

"

"

Surely this cannot be so. Reader, did you ever notice the fact that the United States Government and that of Russia are, and have always been on remarkably loving terms with each other ? Well, " this is but as natural as it is for birds of a feather to flock The political systems of both Russia and Ametogether." rica, are, about equally, as pure absolutisms as governments can be. In Russia, the head of the majority-despotism which tyranizea, is designated by birth. The Russian Government is a simple despotism, modifiable by assassination. In

96

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

the United States, the band of conspirators for wholesale violence and wrong, the head, or directory of the majority despotism which tyrannizes, is designated by caucus fraud, and ballot-boxjugglery aided by perjury, bribery, corruption, and by the occasional use of the fist, the bludgeon, the dagThe difference between Russian and ger, and the pistol. American 'despotism is so non-essential, that no two great governments in the world have shown such marked good feeling for each other, as have that of the Czar and those favorites with whom he shares the spoils, and that of the President, by whom and his sycophants, the United States is freshly subjugated and plundered every four years.
;

those ask
selves,

But what do you mean by Art-Liberty ? Methinks I hear who have not already hid their stupidity from themunder that common cover of dullness,
friends, I
"

Utopia."

the practiced applicaBy Art-Liberty, my tion of all science and art systemized, as fast as unfolded. The only law which can govern a free state, must be discovered ; " it must be drawn from the whole of science and art ; not en-

mean

acted

;"

human law can no more be

"

enacted

"

than can

physical law.

Art-Liberty will be the crowning art of arts in developing nature's resources, of discovering and modifying her laws and of combining her powers till " creation " shall be complete , till nature's grand till supply shall be adequate to demand end, which the aim of her highest consciousness instinctively till nature's highest organism, man, indicates, is attained attains to happiness not only perfect, but lasting enough " beto fully satisfy his five-sense nature without recourse to the skies ;" till all physical obstacles to man's liberty to yond be happy are removed, even to the unfriendliness of climate Not, by such fanciful means as that great seer, Fourier, supposed, but wholly through the working, with nature, of science and art, which have conquered steam and electricity, and made so many other things which were inimical to man's
; ;

and which will happiness, the very means of promoting it make the good of everything, through use, in exact proportion to its present evil, through abuse or neglect.
;

Man's leaders, must find out how to satisfy man's highest instead of aspirations, instead of catering for his prejudices confirming him, by flattery and cajolery, in his false, supernatnralistic notions T instead of studying the trickery of representing and plundering him. And they will rapidly find this
; -

out, as soon as a

knowledge (already attaiDed) of the unity

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

97

of science, spreads among them, and along with it, its correlthat all mankind are one organism, no individual of late, which can be indifferent to each and att of the others. Enlightened, far-seeing, aft-benefiting selfishness will then take the place of short-sighted, suicidal, penny wise pound foolish cunning and that barricade of hypocrisy, duty, that most " " " virtue and fallible of all guides, conscience, and vice," that have those most unscientific and mischievous expressions ever crept into the vocabulary of human folly, will be obso;

lete.

and " law " must very shortly produce, if they had unopposed sway if the requirements of both our civil and religioua guides were fully complied with If all contracts in accordance with present "law" were " " duties fulfilled to the letter, and if all the enjoined by present moralism were unflinchingly performed, and if all which " " " " virtue styles vice was entirely abstained from, and if what is now " free trade" according to " law," had a " fair field," how long would it take a millionth of the earth's inha:

Let us draw a picture of the condition of things which " the current schemes of politics, religion, moralism, virtue,"

bitants

to

accumulate

att

its

wealth

law," principle," morality," " or mind-your-own business," and-every-one-for-himself-ism on the earth. But there must be no stealing, swindling, or robbery, a& on any account and there must be no sexual legally defined, intercourse out of the bonds of monogamy, even for bread ; and above all, there must be no acts, or even words of treason. The laboring man and the laboring woman, must patiently and slowly (nay, not very slowly I'm thinking) die on such wages as they who, in perfect security, hold all the wealth, chose to give and those out of work must brave
;
.

would not take ten generations " " "

In my opinion, it ? to produce that reign of " free, trade," virtue," and


/

by starving, straightway, unless permit," to drag out a few months, possibly years, in sack-cJoth and on water-gruel in an almshouse.* In all soberness, I ask, is not this a fair statement of the

martyrdom

they can obtain a

to "principle" "

*I claim to have here made a very liberal concession for I have strong doubts as to whether old fogyism, if it had it all its own way, and had not the slightest fear of being disturbed, would furnish even alms-houses, sackto those who were too " shift eloth, and water-gruel to anu of its victims lew to take care of themselves.
; ;
'

98

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

" Opinionism and moralism, like supernaturalism, (of which they are the refinement) have ages since, exhausted
little power for good they ever had, and became so exceedingly morbific to the social organism, that they cannot be too speedily excreted. Reason and free discussion were once, in the fifth century, I believe, seriously engaged on the question as to whether angels could go from one point to another without passing through intermediate space and I myself, in the nineteenth century, have heard reason and free discussion on the question as to whether there was or was not a personal devil nay, that devil's tail was actually discussed and reasoned upon. How much progress have reason
;

case ? and, therefore, is not an entire change, religious, social, and moral, the only thing that can cure present religious, And who are nearest to the social, and moral disease ? " " kingdom of heaven?''* who are least obstructive to the mil lenium ?" they who are now considered moral, virtuous, and respectable, or they whom such term immoral, vicious, and the vilest of the vile ? The only thing that ever made me seriously consider whe" " ther or not Jesus was a divine personage, was, the preference which he uniformly gave to " sinners," " publicans and " harlots," even, over the Scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites," who performed all which " the law " and moralism required. And I must confess that I am still astonished that any one should, almost two thousand years ago, so fully have understood what so very few, even now, have any conception of. Yet this, the strongest argument which can be adduced to " " prove Christ's divinity, the doctors of that divinity have to my knowledge, brought up. Need I add that the never, reason is very evident? Of course, were the doctors aforesaid to make a thorough use of this argument, they would upset the whole present political, legal, and moral scheme. Well, would it not be best to overthrow it by any means whatever ? or, to put the question more justly, can present " in" stitutions be too soon or too thoroughly superseded by those which Art-Liberty, but for them, would produce ?

what

made since the fifth century ? Have they Are we not indebted for every bit of liberty we enjoy now, more than mankind did then, to science and art ? always excepting what little good reason and free discussion or subjectivism have done as very common and proportionand
free discussion

made any ?

ably subordinate auxiliaries, during crisis-stages of revoli* tion. Then, these weapons, when wielded by such men a*

APPLICATION.
:

99

Thoiuas Paine, uwre of use nay, would have been of use, had the social structure which they were the instruments of tearvng down been replaced by one realiy wiu, instead of by one duilt of the damaged, ay, even rotten materials of the old one. Paine did all which he could be expected to do but his noble efforts were not seconded for they who wield his weapons now, resemble those soldiers who, instead of attacking fresh foes, continue to thrust their swords into the bodies of Was Thomas Paine here to-day, his old remedies, the slain.
; ;

religious and political popular free discussion and reasoning would be thrown aside or only used to assist science and art to displace them in religious and state affairs. How otherwise could he be Thomas Paine ? He who was the very in;

carnation of revolution ? True, he trusted that he should "never use any other weapons than those of reason ;"* but he had before trusted that British constitutionalism was the best Yet how widely and nobly did possible thing for the State. he afterwards change his course in that respect and would he not now see full as much cause as he did then-, for taking another tack ? Can any sensible person, who would honor his memory, say that he would not ? say that he would be satisfied with the despotism which caucus-and-ballot-boxism has palmed off on us, or with any of the means hitherto used to get rid of it ?
;

Man's right to be self-governed is, equally with his desire be so, self-evident. But what is most insultingly termed " elective franchise," is the farthest thing possible from selfgovernment. It is, except as a transient or crisis-stage expeAs a permanency, dient, of all fallacies the most monstrous. it has no type, and consequently no warrant throughout naIn every instance where majorityism has become ture. chronic, it has proved as bewildering and destructive to the
to

son. I

* "The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reahave never used any other, and I trust I never shall ;" says Paine " fellow-citizens of the United " in his dedication of The Age of Reason" to his States of America." But he had dreadful experience of the rebound against And suthat weapon caused. himself, which the blows that he dealt with is fully as rampant with the multitude now, as it was before the perstition as it then was, even Age of Reason" was written and it is as rife now,
;

with the exception that is clearly traceable to science and art. Every man of intelligence at all above the vulgar knows, that not only Ethan Allen, Jeflerson, and Franklin "were infidels" as the in fact, nearly all the other revolutionary phrase is, but that Lafayette, and, no more believed in the "divinity" of "The Bible," than Paine did.

with the higher classes

worthies,

100

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

social organism, as the worst insanity proves to the individu-

There is no record of society's being afflicted with the caucus-and-ballot-box mania for any considerable length of time, without having to be confined in the straight jacket of or prescribed a double dose of essentially military despotism the same kind of tyranny from which it had been so madly supposed that an escape had been made. What, then, I ask, in behalf of Thomas Paine, whose distinguishing characteris" tic, was to go ahead," is the use of fooling any longer with the speculative, abstract, tantalizing shadows of human rights,
al.
;

which

our
off

corrupt, spoil-seeking
?

demagogues

palm

on us for liberty

And why

impudently

peating the miserable religious and our religious and moral quacks plunge us ? To what purpose have both religion and politics been so freely discussed, for nearly a century past, in the United States, by all who had more tongue than brain, and more vanThis is not saying that some wise ity than depth of research ? and very worthy people have not also been led into the fallacy that abstract subjectivism was sufficient to remedy desI was once in that unfortunate predicament myself potism. and the axiom of Thomas Jefferson (I believe it was Jefferson's, at any rate it is the axiom of his loudest followers) was, that error may be safely trusted where reason is left free to combat it. But I ask in all soberness, has error been safely trusted in the United States, though reason is there as free to combat it as the majority will let it be ? And with what good effect, so far as social architecture is concerned, have carefully culled, and almost as carefully isolated facts been laid before the multitude, whose views are necessarily confined to the specialities which constitute their calling, since the acute stage of revolution in this country ? I tell you that facts, to be worth any thing, must be systemized ; and that, too, immeasurably more in social or state affairs than in any others and that this requires the wisest heads that can grow on human shoulders, aided by all science and art, and by the most laborious and uninterrupted preparation. Social Science is the art of arts ; not the art of po;
,*

persist longer in remoral failures into which

litical trickery.

In spite of all the freedom of the tongue and of the press which the majority will allow to be exercised, or can allow to be exercised till social science and art take charge of education, is not our political system corrupt to the very core ?

Are not they who have charge

of the public treasury a very

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.

101
"

thieves ? And are not they whom elective franchise places at the head of affairs, plunging the nation into bankruptcy every few years, and at shorter and shorter intervals, by their reckless wastefulness, in letting the lifeblood of industry, as now carried on money pour abroad like water, for the sake of catching their dippers full of it ? has not the empire state, New York, And as to religion

gang "of

860, enacted Sunday-laws which would have done credit to the Blue Code of Connecticut in 1650 ? Are not churchin
1

building,
ism, rife

and church-going, and revivalism,

ay,

and Mormon-

that very multitude that highest court from whose dread decrees there is no present appeal, to whom free discussion and facts have been presented to the extent they can

among

be by present

methods ?

require less preparation than do common sailors ? Do they not require so much more useful knowledge than they have ever been qualified with, that tney have always wrecked or capsized the ship of state, except where it is only a question of time when they will do so ? Evidently, church and vtate management require art and skill infinitely superior to
.state

free-discussion of affairs of the last degree of complication religious and state affairs except during the crisis period of revolution, only renders that worst of desit seats in the social potisms, anarchy, chronic organism, that political gangrene demagogism which has always Hitherto, sooner or later, required the cauterization of military despotism, (a remedy att but as bad as the disease) in order to be got rid of in order to save even civilization. Despofism is the most inveterate of all the diseases of the social organism which ignorance has inflicted ; nay, it is a complication of aU its diseases. What, my fellow-man, would any of you think of the physician who should consult with an individual organism with a view to taking that organism's opinion as to what course he (the physician) had best pursue in order to cure him, (the organism) of scrofula, complicated with every other bodily disease to which flesh is heir ? Would not the patient, if he had one spark of common sense " left, order such a doctor out of doors ? with Sir, I expected aid from your science and your healing art ; and did not employ you to mock and insult me in my wretchedness." Would any one who possessed a spark of reason, even, venture at sea in a vessel, with respect to the management of which, the vote of all who happened to go on board was going to be taken? And do the managers of the ship of
:

The popular

102

CONCLUDING APPLICATION.
"

supernaturalism and its legitimate child, mot arehism. bastard issue, caucus-and-ballot-boxism, are capable of. From the dissecting room the chemical laboratory the asthe physician's and physiologists tronomical observatory study in fine, from all the schools of science and art, should human law be declared, instead of being " enacted " in legis-

what

"

or

its

lative halls, by those who, in every respect besides political " smartness," are perfect ignoramuses. trickery, fraud, and Nature throughout, must be so modified (not changed) ; so
liberated from the thraldom of antagonism or counteraction ; in short, so improved by art, that the conditions which now necessitate despotism and evil will be superseded by those which

make liberty, and all that is desirable, as spontaneous as the order of the spheres. Man naturally desires to be good. There is not, never was, and never can be, a sane human being who would not like to have things so arranged, that every human desire could be fully gratified, instead of, as now, almost wholly denied gratifi'' " " " or the very cation man's desires, holy heavenly are a constant, and will be an quintessence of sensualness, everlasting testimony to the truth of this. " Priescraft cannot be put down, till man obtains his beend and aim," or is satisfied that it is attainable, in this ing's" To desire must material, this perceptible, this sense-world. be to possess, with the exception (if it can be called an exception) of the intervention of just exertion enough to give to possession its due value. Mankind will, with few exceptions, scorn reason, so long as it arrays itself against human instinct ; against what man/eefe to be true. And until science and art give man (or assure him that they can give him) the
will
is
;

which he instinctivepower which created him owes him and stands pledged to give him or turn out to be an almighty failure, he will pursue that happiness even, beyond the grave with priestcraft for his guide, of course. Can nature or all existence, fail ? and allow the drafts which, on the indisputable testimony of the human passions, she haa authorized her highest beings to draw on her, to be protestperfect
ly

and

sufficiently lasting happiness

knows

that the

supernaturalism itself is less absurd than this. human rights Is any Believers in progress thing more certain, than that combined science and its corresponding art, or full and complete "development, must prove " can be intelligibly ift miracle adequate to all for which

ed

Surely, Friends of

"

"

voked ?

CONCLUDING APPLICATION

103

Ignorance with respect to this, then; ignorance of how to develop nature's resources, and modify and harmoniously combine her powers, so as to liberate her tendency to perfection from so as that her means will correspondent to all obstructions her ends, constitutes the tyi-ant in search of whom we startBut he is not invulnerable, nor is his ed. There he stands
!

fearfully, ay, att but "supernaturally" strong fortress impreg-

Let us "up and at him,"' then, as determinedly as our sires of glorious memory charged his minions at Bunker Hill. Parleying, as we have learned by long, sad experience,
nable.
is sheer nonsense quarter being out of the question. This arch enemy of mankind must be annihilated before liberty can be an actuality. And the religious faith of the human race must be transferred from the mysterious and impossible, and from their correlates, the subjective and speculative, And these must be shown to the intelligible and practical. of fulfilling man's highest aspirations, before he capable can truly understand the mission, and fully appreciate the ^orth of THOMAS PAINE. I trust I have shown that, to conquer the tyrant which
;

ignorance of how

to be free constitutes, was the common aim, however glimmeringly perceived object, of the exertions of Rousseau, Paine, Cornte, and all the other author-heroes and heroines, who have ever written. In con-

and the

real,

clusion allow me to propose a crisis-question for the pratical consultation upon, of my friends, whose religion (If I may be allowed to accuse them of having any] reason and free discussion compose : How can man be extricated from having to grovel round and round and round in the hopeless orbit which has mystery for its center, monarchy for his aphelion, demagogism for its
perihelion, and unvarnished wretchedness or gilded misery for its whole course, except by scientifically, artistically, and unitedly creating the requisite conditions for Actual liberty? All have their hobby. Mine, it will be pretty clearly perceived is, that nature, through development, will prove aUr
sufficient.

all ye who delight in the amble of that well-tried popular religious, political, and sociological discussion, and who do not like the complexion of present religious, political, and social institutions, and who are not enamoured of the millennium which I have shown would constitute their If you object to Art-Liberty, please to let the ultimatum world know definitely, what you do propone.

Come,

hack,

APPENDIX.
As ono of '.bo most heroic acts of Thomas Paine's life,, and one which alno showed the profoundness of his political wisdom, was his speech in opposition to the execution of Louis XVI., I wish to draw particular attention to it and
;

therefore give it a place in an Appendix for I have observed that even the most cursory readers generally look at the end
;

of a work.
to the

This speech, Mr. Paine well understood, would expose him fiercest wrath of the Jacobins, who, sustained by the

triumphant rabble, had resolved, in the king's case, to dis with even the forms of "justice," to the extent of setpense

ting aside the rule which required the sanction of a two" thirds majority for the infliction of the death penalty. vote," protested Lanjuinai's. when the balloting was ordered " to commence, under the daggers and the cannon of the factions."

We

In order to more fully understand in what fearful peril Mr. Paine voluntarily placed himself by delivering this
speech,
it

will be necessary to

know

that

"

the factions

"

to

which deputy Lanjuinais referred, were composed of the cruel monsters (and their abettors) who, a short time before^ " " had " laboured" as their horrible, but disinterested leader,. Maillard, termed it, during thirty-six hours, at massacreeing the unarmed prisoners, who had been committed on mere suspicion of not being friendly to the powers that then held " sway and for which labour," its zealous and industrious
;

performers, all covered with blood and brains, demanded in, stant payment of the committee of the municipality, threaten-

ing them with instant death

if

thay did not comply.

APPENDIX.
"

105

Do you think I have earned only twenty-four franca ?'' said one of these 'principled assassins, blandishing a massive
"

weapon,

why, I have slain forty with

my own

hands."

SPEECH OF THOMAS PAINE, AS DEPUTY IN THB NATIONAL CONVENTION OF FRANCE, IN OPPOSITION TO THE EXECUTION OF THE KING.
CITIZEN PRESIDENT abhorrence of absolute monarchy are suffithey originated in principles of reason and ciently known conviction, nor, except with life, can they ever be extirpated but my compassion for the unfortunate, whether friend or
:

My hatred and
;

enemy, is equally lively and sincere. I voted that Louis should be tried, because it was necessary to afford proofs to the world of the perfidy, corruption, and abomination of the French government. The infinity of evidence that has been produced exposes them in the most glaring and hideous colours. Nevertheless I am inclined to believe that if Louis Capet had been born in an obscure condition, had he lived within the circle of an amiable and respectable neighbourhood, at liberty to practice the duties of domestic life, had he been thus situated I cannot believe that he would have shewn himwe are, in a moment of ferself destitute of social virtues mentation like this, naturally little indulgent to his vices, or rather to those of his government we regard them with adnot that they are more heiditional horror and indignation nous than those of his predecessors, but because our eyes are
; ;

now

open, and the veil of delusion at length withdrawn yet the lamentably degraded state to which he is actually reduced is surely far less imputable to him than to the constituent assembly which, of its own authority, without consent or advice of the people, restored him to the throne. I was present at the time of the flight or abdication cf Louis XVI., and when he was taken and brought back. The proposal of restoring to him the supreme power struck me with amazement and although at that time I was not a citizen, yet as a citizen of the world, I employed all the effortg that depended on me to prevent it. small society, composed only of five persons, two 01 whom are now members of the convention, took at that time
; ;

106
the

APPENDIX.

name of the Republican Club (Socie*te* Republicaine). This society opposed the restoration of Louis, not so much on account of his personal offences, as in order to overthrow
monarchy, and to erect on and an equal representation.
its

ruins the republican system

With this design I traced eut in the English language certain propositions which were translated, with some trifling alteration, and signed by Achilles Duchelclet, lieutenantgeneral in the army of the French republic, and at that time one of the five members which composed our little party ; the law requiring the signature of a citizen at the bottom of
each printed paper. The paper was indignantly torn by Malouet, and brought forth in this very room as an article of accusation against the person who had signed it, the author, and their adherents j but such is the revolution of events that this paper is now revived, and brought forth for a very opposite purpose. To remind the nation of the error of that unfortunate day, that fatal error of not having then banished Louis XVI from its bosom, the paper in question was conceived in the following terms and I bring it forward this day to plead in favor of his exile preferably to his death.
;

Brethren, and fellow Citizens The serene tranquillity, the mutual confidence which prevailed amongst us during the time of the late king's escape, the indifference with which we beheld him return, are unequivocal proofs that the absence of the king is more desirable than his presence, and that he is not only a political superfluity but a grievous burthen pressing hard on the whole nation. " Let us not be imposed on by sophisms all that concerns this man is reduced to four points. He has abdicated the throne in having fled from his post. Abdication and desertion are not characterized by length of absence, but by the In the present instance the act is every single act of flight. thing, and the time nothing. " The nation can never give back its confidence to a man
:

"

who,

false to his trust, perjured to his oath, conspires a clandestine flight, obtains a fraudulent passport, conceals a king of France under the disguise of a valet, directs his course towards a frontier covered with traitors and deserters, and evidently meditates a return into our country with a force capable of imposing his own despotic laws. Ought his flight to be considered as his own act, or the act of those who fled with him? Was it a spontaneous resolution of his ow* or
1
,

APPENDFX.

107

was it inspired into him by others ? The alternative is immaterial whether fool or hypocrite, idiot or traitor, he has proved himself equally unworthy of the vast and important functions that had been delegated to him. "In every sense that the question can be considered, the reciprocal obligations which subsisted between us are disHe holds no longer authority we owe him no longer solved. obedience we see in him no more than an indifferent person we can regard him only as Louis Capet. " The history of France presents little else than a long scries of public calamity which takes its source from the vices oC her kings we have been the wretched victims that have never ceased to suffer either for them or by them. The catalogue of their oppressions was complete, but to complete the sum of their crimes, treason was yet wanting now the only vacancy is filled up, the dreadful list is full ; the system is exhausted there are no remaining errors for them to commit, their reign is concequently at an end. " As to the personal safety of Mr. Louis Capet, it is so much the more confirmed, as France will not stop to degrade herself by a spirit of revenge against a wretch who has dishonored himself. In defending a just and glorious cause it is not possible to degrade it and the universal tranquillity which prevails is an undeniable proof that a free people know how to respect themselves." Having thus explained the principles and exertions of the republicans at that fatal period when Louis was reinstated in full possession of the executive power which by his flight had been suspended, I return to the subject, and to the deplorable condition in which the man is now actually involved. "What was neglected at the time of which I have been speaking has been since brought about by the force of
:

necessity. The wilful treacherous defects in the former constitution had been brought to light, the continual alarm of treason

and conspiracy roused the nation and produced eventfully a


second revolution. The people have beat down royalty, never, never to rise again they have brought Louis Capet to the bar, and demonstrated in the face of the whole world, the intrigues, the cabals, the falsehood, corruption, and rooted depravity of his government there remains then only one question to be considered, what is to be done with this man ?
;

For

myself, I freely confess that

when

I reflect

on the un-

accountable folly that restored the executive power to hia

108

APPENDIX.

hands, all covered as he was with perjuries and treason, I JJD more ready to condemn the constituent assembly than the unfortunate prisoner Louis Capet. But, abstracted from every other consideration, there is one circumstance in his life which ought to cover or at least to palliate a great number of his transgressions, and this very circumstance affords the French nation a blessed occasion of extricating itself from the yoke of its kings without defiling itself in the impurities of their blood. It is to France alone, I know, that the United States oi America owe that support which enabled them to shake off
far

an unjust and tyrannical yoke.

The ardour and

zeal

which

she displayed to provide both men and money were the natural consequences of a thirst for liberty. But as the nation at that time, restrained by the shackles of her own government, could only act by means of a monarchical organ, this organ, whatever in other respects the object might be, certainly performed a good, a great action. Let then these United States be the safeguard end asylum of Louis Capet. There, hereafter, far removed from the miseries and crimes of royalty, he may learn, from the contant aspect of public prosperity, that the true system of government consists in fair, equal, and honorable representation

In relating this circumstance, and in submitting this propomyself as a citizen of both countries. I submit it as a citizen of America who feels the debt of gratitude which he owes to every Frenchman. I submit it also as a man who cannot forget that kings are subject to human frailties. I support my proposition as a citizen of the French republic, because it appears to me the best, the most politic measure that can be adopted.
sition, I consider

As far as my experience in public life extends, I hare ever observed that the great mass of the people are invariably just, both in their intentions and in their objects but the true method of accomplishing that effect, does not always
;

show

itself in the first instance. For example, the English nation had groaned under the despotism of the Stuarts. Hence Charles the 1st lost his life ; yet Charles the lid was restored to all the full plenitude of power which his father had lost. Forty years had not expired when the same family strove to re-establish their ancient oppression ; so the nation then banished from its territories the whole race. The remedy was effectual the Stuart family sunk into obscurity, confounded itself with the multitude, and is at length extinct
:

APPENDIX.

109

The French nation has


dent
to a greater length.

carried her measures of govern-

France is not satisfied with exposing the guilt of the monarch, she has penetrated into the vices and horrors of the monarchy. She has shown them clear as day-light, and for ever crushed that system and h, vhoever he may be, that should ever dare to reclaim those rights, would be regarded not as a pretender, but punished as a traitor. Two brothers of Louis Capet have banished themselves from the country, but they are obliged to comply with the
;

spirit

and etiquette of the courts where they

They can advance no pretensions on


so long as Louis shall live. The history of monarchy in

reside. their own account,

Frauce was a system pregnant with crimes and murders, cancelling all natural ties, even those by which brothers are united. We know how often they have assassinated each other to pave a way to
power. As those hopes which the emigrants had reposed in Louis XVI are fled, the last that remains rests upon his
death, and their situation inclines them to desire this catastrophe, that they may once again rally round a more active chief, .and try one further effort under the fortune of the cidevant Monsieur and d'Artois. That such an enterprise would precipitate them into a new abyss of calamity and disgrace, it is not difficult to foresee yet it might be attended with mutual loss, and it is our duty, as legislators, not to spill a drop of blood when our purpose may be effectually accomIt has been already proposed to abolish plished without it. the punishment of death, and it is with infinite satisfaction that I recollect the humane and excellent oration pronounced * by Robespierre on that subject in the constituent assembly in every corner where erThis cause must find its advocates
;

* Pause, reader, and weep over the blindness of those reformers who depend on principle and good intention. Robespierre preached (oh, tne "foolishness of (popular) preaching"* where social science is in question) against the death-penalty And thers can be no reasonable doubt but that he was,
!

opposed to it. Marat once confidently exclaimed, in reference to his known inoorrnptness "A patriot so pure aa myself, might communicate with the Devil." The appropriateness of his association of personages and attributes, he probably did not suspect. When, oh when, will principle and moralism, and that main supporter
in principle,
:

of "vice,"

"virtue," give place to practical goodness ? "Fly swifter round, ye wheels of time,

And

bring the welcome day.'*

110

APPENDIX.

lightened politicians and lovers of humanity exist, and it ought above all to find them in this assembly. Bod governments have trained the human race, and inured it to the sanguinary arts and refinements of punishment ; and it is exactly the same punishment that has so long shocked the sight and tormented the patience of the people which now in their turn they practise in revenge on their oppressors. But it becomes us to be strictly on our guard against the abomination and perversity of such examples. As Prance has been the first of European nations to amend her government, let her also be the first to abolish the punishment of death, and to find out a milder and more effectual substitute. In the particular case now under consideration, I submit 1st. That the national conventhe following propositions. tion shall pronounce the sentence of banishment on Louia and his familly 2nd. That Louis Capet shall be detained in prison till the end of the war, and then the sentence of banishment to be executed.
:

Brat

COMMON
1

SENSE:
VIZ.:

ADDRESSED TO THE INHABITANTS OP AMERICA, ON THE FOLLOWING


INTERESTING SUBJECTS,

Or THE ORIGIN ASD DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT


THE ESGLISH CONSTITUTION.

IN

GENERAL, WITH COKCISB

IL
UI.

Or MONARCHY AND HEREDITARY

SUCCESSION.

THOUGHTS ON THE PRESENT STATE OF AMERICAN AFFAIR*.

TV

OF THE PRESENT ABILITY OF AMERICA, WITH SOME MISCELLANEOUS TO WH'CH


IS

ADDED AN APPENDIX.

Mac knows no matter save crtaung heaven, O~ tbos* whom cboiea and common good ordain.
THOMBOT.

PUBLISHER'S INTRODUCTION.

"HA

y you seen the pamphlet,

Common Sense?"

asked

" I never Major General Lee, in a letter to Washington ; eaw such a masterly, irresistible performance. It will, if I mistake not, in concurrence with the transcendent folly atd

wickedness of the ministry, give the coup-de-grace to Greal In short, I own myself convinced by the argu Britain. of the necessity of separation." ments,

General Washington, in a letter to Joseph Reed, Jan. 33 1776, says: "A few more such naming arguments as wer.
exhibited at
trine
*

Falmouth and Norfolk, added

to the

sound doc-

Common
''That

and unanswerable reasoning contained in the pamphlet Sense? will not leave numbers at a loss to decide

on the propriety of a separation."

book" (Common

Sense), says Dr.

from the press with an effect duced by types and paper, in any age or country."
forth

Rush, "burst that has been rarely pro

INTRODUCTION.

PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, *re not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general
favor
;

a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives

it

a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
a long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question, (and in matters

As

too which might never have been thought


sufferers

of,

had not the

been aggravated into the inquiry,) and as the king of England hath undertaken in his own right, to support the
parliament in what he calls theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination,
they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of
either.

In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided


every thing which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as censure to individuals make no part thereof. The wise and the worthy need not the triumph of
ft

pamphlet ; and those whose sentiments are injudicious or

Tl

INTEODUOTION.

unfriendly, will cease of themselves, unless too


is

much

pains

bestowed upon their conversion. The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise,

which are not

local,

principles of all

but universal, and through which the lovers of mankind are affected, and in the

event of which, their affections are interested.

The laying a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating
the defenders thereof from the face of the earth,
is

the con-

cern

of every man
;

to

whom nature hath

given the power of


is

feeling

of which class, regardless of party censure,

THE AUTHOK.
PHILADELPHIA, Feb.
14, 1776.

COMMON
ON THE

SENSE.

ORIGIN

AND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT

IN GENERAL,

WITH CONCISE REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them ; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society
produced by our wants, and government by our wickeathe former promotes our happinesspositively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distincis

ness

The first is a patron, the last is a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one ; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries 5y a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is neightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence ; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver ; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest ; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. the Wherefore, security being true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is prefera ble to all others.
tions.
;

COMMON

SENSE.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons
earth, unconnected they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural thousand liberty, society will be their first thought. motives will excite them thereto ; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same.

settled in

some sequestered part of the

with the

rest,

Four or five united, would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labor out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing ; when he had felled his timber he could not remove in the meanit, nor erect it after it was removed ; hunger time would urge him from his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.
Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other ; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in as they surmount the first difficulties of proportion which bound them together in a common cause, emigration, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the
;

defect of moral virtue. Some convenient tree will afford them a state-house, under the branches of which the whole colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations, and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man by natural right will have a seat. But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was

COMMON

SENSE.

to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors, in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with they will mutually and natuevery part of the
rally support each other, and on tnis, (not on the unmeaning name of King,) depends the strength of government a/nd the happiness of the governed. Here, then, is the origin and rise of government ; namely,

small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a who are supselect number chosen from the whole body, to have the same concerns at stake which those have posed who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner If the colony as the whole body would were they present. continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number ; and that the elected might never form

community,

mode rendered

to govern the world

erment, viz. freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound ; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will
say,
I
it is right.

necessary by the inability of moral virtue here too is the design and end of gov;

my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered : and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view, I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it
seems to promise is easily demonstrated. Absolute governments, (though the disgrace of human nature,) have this advantage with them that they are aim-

draw

10
le
'

COMMON

SENSE.

if the people suffer, they know the head from which ; eir suffering springs, know likewise the reiaedy, and are

not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine. I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the

component parts of the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new republican materials. First. The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person
of the king. Secondly. The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of thepeers. Thirdly. The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of

England.

The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people ; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state. To say that the constitution of England is a union of three powers, reciprocally checking each other, is farcical ; either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.

To say that the commons is a check upon the king, presupposes two things. First. That the king is not to be trusted without being looked after, or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power, is the natural disease of monarchy. Secondly. That the commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the crown. But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to check the king by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king a power to check the commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills ; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has already supmere absurdity posed to be wiser than him. There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy ; it first excludes a man from the meane of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the

COMMON

SENSE.

11

highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuta him from the world, yet the business of a king requires hirn to know it thoroughly wherefore the different parts, by un;

naturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless. Some writers have explained the English constitution thuo the king, say they, is one, the people another ; the in behalf of the king ; the commons in bepeers are a house half of the people ; but this hath afl the distinctions of a house divided against itself; and though the expressions be
:

pleasantlv arranged, jet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous ; and it will always happen, that the nicest to the construction that words are capable of, when applied description of something which either cannot exist, or is too Incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind, lor this explanation includes a previous question, viz. How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust, and always obliged to check f Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from Goa ; yet the provision which the constitution makes,

supposes such a power to exist. But the provision is unequal to the task ; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end; and the whole affair is a felo de sej for as the greater weight will always carry up trie less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern ; and though the others, or a part of them may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, vet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavours will be ineffectual ; the

the crown in

moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time. That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident, wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put
first

The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government, by kings lords and commons, arises AS much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are in-

possession

of the key.

12

COMMON

SENSE.

doubtedly safer in England than in some other countries, but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more subtle not more just. Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is that it is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not tfte constitution of the government that the crown is not as oppressive in

inquiry into the constitutional errors in the English form of government is at this time highly necessary ; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from cerning a good one.

An

England

as in

Turkey^.

OF MONARCHY AND HEREDITARY SUCCESSION.


MAITKIND being originally equals in the order of creation,, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstance ; the distinctions of rich and poor, may in a great measure be accounted for, and that without naving recourse to the harsh ill-sounding names of avarice and opOppression is often the consequence, but seldom pression. or never the means of riches ; and though avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthyl But there is another and greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that Male and is the distinction of men into kings and subjects. female are the dictinctions of nature, good and bad, the distinctions of heaven ; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like

COMMON

SENSE.

13

species, is worth inquiring into, and whether are the means of happiness or of misery to manthey kind. In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology, there were no kings ; the consequence of which was there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion. Holland, without a king, hath enjoyed more peace for the last century than any of the monarchical governments of Europe. Antiquity favors the same remark ; for the quiet and rural lives of the first patriarchs have a happy something in them, which vanishes when we come to the history of Jewish royalty. Government by kings was first introduced into the world by Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention that was ever set on foot for the promotion of Idolatry. The heathen paid divine honours to their deceased kings, and the Christian world hath improved on the plan by doing the same to their living ones. impious is the title of sacred majesty to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is applied crumbling into dust As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest, cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neitheiLcan it be defended on the authority of Scripture : for the viH. of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, of expressly disapproves government by longs. All antimonarchical parts of Scripture, have been very smoothly glossed over in monarchical governments, but they undoubtedly merit the attention of countries, which have their governments yet to form. Render iwito Cesar the things which are Cesar's, is the scripture doctrine of courts, yet it is no support of monarchical government, for the Jews at that time were without a king, and in a state of vassalage to the

ome new

How
1

Romans. Near three thousand years passed away from the Mosaic
account of the creation, until the Jews, under a national delusion, requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in extraordinary cases, where the Almighty interposeo) was a kind of republic, administered by a judge and the eiders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title but the Lord of Hosts. Ana when a man seriously reflects on the idolatrous homage which is paid to the persons of kings, he need not wonder that the Almighty, ever jealous of hif

COMMON

SENSE.

honour, should disapprove a form of government which so impiously invades the prerogative of heaven. Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews, for which a curse in reserve is denounced against them. The history of that transaction is worth attending to. The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, through the divine interposition, decided in his favor. The Jews, elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son, and thy son's son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent ; not a kingdom only, but an hereditary one ; but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, / will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule
over you,

THE LOKD SHALL KULE OYEE YOU.


; ;

Words need not be more explicit Gideon doth not decline the
honour, but denieth their right to give it neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive style of a Prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven. About one hundred years after this, they fell again into the same error. The hankering which the Jews had for the idolatrous customs of the Heathens,'is something exceedingly unaccountable but so it was, that laying hold of the misconduct off Samuel's two sons, who were intrusted with some
;

manner

secular concerns, they came in an abrupt and clamorous to Samuel, saying, Behold thou art old, and thy sons

walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like And here we cannot but observe that their motives were bad, viz. that they might be like unto other nations, i. e. the Heathen, whereas their true glory lay
all the other nations.

in being as much unlike them as possible. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge

us ; and Samuel prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee,for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, THAT I SHOULD NOT EEIGIST OVER THEM. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even unto this day ; wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other Gods ; so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice, howbeit, solemnly: unto them and show

them the manner of the king that shall reign over them, i. e. not of any particular king, but the general manner of the kings oi

protest

COMMON

SENSE.

15

the earth, whom Israel was so eagerly copying after. And notwithstanding the great distance of time and difference of manners, the character is still in fashion. And Samuel told

words of the Lord unto ike people, that asked of him And he said, This shall be the manner of the king that shall reign over you he will take your sons and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots (this description agrees

aU

the

a king.

with the present mode of impressing men) and he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots ; and he will take your daughters to be confectioncooks and to be bakers (this describes the as well as the oppression of kings) and he will take your fields and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants ; and he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers and to his servants (by which we see that bribery, corruption, and favoritism, are the standing vices of kings) and he will take the tenth of your men servants, and your
aries,

and

to be

expense and luxury

servants, and your goodliest young men, and your and put them to his work : and he will take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants, and ye shall cry

maid
asses,

c-ut

in that day because of your king which ye shall have

Chosen. IN"

AND THE LOED WILL NOT HEAK YOU THAT DAY. This accounts for the continuation of
;
:

monarchy neither do the characters of the few good kings which have lived since, either sanctify the title, or blot out
the high encomium given of the sinfulness of the origin David takes no notice of him officially as a king, but only as a man after God's own heart. Nevertheless the people refused
obey the voice of Samuel, and they said, Nay, out we will have a king over us, that we may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles. Samuel continued to reason with them, but to no purpose ; he set before them their ingratitude, but all would not avail ; and seeing them fully bent on their folly, he cried out, I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain (which was then a punishment, being in the time of wheat harvest) that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, IN ASKING KING. So Samuel called unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day,
to

YOU A

16

COMMON

SENSE.

and
the

all the people greatly feared the

Lord and Samuel. And


thy servants unto
not,

all the people said

unto Samuel,
that

ADDED UNTO OUR

Lord thy God

Pray for

we

die

SINS THIS EVIL, TO

for

WE HAYE
ASK A

ment is true, or the scripture is false. And a man hath good reason to believe that there is as much of kingcraft, as priestcraft in withholding the scripture from the public in r opish For monarchy in every instance is the Popery of countries.
government.

KINGr. These portions of scripture are direct and positive. They admit of no equivocal construction. That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchical govern

To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession ; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is
an insult and imposition on posterity. For all men being originally equals, no one by bvrth, could have a right to set up his own family, in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. One of the strongest natwral proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule, by giving mankind an Ass
Secondly, as no man at first could possess more public honours than were bestowed upon him, so the givers of those honours could have no power to give away the right of pos" We choose you for our terity, and though they might say head," they could not, without manifest injustice to their children, say "that your children and your children's children shall reign over ours for ever." Because such an unwise, unjust, unnatural compact might, (perhaps) in the next succession put them under the government of rogue, or a Most wise men in their private sentiments, nave ever fool. it is one of those treated hereditary right with contempt yet evils, which when once established is not easily removed many submit from fear, others from superstition, and the more powerful part shares, with the king, the plunder of
;

for a Lion.

the rest. This is supposing the present race of kings in the world
to

have had an honourable origin

whereas

it is

more than

probable, that could we take off the dark covering of antiquity, and trace them to their first rise, we should find the

COMMON
first

SENSE.

IT

some
;

them nothing better than the principal ruffian of gang, whose savage manners, or pre-eminence in subtilty obtained him the title of chief among plunderand who by increasing in power, and extending his ers depredations, overawed the quiet and defenceless to purchase their safety by frequent contributions. Yet his electors could have no idea of giving hereditary right to his
of
restless

descendants, because such a perpetual exclusion of themselves was incompatible with the free and unrestained prin-

Wherefore, hereditary ciples they professed to live by. succession in the early ages of monarchy could not take place as a matter of claim, but as something casual or combut as few or no records were extant in those ;
Slimental traditionary history stuffed with fables, it was very ays, and easy, after the lapse of a few generations, to trump up some superstitious tale, conveniently timed Mahomet like, to cram hereditary rights down the throats of the vulgar. Perhaps the disorders which threatened, or seemed to threaten, on the decease of a leader and the choice of a new one (for elections among ruffians could not be very orderly) induced many at first to favor hereditary pretensions; by which means it happened, as it hath happened since, that what at first was submitted to as a convenience, was afterwards claimed as a right. England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones ; vet no man in his senses can say that their claim under William the Conqueror is a very honorable one. French bastard landing with an armea banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original. It certainly hath no divinity in it. However, it is needless to spend much time in exposing the folly of hereditary right, if there are any so weak as to believe it, let them promiscuously worship the ass and the lion, and welcome. I shall neither copy their humility, nor disturb their devotion. Yet I should be glad to ask how they suppose kings came at first? The question admits but of three answers, viz. either by lot, by election, or by usurpation. If the first king was taken by lot, it establishes a precedent for the next, which excludes hereditary succession. Saul was by lot, yet the succession was not nereditary, neither does it appear from that transaction that there was any intention it ever hould be. If the first king of any country was by election.

18

COMMON

SENSE.

to usurpation, no man will be so hardy as to defend and that William the Conqueror was an usurper is a fact not to be contradicted. The plain truth is, that the antiquity of English monarchy will not bear looking into. But it is not so much the absurdity as the evil of hereditary succession which concerns mankind. Did it ensure a race of good and wise men it would have the seal of divine authority, but as it opens a door to thefooHsft, the wicked, and the improper, it hath in it the nature of oppression. Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout

that likewise establishes a precedent for the next ; for to Bay, that the right of all future generations is taken away, by the act of the first electors, in their choice not only of a king, but of a family of kings forever, hath no parallel in or out of scripture but the doctrine of original sin, which supposes the free will of all men lost in Adam ; and from such comparison, and it will admit of no other, hereditary succession can derive no glory. For as in Adam all sinned, and as in the first electors all men obeyed ; as in the one all mankind were subjected to Satan, and in the other to sovereignty ; as our innocence was lost in the first, and our autnority in the last ; and as both disable us from re-assuming some former state and privilege, it unanswerably follows that original sin and hereditary succession are parallels. Dishonorable rank! Yet the most Inglorious connection! subtile sophist cannot produce a juster simile.

As

it

the dominions.

Another
the throne

all which have every opportunity and inducement to betray their trust. The same national misfortune happens, when a king, worn out with age and infirmity, enters the last stage of human weakness. In both these cases the public becomes the prey to every miscreant, who can tamper successfully with the
,

which attends hereditary succession is, that subject to be possessed by a minor at any age ; time the regency acting under the cover of a king,
evil
is

follies either

of age or infancy.
plea,

The most plausible

which hath ever teen offered


is,

in

favor of hereditary succession,

that

it

preserves a natiou

COMMON
:

SENSE.

19

from civil wars and were this true, it would be weighty ; whereas, it is the most barefaced falsity ever imposed ujpon mankind. The whole history of England disowns the met. Thirty kings and two minors have reigned in that distracted kingdom since the conquest, in which time there have been (including the revolution) no less than eight civil wars and
nineteen rebellions. Wherefore instead of making for peace, it makes against it, and destroys the very foundation it seems to stand upon. The contest for monarchy and succession, between the houses of York and Lancaster, laid England in a scene of blood for many years. Twelve pitched battles, besides skirmishes and sieges, were fought between Henry and Edward, twice was Henry prisoner to Edward, who in his turn was prisoner to Henry. And so uncertain is the fate of war and the temper of a nation, when nothing but personal matters are the ground of a quarrel, that Henry was taken in triumph from a prison to a palace, and Edward obliged to fly from a palace to a foreign land ; yet, as sudden transitions of temper are seldom lasting, Henry in his turn was driven from the throne, and Edward recalled to succeed him. The parliament always following the strongest side. This contest began in the reign of Henry the Sixth, and was not entirely extinguished till Henry the Seventh, in whom the families were united. Including a period of 67 years, viz. from 1422 to 1489. In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or "Us that kingdom only,) but the world in blood and ashes. a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it. If we inquire into the business of a king, we shall find
1

(and in some countries they have none) that after sauntering away their lives without pleasure to themselves or advantage to the nation, they withdraw from the scene, and leave their successors to tread the same useless and idle round. In absolute monarchies the whole weight of business, civil and military, lies on the king ; the children of Israel in their " that he may judge us request for a king, urged this plea, and go out before us and fight our battles." But in countries where he is neither a nor a general, as in England, a

man would

judge be puzzled to Know what is his business. The nearer any government approaches to a republic, the
a king.

less business there is for

find a proper

name

for the

somewhat difficult to government of England. Sb


It is

20

COMMON

SENSE.

William Meredith calls it a republic ; but in its present state unworthy of the name, because the corrupt influence of the crown, by having all the places at its disposal, hath so effectually swallowed up the power, and eaten out the
it is

virtue of the house of commons (the republican part in the constitution) that the government of England is nearly as monarchical as that of France or Spain. Men fall out

with names without understanding them. For it is the republican and not the monarchical part of the constitution

England which Englishmen glory in, viz. the liberty of choosing a house of commons from out of their own body and it is easy to see that when republican virtue fails, slavery ensues. Why is the constitution of England sickly, but because monarchy hath poisoned the republic, the crown hath engrossed the commons. In England a king hath little more to do than to make
of
places; which, in plain terms, is to impoverish the nation, and set it together by the ears. pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the Of more worth is one honest man to society, and bargain in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever ived.

war and give away

THOUGHTS ON THE

PRESENT STATE OF THE AMERICAN AFFAIRS.


IN the following pages I offer nothing more than simple and have no arguments, and common sense other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he
;

facts, plain

will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves ; that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond

the present day.

volumes have been written on the subject of the struggle between England and America. Men of all ranks have embarked in the controversy, from different motives, and with various designs but all have been ineffectual, and the period of debate is closed. Arms, as the last resource
;

COMMON

SENSE.

91

must decide the contest ; the appeal was the choice of the king, and the continent hath accepted the challenge It has been reported of the late Mr. Pelham (who, though an able minister was not without his faults) that on his being attacked in the house of commons, on the score, that his " measures were only of a temporary kind, replied, they will Should a thought so fatal or unmanly poslast my time" sess the colonies in the present contest, the name of ancestors will be remembered by future generations with detestation.

The sun never shone on a cause of greater worth. Tis not the affair of a city, a county, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent of at least one-eighth part of the habitable globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age ; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak the wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters. By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new area for politics is struck ; a new method of thinking hath arisen. All plans, proposals, etc. prior to the nineteenth of April, i. e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacks of last year ; which, though proper then, are
;

superseded and useless now. Whatever was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point, viz. a union with Great Britain ; the only difference between the parties was the method of effecting it ; the one proposing force, the other friendship ; but it hath so far happened that the first has failed, and the second has withdrawn her influence. As much hath been said of the advantages of reconciliation, which, like an agreeable dream, hath passed away and left us as we were, it is but right that we should examine the contrary side of the argument, and inquire into some of the many material injuries which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by being connected with and dependant on Great Britain. To examine that connection and dependance, on the principles of nature and common sense, to see what we have to trust to, if separated, and what we are to
expect, if dependant. I have heard it asserted

by some

that as

America haa

22

COMMON

SENSE.

flourished under her former connexion with Great Britain,

the same connexion


ness,

is

necessary towards her future happi-

and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true, for I answer roundly, that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power had any thing to do with her. The articles of commerce, by which she has enriched herself, are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe. But she has protected us, say some. That she hath engrossed us is true, and defended the continent at our expense as well as her own, is admitted, and she would have defended Turkey from the same motives, viz. for the sake of trade and dominion. Alas we have been long led away by ancient prejudices, and made large sacrifices to superstition. We have boasted
!

last war ought to warn us against connexions. hath lately been asserted in parliament, that the colonies have no relation to each other but through the parent

Hanover
It

protect us from our enemies on our account, but from enemies on her own account, from those who had no quarrel with us on any other account, and who will aways be our enemies on the same account. Let Britain waive her pretentions to the continent, or the continent throw off the dependance, and we should be at peace with France and were they at war with Britain. The miseries of Spain,

the her not her

protection of Great Britain, without considering, that motive was interest, not attachment / and that she did

that Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, and so on by way of England ; that is certainly a very round-about way of proving relationship, but it is the nearest and only true way of proving enemyFrance and Spain never were, nor ship, if I may so call it. perhaps ever will be, our enemies as Americans, but as our being the subjects of Great Britavn. But Britain is the parent country say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families ; wherefore, the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach ; but it happens not to be true, or only partly so, and the phras*

country,

i. e.

for the rest, are sister colonies

COMMON

SENSE.

98

parent or mother country hath been jee critically adopted by the king and his parasites, with a low papistical design of gaining an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our minds. Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the
persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they ned, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still. we forget the narIn this extensive quarter of the globe, ~ow limits of three nundred and sixty miles (the extent of England) and carry our friendship on a larger scale ; we claim brotherhood with every Europea"n Christian, and triumph in the generosity of the sentiment. It is pleasant to observe with what regular gradations we surmount local prejudices, as we enlarge our acquaintance with the world. man born in any town in England divided into parishes, will naturally associate with most of
;

his fellow parishioners (because their interest in many cases will be common) and distinguish him by the name of neigh-

bor ; if he meet him but a few miles from home, he drops the narrow idea of a street, and salutes him by the name of townsman / if he travel out of the county, and meets him in any other, he forgets the minor divisions of street and town, and calls him countryman, i. e. counfyman ; but if in their foreign excursions they should associate in France or any other part of Ji/urope, their local remembrance would be enlarged into that or Englishman. And by a just parity of reasoning, all Europeans meeting in America, or any other quarter of the globe, are coimtrymen / for England, Holland, Germany, or Sweden, when compared with the whole, stand in the same places on the larger scale, which the divisions of street, town, and county do on the smaller one ; distinctions too limited for continental minds. Not one third of the inhabitants, even of this province, are of English descent. Wherefore, I reprobate the phrase of parent or mother country applied to England only, as being false, selfish, nar-

row and ungenerous.


it

we were all of English descent, what does Nothing. Britain being now an open enemy, extinguishes every other name and title: and 'to say that reconciliation is our duty is truly farcical. The first king
But, admitting that

amount

to

24

COMMON

SENSE.

of England, of the present line (William the Conqueror) was Frenchman, and half the peers of England are descendants from the same country ; wherefore, by the same method of

England ought to be governed by France. nath been said of the united strength of Britain and the colonies, that in conjunction they might bid defiance to the world. But this is mere presumption the fate of war is uncertain, neither do the expressions mean any thing for this continent would never suffer itself to be drained of inhabitants, to support the British arms in either Asia, Africa, or Europe. Besides, what have we to do with setting the world at Our plan is commerce, and that, we?l attended defiance ? to, will secure us, the peace and friendship of all iiaro^e; because it is the interest of all Europe to have An. erica Her trade will always be a protection, and her & free port. barrenness of gold and silver secure her from invaders. I challenge the warmest advocate for reconciliation, to show a single advantage that this continent can reap, by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat the challenge ; not a single advantage is derived. Our corn will fetch its price in any ki<*rket in Europe, and our imported good* must be paid for, buy then) where we will. But the injuries aiid disadvantages which we sustain by that connexion, are without number and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instructs us to renounce the alliance; because, any submission to or dependence on Great Britain, tends directly to involve this continent in European wars and quairels and sets us at variance with nations, who would otherwise seek oar friendship, and against whom, we have neither anger nor complaint. AE Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no partial connexion with any part of it. It is the true interest of
reasoning,

Much

America

to steer clear of

European contentions, which she

never can do, while, by her dependence on Britain, she is made the make- weight in the scale of British politics. Europe is too thickly planted with kingdoms to be long at peace, and whenever a war breaks out between England

and any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin. because of her connexion with Britain. The next war may not turn out like the last, and should it not, the advocates for reconciliation now will be wishing for separation then, because, neutrality in that case, would be a safer convoy than a man of war. Every thing that is right or natural

OOMMOfl 8KK8&.

2fr

pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weepingvoice of nature cries, "*tis time to pcvrt. Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one over the other, was never the design of heaven. The time likewise at which the continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument, and the manner in which it was peopled, The reformation was precedea by increases the force of it. the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety. The authority of Great Britain over this continent, is a form of government, which sooner or later must have an end and a serious mind can draw no true pleasure by looking forward under the painful and positive conviction, that what he calls " the present constitution," is merely tempoAs parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this rary. government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing
:

which we

am inclined to believe, that all those who espouse the doctrine of reconciliation, may be included within the following descriptions. Interested men, who are not to be trusted ; weak men, who cannot see ; prejudiced men, who witt not see and a certain set of moderate men, who think better of the European world than it deserves : and this last class, by an illjudged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this continent than all the other three. It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow ; the evil is not sufficiently brought to their doors to make them feel the precariousness with which all
fence, yet I
;

may bequeath to posterity ; and by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight. Though I would carefully avoid giving unnecessary of;

American property is possessed. But let our imaginations transport us a few moments to Boston ; that seat of wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct us forever to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust. The inhafew nr.nthp. ago bitants of that unfortunate city, who 1m
r
:\.

26

COMMON

SENSE.

were in ease and affluence, have now no other alternative than to stay and starve, or turn out to beg. Endangered by the fire of their friends if they continue within the city, and plundered by the soldiery if they leave it. In their present situation they are prisoners without the hope of redemption, and in a general attack for their relief, they would be exposed to the fury of both armies. Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the offences of Britain, and, still hoping for the best, are apt to " call out, come, come, we shall ~be friends again, for all tnis" But examine the passions and feelings of mankind, bring the doctrine of reconciliation to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me, whether you can hereafter love, honor, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and Bword into your land ? If you cannot do all these, then are
i only deceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon your posterity. Your future connexion with Britain, whom you can neither love nor honor, will be forced and unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face ? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie Have you lost a parent or a child on, or bread to live on ? bv their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then are you not a judge of those

But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant. This is not inflaming or exaggerating matters, but trying them by those feelings and affections which nature justifies, and without which, we should be incapable of discharging
the social duties of life, or enjoying the felicities of it. I not to exhibit horror for the purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers, that we may pursue determinately some fixed object. It is not in the power of Britain or of Europe to conquer America, if she does not conquer herself by delay and timidity The present winter is worth an age if rightly employed, but if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the misfortune ; and there is no punishment which that man

who have?

mean

COMMON

SENSE.

37

may be
useful.
It is

mil not deserve, be he who? or wnat, or where he will, that the means of sacrificing a season so precious and
repugnant to reason, and the universal order of

former ages, to suppose that things, to all examples from this continent can longer remain subject to any external in Britain, do not think so. power. The most

The utmost
compass

stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this time, a plan short of separation, which can promise the

sanguine

continent even a year's security. Reconciliation is now a Nature hath deserted the connexion, and fallacious dream. art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expresses, "never can true reconcilement grow, where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.
;

Every quiet method for peace hath been ineffectual. Our prayers have been rejected with disdain and only tended
to convince us that nothing flatters vanity, or confirms obstinacy in kings more than repeated petitioning nothing hath contributed more than this very measure to make the

kings of Europe absolute witness Denmark and Sweden. Wherefore, since nothing but blows will do, for God's sake let us come to a final separation, and not leave the next generation to be cutting throats, under the violated unmeaning
:

names of parent and child. To say they will never attempt


:

it

again,

is idle

and vision-

ary ; we thought so at the repeal of the stamp act, yet a year or two undeceived us as well may we suppose that nations, which have been once defeated, will never renew the quarrel. As to government matters, it is not in the power of Britain to do this continent justice: the business of it wiil goon be too weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of convenience, by a power so distant from us, and so very ignorant of us ; for if they cannot conquer To be always running three or us, they cannot govern us. four thousand miles with a tale or a four petition, waiting or five months for an answer, which, when obtained, requires five or six more to explain it in, will in a few years be looked upon as folly and childishness there was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to
cease.

Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care ; hut there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to

28

COMMON

SENSE.

be perpetually governed by an island. In no instance hath nature made the satellite larger than its primary planet ; and as England and America, with respect to each other, reverse* the common order of nature, it is evident that they belong

England to Europe America to itself. by motives of pride, party, or resentment, to espouse the doctrine of separation and independence; I am clearly, positively, and conscientiously persuaded that it is the true interest of this continent to be so that every thing short of that is mere patchwork that it can afford no lasting felicity, that it is leaving the sword to our children, and shrinking back at a time, when going a little further would have rendered this continent the glory
to different systems : I not induced

am

of the earth. As Britain hath not manifested

the least inclination

we have expended. temporary stoppage of trade, was an inconvenience which would nave sufficiently balanced the repeal of all the acts complained of, had such repeals been obtained ; but if the whole continent must take up arms, if every man must be a soldier, it is scarcely worth our while
to

towards a compromise, we may be assured that no terms can be obtained worthy the acceptance of the continent, or any ways equal to the expense of blood and treasure we have been already put to. The object contended for, ought always to bear some just proportion to the expense. The removal of North, or the whole detestable junto, is a matter unworthy the millions

Dearly, nght against a contemptible ministry only. dearly do we pay for the repeal of the acts, if that is all we
;

fight for

for, in a just estimation, it is as great a folly to pay a Bunker-hill price for law as for land. I have always considered the independency of this continent, as an event which sooner or later must take place, and, from the late rapid progress of the continent to maturity, the event cannot be far off. Wherefore, on the breaking out of hostilities, it was not worth the while to have disputed a matter which time

would have
nest

finally redressed, unless we meant to be in earotherwise, it is like wasting an estate on a suit at law, ; to regulate the trespasses of a tenant, whose lease is just exNo man was a warmer wisher for a reconciliation piring. than myself, before the fatal nineteenth of April, 1775,* but the moment the event of that day was made known, I rejected the hardened, sullen-tempered Pharaoh of England for ever :
*

Massacre

at

Lexington.

COMMON

SENSE.

29

and disdain the wretch, that with the pretended title of Father of his people, can unfeelingly hear of their slaughter, and composedly sleep with their blood upon his soul. But admitting that matters were now made up, what would be the event ? I answer, the ruin of the continent.
that for several reasons. The powers of governing still remaining in the hands of the king, he will have a negative over the whole legislaAnd as he hath shown himself such tion of this continent. an inveterate enemy to liberty, and discovered such a thirst for arbitrary power is he, or is he not, a proper person to " say to these colonies, you shatt make no laws but what I t" And is there any inhabitant of America so ignoplease rant as not to know, that according to what is called the present constitution, this continent can make no laws but what the king gives leave to ? and is there any man so unwise as not to see, that (considering what has nappened) he
1st,
:

And

will suffer no law to be made here, but such as suits hi* purpose ? We may be as effectually enslaved by the want of laws in America, as by submitting to laws made for us in England. After matters are made up (as it is called) can there be any doubt, but the whole power of the crown will

be exerted, to keep
sible
?

this continent as low and humble as posInstead or going forward we shall go backward, or be perpetually quarrelling, or ridiculously petitioning. are already greater than the king wishes us to be, and will he not hereafter endeavor to make us less ? To bring the matter to one point, Is the power who is jealous of our prosWhoever says JWo, to perity, a proper power to govern us ?

We

an independent, for independency means no whether we shall make our own laws, or, whether the king, the greatest enemy which this continent " there shatt be no laws but hath, or can have, shall tell us, such as Ilike" But the Mug, you will say, has a negative in England the people there can make no laws without his consent. In point of right and good order, it is something very ridiculous, that a youth of twenty-one (which hath often happened) shall say to several millions of people, older and wiser than himBut in this self, I forbid this or that act of yours to be law. place I decline this sort of reply, though I will never cease to expose the absurdity of it and only answer, that England being the king's residence, and America not, makes quite
this question, is

more than

this,

another case.

The

king's

negative here

is

ten times

more

30

COMMON

SENSE.

dangerons and fatal than it can be in England for there he will scarcely refuse his consent to a bill for putting England into as strong a state of defence as possible, and in America he would never suffer such a bill to be
;

passed.

America
ish politics

is

only
it

a secondary object in the system of Brit-

this country no answers her own purpose. Wherefore, her own interest leads her to suppress the growth of ours in every case which doth not promote her advantage, or in the least interferes with it. pretty state we should soon be in under a second-hand government, considering what has hapMen do not change from enemies to friends, by the pened

England consults the good of

further than

alteration of a name ; and in order to show that reconciliation now is a dangerous doctrine, I affirm, that it would be policy in the king at this time, to repeal the acts, for the sake of reinstating himself in the government of the provinces ; in order that he may accomplish by craft and subtlety, in the long run, what he cannot do by force in the short one. Eecon ciliation and ruin are nearly related. 2dly, That as even the best terms, which we can expect to obtain, can amount to no more than a temporary expedient,

or a land of government by guardianship, which can last no longer than till the colonies come of age, so the general in the interim, will be unsettled face and state of things, and unpromising. Emigrants of property will not choose to come to a country whose form of government hangs but by a thread, and which is every day tottering on the orink of commotion and disturbance and numbers of the present inhabitants would lay hold of the interval, to disDOse of their effects, and quit the continent. But the most powerful of all arguments, is, that nothing but independence, i. e. a continental form of government, can keep the peace of the continent and preserve it inviolate from civil wars. I dread the event of a reconciliation with Britain now, as it is more than probable that it will be followed by a revolt somewhere or other, the consequences of which may be far more fatal than all the malice of Bri;

tain.

Thousands are aiready ruined by British barbarity. (Thousands more will probably suffer the same fate.) Those men have other feelings than us who have nothing suffered.
is All they now possess is liberty, what they before enjoyed sacrificed to its service, and having nothing more to lose,

COMMON

SENSE.

31

Besides, the general temper of they disdain submission. the colonies, towards a British government, will be like that of a youth, who is nearly out of his time ; they will care very little about her. And a government which cannot preserve the peace, is no government at all, and in that case we pay our money for nothing ; and pray what is it that Britain can do, whose power will be wholly on paper, should a civil tumult break out the very day after reconciliation ? I have heard some men say, many of whom I believe spoke without thinking, that they dreaded an independence, fearing that it would produce civil wars. It is but seldom that our first thoughts are truly correct, and that is the case here ; for there is ten times more to dread from a patched up conaexion than from independence. I make the sufferer's case my own, and I protest, that were I driven from house and home, my property destroyed, and my circumstances ruined, that as a man, sensible of injuries, I could never relish the doctrine of reconciliation, or consider myself bound

thereby. The colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order and obedience to continental government, as is sufficient to make every reasonable person easy and happy on that head. No man can assign the least pretence for ms fears, on any other grounds, than such as are truly childish and ridiculous, wz. that one colony will be striving for superiority over another. Where there are no distinctions there can be no superiaffords no temptation. The repub; perfect equality of Europe are all (and we may say always) in peace. Holland and Switzerland are without wars, foreign or domestic ; monarchical governments, it is true, are never lone at rest : the crown itself is a temptation to enterprising ruffians at home ; and that degree of pride and insolence ever attendant on regal authority, swells into a rupture with foreign powers, in instances where a republican government, by being formed on more natural principles, would negotiate tne mistake. If there is any true cause of fear respecting independence, it is because no plan is yet laid down. Men do not see their way out, wherefore, as an opening into that business, I offer the following hints ; at the sa le time modestly affirming, that I have no other opinion o1 them myself, than that they may be the means of giving rii $to something better. Could the straggling thoughts of ir tividuals be collected, they
ority
lics

$2

COMMON

BEN8X.

would frequently form materials for wise and able men to improve into useful matter. Let the assemblies be annual, with a president only. The Their business wholly dorepresentation more equal. mestic, and subject to the authority of a continental congress.

Let each colony be divided into six, eight, or ten, convenient districts, each district to send a proper number of delegates to congress, so that each colony send at least thirty. The whole number in Congress will be at least three hun-

and to congress to sit following method. When the delegates are met, let a colony be taken from the whole thirteen colonies by lot, after which, let the congress choose (by ballot) a president from out of the delegates of that proIn the next congress, let a colony be taken by lot vince. from twelve only, omitting that colony from which the president was taken in the former congress, and so proceeding on till the whole thirteen shall have had their proper rotation. Ajad in order that nothing may pass into a law but w";at is satisfactorily just, not less than three-fifths of the Congress to be called a majority. He that will promote discord, under a government so equally formed as this, would have joined Lucifer in his revolt. But as there is a peculiar delicacy, from whom, or in what manner this business must first arise, and as it seems most agreeable and consistent, that it should come from some intermediate body between the governed and the governors, that is, between the congress and the people, let a Continental Conference "be held, in the following manner, and for the following purpose, committee of twenty-six members of congress, viz. two for each colony. Two members from each house of assembly, or provincial convention ; and five representatives of the people at large, to be chosen in the capital city or town of each province, for, and in behalf of the whole province, by as many qualified voters as shall think proper to attend from all parts of the province for that purpose or, if more convenient, the representatives may be chosen in two or three of the most populous parts thereof. In this conference, thus assembled, will be united, the two grand principles of business, knowledge and power. The members of congress, assemblies, or conventions, by having had experience in national concerns, will be able and useiul counsellors, and the
dred and ninety. choose a president

Each by the

COMMON

SENSE.

38

whole, being empowered by the people, will have a truly legal authority. The conferring members being met, let their business be to frame a Continental Charter, or Charter of the United Colonies ; (answering to what is called the Magna Charta
of England) fixing the number and manner of choosing members of Congress, and members of assembly, with their date of sitting, and drawing the line of business and jurisdiction between them (always remembering, that our is continental, not provincial) securing freedom and strength property to all men, and above all tilings, the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates 01 conscience ; with such other matter as it is necessary for a charter to contain. Immediately after which, the said conference to dissolve, and the bodies which shall be chosen conformable to the said charter, to be the legislators and governors of this continent for the time being whose peace and happiness, may
: :

God

preserve,

Amen.

Should any body of men be hereafter delegated for this or some similar purpose, I offer them the following extracts from that wise observer on governments, Dragonetti. " The " of the science," says he, politician consists in fixing the true point of happiness and freedom. Those men would deserve the gratitude of ages, who should discover a mode of government that contained the greatest sum of individual Happiness, with the least national expense." But where, say some, is the king of America ? I'll tell you, friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the royal brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter ; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God ; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so mr as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceromony be demolished, and scattered among the people
;

whose right it is. A government of our own is our natural right and when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deli:

84

COMMON

SENSE.

berate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance. If we omit it now, some Massanello* may hereafter arise, who, laying hold of popular disquietudes, may collect together the desperate and the discontented, and by assuming to themselves the powers of government, finally sweep away the liberties of the continent like a deluge. Should the government of America return again into the hands of Britain, the tottering situation of things will be a temptation for some desperate adventurer to try his fortune and in such a case, what Ere she could hear the news, the relief can Britain give ? and ourselves suffering like fatal business might be done the wretched Britons under the oppression of the Conqueror. Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do ye are opening a door to eternal tyranny, by keeping vacant the seat of government. There are thousands and tens of thousands, who would think it glorious to expel from the continent, that barbarous and hellish power, which hath stirred up the Indians and negroes to destroy us the cruelty hath a double guilt, it is dealing brutally by us, and
; ; ;

treacherously by them. To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our affections, wounded through a thousand pores, instruct us to detest, is madness and folly. Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us and them and can there be any reason to hope, that as the relationship expires, the affection will increase, or that we shall agree better when we have ten times more and greater concerns to quarrel over than ever ? Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye reCan ye give to prostitustore to us the time that is past ? tion its former innocence ? Neither can ye reconcile Britain and America. The last cord now is broken, the people of us. There are inEngland are presenting addresses against which nature cannot forgive she would cease to be juries nature if she did. As well can the lover forgive the ravisher of his mistress, as the continent forgive the murders of BriThe Almighty hath implanted within us these unextain. tinguishable feelings, for good and wise purposes. They are ihe guardians of his image in our hearts, and distinguish us
; ;

spiriting-

* Thomas Anello, otherwise Massanello, a fisherman of Naples, who after up his countrymen in the public market place, against the oppression of the Spaniards, to whom the place \vas then subject, prompted them to revolt, and in the space of a day became king,

COMMON

SENSE.

85

from the herd of common animals. The social compact would dissolve, and justice be extirpated from the earth, or have only a casual existence were we callous to the touches of affection. The robber, and the murderer, would often escape unpunished, did not the injuries which our tempers
provoke us into justice. ye that love mankind Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England receive the fugitive, hath given her warning to depart. and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
sustain,

ON THE PRESENT ABILITY OP AMERICA.


WITH 80MB MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS.
either in England or Arnei not confessed his opinion, that a separation between the countries would take place one time or other ;
I

HAVE never met with a man,

tea,

who hath
is

and there

no instance, in which we have shown

less

body of armed and disciplined men of any power under heaven ; and is just arrived at that pitch of strength, in which, no single colony is able to support itself, and the whole, when united, can accomplish the matter, and either more, or less than this, might be fatal in its effects. Our

ment, than in endeavoring to describe, what we can, the ripeness or fitness of the continent for independence. As all men allow the measure, and vary only in their opinion of the time, let us, in order to remove mistakes, take a general survey of things, and endeavor, if possible, to find out the very time. But we need not go far, the inquiry ceases at once, for, the time hath found us. The general concurrence, the glorious union of all things proves the fact. It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies ; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world. The continent hath at this time, the largest

judg-

COMMON SENSE.

land force is already sufficient, and as to naval affairs, we cannot be insensible that Britain would never suffer an American man of war to be built while the continent remained in her hands. Wherefore, we should be no forwarder an hundred years hence in that branch, than we are now ; but the truth is, we should be less so, because the timber of the country is every day diminishing, and that which will remain at last, will be far off or difficult to procure. Were the continent crowded with inhabitants, her sufferings under the present circumstances would be intolerable. The more seaport-towns we had, the more should we have both to defend and to lose. Our present numbers are so happily proportioned to our wants, that no man need be The diminution of trade affords an army, and the neidle. Debts we have cessities of an army create a new trade. none and whatever we may contract on this account will Can we but serve as a glorious memento of our virtue. leave posterity with a settled form of government, an independent constitution of its own, the purchase at any price But to expend millions for the sake of getwill be cheap. ting a few vile acts repealed, and routing the present ministry only, is unworthy the charge, and is using posterity with the utmost cruelty; because it is leaving them the great work to do, and a debt upon their backs, from which they
:

derive no advantage. Such a thought is unworthy a man of honor, and is the true characteristic of a narrow heart and

a peddling politician. The debt we may contract doth not deserve our regard, if the work be but accomplished. No nation ought to be national debt is a national bond and without a debt. when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance. Britain is oppressed with a debt of upwards of one hundred and forty millions sterling, for which she pays upwards of four And as a compensation for her debt, she millions interest. has a large navy ; America is without a debt, and without a navy yet for the twentieth part of the English national debt, could have a navy as large again. The navy of England is not worth, at this time, more than three million and a half sterling. The following calculations are given as a proof that the above estimation of the navy is a just one. [See Na/ocH History, Intro, p. 56.]

COMMON

SENSE.

37

fte charge of building a ship of each rate, and furnishing her with masts, yards, sails, and rigging, together with a proportion of eight months boatswain's and carpenter's sea-stores, as calculated by Mr. Burchett, secretary
to the navy.

For a ship of 100 guns, 90 80 70 60 60 40 SO

85,553/.

29,886 23,638 17,785 14,197 10,606 7,558 6,846 8,710

of the was at

hence it is easy to sum up the value, or cost, rather, whole British navy, which, in the year 1757, when it
its

greatest glory, consisted of the following ships

guns.
Ships.
Gfvns.

Cost of ons.

Cost of

all.

38

COMMON
r

In point of manning a fleet, people in general run into great errors it is not necessary that one-fourth part should be The privateer Terrible, Captain Death, stood the Bailors. hottest engagement of any ship last war, yet had not twenty sailors on board, though her complement of men waa few able and social sailors upwards of two hundred. will soon instruct a sufficient numier of active landsmen in the common work of a ship. Wherefore, we never can be more capable of beginning on maritime matters than now, while our timber is standing, our fisheries blocked up, and our sailors and shipwrights out of employ. Men of war, of seventy and eighty guns, were built forty years ago in ]STew England, and why not the same now ? Ship building and in which she will, in time, is America's greatest pride, excel the whole world. The great empires of the east are mostly inland, and consequently excluded from the possiAfrica is in a state of barbarism ; bility of rivalling her. and no power in Europe, hath either such an extent of coast, or such an internal supply of materials. Where nature hath given the one, she hath withheld the other to America only hath she been liberal of both. The vast empire of Russia is almost shut out from the sea ; wherefore, her boundless forests, her tar, iron, and cordage are only articles of
;

safety, ought we to be without a fleet ? are not the little people now, which we were sixty years ago at that time we might have trusted our property in the and slept securely without locks or streets, or fields rather bolts to our doors or windows. The case is now altered, and our methods of defence ought to improve with our increase common pirate, twelve months ago, might of property. have come up the Delaware, and laid this city under contribution for what sum he pleased and the same might have happened to other places. Nay, any daring fellow, ,u a brig of fourteen or sixteen guns, might have robbed the whole continent, and carried off half a million of money. These are circumstances which demand our attention, and point out the necessity of naval protection. Some perhaps, will say, that after we have made it up with Britain, she will protect us. Can they be so unwise as to mean, that she will keep a navy in our harbors for that purpose ? Common sense will tell us, that the power which nath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us. Conquest may be effected under the
; ;

commerce. In point of

We

COMMON
;

SENSE.

pretence of friendship and ourselves, after a long and brave And if her ships resistance, be at last cheated into slavery. are not to be admitted into our harbors, I would ask, how is she to protect us ? navy three or four thousand miles off can be of little use, and on sudden emergencies, none at all. Wherefore, if we must hereafter protect ourselves, why not do it for another? do it for ourselves? The English list of ships of war, is long and formidable, but not a tenth part of tnem are at any one time fit for service, numbers of them are not in being ; yet their names are pompously continued in the list, if only a plank be left of the snip ; and not a fifth part of such as are fit for service, can be spared on any one station at one time. The East and West Indies, Mediterranean, Africa, and other parts of the world, over which Britain extends her claim, make large demands upon her navy. From a mixture of prejudice and inattention, we have contracted a false notion respecting the navy of England, and have talked as if we should have the whole of it to encounter at once, and, for that reason, supposed we must have one as large which not being instantly practicable, has been majie use of by a set of disguised to-

Why

ries to discourage our beginning thereon. Nothing can be further from truth than this; for if America had only a twentieth part of the naval force of Britain, she would be by far an over-match for her ; because, as we neither have, nor claim any foreign dominion, our whole force would be employed on our own coast, where we should, in the long run, have two to one the advantage of those who had three or four thousand miles to sail over, before they could attack us, and the same distance to return in order to refit and re-

And although Britain, by her fleet, hath a check over our trade to Europe, we have as large a one over her trade to the West Indies, which, by laying in the neighbor hood of the continent, is entirely at its mercy. Some method might be fallen on to keep up a naval force in time of peace, 'f we should not judge it necessary to support a constan; navy. If, premiums were to be given to merchants, to build and employ in their service, ship* mounted with twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty guns, (the premiums to be in proportion to the loss of bulk to the merchants,) fifty or sixty of those ships with a few guardships un constant duty, would keep up a sufficient navy, and that without burdening ourselves with the evil so loudly complained of iu England, of suffering their fleet in time of
cruit.

40

COMMON

SENSE.

f
lie rotting in the docks. To unite the sinews of commerce and defence is sound policy; for when our strength and our riches play into each other's hand, we need fear no external enemy.

peace, to

flourishes

In almost every article of defence we abound. Hemp even to rankness, so that we need not want cord-

Our iron is superior to that of other countries. Our small arms equal to any in the world. Cannon we can cast at pleasure. Saltpetre and gunpowder we are every day producing. Our knowledge is hourly improving. Resolution is our inherent character, and courage hath neveryet forsaken us. "Wherefore, what is it that we want ? Why From Britain we can expect nothing is it that we hesitate ? but ruin. If she is once admitted to the government of America again, this continent will not be worth living in. Jeaage.

be always arising, insurrections will be constantly happening and who will go forth to quell them ? "W ho will venture his life to reduce his own countrymen to a foreign obedience? The difference between Pennsylvania and Connecticut, respecting some unlocated lands, shows the insignificance of a British government, and fully proves that nothing but continental authority can regulate contilousies will
;

nental matters. Another reason why the present time is preferable to all others, is, that the fewer our numbers are, the more land there is yet unoccupied, which, instead of being lavished by the king on his worthless dependants, may be hereafter applied, not only to the discharge of the present debt, but to the constant support of government. No nation under

heaven hath such an advantage as

this.

infant state of the colonies, as it is called, so far from being against, is an argument in favor of independence. "We are sufficiently numerous, and were we more so we might be less united. It is a matter worthy of observation, that the more a country is peopled, the smaller their armies are. In military numbers, the ancients far exceeded the moderns :

The

and the reason


of population,

is

men become

evident, for trade being the consequence too much absorbed thereby to

attend to any thing else. Commerce diminishes the spirit both of patriotism and military defence. And history sufficiently informs us, that the bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation. "With the The city increase of commerce England hath lost its spirit. mite to conof London, notwithstanding its numbers, s
...

COMMON

SENSE.
%

41

timied insults with the patience of a coward. The more The to lose, the less willing are they to venture. rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel Youth is the seed-time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals. It might be difficult, if not impossible, to form the continent into one government half a century hence. The vast variety of interests, occasioned by an increase of trade and population, would create confusion.

men have

Colony would be against colony. Each being able, might scorn each other's assistance: and while the proud and foolish gloried in their little distinctions, the wise would lament that the union had not been formed before. Wherefore the present fo'weisthe true time for establishing it. The intimacy which is contracted in infancy, and the friendship which is formed in misfortune, are, of all others, the most Our present union is marked with lasting and unalterable. Doth these characters; we are young, and we have been
distressed
;

but our concord hath withstood our troubles,

government at the right end. "When William the Conqueror subdued England, he gave them law at the point of the sword ; and, until we consent that the seat of government in America be legally and authoritatively occupied, we shall be in danger of naving it filled by some fortunate ruffian, who may treat us in the same manner, and then, where will be our freedom ? where our ? property As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all

and fixes a memorable era for posterity to glory in. The present time, likewise, is that peculiar time which never happens to a nation but once, vis. the time of forming Most nations have let slip the itself into a government. and by that means have been compelled to reopportunity, ceive laws from their conquerors, instead of making laws for themselves. First, they had a king, and then a form of government whereas the articles or charter of government, should be formed first, and men delegated to execute them afterwards but from the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom, and lay hold of the present opportunity to begin
;
:

governments

and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith. Let a man throw aside that narrowness of soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all professions are so unwilling to part with, and ne will be at

to protect all conscientious professors thereof,

4:2

COMMON

SENSE.

once delivered of hi& fears on that head.

Suspicion

is

tha

ompanion of mean souls, and the bane of all good For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe, that
will of the
:

society.
it is

the

Almighty, that there should be a diversity of religious opinions among us it affords a larger field for our O.vistian kindness. Were we all of one way of thinking, o;i;religious dispositions would want matter for probation and on this liberal principle, I look on the various denominations among us, to be like children of the same family, differing only in what is called their Christian names. In a former page, I threw out a few thoughts on the propriety of a Continental Charter (for I only presume to offer hints, not plans) and in this place, I take the liberty of rementioning the subject, by observing that a charter is to be understood as a bond of solemn obligation, which the whole
;

enters

into,

to support the right of every separate part,

firm whether of religion, personal freedom, or property. bargain and a right reckoning make long friends. I have heretofore likewise mentioned the necessity of a large and equal representation; and there is no political matter which more deserves our attention. A small num-

ber of electors, or a small number of representatives, are equally dangerous. But if the number of the representatives be not only small, but unequal, the danger is increased. As an instance of this, I mention the following when the associators' petition was before the house of assembly of Pennsylvania, twenty-eight members only were present all the Bucks county members, being eight, voted against it. and had seven of the Chester members done the same, this
:

whole province had been governed by two counties only and this danger it is always exposed to. The unwarrantable stretch likewise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain an undue authority over the delegates of this province, ought to warn the people at large, how they trust power
;

set of instructions for their deleown hands. gates were put together, which in point of sense and busine&s would have dishonoured a school-boy, and after being approved by a, few, a very few, without doors, were carried into the house, and there passed in behalf of the whole colony ; whereas, did the whole colony know with what iL will that house had entered on some necessary public measures, they would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust.

out of their

Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which

COMMON
if

SENSE.

48

continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and When the calamities of America right are different things. a consultation, there was no method so ready, or at required that time so proper, as to appoint persons from the several houses of assembly for that purpose ; and the wisdom with which they have proceeded hath preserved this continent from ruin. But as it is more than probable that we shall never be without a Congress, every well-wisher to good order must own, that the mode for choosing members of that body, deserves consideration. And I put it as a question to those, who make a study of mankind, whether representation and election is not too great a power for one and the same body of men to possess ? Whenever we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not
hereditary.
It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes. Mr. Cornwall (one of the lords of the treasury) treated the petition of the New- York assembly with contempt, because that house, he said, consisted but of twenty-

six

members, which

trifling

with decency be put for the whole. involuntary honesty.*

number, he argued, could not We thank him for his

To conclude. However strange it may appear to some, or however unwilling they may be to think so, matters not, but many strong and striking reasons may be given, to show, that nothing can settle our affairs so expeditiously as an open and determined declaration for independence. Some
01

which

are,

the custom of nations, when any two are at war, some other powers, not engaged in the quarrel, to step in as mediators, and bring about the preliminaries of a but while America calls herself the subject of Ejace; no power, however well disposed she may be, can ritain,
1st, It is

for

offer her mediation.

Wherefore, in our present

state,

we

may

quarrel on for ever.

2d, It is unreasonable to suppose, that France or Spain will give us any kind of assistance, if we mean only to make use of that assistance for the purpose of the

breach and strengthening the connexion between Britain and America because, those powers would be sufferers by the consequences.
;

repairing

* Those who would


qual representation
is

fully

understand of what great consequence a large and to a state, should read Burgh's Political Disquisitions.

44

COMMON

SENSE.

3d, "While we profess ourselves the subjects of Britain, w must, in the eyes of foreign nations, be considered as rebels. The precedent is somewhat dangerous to their peace, for men to be in arms under the name of subjects we, on the spot, can solve the paradox: but to unite resistance and subjection, requires an idea much too refined for common under;

standing.
4th, Should a manifesto be published, and despatched to foreign courts, setting forth the miseries we have endured, and the peaceful methods which we have ineffectually used for redress ; declaring at the same time, that not being able, any longer, to live happily, or safely under the cruel disposition of the British court, we had been driven to the necessity of breaking off all connexion with her; at the same time, assuring all such courts of our peaceable disposition towards them, and of our desire of entering into trade with them. Such a memorial would produce more good effects to this continent, than if a ship were freighted with petitions

to Britain.

Under our present denomination of British subjects, we can neither be received nor heard abroad the custom of ali courts is against us, and will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations. These proceedings may at first appear strange and dim* cult but like all other steps, which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable ;
:

and, until an independence is declared, the continent will a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.
feel itself like

iPPENDIX.

SINCE the publican wm of the first edition of this pamphlet, or rather, on the saint? aay on which it came out, the king's speech made its appearance in this city. Had the spirit of prophecy directed the 6irth of this production, it could not have brought it forth at a more seasonable juncture, or at a more necessary time. The bloody-mindedness of the one, shows the necessity of purbuing the doctrine of the other. Men read by way of revenge : and the speech, instead of terrifying, prepared a way for the manly principles of independence.

Ceremony, and even silence, from whatever motives they arise, have a hurtful tendency, when they give the least degree of countenance to base and wicked performances wherefore, if this maxim be admitted, it naturally

may

follows, that the king's speech, as being a piece of finished villany, deserved and still deserves, a general execration, both by the congress and the people. et, as the domestic

tranquillity of a nation, depends greatly on the chastity of what may properly be called national manners, it .is often better to pass some things over in silent disdain, than to make use of such new methods of dislike, as might introduce the least innovation on that guardian of our peace and

And, perhaps, it is chiefly owing to this prudent delicacv, that tne king's speech hath not before now suffered a public execution. The speech, if it may be called one, is nothing better than a wilful, audacious libel against the truth, the common good, and the existence of mankind ; and is a formal and pompous method of offering up human sacri^ces to the pride of tyrants. But this general massacre of mankind, is one of the privileges and the certain consequences of kings ; for as nature knows them not, they know not her, and although they are beings of our own creating,
safety.

COMMON

SENSE.

they know not us, and are become the gods of their creators. The speech hath one good quality, winch is, that it is not
calculated to deceive, neither can we, if we would, be deceived by it. Brutality and tyranny appear on the face of it. It leaves us at no loss ; and every line convinces, even in the moment of reading, that he who hunts the woods for prey, the naked and untutored Indian, is less savage than the king of Britain. Sir John Dalrymple, the putative father of a whining Jesu" The address itical piece, fallacious called, of the people of to the inhabitants of America," hath perhaps, from England a vain supposition that the people here were to be frightened at the pomp and description of a king, given (though very unwisely on his part) the real character of the present one : " " But," says this writer, if you are inclined to pay complito an administration, which we do not complain of" (meaning the Marquis of Rockingham's at the repeal of the " Stamp Act) it is very unfair in you to withhold them from that prince, by whose NOD ALONE they were permitted to do Here is idolany thing* This is toryism with a witness atry even without a mask and he who can calmly hear and digest such doctrine, hath forfeited his claim to rationis an apostate from the order of manhood, and ought ality as one, who hath not only given up the to be considered proper dignity of man, but sunk himself beneath the rank of animals, and contemptibly crawls through the world like

ments

a worm.

However, it matters very little now, what the king of England either says or does; he hath wickedly broken through every moral and human obligation, trampled nature and conscience beneath his feet and by a steady and constitutional spirit of insolence and cruelty, procured for himIt is now the interest of America self an universal hatred. She hath already a large and young to provide for herself. family, whom it is more her duty to take care of, than to be granting away her property to support a power which is become a reproach to the names of men and Christians Ye, whose office it is to watch over the morals of a nation, of whatsoever sect or denomination ye are of, as well as ye who are more immediately the guardians of the public liberty, if you wish to preserve your native country uncontaminated by European corruption, ye must in secret wish a separation but leaving the moral part to private reflection, I shall chiefly confine my further remarks to the following heads
;
:

COMMON
1st, That it from Britain.
is

SENSE.

47

the interest of America to be separated

is the easiest and most practicable plan, reconindependence? with some occasional remarks. In support of the first, I could, if I judged it proper, produce the opinion of some of the ablest and most experienced men on this continent : and whose sentiments on

2d,

Which

ciliation or

It is in reality a selfthat head, are not yet publicly known. evident position for no nation in a state of foreign dependence, limited in its commerce, and cramped and fettered in its legislative powers, can ever arrive at any material eminence. America doth not yet know what opulence is ; and
:

although the progress which she hath made stands unparalleled in the history of other nations, it is but childhood, compared with what she would be capable of arriving at, had she, as she ought to have, the legislative powers in her own hands. England is, at this time, proudly coveting what would do her no good were she to accomplish it and the continent hesitating on a matter which will be her final ruin if neglected. It is the commerce and not the conquest of
;

America by which England is to be benefited, and that would in a .gfceac measure continue, were the countries as independent of each other as France and Spain because in many articles neither can go to a better market. But it is the independence of this country of Britain, or any other, which is now the main and only object worthy of contention, and which, like all other truths discovered by necessity, will appear clearer and stronger every day. 1st, Because it will come to that one time or other.
;

public and private companies, with silently remarking the specious errors of those who speak without reflecting. And among the many which I have heard, the following seems the most general, viz. that if this rupture should happen forty or fifty years hence, instead of now, the continent would be more able to shake off the dependence. To which I replv, that our military ability at this time, arises from the experience gained in the last war, and which in forty or fifty years time would be totally extinct. The continent would not, by that time, have a general, or even a military officer and we, or those who may succeed us, would be as left ignorant of martial matters as the ancient Indians and this position, closely attended to, will unanswerably prove
;
:

2d, Because the longer it is delayed, the harder it will be I have to accomplish. amused myself both in frequently

48

COMMON

SENSE.

that the present time is preferable to all others. The argument tarns thns at the conclusion of the last war, we had experience, but wanted numbers ; and forty or fifty years

hence, we shall have numbers, without experience ; wherefore, the proper point of time, must be some particular point between the two extremes, in which a sufficiency of the former remains, and a proper increase of the latter is obtained and that point of time is the present time. The reader will pardon this digression, as it does not properly come under the head I first set out with, and to which I again return by the following position, viz. Should affairs be patched up with Britain, and she remain the governing and sovereign power of America, (which, aa matters are now circumstanced, is giving up the point entirely) we shall deprive ourselves of trie very means of sinking the debt we have or may contract. The value of the back lands, which some of the provinces are clandestinely deprived of, by the unjust extension of the limits of Canada,
:

valued only at five pounds sterling per hundred acres, to upwards of twenty-five millions Pennsylvania currency and the quit-rents at one penny sterling per acre,

amount
to

two millions yearly.

It is by the sale of those lands that the debt may be sunk, without burden to any, and the quit-rent reserved thereon, will always lessen, and in time, will wholly support the yearly expense of government. It matters not how long the debt is in paying, so that the lands when sold be applied to to the discharge of it, and for the execution of which, the congress for the time being, will be the continental trustees. I proceed now to the second head, vis. Which is the

and most practicable plan, reconciliation or indep&ndence f with some occasional remarks. He who takes nature for his goide, is not easily beaten out of his argument, and on that ground, I answer geneThat INDEPENDENCE being a SINGLE SIMPLE LINE, conrally tained within ourselves / and reconciliation, a matter exceedingly perplexed and complicated, and in which a treacherous^ capricious court is to interfere, gives the answer without a
easiest
.

doubt.

America is truly alarming to every of reflection. Without law, without capable government, without any other mode of power than what Held together by is founded on, and granted by, courtesy. an unexampled occurrence or sentiment, which is neverthastate of

The present
is

man who

COMMON
lees subject to

SENSE.

49

change, and which every secret enemy is endeavoring to dissolve. Our present condition is, legislation without law wisdom without a plan a constitution without a name ; and. what is strangely astonishing, perfect independence contending for dependence. The instance is without a precedent ; the case never existed before ; and, who can The property of no man is tell what may be the event ? secure in the present unbraced system of things. The mind of the multitude is left at random, and seeing no fixed object before them, they pursue such as fancy or opinion presents. Nothing is criminal; there is no such thing as treason; wherefore, every one thinks himself at liberty to act as he The tories dared not have assembled offensively, pleases. Dad they known that their lives, by that act, were forfeited to the laws of the state. line of distinction should be drawn between English soldiers taken in battle, and inhabitants of America taken in arms. The first are prisoners, but the latter traitors. The one forfeits his liberty, the other
; ;

his head.

in

Notwithstanding our wisdom, there is a visible feebleness some of our proceedings which gives encouragement to

too loosely buckled. will be too late to something do any and we shall fall into a state, in which neither thing, Reconciliation nor Independence will be practicable. The king and his worthless adherents are got at their old game of dividing the continent, and there are not wanting among TIS, printers, who will be busy in spreading specious falsehoods. The artful and hypocritical letter which appeared a few months ago in two of the New York papers, and likewise in others, is an evidence that there are men who want
dissentions.
is

The Continental Belt


is

And

if

not done in time,

it

both judgment and honesty. It is easy getting into holes and corners and talking of r& conciliation : but do such men seriously consider how difficult the task is, and how dangerous it may prove, should the continent divide thereon. Do they take within their view, all the various orders of men whose situation and circumstances, as well as their own, are to be considered therein? Do they put themselves in the place of the sufferer whose all is already gone, and of the soldier, who hath quitted all for the defence of his country ? If their ill-judged moderation be suited to their own private situations only, regardless of others, the event will convince them that " they are reckoning without their hoet."

5U

COMMON

SENSE.

Put us, say some, on the footing we were in the year 1763 which I answer, the request is not now in the power of Britain to comply with, neither will she propose it but if it were, and even should it be granted, I ask, as a reasonable question, by what means is such a corrupt and faithless court to be kept to its engagements? Another parliament,
to
;

nay, even the present, may hereafter repeal the obligation, on the pretence of its being violently obtained, or unwisely granted ; and, in that case, where is our redress ? No going to law with nations ; cannon are the barristers of crowns ; and the sword, not of justice, but of war, decides the suit. To be on the footing of 1763, it is not sufficient, that the laws only^ be put in the same state, but, that our circumstances, likewise, be put in the same state ; our burnt and destroyed towns repaired, or built up, our private losses made good, our public debts (contracted for defence) discharged ; otherwise, we shall be millions worse than we were at that enviable period. Such a request, had it been complied with a year ago, would have won the heart and soul of the continent but now it is too late " The Kubicon is
:

passed." Besides, the taking up arms, merely to enforce the repeal of a pecuniary law, seems as unwarrantable by the divine law, and as repugnant to human feelings, as the taking up arms to enforce obedience thereto. The object, on either side, doth not justify the means ; for the lives of men are too valuable to be cast away on such trifles. It is the violence which is done and threatened to our persons the destruction of our property by an armed force ; the invasion of our country by fire and sword, which conscientiously and the instant in which such qualifies the use of arms mode of defence became necessary, all subjection to Britain ought to have ceased ; and the independence of America should have been considered as dating its era from, and pubashed by, the first musket that was jvred against her. This line is a line of consistency ; neither drawn by caprice, nor extended by ambition ; but produced by a chain of events, of which the colonies were not the authors. I shall conclude these remarks, with the following timely and well-intended hints. ought to reflect that there are three different ways by which an independency may hereafter be effected ; and that one of those three, will, one day or other, be the fate of America, viz. By the legal voice of the people in congress ; by a military power or by a mob
;
:

We

COMMON
it

SENSE.

51

uiay not always happen that our soldiers are citizens, and the multitude a body of reasonable men ; virtue, as I have is not hereditary, neither is it perpetual. already remarked, Should an independency be brought about by the first of those means, we have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest, purest constitution have it in our power to begin on the face of the earth. the world over again. situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months. The reflection is awful and in this point of view, how do the little paltry cavilings, of a few trifling, how ridiculous, weak or interested men appear, when weighed against the business of a world. Should we neglect the present favorable and inviting period, and independence be hereafter effected by any other means, we must charge the consequence to ourselves, or to those rather, whose narrow and prejudiced souls, are habitually opposing the measure, without either inquiring or reThere are reasons to be giverf in support of indeflecting. pendence, which men should rather privately think of, than be publicly told of. "We ought not now to be debating whether we shall be independent or not, but anxious to accomplish it on a firm, secure, and honorable basis, and uneasy rather, that it is not yet began upon. Every day convinces us of its necessity. Even the tories (if such things remain among us) should, of all men, be the most soyet licitous to promote it ; for as the appointment of committees at first, protected them from popular a wise and rage, so, well-established form of government will be the only means of continuing it securely to them. Wherefore, if they have not virtue enough to be Whigs, they ought to have prudence

We A

to wish for independence. In short, independence is the only bond that tie and keep us together. We shall then see our object, and our ears \rill be legally shut against the schemes of an intriguing, as well as cruel, enemy. shall then, too, be on a proper footing to treat with Britain for there is reason to conclude, that the pride of that court will be less hurt with treating with the American states for terms of peace, than with those, whom sho denominates " rebellious subjects," for terms of Accommodation. It is our delaying it mat encourages her

enough

We

52

COMMON

SENSE.

to hope for conquest, and our backwardness tends only to As we have, without any good effect prolong the war. therefrom, withheld our trade to obtain a redress of our grievances, let us now try the alternative, by independently redressing them ourselves, and then offering to open the The mercantile and reasonable part of England, trade. will be still with us ; because, peace with trade, is preferable to war, without it. And if this offer be not accepted,

other courts may be applied to. On these grounds I rest the matter. And as no offer hath yet been made to refute the doctrine contained in the former editions of this pamphlet, it is a negative proof, that either the doctrine cannot be refuted, or, that the party in favor of it are too numerous to be opposed. Wherefore, instead of gazing at each other, with suspicious or doubtful curiosity, let each of us hold out to his neighbor the hearty hand of friendship, and unite in drawing a line, which, like an act of oblivion, shall bury in forgetfulness every former dissention. Let the names of whig and tory be extinct ; and let none other be heard among us, than those of a good an open and resolute friend ; and a virtuous supcitizen porter Of the EIGHTS of MANKIND, and Of the FEEE AND PENDENT STATES OF AMTCRTflA..

THE END OF COMMON BBN8B.

THE CRISIS

THE

CRISIS.

NUMBEK
soldier

I.

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the
;

What we obtain too cheap, we glorious the triumph. esteem too lightly 'tis clearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods ; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a " to BIND us in ATT. OASES WHATright (not only to TAX) but SOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious, for so unlimited a power can bemore
:

long only to God. Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument ; my own simple opinion is, that had it been
eight months earlier, it would have been much better. did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if

We

it were one, was all our own ; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet ; all that Howe has been doin^ for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Jerseys a year ago would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will oon recover.

THE
I

CRISIS.

have as little superstition in me as any man living, but secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or

mv

leave

them unsupported^ to perish, who have so earnestly so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He
and
has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils ; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he. "lis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them: Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats ; and in the fourteenth century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear ; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and neaded by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment Yet panics, in some
: !

they produce as much good as hurt. always short the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world. Many a disguised tory has lately shown his head, that shall penitentially solemnize witn curses the day on which Howe arrived upon the Delaware. As I was with the troops at Fort Lee, and marched with
cases,

have

their uses
is

Their duration

them
with

to the edge of Pennsylvania, I


of.

am

many circumstances, which tance, know but little or nothing

those

who live at Our situation

well acquainted a disthere,

was exceedingly cramped, the place beinga narrow neck of land between the North River and the Hackensack. Our force was inconsiderable, being not one fourth so great as Howe could bring against us. We had no army at hand to have relieved the garrison, had we shut ourselves up and

THE

CRISIS.

ft

Our ammunition, light artillery, and stood on our defence. the best part of our stores, had been removed, on the apprehension that Howe would endeavor to penetrate the Jerseys, in which case fort Lee could be of no use to us ; for it must occur to every thinking man, whether in the army or not, that these kind of field forts are only for temporary purposes, and last in use no longer than the enemy directs his force against the particular object, which such forts are raised to defend. Such was our situation and condition at fort Lee on the morning of the 20th of November, when an officer arrived with information that the enemy with 200 boats had landed about seven miles above Major General Green, who commanded the garrison, immediately ordered them under arms, and sent express to General Washington at the town of Hackensack, distant by the way of the ferry, six miles. Our first object was to secure the bridge over the Hackensack, which laid up the river between the enemy and us, about six miles from us, and three from them. General Washington arrived in about three quarters of an hour, and marched at the head of the troops towards the bridge, which place I expected we should have a brush for ; however, they did not choose to dispute it with us, and the greatest part of our troops went over the bridge, the rest over the ferry except some which passed at a mill on a small creek, between the bridge and the ferry, and made their way through some marshy grounds up to the town of Hackensack, and there We brought off as much baggage as the passed the river. wagons could contain, the rest was lost. The simple object was to bring off the garrison, and march them on till tney could be strengthened by the Jersey or Pennsylvania militia, so as to be enabled to make a stand. "We staid four days at Newark, collected our out-posts with some of the Jersey militia, and marched out twice to meet the enemy, on being informed that they were advancing, though our numbers were inferior to theirs. Howe, in my little opinion, greatly committed a great error in generalship in not throwing a body of forces off from Staten Island through Amboy, by which means he might have seized all our stores at Bruns:

wick, and intercepted our march into Pennsylvania but if WQ believe the power of hell to be limited, we must likewise believe that their agents are under some providential control. I shall not now attempt to give all the particulars of our retreat to the Delaware suffice for the present to say, that both officers and men, though greatly harassed and fatigued,
:

THE

CRISIS.

rest, covering, or provision, the inevitable consequences of a long retreat, bore it with a manly and martial All their wishes centered in one, which was, that the spirit. country would turn out and help them to drive the enemy back. Yoltaire has remarked that king William never appeared to full advantage but in difficulties and in action ; the same remark may be made on General Washington, for the character fits him. There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude and I reckon it among those kind of public blessings, which we do not immediately see, that God hath blest him with uninterrupted health, and given him a mind that can even flourish upon

without

care.

I shall conclude

this

remarks on the

state of our affairs

paper with some miscellaneous and shall begin with


;

asking the following question, Why is it that the enemy have left the New-England provinces, and made these middle ones the seat of war! The answer is easy New-England I have been tender is not infested with tories, and we are. in raising the cry against these men, and used numberless arguments to show them their danger, but it will not do to
:

against the mean principles that are held by the tories a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or
feel,
:

as the American cause is injured by you. He expects will all take up arms, and flock to his standard, with muskets on your shoulders. Your opinions are of no use to him, unless you support him personally, for 'tis soldiers, and not tories that he wants. I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to

world either to their folly or their baseness. The arrived, in which either they or we must our sentiments, or one or both must fall. And what change is a tory ? Good God what is he ? I should not be afraid to go with a hundred whigs against a thousand tories, were they to attempt to get into arms. Every tory is a coward for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of toryism and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave. But, before the line of irrecoverable separation be drawn between us, let us reason the matter together your conduct is an invitation to the enemy, yet not one in a thousand of you has heart enough to join him. Howe is as much deceived by
sacrifice a
is

period

now

you you

THE

CRISIS.

" generous parent should have said, If there must be trouble, " let it be in my day, that my child may have peace / and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty. Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade man can distinguish himself between temper with them.

nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this un" Well ! give me peace in my day." Not fatherly expression, a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a sepa ration must some time or other finally take place, and a

and

principle,

and

am

as confident, as I

am

that

God

governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion. "Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, and the continent must in the end be conqueror ; for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never
expire.

America did not, nor does not want force ; but she wanted a proper application of that force. Wisdom is not the pur chase of a day, and it is no wonder that we should err at From an excess of tenderness, we the first setting off. were unwilling to raise an army, and trusted our cause to the temporary defence of a well-meaning militia. summer's experience has now taught us better ; yet with those troops, while they were collected, we were able to set bounds to the progress of the enemy, and, thank God they I always consider militia as the are again assembling. best troops in the world for a sudden exertion, bui they will not do for a long campaign. Howe, it is probable, will make an attempt on this city ; should he fail on this side the ii he succeeds, our cnuse is not Delaware, he is ruined ruined. He stakes all on his side against a pai t on ours ; admitting he succeeds, the consequence will be, that armies from both ends of the continent will march tc assist their Buffering Mends in the middle states ; for he cannot go every where, it is impossible. I consider Howe the greatest enemy the tories have ; he is bringing a war into their country, which, had it not been for him and partly for themselves, they had been clear of. Should he now be expelled, 1 wish with all the devotion of a Christian, that the names of whig and tory may ne^er more be mentioned but should the tories give him encouragement to come, or assist-

A
!

THE
if

CRISIS.

wish that our next year's continent, and the congress appropriate their possessions to the relief of those who have suffered in well doing. single successful battle next year America could carry on a two years' will settle the whole. war by the confiscation of the property of disaffected persons, and be made happy by their expulsion. Say not that this is revenge, call it rather the soft resentment of a suffering people, who, having no object in view but the good of all, have staked their own all upon a seemingly doubtful event. Yet it is folly to argue against determined hardness ; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice. Quitting this class of men, I turn with the warm ardor of a friend to those who have nobly stood, and are yet determined to stand the matter out I call not upon a few, but upon all not on this state or that state, but on every state ; up and help us ; lay your shoulders to the wheel ; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands ; throw not the
ance

he come,

I as sincerely

arms may expel them from the

burden of the day upon Providence, but "show your faith by your works" that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near,
counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will The heart that feels not now, is dead : the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile at trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. "Us the business of little minds to shrink ; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death, own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. ISTot all the treasures of the world, so far

the

home

suffer or rejoice alike.

My

as I believe, could have induced to support an offensive war, for I think it murder ; but if a thief breaks into

me

house,
to kill

bums and destroys my property, and kills or


me, or those that are
in
it,

my

threatens and to " bind me in all

THE

CRISIS.

eases whatsoever?' to his absolute will, am I to suffer itt What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man ; countryman, or not countryman ; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them ? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference ; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern from it ; but I should suffer the misery of devils, where I to make soul by swearing allegiance to one whose a whore of character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America. There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons too who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them ; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. Is this the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice ; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war ; the cunning of tne fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf ; and we ought to guard equally against both. Howe's first object is partly by threats and partly by promises, to terrify or seduce the people to deliver up their arms and to receive mercy. The ministry recommended the same plan to Gage,

my

my

my

and this is what the tories call making their peace, "a peace " o/n./jji^/J. t inTt.i 'nrump.f.J) all n/ns?j>.<rstsi/nsl'j.'nsi A wrhip'h which passeth nil. understanding" indeed ! A TkAn.no which peace would be the immediate forerunner of a worse ruin than any we have yet thought of. Ye men of Pennsylvania, do reason upon these things Were the back counties to give up their arms, they would fall an easy prey to the Indians, wno are all armed this perhaps is what some tories would not be sorry for. Were the home counties to deliver up their arms, they would be exposed to the resentment of the back counties, who would then have it in their power to chastise their defection at pleasure. And were any one state to give up its arms, that state must be garrisoned by Howe's army of Britains and Hessians to preserve it from the anger or the rest. Mutual fear is the principal link in the chain of mutual love, and wo be to that state mat breaks Howe is mercifully inviting you to barthe compact. barous destruction, and men must be either rogues or fool a
'f.Ji.
r

10
that will not see
;

THE

CRISIS.

I dwell not upon the powers of iinagi it. reason to your ears ; and in language a& brin^ plain as A, B, C, hold up truth to your eyes. I thank God that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it. While our army was collected, Howe dared not risk a battle, and it is no credit to him that he decamped from the White Plains, and waited a mean opportunity to ravage the defenceless Jerseys but it is great credit to us, that, with a handful of men, we sustained an orderly retreat for near an hundred miles, brought off our ammunition, all our field pieces, the greatest part of our stores, and had four rivers to pass. None can say that our retreat was precipitate, for we were near three weeks in performing it, that the country might have time to come in. Twice we marched back to meet the enemy, and remained out till dark. The sign of fear was not seen in our camp, and had not some of the cowardly and disaffected inhabitants spread false alarms through the country, the Jerseys had never been ravaged. Once more we are again collected and collecting, our new army at both ends of the continent is recruiting fast, and we shall be able to open the next campaign with sixty thousand men, well armed and clothed. This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of

nation

evils a ravaged country a depopulated city habitations without safety, and slavery without hope our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians, and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it COMMON SENSE. unlamented.
!

December

23, 1YY6.

KUMBEK
What's in the name of To bring my grievance

II.

TO LORD HOWE.
lord that I should fear to the public ear f Churchill.
'

UNIVERSAL empire
concerns are with
all

is the prerogative of a writer. His mankind, and though he cannot com-

THE
their obedience, lie

CRISIS.

11

Bermblic of Letters

is

can assign them their duty. The more ancient than monarchy, and of

far ni^her character in the world than the vassal court of Britain ; he that rebels against reason is a real rebel, but he that 1*1 defence of reason, rebels against tyranny, has a " better title to Defender of the Faith? than George the
third.

As * military man your lordship may hold out the sword of wav, and call it the " ultima ratio regum ." the last reason oj Kings ; we in return can show you the sword of " the best scourge of tyrants." The first justice, and call it, of these two may threaten, or even frighten for a while, and cast a sickly languor over an insulted people, but reason will soon recover the debauch, and restore them again to tranquil fortitude. Your lordship, I find, has now commenced author, and published a Proclamation ; I have published a Crisis ; as they stand, they are the antipodes of each other ; both cannot rise at once, and one of them must desceiid ; and so quick is the revolution of things, that your lordship's performance, I see, has already fallen many degrees irom its first place, and is now just visible on the edge of the political horizon. It is surprising to what a pitch of infatuation, blind
and obstinacy will carry mankind, and your lordship s drowsv proclamation is a proof that it does not even quit them in their sleep. Perhaps you thought America too was taking a nap, and therefore chose, like Satan to Eve, to whisper the delusion softly, lest you should awaken her. This .continent, sir, is too extensive to sleep all at once, and too watchful, even in its slumbers, not to startle at the unhallowed foot of an invader. You may issue your procla" reverence mations, and welcome, for we have learned to and scorn the insulting ruffian that employs you. ourselves," America, for your deceased brother's sake, would gladly have shown you respect, and it is a new aggravation to her feelings, that Howe should be forgetful, and raise his sword
against those, who at their own charge raised a monument to his brother. But your master has commanded, and you
folly

have not enough of nature left to refuse. Surely there must be something in the love of strangely degenerating monarchy, that can so completely wear a man down to an ingrate, and make him proud to lick the dust that kings have trod upon. A few more years, should you survive " them, will bestow on you the title of an old man ;" and in

12

THE

CRISIS.

you may probably find the " had I served my penitence God as faithfully as I nave served mv king, he would not thus have forsaken me in my old age. The character you appear to us in, is truly ridiculous. Your friends, the tories, announced your coming, with high descriptions of your unlimited powers ; but your proclamation has given tnem the lie, by showing you to be a commissioner without authority. Had your powers been ever
fitness of "Wolsey's despairing

some hour of future

reflection

were nothing to us, further than we pleased we had the same right which other nations had, to do what we thought was best. " The UNITED STATES of
so great, they
;

because

AMERICA," will sound as pompously in the world or in his" the tory, as kingdom of Great Britain ;" the character of General Washington will fill a page with as much lustre as that of Lord Howe : and the congress have as much right to command the Icing and parliament in London, to desist from legislation, as they or you have to command the congress. Only suppose how laughable such an edict would appear from us, and then, in that merry mood, do but turn
the tables

upon

yourself,

pose, the following quotation from your own lunarian proclamation. " And we (lord Howe and general Howe) do command (and in his majesty's name forsooth) all such persons as are assembled together, under the name of general or provincial congresses, committees, conventions or other associations, by whatever name or names known and distinguished, to desist and cease from all such treasonable actings

Having thus placed you in a proper position in which you may nave a full view of your folly, and learn to despise it, I hold up to you, for that puris

mation

andyou

will see

how your procla-

received here.

You introduce your proclamation by referring to your declarations of the 14th of July and 19th of September, In the last of these, you sunk yourself below the character of a private gentleman. That I may not seem to accuse you unjustly, I shall state the circumstance by a verbal invitation of yours, communicated to congress by General Sullivan, then a prisoner on his parole, you signified your desire of conferring with some members of that body as private gentlemen. It was beneath the dignity of the American congress to pay any regard to a message that at best was but a genteel affront, and had too much of the ministerial complexion of tampering with private persons ; and which
:

and doings."

THE

CRISIS.

13

>robably have been the case, had the gentlemen who were deputed on the business, possessed that kind of easy virtue which an English courtier is so truly distinguished by. Your request, however, was complied with, for honest men are naturally more tender of their civil than their political fame. The interview ended as every sensible man thought for your lordship knows, as well as the writer of it would the Crisis, that it is impossible for the king of England to promise the repeal, or even the revisal of any acts of parliament; wherefore, on your part, you had nothing to say, more than to request, in the room of demanding, tne entire surrender of the continent and then, if that was complied with, to promise that the inhabitants should escape with
; ;

This was the upshot of the conference. You informed the conferees that you were two months in soliciting these powers. "We ask, what powers? for as commistheir lives.

sioner

you have none.

If

you mean the power of pardon-

ing, it is an oblique proof that your master was determined to sacrifice all before him : and that you were two months Another evidence of in dissuading him from his purpose.

his ter

From your own account of the matsavage obstinacy we may justly draw these two conclusions 1st, That you
!

That never was a messenger sent on a more foolish errand than yourself. This plain language may perhaps sound uncouthly to an ear vitiated by courtly refinements but words were made for use, and the fault
serve a monster
;

and

2d,

lies in

deserving them, or the abuse in applying them unafter

fairly.

Soon
illiberal

your return to New-York, you published a very and unmanly handbill against the congress for it
;

was certainly stepping out of the line of common civility, first to screen your national pride by soliciting an interview with them as private gentlemen, and in the conclusion to endeavor to deceive the multitude by making a handbill attack on the whole body of the congress you got them together under one name, and abused them under another. But the king you serve, and the cause you support, afford you so few instances of acting the gentleman, that out of pity to your situation the congress pardoned the insult by taking no notice of it.
;

" that say in that handbill, they, the congress, disavowed every purpose for reconciliation not consonant with their extravagant and inadmissible claim of independence." Why, God bless me what have you to do with our inde-

You

THE

CEI8I8.

pendence ? We ask no leave of yours to set it up we ask no money of yours to support it we can do better without your fleets and armies than with them you may soon have enough to do to protect yourselves without being burdened with us. We are very willing to be at peace with you, to buy of you and sell to you, and, like young beginners in the world, to work for our living therefore, why do you put yourselves out of cash, when we know you cannot spare I am willing, it, and we do not desire you to run into debt ? sir, that you should see your folly in every point of view I can place it in, and for that reason descend sometimes to tell you in jest what I wish you to see in earnest. But to be more serious with you, why do you say, " their independence ?" To set you right, sir, we tell you, that the independency is ours, not theirs. The congress were authorised by every state on the continent to publish it to all the world, and in so doing are not to be considered as the inventors, but only as the heralds that proclaimed it, or the office from whicn the sense of the people received a legal form and it was as much as any or all their heads were worth, to have treated with you on the subject of submission under any name whatever. But we know the men in whom we have trusted can England say the same of her
; ; ; ;
;

parliament

I come now more particularly to your proclamation of the 30th of November last. Had you gained an entire over all the armies of America, and then put forth conquest a proclamation, offering (what you call) mercy, your conduct would have had some specious show of humanity ; but to creep by surprise into a province, and there endeavor to terrify and seduce the inhabitants from their just allegiance to the rest by promises, which you neither meant, nor were able to fulfil, is both cruel and unmanly cruel in its effects because, unless you can keep all the ground you have marched over, how are you, in the words of your proclama" the tion, to secure to your proselytes enjoyment of their WTiat is to become either of your new adopted ?" property subjects, or your old friends, the tories, in Burlington, Bordentown, Trenton, Mountholly, and many other places, where you proudly lorded it for a few days, and then fled with the precipitation of a pursued thief? What, I IB say, to become of those wretches ? What is to become of tnose who went over to you from this city and state ? What more can you say to them than " shift for yourselves ?" Or
:

THE

CRISIS.

15

for than to wander like vagabonds over the face of the earth ? You may now tell them to take their leave of America, and all that once was theirs. Recommend them, for consolation, to your master's court ; there perhaps they may make a shift to live on the scraps of some dangling

more can they hope

parasite,

traitor themselves. In a political sense

bequeathing estates to the continent ; we shall soon, at this rate, be able to carry on a war without expense, and grow
rich by the ill policyof Lord Howe, and the generous defecHad you set your foot into this city, you tion of the tones.

and choose companions among thousands like A is the foulest fiend on earth. we ought to thank you for thus

would have bestowed estates upon us which we never thought of, by bringing forth traitors we were unwilling to suspect. But these men, you'll say, "are his majesty's most faithful subjects ;" let that honor, then, be all their fortune, and let his majesty take them to himself. I am now thoroughly disgusted with them they live in ungrateful ease, and bend their whole minds to mischief. It seems as if god had given them over to a spirit of infidelity, and that they are open to conviction in no other line but that of punishment. It is time to have done with tarring, feathering, carting, and taking securities for their future good behaviour every sensible man must feel a conscious shame at seeing a poor fellow hawked for a show about the streets, when it is known he is only the tool of some principal villain, biassed into his offence by the force of false rea; ;

or bribed thereto, through sad necessity. dishonor ourselves by attacking such trifling characters while greater ones are suffered to escape ; 'tis our duty to
soning,
find exile
is

We

out, and their proper punishment would be tc them from the continent for ever. The circle of then: not so great as some imagine the influence of a few have

them

tainted many who are not naturally corrupt. continua. circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for truth ; and the crime lies not in the believer but the inventor. I am not for declaring war with every man that appears not so warm as myself : difference of constitution, temper, habit of speaking, and many other things, will go a great way in fixing the outward character of a man, yet simple honesty may remain at bottom. Some men have naturally a military turn, and can brave hardships and the risk of life with a cheerful face ; others have not ; no slavery appears

16
to

THE

CRISIS.

them

so great as the fatigue of arms,

powerful as that of personal danger. We cannot alter nature, neither ought

What

we to punish the son "because the father begot him in a cowardly mood. However, I believe most men have more courage than they know 1 fcnew of, and that a little at first is enough to begin with. the time when I thought that the whistling of a cannon ball would have frightened me almost to death but I have since tried it, and find that I can stand it with as little discomposure, and, I believe, with a much easier conscience than your lordship. The same dread would return to me again solemn belief of your cause were I in your situation, for is, that it is hellish and damnable, and, under that convic:

and no terror BO can we say ?

my

every thinking man's heart must fail him. a concern that a good cause should be dishonored by the least disunion among us, I said in my former paper. No. 1, " That should the enemy now be expelled, I wish with all the sincerity of a Christian, that the names of whig and tory might never more be mentioned," but there is a knot of men among us of such a venomous cast, that they will not admit even one's good wishes to act in their favor. Intion,

From

stead of rejoicing that heaven had, as it were, providentially preserved this city from plunder and destruction, by delivering so great a part of the enemy into our hands with so little effusion of blood, they stubbornly affected to disbelieve it till within an hour, nay, half an hour, of the prisoners arriving ; and the Quakers put forth a testimony, dated the 20th of December, signed " John Pemberton," declaring their attachment to the British government.* Thes^ men are continually harping on the great sin of our bearing arms, but the king of Britain may lay waste the world in blood

for this I am clear in, that all are not so who have called so, nor all men whigs who were once thought &o

and famine, and they, poor fallen souls, have nothing to say. In some future paper, I intend to distinguish between the different kind of persons who have been denominated tories
;

been
;

and

* I have ever been careful of charging offences upon whole societies of men, but as the paper referred to is put forth by an unknown set of men, who claim to themselves the right of representing the whole; and while the whole sociit is impossible ety of Quakers admit its validity by a silent acknowledgment, and the more so, because that any distinction can be made by the public the New-York paper of the 30th of December, printed by permission of our " the enemies, says that Quakers begin to speak openly of their attachment We are certain that we have many frienJs among to the British constitution. them, and wish to know them.
:

THE

CRISIS.

17

a& I mean not to conceal the name of any true friend when there shall be occasion to mention him, neither will I that of an enemy, who ought to be known, let his rank, station or religion be what it may. Much pains have been taken by some to set your lordship's private character in an amiable light, but as it has cniefly been done by men who know nothing about you, and who are no ways remarkable
for their

us, we have no just authority for the third has imposed upon us by the George believing same arts, but time, at length, has done him justice, and the same fate may probably attend your lordship. Your avowed purpose here, is to kill, conquer, plunder, pardon and enslave ; and the ravages of your army though the Jerseys have been marked with as much barbarism as if you had openly professed yourself the prince of ruffians ; not even tne appear ance of humanity has been preserved either on the march or the retreat of your troops ; no general order that I could ever learn, has ever been issued to prevent or even forbid your troops from robbery, wherever they came, and the only instance of justice, if it can be called such, which has distinguished you for impartiality, is, that you treated and plundered all alike; what could not be carried away has been destroyed, and mahogany furniture has been deliberately laid on fire for fuel, rather than that men should be fatigued with cutting wood.* There was a time when the whigs confided much in your supposed candor, and the tories rested themselves in your favor ; the experiments have

attachment to
it.

failed ; in every town, nay, every in the Jerseys, where your arms have been, is a cottage, you mav rest under the sacritestimony against you. fice of character I know not ; but this I know, that you sleep and rise with the daily curses of thousands upon you ; perhaps the misery which the tories have suffered by your proffered mercy, may give them some claim to their country's pity, and be in the end the best favor you could show them, in a folio general-order book belonging to Col. Rhol's battalion, taken at Trenton, and now in me possession of the council of safety for this state, the following barbarous order " His is frequently repeated, excellency the c&mmander-inr

now been made, and

How

* As some people may doubt the truth of such wanton destruction, I think necessary to inform them, that one of the people called Quakers, who livea at Trenton, gave me this information, at the house of Mr. Michael Hutchinson (one of the same profession,) who lives near Trenton ferry on the Pennsylvania tide, Mr. Hutchinson being present.
it

18

THE

CRISIS.

chief orders, that all inhabitants who shall be found with arms, not having an officer with them, shall be immediately taken and hnng up." How many you may thus have privately sacrificed, we know not, and the account can only be settled in another world. Your treatment of prisoners, in order to distress them to enlist in your infernal service, is not to be equalled by any instance in Europe. Yet this is the humane lord Howe and his brother, whom the tories and their three-quarter kindred, the Quakers, or some of them
at least, have been holding up for patterns of justice and mercy A bad cause will ever be supported by bad means and bad men and whoever will be at the pains of examining strictly into things, will find that one and the same spirit of oppression and impiety, more or less, governs through your whole
I
;

fell in

party in both countries: not many days ago I accidentally company with a person of this city noted for espousing " your cause, and on my remarking to him, that it appeared clear to me, by the late providential turn of affairs, that God Almighty was visibly on our side," he replied, '' We
care nothing for that, you may have Him, and welcome ; if we have but enough of the devil on our side, we shall do." However carelessly this might be spoken, matters not, 'tis still the insensible principle that directs all your conduct, and will at last most assuredly deceive and ruin you. If ever a nation was mad or foolish, blind to its own interest

and bent on

its

own

destruction,

it is

Britain.

There

are such things as national sins, and though the punishment of individuals may be reserved to another world, national punishment can only be inflicted in this world. Britain, as a nation, is, in my inmost belief, the greatest and most ungrateful offender against God on the face of the whole earth ; blessed with all the commerce she could have wished for, and furnished, by a vast extension of dominion, with the means of civilizing both the eastern and western world, she has made no otner use of both than proudly to " idolize her own thunder," and rip up the bowels of whole countries for what she could get : Like Alexander, she has

made war

her sport, and inflicted misery for prodigality's sake. The blood of India is not yet repaid, nor the wretchedOf late she has enlarged her ness of Africa, yet requited.
of national cruelties, by her butcherly destruction of th< St. Vincent's, and returning an answer by tho sword to the meek prayer for " Peace, liberty and safety*
list

Caribbs of

THE

CRISIS.

IJc

These are serious things, and whatever a foolish tyrant, a debauched court, a trafficking legislature, or a blinded people may think, the national account with heaven must some day or other be settled ; all countries have sooner or later been called to their reckoning ; the proudest empires have sunk when the balance was struck ; and Britain, like an individual penitent must undergo her day of sorrow, and the sooner it happens to her the better as I wish it 6ver, I wish it to come, but withal wish that it may be as light as
:

possible.

Perhaps your lordship has no taste for serious things by your connexions with England I should suppose not therefore I shall drop this part of the subject, and take it up in a line in which you will better understand me. By what means, may I ask, do you expect to conquer
;
:

America ? If you could not affect it in the summer, when our army was less than yours, nor in the winter, when we had none, how are you to do it ? In point of generalship you have been outwitted, and in point of fortitude outdone ; your advantages turn out to your loss, and show us that it like a game of drafts, is in our power to ruin you by gifts we can move out of one square to let you come in, in order that we may afterwards take two or three for one and as we
:

can always keep a double corner for ourselves, we can always prevent a total defeat. You cannot be so insensible, as not to see that we have two to one the advantage of you, because we conquer by a drawn game, and you lose by it. Burgoyne might have taught your lordship this knowledge he has been long a student in the doctrine of chances. I have no other idea of conquering countries than by subduing the armies which defend them have you done this, or can you do it ? If you have not, it would be civil in you to let your proclamations alone for the present otherwise, you will ruin more tories by your grace and favor, than you will whigs by your arms. Were you to obtain possession of this city, you would not know what to do with it more than to plunder it. To hold it in the manner you hold New- York, would be an additional dead weight upon your hands and if a general conquest is your object, you had better be without the city tnan with it. TV hen you have defeated all our armies, the but to creep cities will fall into your hands of themselves
; :

into

them

in the

etc., ig like

robbing an orchard in the night before the

manner you got

into Princeton, Trenton,


fruit

20

THE CK6I8.
ripe,

and running away in the morning. Tour experiin the Jerseys is sufficient to teach you that you have something more to do than barely to get into other people's houses ; and your new converts, to whom you promised all manner of protection, and seduced into new guilt by pardoning them from their former virtues, must begin to have
be

ment

a very contemptible opinion both of your power and your Your authority in the Jerseys is now reduced to the small circle which your army occupies, and your proclamation is no where else seen unless it be to be laughed at. The mighty subduers of the continent have retreated into a nut-shell, and the proud forgivers of our sins are fled from those they came to pardon : and all this at a time when
policy.

the advantage you have drawn from New-York and you would draw less from Philadelphia, because it requires more force to keep it, and is much further from the sea. pretty figure you and the tories would cut in this city, with a river full of ice, and a town full of fire ; for the immediate consequence of your getting here would be, that you would be cannonaded out again, and the tories be obliged to make good the damage ; and this sooner or later will be the fate of New-York. I wish to see the city saved, not so much from military as from natural motives. "Tis the hiding place of women and children, and lord Howe's proper business is with our armies. When I put all the circumstances together which ought to be taken, I laugh at your notion of conquering America. Because you lived in a little country, where an army might run over the whole in a few days, and where a single comall
;

they were despatching vessel after vessel to England with the great news of every day. In short, you have managed your Jersey expedition so very dexterously, that the dead only are conquerors, because none will dispute the ground with them. In all the wars which you have formerly been concerned in this case you in, you had only armies to contend with have both an army and a country to combat with. In former wars, the countries followed the fate of their capitals ; Canada fell with Quebec, and Minorca with Port Mahon or St. Phillips by subduing those, the conquerors opened a way into, and became masters of the .country here it is otherwise ; if you get possession of a city here, you are obliged to shut yourselves up in it, and can make no other use of it, than to spend your country's money in. This is
; ; :

THE

CRI8I8.

21

pny of soldiers might put a multitude to the rout, you expected to find it the same here. It is plain that you all the narrow notions you were bred brought over with you up with, and imagined that a proclamation in the king's
name was
for

to do great things ; but Englishmen always travel knowledge, and your lordship, I hope, will return, if you return at all, much wiser than you came. "We may be surprised by events we did not expect, and in

that interval of recollection you may gain some temporary advantage : such was the case a few weeks ago, but we soon ripen again into reason, collect our strength, and while you are preparing for a triumph, we come upon you with a

Such it has been, and such it would be were you to a hundred times over. Were you to garrison the try places you might march over, in order to secure their subjection, (for remember you can do it by no other means,) your army would be like a stream of water running to the time you extended from New-York to nothing. By Virginia, you would be reduced to a string of drops not capable of hanging together ; while we, by retreating from state to state, like a river turning back upon itself, would acquire strength in the same proportion as you lost it, and The country, in the end be capable of overwhelming you. in the mean time, would suffer, but it is a day of suffering,
defeat.
it

contend for is worthy we get but bread to eat, and any kind of raiment to put on, we ought not only to be contented, but thankful. More than that we ought not to look for, and less than that heaven has not yet suffered us to want. He that would sell his birth right for a little salt, is as worthless as he who sold it for porridge without And he that would part with it for a gay coat, or a salt. plain coat, ought for ever to be a slave in buff. What
the affliction

and we ought

we may go

to expect

it.

What we

through.

If

are

salt, sugar and finery, to the inestimable blessings of Liberty and safety !" Or what are the inconveniences of a few months to the tributary bondage of ages ? The meanest peasant in America, blest with these sentiments, is a happy man compared with a New- York tory ; he can eat his morsel without repining, and when he has done, can sweeten it with a repast of wholesome air; he can take his child by the hand and bless it, without feeling the conscious shame of neglecting a parent's duty. In publishing these remarks I have several objects in view.

"

22

THE

CRISIS.

On your part they are to expose the folly of your pretended authority as a commissioner the wickedness of your cause in general ; and the impossibility of your conquering us at any rate. On the part of the public, my intention is,
;

to show them their true and solid interest to encourage them to their own good, to remove the fears and falsities which bad men have spread, and weak men have encouraged ; and to excite in all men a love for union, and a cheerfulness
;

for duty. I shall

submit one more case to you respecting your conquest of this country, and then proceed to new observations. Suppose our armies in every part of this continent were immediately to disperse, every man to his home, or where else he might be safe, and engage to re-assemble again on a certain future day ; it is clear that you would then have no army to contend with, yet you would be as much at a loss in that case as you are now you would be afraid to send your troops in parties over the continent, either to disarm or prevent us from assembling, lest they should not return and while you kept them together, having no army of ours to dispute with, you could not call it a conquest ; you might furnish out a pompous page in the London Gazette or a New- York paper, but wnen we returned at the appointed time, you would have the same work to do that you had at
; ;

first.

It has been the folly of Britain to suppose herself more powerful than she really is, and by that means has arrogated to herself a rank in the world she is not entitled to for more than this century past she has not been able to carry on a war without foreign assistance. In Marlborough's campaigns, and from that day to this, the number of German troops and officers assisting her have been about equal with her own ; ten thousand Hessians were sent to England last war to protect her from a French invasion ; and she would have cut but a poor figure in her Canadian and WestIndian expeditions, had not America been lavish both of her money and men to help her along. The only instance in which she was engaged singly, that I can recollect, was against the rebellion in Scotland, in the years 1Y45 and 1746, and in that, out of three battles, she was twice beaten, till by thus reducing thoir numbers, (as we shall yours,) and taking a- supply ship that was coming to Scotland with
:

clothes, arms and money, (as we have often done,) she was at last enabled to defeat them. England wae never famous

THE
;

CKI8I8.

Her strength, of late, has to ourselves. give the preference Iain in her extravagance ; bnt as her finances and credit are now low, her sinews in that line begin to fail fast. As a nation she is the poorest in Europe ; for were the whole kingdom, and all that is in it, to be put up for sale like the estate of a bankrupt, it would not fetch as much as she owes ; yet this thoughtless wretch must go to war, and with the avowed design, too, of making us beasts of burden, to support her in not and debauchery, and to assist her afterwards in distressing those nations who are now our best friends. This ingratitude may suit a tory, or the unchristian peevishness of a fallen Quaker, but none else. Tis the unhappy temper of the English to be pleased with any war, right or wrong, be it but successful ; but they soon grow discontented with ill-fortune, and it is an even cnance that they are as clamorous for peace next summer, a* the king and his ministers were for war last winter. In this natural view of things, your lordship stands in a very critical situation your whole character is now staked upon your laurels ; if they wither, you wither with them ; if they flourish, you cannot live long to look at them ; and at any rate, the black account hereafter is not far off. What lately appeared to us misfortunes, were only blessings in disguise and the seeming, advantages on your side have turned out to our profit. Even our loss of this city, as far as we can see, might be a principal gain to us the more surface you spread over, the thinner you will be, ard the easier wiped away ; and our consolation under that apparent disaster would be, that the estates of the tories would become securities for the In short, there is no old ground we can fail upon, repairs. but some new foundation rises again to support us. " We have put, sir, our hands to the plough, and cursed be he that looketh back."
:

oy land her officers have generally been suspected of covrardiee, have more of the air of a dancing-master than a soldier, and by the samples which we have taken prisoners, we

Tour
clared,

king, in his speech to parliament last spring, de" That he had no doubt but the great force they had

enabled him to send to America, would effectually reduce the rebellious colonies." It has not, neither can it ; but it has done just enough to lay the foundation of its own next You are sensible that you left England in a year's ruin. divided, distracted state of politics, and, by the command you had there, you became tne principal prop of the court

>

24
party
;

THE
their fortunes rest

CRISIS.

on yours ; by a single express you value with the public, and the degree to which their spirits shall rise or fall ; they are in your hands as Thus stock, and you have the secret of the alley with you. situated and connected, you become the unintentional mechanical instrument of your own and their overthrow. The king and his ministers put conquest out of doubt, and the credit of both depended on the proof. To support them in the interim, it was necessary that you should make the most

can

fix their

of every thing, and

we can

tell

paper what the complexion of the London Gazette is. With such a list of victories the nation cannot expect you will ask new supplies and to confess your want of them, would give the lie to your triumphs, and impeach the king and his
;

by Hugh Game's New-York

ministers of treasonable deception. If you make the necessary demand at home, your party sinks ; if you make it not, you sink yourself; to ask it now is too late, and to ask it before was too soon, and unless it arrive quickly will be of no use. In short, the part you have to act, cannot be acted ; and I am fully persuaded that all you ha ve to trust to is, to do the best you can with what force you have got, or little more. Though we have greatly exceeded you in point of generalship and bravery of men, yet, as a people, we have not entered into the full soul of enterprise ; for I, who know England and the disposition of the people well, am confident, that it is easier for us to effect a revolution there, than you a conquest here ; a few thousand men landed in England with the declared design of deposing the present king, bringing his ministers to trial, and setting up the Duke of Gloucester in his stead, would assuredly carry their point, while you were grovelling here ignorant of the matter. As I send all my papers to England, this, like Common Sense, will find its way there ; and though it may put one party on their guard, it will inform the other, and the nation in general, of our design to help them. Thus far, sir, I have endeavored to give you a picture of present affairs : you may draw from it what conclusions you I wish as well to the true prosperity of England as please. you can, but I consider INDEPENDENCE Americans natural right and interest, and never could see any real disservice it would be to Britain. If an English merchant receives an
order, and is paid for it, erns the country. This
it

signifies

nothing to him
'tis

who

gov-

is

my

creed of politics.

If I

have
fixed,

any where expressed myself over-warmly,

from a

THE

CRISIS.

25

AS being too debasing to the dignity of man ; but I never nor ever troubled others with my notions tin very lately, published a syllable in England in my lite. "Wnat I write is pure nature, and my pen and my soul have ever gone

unmoveable hatred 1 have, and ever had, to cruel men and I have likewise an aversion to monarchy, jruel measures.

wm

writings I have always given away, reservthe expense of printing and paper, and sometimes ing only not even that. I never courted either fame or interest, and my manner of life, to those who know it, will justify what I say. study is to be useful, and if your lordship loves mankind as well as I do, you would, seeing you cannot conquer us, cast about and lend your hand towards accomplishing a peace. Our independence, with God's blessing, we maintain against all the world ; but as we wish to avoid I am never evil ourselves, we wish not to inflict it on others. into the secrets of the cabinet, but I have over-inquisitive some notion, that if you neglect the present opportunity, that it will not be in our power to make a separate peace with you afterwards ; for whatever treaties or alliances we form, we shall most faithfully abide by ; wherefore you may be deceived if you think you can make it with us at any time. lasting, independent peace is my wish, end and "I aim and to God the Americans
together.

My

My

never be defeated, and I trust while they have good officers, and are well commanded" and willing to be com " manded, that they NEVEB WILL BE." COMMON SENSE.

accomplish that,

pray

may

Philadelphia, Jan. 18, 1777.

1OTMBEK HL
of

rience as we go. expena, if I may so say, the know*edge of every day on the circumstances that produce it, and on in search of new matter and new refinements : journey but as it is pleasant and /sometimes useful to look back, even to the first periods of infancy, and trace the turns and windings through which we have passed, so we may likewise

IN the progress of politics, as in the common occurrences life, we are not only apt to forget the ground we have travelled over, but frequently neglect to gather up expe-

We

THE
derive

CRISIS.

many advantages by

halting a while in our

career, and taking a review of the wondrous complicated labyrinth of little more than yesterday. Truly may we say, that never did men grow old in so "We nave crowded the business of an age into short a time the compass of a few months, and have been driven through such a rapid succession of things, that for the want of leisure to think, we unavoidably wasted knowledge as we came, and have left nearly as much behind us as we brought with us but
! :

comparing what is past with what is present, we frequently hit on the true character of both, and become wise with very little trouble. It is a kind of counter-march, by which we get into the rear of time, and mark the movements and meaning of things as we make our return. There are certain circumstances, which, at the time of their happening, are a kind of riddles, and as every riddle is to be followed by its answer, so those kind of circumstances will be followed by their events, and those events are always the true solution. considerable space of time may lapse between, and unless we continue our observations from the one to the other, the harmony of them will pass away unnoticed but the misfortune is, that partly from the pressing necessity of some instant things, and partly from the impatience of our own tempers, we are frequently in such a hurry to make out the meaning of every thing as fast as it happens, that we thereby never truly understand it ; and not only start new difficulties to ourselves by so doing, but, as it were, embarrass Providence in her good designs. I have been civil in stating this fault on a large scale, for, as it now stands, it dues not appear to be levelled against any particular set of men but were it to be refined a little further, it might afterwards be applied to the tories with a

yet rich with the fragments, and, before we fully lose sight of them, will repay us for the trouble of stopping to pick them up. ere a man to be totally deprived of memory, he would be incapable of forming any just opinion ; every thing about him would seem a chaos ; he would have even his own history to ask from every one ; and by not knowing how the world went in his absence, he would be at a loss to know how it ought to go on when he recovered, or rather, returned to it again. In like manner, though in a less degree, a too inattention to past occurrences retards and bewilders great oui judgment in every thing while, on the contrary, by
the road
is

THE
:

CRISIS.

27

those men have been remarkdegree of striking propriety able for drawing sudden conclusions from single facts. The least apparent mishap on our side, or the least seeming advantage on the part of the enemy, have determined with them the fate of a whole campaign. By this hasty judgment they have converted a retreat into a defeat ; mistook generalship for error; while every little advantage purposely given the enemy, either to weaken their strength ^by dividing it, embarrass their councils by multiplying their objects, or to secure a greater post by the surrender of a less, has been instantly magnified into a conquest. Thus, by quartering ill policy upon ill principles, they have frequently promoted the cause they have designed to injure, and injured that which they intended to promote. It is probable the campaign may open before this number comes from the The enemy have long lain idle, and amused thempress. selves with carrying on the war by proclamations only. AVTiile they continue their delay our strength increases, and were they to move to action now, it is a circumstantial proof that they have no reinforcement coming ; wherefore, in either case, the comparative advantage will be ours. Like a wounded, disabled whale, they want only tune and room to die in ; and though in the agony of their exit, it may be unsafe to live within the flapping of their tail, yet

hour shortens their date, and lessens their power of If any thing happens while this number is in the press, it will afford me a subject for the last pages of it. At present I am tired of waiting and as neither the enemy, nor the state of politics have yet produced any thing new, I
every
miscnief.
;

the field of general matter, undirected by or particular object. This Crisis, therefore, will any striking be made up rather of variety than novelty, and consist more of things useful than things wonderful. The success of the cause, the union of the people, and the means of supporting and securing both, are points which cannot be too much attended to. He who doubts of the former is a desponding coward, and he who wilfully disturbs the latter is a traitor. Their characters are easily fixed, and under these short descriptions I leave them foi the present. One of the greatest degrees of sentimental union which America ever knew, was denying the right of the British " parliament to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever." The declaration is, in its form, an almighty one, and is the

am

thereby

left in

28
loftiest stretch

THE

CRISIS

of arbitrary power that ever one set of men, or one country claimed ov er another. Taxation was nothing more than the putting the declared right into practice ; and this failing, recourse was had to arms, as a means to establish both the right and the or to answer a worse practice, purpose, which will be mentioned in the course of this number. And in order to repay themselves the expense of an army, and to profit by their own injustice, the colonies were, by another law, declared to be in a state of actual rebellion, and of consequence all property therein would fall to the conquerors. The colonies, on their part, first, denied the right ; secondly, they suspended the use of taxable articles, and petitioned against the practice of taxation and these failing, they, thirdly, defended their property by force, as soon as it was forcibly invaded, and in answer to the declaration of rebellion and non-protection, published their declaration of independence and right of self-protection. These, in a few words, are the different stages of the quarrel; and the parts are so intimately and necessarily connected with each other as to admit of no separation. person, to use a trite phrase, must be a whig or a tory in the His feelings, as a man, may be wounded ; his lump. as a Christian, may be moved ; but his political charity, principles must go through all the cases on one side or the other. He cannot be a whig in this stage, and a tory in that. If he says he is against the united independence of the continent, he is to all intents and purposes against her in all the rest ; because this last comprehends the whole. And he may just ao well say, that Britain was right in declaring us rebels ; right in taxing us ; and right in declaring her " right to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever" It signifies nothing what neutral ground, of his own creating, he may skulk upon for shelter, for the quarrel in no stage of it hath afforded any such ground ; and either we or Britain are absolutely right or absolutely wrong through the whole.
:

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 it, she wins from me my Hfe ; she wins the continent as the forfeited property of rebels ; the and right of taxing those that are left as reducea subjects ; the power of binding them slaves ; and the single die which determines this unparalleled event is, whether \ve support

THE

CRISIS.

29

unnatural and impolitic to admit men who would up our independence to have any share in our legislabecause the suption, either as electors or representatives of our independence rests, in a great measure, on the port vigor and purity of our public bodies. Would Britain, even in time of peace, much less in war, suffer an election to be carried by men who professed themselves to be not her subCertainly not. jects, or allow such to sit in parliament? But there are a certain species of tories with whom conscience or principle hath nothing to do, and who are so from avarice only. Some of the first fortunes on the continent, on the part of the whigs, are staked on the issue of our present measures. And shall disaffection only be rewarded with security ? Can any thing be a greater inducement to a miserly man, than the hope of making his mammon safe ? And though the scheme be fraught with every character of folly, yet, so long as he supposes, that by doing nothing materially criminal against America on one part,
It is

our independence or she overturn it. This is coming to the point at once. Here is the touchstone to try men by. He that is not a supporter of the independent states of America, in the same decree that Ms religious and political principles would suffer him to support the government of any other country, of which he called himself a subject, is, in the American sense of the word, A TORY ; and the instant that he endeavors to bring his toryism into practice, he 'becomes A TRAITOR. The first can only be detected by a general test, and the law hath already provided for the latter.
root

and by expressing his private disapprobation against indewith the enemy on the other part, pendence, as palliative he stands in a safe line between both while, I say, this ground be suffered to remain, craft, and the spirit of avarice, will point it out, and men will not be wanting to fill up this most contemptible of all characters. These men, ashamed to own the sordid cause from whence their disaffection springs, add thereby meanness to meanness, by endeavoring to shelter themselves under the mask of hypocrisy that is, they had rather be thought to be tories from soms. kind of principle, than tories by having no prinBut till such time as they can show some real ciples at all. reason, natural, political, or conscientious, on which their objections to independence are founded, we are not obliged to give them credit for being tories of the first stamp, but must set them dowm as tories of the last.
; ;

30

THE

CRISIS.

In the second mimber of the Crisis, I endeavored to show the impossibility of the enemy's making any conquest of America, that nothing was wanting on our part but patience and perseverance, and that, with these virtues, our success, as far as human speculation could discern, seemed as certain as fate. But as there are many among us, who, influenced by others, have regularly gone back from the principles they once held, in proportion as we have gone forward ; and as it is the unfortunate lot of many a good man to live within the neighborhood of disaffected ones ; I shall, therefore, for the sake of confirming the one and recovering the other, endeavor, in the space of a page or two, to go over some of the leading principles in support of independence. It is a much pleasanter task to prevent vice than to punish it, and, however our tempers may be gratified by resentment, or our national expenses be eased by forfeited estates, harmony and friendship is, nevertheless, the happiest condition a country can be blest with. The principal arguments in support of independence may be comprehended under the four following heads. 1st, The natural right of the continent to independence. 2d, Her interest in being independent.

and 3d, The necessity, 4th, The moral advantages arising therefrom. 1st, The natural right of the continent to independence, is a point which never yet was called in question. It will not even admit of a debate. To deny such a right, would be a kind of atheism against nature and the best answer to such an objection would be, " The fool hath said in his heart there ^s no God." 2d, The interest of the continent in being independent is a point as clearly right as the former. America, by her own internal industry, and unknown to all the powers of Europe, was, at the beginning of the dispute, arrived at a pitch of
:

greatness, trade and population, beyond which it was the interest of Britain not to suffer her to pass, lest she should grow too powerful to be kept subordinate. She began to

view this country with the same uneasy malicious eye, with which a covetous guardian would view his ward, whose estate he had been enriching himself by for twenty years, and saw him just arriving at manhood. And America owes no more to Britain for her present maturity, than the ward would to the guardian for being twenty-one years of age. That America hath flourished at the time she was under the

THE

CBI8I8.

31

government of Britain, is true ; but there is every natural reason to believe, that had she been an independent country from the first settlement thereof, uncontrolled by any foreign power, free to make her own laws, regulate and encourage her own commerce, she had by this time been of much greater worth than now. The case is simply this the first settlers in the different colonies were left to shift for themselves, unnoticed and unsupported by any European government but as the tyranny and persecution of tne old world daily drove numbers to the new, and as, by the favor of heaven on their industry and perseverance, they grew
: :

a like degree, they became an object of profit to the greedy eyes of It was Europe. impossible, in this state of infancy, however thriving and promising, that they could resist the power of any armed invader that should seek to bring them under his authority. In this situation, Britain thought it worth her while to claim them, and the continent received and acknowledged the claimer. It was, in reality, of no very great importance who was her master, seeing, that from the force and ambition of the different powers of Europe, she must, till she acquired strength enough to assert her own right, acknowledge some one. As well, perhaps, Britain as another and it might have been as well to have been under the states of Holland as any. The same hopes of engrossing and profiting by her trade, by not oppressing it too much, would have operated alike with any master, and produced to the colonies the same effects. The clamor of protection, likewise, was all a farce because, in order to make that protection necessary, she must first, by her own quarrels, create us enemies. Hard times indeed To know whether it be the interest of the continent to be independent, we need only ask this easv, simple question : Is it the interest of a man to be a boy all his life ? The answer to one will be the answer to both. America hath been one continued scene of legislative contention from the first king's representative to the last ; and this was unavoidably founded in the natural of interest between the old opposition and the new. country governor sent from England, or
into importance, so, in
; ;
!

receiving his authority therefrom, ought never to have been considered in any other light than that of a genteel commissioned spy, whose private business was information, and his public business a kind of civilized oppression. In the first of these characters he was to watch the tempers, sentiments and dispositions of the people, the growth of trade, and the

82

THE

CRISIS.

increase of private fortunes; and, in the latter, to suppress all such acts of the assemblies, however beneficial to the people, which did not directly or indirectly, throw some increase of power or profit into the hands of those that sent him. America, till now, could never be called a free country, because her legislation depended on the will of a man three thousand miles distant, whose interest was in opposition to " ours, and who, by a single no," could forbid what law he
pleased.

The freedom of trade, likewise, is, to a trading country, an article of such importance, that the principal source of wealth depends upon it and it is impossible that any country can flourish, as it otherwise might do, whose commerce is engrossed, cramped and fettered by the laws and mandates of another yet these evils, and more than I can here enumerate, the continent has suffered by being under the government of England. By an independence we clear the whole at once put an end to the business of unanswered petitions and fruitless remonstrances exchange Britain for Europe shake hands with the world live at peace with the world and trade to any market where we can buy and sell. 3d, The necessity, likewise, of being independent, even before it was declared, became so evident and important, that the continent ran the risk of being ruined every day that she delayed it. There was reason to believe that Britain would endeavour to make an European matter of it, and, rather than lose the whole, would dismember it, like Poland, and dispose of her several claims to the highest bidder. Genoa, failing in her attempts to reduce Corsica, made a sale of it to the French, and such traffics have been common in the old world. We had at that time no ambassador in any part of Europe, to counteract her negociations, and by that means she had the range of every foreign court uncontradicted on our part. We even knew nothing of the treaty for the Hessians till it was concluded, and the troops ready to embark. Had we been independent before, we had probably prevented her obtaining them. We had no credit
;

Our ships abroad, because of our rebellious dependency. could claim no protection in foreign courts, because we afforded them no justifiable reason for granting it to us. The calling ourselves subjects, and at the same time fighting against the power which we acknowledged, was a dangerous

THE

CRISIS.

33

If the grievances justified the takto all Europe. precedent ing up arms, they justified our separation ; if they did not neither could they justify our taking justify our separation, up arms. All Europe was interested in reducing us as rebels, and all Europe (or the greatest part at least) is interested in supporting us as independent states. At home our condition was still worse our currency had no foundation, and the fall of it would have ruined whig and tory alike. had no other law than a kind of moderated passion ; no other civil power than an honest mob ; and no other protection than the temporary attachment of one man to another. Had independence been delayed a few months longer, this conti nent would have been plunged into irrecoverable confusion some violent for it, some against it, till, in the general cabal, the rich would have been ruined, and the poor destroyed. It is to independence that every tory owes the present safety
;

We

which he lives in for by that, and that only, we emerged from a state of dangerous suspense, and became a regular
;

people.

The necessity, likewise, of being independent, had there been no rupture between Britain and America, would, in a little time, have brought one on. The increasing importance of commerce, the weight and perplexity of legislation, and the entangled state of European politics, would daily have

shown

ordinate

to the continent the impossibility of continuing subfor, after the coolest reflections on the matter, this ;

govern

must be allowed, that Britain was too jealous of America to it justly too ignorant of it to govern it well and too far distant from it to govern it at all. 4th. But what weigh most with all men of serious reflection are, the moral advantages arising from independence war and desolation have become the trade of the old world and America neither could, nor can be under the government of Britain without becoming a sharer of her guilt, and
; ; :

all the dismal commerce of death. The spirit of duelling, extended on a national scale, is a proper character for European wars. They have seldom any other motive than pride, or any other object than fame. The conquerors and the conquered are generally ruined alike, and the chief difference at last is, that the one marches home with his "lis the natural temhonors, and the other without them. per of the English to fight for a feather, if they suppose that feather to be an affront ; and America, without the right of asking why, must have abetted in every quarrel, and

a partner in

34

THE

OBI8I8.

the Quakers forgot their own principles, when, in their late Testimony, they called this connexion, with these military and miserable appendages hanging to it " the happy constitution" Britain, for centuries past, has been nearly fifty years out of every hundred at war with some power or other. It certainly ought to be a conscientious as well as political consideration with America, not to dip her hands in the bloody work of Europe. Our situation affords us a retreat from their cabals, and the present happy union of the states bids fair for extirpating the future use of arms from one quarter of the world yet such have been the irreligious politics of the present leaders of the Quakers, that, for the sake of they scarce know what, they would cut off every hope of such a blessing by tying this continent to Britain, like Hector to the chariot wheel of Achilles, to be dragged through all the miseries of endless European wars.
;

abided by its fate It is a shocking situation to live in, that one country must be brought into all the wars of another, whether the measure be right or wrong, or whether she will or not yet this, in the fullest extent, was, and ever would be, the unavoidable consequence of the connexion. Surely
;

this ground, is distressing to has the feelings of humanity. By having Britain for our master, we became enemies to the greatest and the consequence was part of Europe, and they to us war inevitable. By being our own masters, independent of any foreign one, we have Europe for our friends, and the

The connexion, viewed from

every

man who

prospect of an endless peace among ourselves. Those who were advocates for the British government over these colonies, were obliged to limit both their arguments and their ideas to the period of an European peace only the moment Britain became plunged in war, every supposed convenience to us vanished, and all we could hope for was not to be ruCould this be a desirable condition for a young counined. try to be in ? Had the French pursued their fortune immediately after the defeat of Braddock last war, this city and province had then experienced the woful calamities of being a British subfor scene of the same kind might happen again ject. America, considered as a subject to the crown of Britain, would ever have been the seat of war, and the bone of contention between the two powers. On the whole, if the future expulsion of arms from one
:

THE

CBI8I8.

3ft

able

man of business ; if the support or fall of millions of currency can affect our interests ; if the entire possession of estates, by cutting off the lordly claims of Britain over the soil, deserves the regard of landed of making our own laws, unconproperty ; and if the right trolled by royal or ministerial spies or mandates, be worthy our care as freemen ; then are all men interested in the support of independence ; and may he that supports it not, be driven from the blessing, and live unpitied beneath the servile suffering of scandalous subjection have been amused with the tales of ancient wonders ; we have read, and wept over the histories of other nations ; applauded, censured, or pitied, as their cases affected us. The fortitude and patience of the sufferers the justness of the weight of their oppressions and oppressors their cause the object to be saved or lost with all the consequences of a defeat or a conquest have, in the hour of sympathy, but bewitched our hearts, and chained it to their fate where is the power that ever made war upon petitioners ? Or where is the war on which a world was staked till now ?
engage the attention of a
!

Barter of the world would be a desirable object to a peaceif the freedom of trade to every part of it can man
;

We

We may not, perhaps, be wise enough to make all the advantages we ought of our independence; but they are, nevertheless, marked and presented to us with every character of great and good, and worthy the hand of him who sent them. I look through the present trouble to a time of tranquillity, when we shall have it in our power to set an Were the Quakers example of peace to all the world. impressed and influenced by the quiet principles the} really profess to hold, they would, however they might disapprove the means, be the first of all men to approve of independence, because, by separating ourselves from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, it affords an opportunity never given to

man before, of carrying their favorite principle of peace into general practice, by establishing governments that shall hereafter exist without wars. ye fallen, cringing,

O
!

and Pemberton-ridden people What more can we say of ve then that a religious Quaker is a valuable character, and a political Quaker a real Jesuit. Having thus gone over some of the principal points in support of independence, I must now request the reader to return back witn me to the period when it first began to be a public doctrine, and to examine the progress it nas made
priest

36

THE

CRISIS.

the various classes of men. The era I mean to begin the breaking out of hostilities, April 19th, 1775. Until this event happened, the continent seemed to view the dispute as a kind of law-suit for a matter of right, litigating between the old country and the new ; and she felt the same kind and degree of horror, as if she had seen an oppressive plaintiff, at the head of a band of ruffians, enter the court, while the cause was before it, and put the judge, the jury, the defendant and his counsel, to the sword. Perhaps a more heart-felt convulsion never reached the country with the same degree of power and rapidity before, and never may again. Pity for the sufferers, mixed with indignation at the violence, and heightened with apprehensions of undergoing the same fate, made the affair of Lexington the affair of the continent. Every part of it felt the shock, and all vibrated together. general promotion of sentiment took place those who had drank deeply into whiggish principles, that is, the right and necessity not only of opposing, but wholly setting aside the power of the crown as soon as it became practically dangerous (for in theory it was always so) stepped into the first stage of independence ; while another class of whigs, equally sound in principle, but not so sanguine in enterprise, attached themselves the stronger to the cause, and fell close in with the rear of the former ; their partition was a mere point. Numbers of the moderate men, whose chief fault, at that time, arose from their entertaining a better opinion of Britain than she deserved, convinced now of their mistake, gave her up, and publicly declared themselves good whigs. While the tories, seeing it was no longer a laughing matter, either sunk into silent obscurity, or contented themselves with coming forth and abusing general Gage not a single advocate appeared to justify the action of that day ; it seemed to appear to every one with the same magnitude, struck every one with the same force, and created in every one the same abhorrence. From this period we may date the growth of independence. If the many circumstances which happened at this memorable time, be taken in one view, and compared with each other, they will justify a conclusion which seems not to have been attended to, I mean a fixed design in the king and ministry of driving America into arms, in order that they might be furnished with a pretence for seizing the whole continent, as the immediate property of the crown.

among

at, is

A.

noble plunder for hungry courtiers

THE
It

CRISIS.

37

ought to be remembered that the first petition from the congress was at this time unanswered on the part of the That the motion, called Lord North's motion, British king. of the 20th February, 1775, arrived in America the latter end of March. This motion was to be laid by the several governors, then in being, before the assembly of each province ; and the first assembly before which it was laid, ivas This the assembly of Pennsylvania, in May following. a just state of the case, I then ask, why were hostilities being commenced between the time of passing the resolve in thf house of commons, of the 20th of February, and the time of
the assemblies meeting to deliberate upon it? Degrading and infamous as that motion was, there is, nevertheless, reason to believe that the king and his adherents were afraid the colonies would agree to it, and lest they should,' took effectual care they should not, by provoking them with hostilities in the interim. They had not the least doubt at that time of conquering America at one blow ; and what they expected to get by a conquest being infinitely greater than any thing they could hope get either by taxation or accommodation, they seemed determined to prevent even the possibility of hearing each other, lest America should disappoint their greedy hopes of the whole, by listening even to On the one hand they refused to hear the their own terms. of the continent, and on the other hand took effecpetition tual care the continent should not hear them. That the motion of the 20th of February and the orders for commencing hostilities were both concerted by the same person or persons, and not the latter by general Gage, as was falsely imagined at first, is evident from an extract of a letter of his to the administration, read among other papers in the house of commons ; in which he informs his masters, " That though their idea of his disarming certain counties

was a right

one, yet it required

him

to be

master of the

country, in order to enable him. to execute it" This was prior to the commencement of hostilities, and consequently before the motion of the 20th February could be deliberated on by the several assemblies. Perhaps it may be asked, why was the motion passed, if there was at the same time a plan to aggravate the Ameri%

cans not to listen to


himself,

it ? Lord North assigned one reason which was a hope of dividing them. This was publicly tempting them to reject it; that if, in case the injury of arms should fail in provoking them sufficiently, the insult

38

THE

CRISIS.

of such a declaration might fill it up. But by passing the motion and getting it afterwards rejected in America, it enabled them, in their wretched idea of politics, among
other things, to hold up the colonies to foreign powers, with every possible mark of disobedience and rebellion. They had applied to those powers not to supply the continent with arms, ammunition, &c. and it was necessary they should incense them against us, by assigning on their own part some seeming reputable reason why. By dividing, it had a tendency to weaken the states, and likewise to perplex the adherents of America in England. But the principal scheme, and that which has marked their character in every part of their conduct, was a design of precipitating the colonies into a state which they might afterwards deem rebellion, and, under that pretence, put an end to all future complaints, petitions and remonstrances, by seizing the whole at once. They had ravaged one part of the globe, till it could glut them no longer ; their prodigality required new plunder, and through the East India article tea they hoped to' transfer their rapine from that quarter of the world to this. Every designed quarrel had its pretence ; and the same barbarian avarice accompanied the plant to America, which ruined the country that produced it. That men never turn rogues without turning fools is a maxim, sooner or later, universally true. The commencement of hostilities, being in the beginning of April, was, of all times the worst chosen the congress were to meet the tenth of May following, and the distress the continent felt at this unparalleled outrage gave a stability to that body, which no other circumstance could have done. It suppressed, too, all inferior debates, and bound them together by a necessitous affection, without giving them time to differ upon the suffering, likewise, softened the whole body of trifles, the people into a degree of pliability, which laid the principal foundation-stone of union, order and government ; and which, at any other time, might only have fretted and then
:

faded away unnoticed and unimproved: but Providence, who best knows how to time her misfortunes as well as her immediate favors, chose this to be the time, and who dare
dispute it? It did not seem the disposition of the people, at this crisis, to heap petition upon petition, while the former remained unanswered the measure, however, was carried in congress, and*a second petition was sent ; of which I shall only remark
:

THE
that
it

CRISIS.

39

to a dangerous fault, because the appealed solely to what is called the prerogative of the crown, while the matter in dispute was confessas it edly constitutional. But even this petition, flattering was still not so harmonious as the chink of cash, and was, consequently not sufficiently grateful to the tyrant and his From every circumstance it is evident, that it ministry. was the determination of the British court to have nothing to do with America but to conquer her fully and absolutely.

was submissive even


it

prayer of

only place of treaty. I am confident there are thousands and tens of thousands in America who wonder now that they should ever have thought otherwise but the sin of that day was the sin of civility, yet it operated against our present good in the same manner that a civil opinion of the devil would against our future peace. Independence was a doctrine scarce and rare, even towards the conclusion of the year 1775 ; all our politics had been founded on the hope or expectation of making the matter up a hope, which, though general on the side of America, had never entered the head or heart of the British court. Their hope was conquest and confiscation. Good heavens what volumes of thanks does America owe to Britain? What infinite obligation to the tool that fills, with paradoxical Nothing but the sharpest essence of vacancy, the throne villany, compounded with the strongest distillation of folly, could nave produced a menstruum that would have effected a separation. The congress in 1774, administered an abortive medicine to independence, by prohibiting the importation of goods, and the succeeding congress rendered the dose still
;
!
!

They were

certain of success,

and the

field

of battle was the

more dangerous by continuing

it.

Had

independence been

a settled system with America, (as Britain has advanced,) she ought to have doubled her importation, and prohibited in some degree her exportation. And this single circumstance is sufficient to acquit America before any jury of nations, of having a continental plan of independence in view a charge
:

true, would have been honorable, but is so grossly false, that either the amazing ignorance or the wilful dishonesty of the British court, is effectually proved
it

which, had

been

by it. The second petition, like the first, produced no answer it was scarcely acknowledged to have been received the
;
;

British court were too determined in their villainy even to act it artfully and in their rage for conquept neglected the

40

THE

CBI8I8.

necessary subtleties for obtaining

it.

They might have

divided, distracted and played a thousand tricks with as, had they been as cunning as they were cruel. This last indignity gave a new spring to independence. Those who knew the savage obstinacy of the king, and the jobbing, gambling spirit of the court, predicted the fate of the petition, as soon as it was sent from America ; for the men being known, their measures were easily foreseen. As politicians we ought not so much to ground our hopes on the reasonableness of the thing we ask, as on the reasonableness of the person of whom we ask it ; who would expect discretion from a fool, candor from a tyrant, or justice from a villain ? As every prospect of accommodation seemed now to fail fast, men began to think seriously on the matter ; and their reason being thus stripped of the false hope which had long

encompassed it, became approachable by fair debate yet the bulk of the people hesitated they startled at the novelty of independence, without once considering that our at first was a more extraordinary novelty, getting into arms and that all other nations had gone through the work of independence before us. They doubted likewise the ability of the continent to support it, without reflecting that it required the same force to obtain an accommodation by arms as an independence. If the one was acquirable, the other was the same because, to accomplish either, it wa& necessary that our strength should be too great for Britain to subdue and it was too unreasonable to suppose, that with the power of being masters, we should submit to be servants.* Their caution at this time was exceedingly mis;

still

* In this state of political suspense the pamphlet Common Sense made its appearance, and the success it met with does not become me to mention. Dr. Franklin, Mr. Samuel and John Adams, were severally spoken of as the supposed author. I had not, at that time, the pleasure either of personally knowing or being known to the two last gentlemen. The favor of Dr. Franklin's friendship I possessed in England, and my introduction to this part of the world was through his patronage. I happened, when a school-boy, to pick up a pleasing natural history of Virginia, and my inclination from that day of seeing the western side of the Atlantic never left me. In October, 1776, Dr. Franklin proposed giving me such materials as were in his hands, towards completing a history of the present transactions, and seemed desirous of having the first volume out next spring. I had then formed the outlines of
Sense, and finished nearly the first part; and as I supposed the design in getting out a history, was to open the new year with a new system, I expected to surprise him with a production on that subject, much earlier than he thought of; and without informing him what I was doing, got it ready for the press as fast as I conveniently could, and sent him the firs* pamphlet that was printed off.

Common
do
'tor's

THE
;

CRISIS.

placed for if they were able to defend their property and maintain their rights by arms, they, consequently, were able to defend and support their independence ; and in proportion as these men saw the necessity and correctness of the measure, r ,hey honestly and openly declared and adopted it, and the that they have acted since, has done them honor and part Error in opinion has this fully established their characters. advantage with it, that the foremost point of the peculiar contrary ground may at any time be reached by the sudden exertion of a thought ; and it frequently happens in sentimental differences, that some striking circumstance, or some forcible reason quickly conceived will effect in an instant what neither argument nor example could produce in an age. I find it impossible in the small compass I am limited to, which independence has made on to trace out the progress

the minds of the different classes of men, and the several reasons by which they were moved. With some, it was a passionate abhorrence against the king of England and his ministry, as a set of savages and brutes ; and these men, governed by the agony of a wounded mind, were for trusting every thing to hope and heaven, and bidding defiance at once. With others, it was a growing conviction that the scheme of the British court was to create, ferment, and drive on a quarrel, for the sake of confiscated plunder ; and men of this class ripened into independence in proportion as the evidence increased. While a third class conceived it was the true interest of America, internally and externally, to be

her

master, and gave their support to independence, by step, as they saw her abilities to maintain it enlarge. With many, it was a compound of all these reasons while those who were too callous to be reached by either, remained, and still remain tories. The legal necessity of being independent, with several collateral reasons, is pointed out in an elegant masterly manner,
step
;

own

in a charge to the grand jury for the district of Charleston, by the Hon. William Henry Drayton, Chief Justice of South Carolina. This performance, and the address of the convention of New York, are pieces, in humble opinion, of the first rank in America. The principal causes why independence has not been so universally supported as it ought, &refear and indolence, and the causes why it has been opposed, are, avarice, down-right

my

There is not such a villainy, and lust of personal power. being in America as a tory from conscience some secret
:

42

THE

CRISIS.

defect or other is interwoven in the character of all those, be they men or women, who can look with patience on the brutalof the British court, and the vioity, luxury and debauchery woman's virtue must sit very lations of their army here. lightly on her who can even hint a favorable sentiment It is remarkable that the whole race of in their behalf. York were tories ; and the schemes foi prostitutes in the tory cause in this city, for which severa* supporting are now in jail, and one hanged, were concerted and car ried on in common bawdy-houses, assisted by those wh<

New

kept them. The connexion between vice and meanness is a fit subject for satire, but when the satire is a fact, it cuts with the irre If a Quaker, in defence of hi> sistible power of a diamond.
just rights, his property, and the chastity of his house, take* is expelled the but the present meeting ; of England, who seduced and took into keeping a sistei king of their society, is reverenced and supported by repeated Testimonies, wnile the friendly noodle from whom she was taken (and who is now in this city) continues a drudge in the service of his rival, as if proud of being cuckolded by a creature called a king. Our support and success depend on such a variety of men and circumstances, that every one who does but wish well, is of some use : there are men who have a strange aversion to arms, yet have hearts to risk every shilling in the cause, or in support of those who have better talents for defending it. Nature, in the arrangement of mankind, has fitted some for every service in life were all soldiers, all would starve and go naked, and were none soldiers, all would be slaves As disaffection to independence is the badge of a tory, s affection to it is the mark of a whig ; and the different services of the whigs, down from those who nobly contribute every thing, to those who have nothing to render but their wishes, tend all to the same centre, though with different degrees of merit and ability. The larger we make the circle,

up a musket, he

the more we shall harmonize, and the stronger we shall be. All we want to shut out is disaffection, and, that excluded, we must accept from each other such duties as we are best narrow system of politics, like a narrow fitted to bestow. system of religion, is calculated only to sour the temper, and be at variance with mankind. All we want to know in America is simply this, who is for independence, and who ip not ? Those who are for it, wil]

THE

CRISIS.

48

rapport it, and the remainder will undoubtedly see the reasonableness of paying the charges ; while those who oppose or seek to betray it, must expect the more rigid fate 01 the There is a bastard kind of generosity, jail and the gibbet. which being extended to all men, is as fatal to society, on one hand, as the want of true generosity is on the other. lax manner of administering justice, falsely termed moderation, has a tendency both to dispirit public virtue, and promote the growth of public evils. Had the late committee of safety taken cognizance of the last Testimony of the Quakers and proceeded against such^ delinquents as were concerned therein, they had, probably, prevented the treasonable plans which have been concerted since. When one villain is suffered to escape, it encourages another to proceed, either from a hope of escaping likewise, or an apprehension that we dare not punish. It has been a matter of general surprise, that no notice was taken of the incendiary publication of the Quakers, of the 20th of November last a publication evidently intended to promote sedition and treason, and encourage the enemy, who were then within a day's march of this city, to proceed on and possess it. I here present the reader with a memorial which was laid before the board of safety a few days after the Testimony appeared. Not a member of that board, that I conversed with, but expressed the highest detestation of the perverted principles and conduct of the Quaker junto, and a wish that the board would take the matter up notwithstanding which, it was suffered to pass away unnoticed, to the encouragement of new acts of treason, the general danger of the cause, and the disgrace of the state.

To

the honorable the Council of Safety

of the State of Pennsylvania.

At a meeting of a reputable number of the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, impressed with a proper sense of the justice of the cause whicn this continent is engaged in, and animated with a generous fervor for supporting the same, it was resolved, that the following be laid before the board of safety " profess liberality of sentiment to all men with this distinction only, that those who do not deserve it would become wise and seek to deserve it. hold the pure doctrices of universal liberty of conscience, and conceive it our -rty *o endeavor to secure that su-red right to others, a*
:

We

We

THE

CB18I8.

well as to defend it for ourselves ; for we undertake not to judge of the religious rectitude of tenets, but leave the whole matter to Him who made us. " persecute no man, neither will we abet in the persecution of any man for religion's sake ; our common relation to others being that of fellow-citizens and fellow-subjects of one single community ; and in this line of connexion we hold out the right hand of fellowship to all men. But we should conceive ourselves to be unworthy members of

We

signed John Pevibertonj whom we suppose to be an inhabitant of this city, has lately been dispersed abroad, a copy of which accompanies this. Had the framers and publishers of that paper conceived it their duty to exhort the youth and others of their society, to a patient submission under the present trying visitations, and humbly to await the even" of heaven towards them, they had therein showed a Christian temper, and we had been silent; but the anger and political virulence with which their instructions are given, and the abuse with which they stigmatize all ranks of men, not thinking like themselves, leave no doubt on our minds
'

and independent states of America, were we unconcernedly to see or to suffer any treasonable wound, public or private, directly or indirectly, to be given against the inquire not into the peace and the safety of the same. rank of the offenders, nor into their religious persuasion ; we have no business with either, our part being only to find them out and exhibit them to justice. printed paper, dated the 20th of November, and
the free

We

"A

from what

We

spirit their publication proceeded : and it is disgraceful to the pure cause of truth, that men can dally with words of the most sacred import, and play them off as mechanically as if religion consisted only in contrivance. know of no instance in which the Quakers have been compelled to bear arms, or to do any which might strain
'

their conscience, wherefore their advice, to withstand and refuse to submit to the arbitrary instructions and ordinances of men,' appear to us a false alarm, and could only be treasonably calculated to gain favor with our enemies, when

they are seemingly on the brink of invading this state, or, what is still worse, to weaken the hands of our defence, that their entrance into this city might be made practicable and
" disclaim all tumult and disorder in the punishment of offenders and wish to be governed, not by temper but
;

easy.

We

THE

CRISIS.

45

in the manner of treating them. are sensiby reason, ble that our cause has suffered by the two following errors ; traitorous persons in some cases ; first, by ill-judged lenity to

We

and, secondly, by only a passionate treatment of them in For the future we disown both, and wish to be others. in our proceedings, and serious in our punishments. Bteady " Every state in America has, by the repeated voice of its inhabitants, directed and authorised the continental congress to publish a formal declaration of independence of, and separation from, the oppressive king and parliament of Britain ; and we look on every man as an enemy Gre who does not in some line or other, give his assistance towards supporting the same at the same time we consider the offence to be heightened to a degree of unpardonable under the show of religion, guilt, when such persons, endeavor, either by writing, speaking, or otherwise, to subvert, overturn, or bring reproach upon the independence of this continent as declared by congress. The publishers of the paper signed * John PembertonJ
;

have called in loud manner


*

to their friends and connexions, ' to withstand or refuse' obedience to whatever instructions

they

or ordinances' may be published, not warranted by (what ' call) that happy constitution under which they and others long enjoyed tranquillity and peace.' If this be not treason, we know not what may properly be called by that

name. " To us

men

it is a matter of surprise and astonishment, that with the word 'peace, peace? continually on their lips, should be so fond of living under and supporting a government, and at the same time calling it happy,' which is never better pleased than when at war that hath filled India with carnage and famine, Africa with slavery, and tampered with Indians and negroes to cut the throats of the freemen of America. conceive it a disgrace to this state, to harbor or wink at such palpable hypocrisy. But as we seek not to hurt the hair 01 any man's nead, when we can make ourioivec, afe without, we wish such persons to restore peace to themselves and us, by removing themselves to some part of the king of Great Britain's dominions, as by that means they may live unmolested by us and we by them ; for our fixed opinion is, that those who do not deserve a place among us, ought not to have one. " conclude with requesting the council of safety to take into consideration the paper signed John Pemberton?
'

We

We

'

46

THE

CRISIS.

and if it shall appear to them to be of a dangerous tendency, or of a treasonable nature, that they would commit the signer, together with such other persons as they can discover were concerned therein, into custody, until such time as some mode of trial shall ascertain the full degree of their gvilt and punishment ; in the doing of which, we wish their judges, whoever they may be, to disregard the man, hig connexions, interest, riches, poverty, or principles of religion, and to attend to the nature of his offence only." The most cavilling sectarian cannot accuse the foregoing with containing the least of persecution. The ingredient free spirit on which the American cause is founded, disdains to mix with such an impurity, and leaves it as rubbish fit
only for narrow and suspicious minds to grovel in. Suspicion and persecution are weeds of the same dunghill, and flourish Had the Quakers minded their religion and their together.
business, they

might have lived through this dispute in enviable ease, and none would have molested them. The common phrase with these people is, Our principles are
'

peace?
the,

own

To which may be replied, and your practices ai*e reverse / for never did the conduct of men oppose their
doctrine

Quakers.
different

more notoriously than the present race of the They have artfully changed themselves into a sort of people to what they used to be, and yet
to persuade each other that they are not antiquated virgins, they see not the havoc

have the address


altered;
like

deformity has made upon them, but pleasantly mistaking wrinkles for dimples, conceive themselves yet lovely and wonder at the stupid world for not admiring them. Did no injury arise to the public by this apostacy of the Quakers from themselves, the public would have nothing to do with it ; but as both the design and consequences are pointed against a cause in which the whole community are interested, it is therefore no longer a subject confined to the cognizance of the meeting only, but comes, as a matter of criminality, before either the authority of the particular state in which it is acted, or of the continent against which it operates. Every attempt, now, to support the authority of the king and parliament of Great Britain over America, therefore it is impossible that is treason against every state one can pardon or screen from punishment an offender any
;

against

all.

But
other

to proceed : while the infatuated tories of this and states were last spring talking of commissioners,

THE

ORISIb.

47

accommodation, making the matter up, and the Lord knows stuff and nonsense, their good king and ministry were glutting themselves with the revenge of reducing America to unconditional submission, and solacing each other with

what

the certainty of conquering it in one campaign. The following quotations are from the parliamentary register of the debates of the house of lords, March 5th, 1776 " " The Americans," says lord Talbot,* have been obstinate, undutiful, and ungovernable from the very beginning, from their first early and infant settlements ; and I am every day more and more convinced that this people never will be brought back to their duty, and the subordinate relation they stand in to this cauntry, till reduced to unconditional, effectual submission / no concession on our part, no lenity no endurance, will have any other effect but that of increasing
:
',

their insolence."
is now a struggle," says lord Townsend,f struggle power ; the die is cast, and the only point which now remains to be determined, is, in what manner the war can be most effectually prosecuted and speedily finished, in order to procure that unconditional submission, which has been so ably stated by the noble earl with the white staff;" (meaning lord Talbot,) " and I have no reason to doubt that the measures now pursuing will put an end to the war in the course of a single campaign. Snould it linger longer, we shall then have reason to expect that some foreign power will interfere, and take advantage of our domestic troubles and civil distractions."

" The

"

for

Lord

Littleton.

"

I shall only observe now that lenient measures have had no other effect than to produce insult after insult; that the

My

sentiments are pretty well known.

more we conceded, the higher America rose in her demands, and the more insolent she has grown. It is for this reason that I am now for the most effective and decisive measures and am of opinion that no alternative is left us, but to relinquish America for ever, or finally determine to compel her to acknowledge the legislative authority of this country and it is the principle of an unconditional submission I would be
; ;

for maintaining."

Can words be more


'

tones will believe the tory lords


f Formerly,
Ireland.

expressive than these? Surely the The truth is, they do be!

Rreward of the king's household. general Townsend, at Quebec, and

late

lord-lieutenant

of

48
lieve them,

THE

CRISIS.

and know as fully as any whig on the continent knows, that the king and ministry never had the least design of an accommodation with America, but an absolute, unconAnd the part which the tories were to ditional conquest. act, was, by downright lying, to endeavour to put the continent off its guard, and to divide and sow discontent in the minds of such whigs as they might gain an influence over. In short, to keep up a distraction here, that the force sent from England might be able to conquer in " one campaign"

They and the ministry were, by a different game, playing The cry of the tories in England into each other's hands. " was, No reconciliation, no accommodation" in order to obtain the greater military force while those in America were crying nothing but "reconciliation and accommoda;

tion" that the force sent might conquer with the


sistance.

less re-

in the rear, the safety of their passage down is a doubtful matter. By such a motion he shuts himself from all supplies from Europe, but through Canada, and exposes his army and navy to the danger of perishing. The idea of his cutting off the communication between the eastern and southern states, by means of the North river, is merely visionary. He cannot do it by his shipping, because no ship can lay long at anchor in any river within reach of the shore ; a rate from such a station. single gun would drive a first This was fully proved last October at forts Washington and Lee, where one gun only, on each side of the river, obliged two frigates to cut and be towed off in an hour's Neither can he cut it off by his army because the time. several posts they must occupy, would divide them almost to nothing, and expose thurn to be picked up by ours like
;

is over, and America not consingle campaign quered. The whole work is yet to do, and the force much Their condition is both despicable and less to do it with. deplorable out of cash out of heart, and out of hope. A country furnished with arms and ammunition, as America now is, with three millions of inhabitants, and three thousand miles distant from the nearest enemy that can approach her, is able to look and laugh them in the face. Howe appears to have two objects in view, either to go up the North river, or come to Philadelphia. By going up the North river, he secures a retreat for his army through Canada, but the ships must return if they return at all, the same way they went as our army would be

But

this

"

"

THE

CRISIS.

49

pebbles on a river's bank. But admitting that he could, is the injury ? Because, while his whole force is cantoned out, as sentries over the water, they will be very innocently employed, and the moment they march into the country, the communication opens. The most probable object is Philadelphia, and the reasons are many. Howe's business is to conquer it, and in proportion as ne finds himself unable to the task, he will employ his strength to distress women and weak minds, in order to accomplish through their fears what he cannot accomplish

where

His coming or attempting to come to his own force. Philadelphia is a circumstance that proves nis weakness for no general that felt himself able to take the field and attack his antagonist, would think of bringing his army into a city in the summer time ; and this mere shifting the scene from place to place, without effecting any thing, has feebleness and cowardice on the face of it, and holds him up in a contemptible light to all who can reason justly and firmly. By several informations from New York, it appears that their army in general, both officers and men, Lave given up the expectation of conquering America ; their eye now is fixed upon the spoil. They suppose Philadelphia to be rich with stores, and as they think to get more by robbing a town than by attacking an army, their movement towards We are not now contending against this city is probable. an army of soldiers, but against a band of thieves, who had rather plunder than fight, and have no other hope of con-

by

quest tnan by cruelty. They expect to get a mighty booty, and strike another general panic, by making a sudden movement and getting possession of this city ; but unless they can march out as well as in, or get the entire command of the river, to remove off their plunder, they may probably be stopped with the stolen goods upon them. They have never yet succeeded

wherever they nave been opposed, but at fort Washington. At Ticonderoga their defeat was effectual. ran away. In every skirmish at Kingsbridge and the they White Plains they were obliged to retreat, and the instant that our arms were turned upon them in the Jerseys, they turned likewise, and those that turned not were taken. The necessity of always fitting our internal police to the

At Charleston

circumstances of the times

we

live in, is

something so

strik-

ingly obvious, that no sufficient objection can be against it. The safety of all societies depends upon it

made
;

and

50

THE
this point is

CEISlb.

where
either

not attended

to,

the consequences will

be a general languor or a tumult. The encouragement and protection of the good subjects of any state, and the suppression and punishment of bad ones, are the principal objects for which all authority is instituted, and the line in which it ought to operate. We have in this city a strange variety of men and characters, and the circumstances of the times require that they should be publicly known it is not
;

number of tories that hurt us, so much as the not finding out who they are men must now take one side or the other, and abide by the consequences the Quakers, trusting
the
;
:

short-sighted sagacity, have, most unluckily for them, made their declaration in their last Testimony, and >ve ought now to take them at their word. They have vountarily read themselves out of continental meeting, and cannot hope to be restored to it again but by payment and penitence. Men whose political principles are .founded on avarice, are beyond the reach of reason, and the only cure of toryism of this cast, is to tax it. substantial good drawn from a real evil, is of the same benefit to society, as if drawn from a virtue and where men have not public
to

their

themselves serviceable, it ought to be the study of government to draw the best use possible from their vices. When the governing passion of any man, or set of men, is once known, the method of managing them is easy for even misers, whom no public virtue can impress, would become generous, could a heavy tax be laid upon
spirit to reflder
;

covetousness.

The

tories

have endeavored to insure

their property with

forfeiting their reputation with us; from which may be justly inferred, that their governing passion is avarice. Make them as much afraid of losing on one side as on the other, and you stagger their toryism ; make them

the enemy,

by

/nore so,

and you reclaim them;

for their principle is to

worship the power which they are most afraid of. This method of considering men and things together, opens into a large field for speculation, and affords me an opportunity of offering some observations on the state of our currency, so as to make the support of it go hand in hand with the suppression of disaffection and the encouragement of
public
spirit.
first presents itself in inspecting the state of the currency, is, that we have too much of it, and that there is a necessity of reducing the quantity , in order to

The thing which

THE
increase the value.

CRISIS.

51

obliges others, in their own defence, to raise cent, per cent, likewise ; in this case it is evident that his hundreu pounds laid by, is reduced fifty pounds in value ; whereas, had the market lowered cent, per cent, his goods would have sold but for ten, but his hundred pounds would have risen in value to two hundred ; because it would then purchase as many goods again, or support his family as long again as before And, strange as it may seem, he is one hundred and fifty pounds the poorer for raising his goods, to what he would have been had he lowered them ; because the forty pounds which his goods sold for, is, by the general raise of the market cent, per cent., rendered of no more value than the ten pounds would be had the market fallen in the same proportion; and, consequently, the whole difference of gain or loss is on the difference in value of the hundred pounds laid by, viz. from fifty to two hundred. This rage for raising goods is for several reasons much more the fault of the tories than the and yet the tories (to their shame and confusion whigs ; ought they to be told of it) are by far the most noisy and discontented. The greatest part of the whigs, by being now either in the army or employed in some public service, are buyers only and not sellers, and as this evil has its origin in trade, it cannot be charged on those who are out of it. But the grievance has now become too general to be remedied by partial methods, and the only effectual cure is to reduce the quantity of money with half the quantity we should be richer than we are now, because the value of it
:

are daily growing poor by the very for in the same proportion ; that the prices of all goods on hand are raised, the value of all money laid by is reduced. simple case will make this clear ; let a man have a 1001. in cash, and as many goods on hand as will to-day sell for 20Z. but not content with the present market price, he raises them to 401. and by so doing

Men

means that they take

to get rich

would be doubled, and consequently our attachment


increased
;

but

how

to it for it is not the number of dollars a man has, far they will go, that makes him either rich or
viz. that

poor.

These two points being admitted,


of

the quantity

money
reduce

is

too great,

and that the prices of goods can only

be effectually reduced by reducing the quantity of the money, the next point to be considered is, tne method how
to
it.

The circumstances of the

times, as before observed, re

52

THE

CRISIS.

either be borne by themselves, who have done every thing which has yet been done, or by the tories, who have not only done nothing, but have, by their disaffection, invited the enemy on. In the present crisis we ought to know, square by square, and house by house, who are in real allegiance with the United Independent States, and who are not. Let but the line be made clear and distinct, and all men will then know what they are to trust to. It would not only be good policy but strict justice, to raise fifty or one hundred thousand pounds, or more, if it is necessary, out of the estates and property of the king of England's votaries, resident in Philadelphia, to be distributed, as a reward to those inhabitants of the city and state, who should turn out and repulse the enemy, should they attempt to march this way ; and likewise, to bind the property of all such persons to make good the damages which that of the whigs might susIn the undistinguishable mode of conducting war, we tain. frequently make reprisals at sea, on the vessels of persons in England, who are friends to our cause, compared with the

quire that the public characters of all men should now be mlly understood, and the only general method of ascertaining it is by an oath or affirmation, renouncing all allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and to support the independence of the United States, as declared by congress. Let, at the same time a tax of ten, fifteen, or twenty per cent, per annum, to be collected quarterly, be levied on all property. These alternatives, by being perfectly voluntary, will take in all sorts of people. Here is the test here is the tax. He who takes the former, conscientiously proves his affection to the cause, and binds himself to pay his quota by the best services in his power, and is thereby justly exempt from the /< cter and those who choose the latter, pay their quota in money, to be excused from the former, or rather, it is the price paid to us for their supposed, though mistaken, insursurance with the enemy. But this is only a part of the advantage which would arise by knowing the different characters of the men. The whigs stake every thing on the issue of their arms, while the tories, by their disaffection, are sapping and undermining their strength ; and, of consequence, the property of the whigs is the more exposed thereby and whatever injury their states may sustain by the movements of the enemy,
; ; ;

must

resident tories

among

us.

THE

CRISIS.

53

In every former publication of mine, from

Common Sense

cruelty in an enemy, and motions made with more than usual parade, are always signs of weakness. He that can conquer, finds his mind, too free and pleasant to be brutish ; and lie that intends to conquer, never makes too much show of his strength. now know the enemy we have to do with. "WTiile drunk with the certainty of victory, they disdained to be civil ; and in proportion as disappointment makes them soof ber, and their apprehensions 01 an Europe 3r, European war alarm them, they will become cringing and artful; honest they cannot be. But our answer to them, in either condition " As free and they may be in, is short and full independent states we are willing to make peace with you to-morrow, but we neither can hear nor reply in any other character." If Britain cannot conquer us, it proves that she is neither able to govern nor protect us, and our particular situation now is such, that any connexion with her would be unwisely exchanging a half-defeated enemy for two powerful ones. Europe, by every appearance, is now on the eve, nay, on the morning twilight of a war, and any alliance with George

the last Crisis, I have generally gone on the charitable supposition, that the tones were rather a mistaken than a criminal people, and have applied argument after argument, with all the candor and temper which 1 was capable of, in order to set every part of the case clearly and fairly before them, and if possible to reclaim them from ruin to reason. I have done my duty by them and have now done with that doctrine, taking it for granted, that those who yet hold their disaffection, are, either a set of avaricious miscreants, who would sacrifice the continent to save themselves, or a banditti of hungry traitors, who are hoping for a division of the spoil. To which may be added, a list of crown or proprietary dependants, who, rather than go without a portion of power, would be content to share it with the devil. Of such men there is no hope ; and their obedience will only be according to the danger set before them, and the power that is exercised over them. time will shortly arrive, in which, by ascertaining the characters of persons now, we shall be guarded against their mischiefs then ; for in proportion as the enemy despair of conquest, they will be trying the arts of seduction and the force of fear by all the mischiefs which they can inflict. But in war we may be certain of these two things, viz. that

down

to

We

54

THE

CRISIS.

the third, France and Spain upon our backs ; a sepabrings ration from him attaches them to our side ; therefore, the

only road to peace, honor and commerce, is Independence. ritten this fourth year of the UNION, which God pre*

serve.
Philadelphia, April 19,

1W

COMMON

SENSE.

tfUMBEK
like

IY.

THOSE who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it. The event of yesterday was one of those kind alarms which is just sufus to duty, without being of consequence It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequence will be the same. Look back at the events of last winter and the present year there you will find that the enemy's successes always What they have gained in contributed to reduce them. ground, they paid so dearly for in numbers, that their vichave tories have in the end amounted to defeats. always been masters at the last push, and always shall be while we do our duty. Howe has been once on the banks of the Delaware, and from thence driven back with loss and disgrace and why not be again driven from the Schuylkill ? His condition and ours are very different. He has everybody to fight, we have only his one army to cope with, and which wastes away at every engagement we can not only reinforce, but can redouble our numbers ; he is cut off from all supplies, and must sooner or later inevitably fall into our hands. Shall a band of ten or twelve thousand robbers, who are
ficient to rouse

enough

to depress our fortitude.

We

day fifteen hundred or two thousand men less in strength than they were yesterday, conquer America, or subdue even a single state? The thing cannot be, unless we sit down and suffer them to do it. Another such a brush, notwithstanding we lost the ground, would, by still reducing the enemy, put them in a condition to be afterwards totally dethis
'

feat

THE

GBISI8.

55

Could our whole army have come up to the attack at one time, the consequences had probably been otherwise but our having different parts of the Brandy wine creek to guard, and the uncertainty which road to Philadelphia the enemy would attempt to take, naturally afforded them an opportunity of passing with their main body at a place where only a part 01 ours could be posted for it must strike every thinking man with conviction, that it requires a mucn greater force to oppose an enemy in several places, than is sufficient to defeat him in any one place.
; ;

are sincere in defending their freedom, will concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them ; it is the natural and honest consequence of all affectionate attachments, and the want of it is a vice. But the dejection lasts only for a moment they soon rise out of it with additional vigor ; the glow of hope, courage and fortitude, will, in a little time, supply the place of every inferior passion, and kindle the whole heart into heroism. There is a mystery in the countenance of some causes, which we have not always present judgment enough to

Men who
feel

always

It is distressing to' see an enemy advancing into a but it is the only place in which we can beat them, country, and in which we have always beaten them, whenever they made the attempt. The nearer any disease approaches to a

explain.

crisis,

the nearer
their

it

is

to a cure.

Danger and deliverance

advances together, and it is only the last push, in which one or the other takes the lead. There are many men who will do their duty when it is not wanted; but a genuine public spirit always appears most when there is most occasion for it. Thank God our
1

make

army, though fatigued, is yet entire. The attack made by us yesterday, was under many disadvantages, naturally arising from the uncertainty of knowing which route the enemy would take and, from that circumstance, the whole of our force could not be brought up together time enough to engage all at once. Our strength is yet reserved and it
;

evident that Howe does not think himself a gainer by the affair, otherwise he would this morning have moved do wn and attacked general Washington. Gentlemen of the city and country, it is in your power, by a spirited improvement of the present circumstance, to turn it to a real advantage. Howe is now weaker than You before, and every shot will continue to reduce him. are more immediately interested than any other part of the
is

56

THE

CKI8I8.

continent ; your all is at stake ; it is not so with the general cause ; you are devoted by the enemy to plunder and destruction it is the encouragement which Howe, the chief of plunderers, has promised his army. Thus circumstanced, you may save yourselves by a manly resistance, and you can have no hope in any other conduct. I never yet knew our brave general, or any part of the army, officers or men, out of heart, and I have seen them in circumstances a thousand times more trying than the present. It is only those that are not in action, that feel languor and heaviness, and the best way to rub it off is to turn out, and make sure work of it. Our army must undoubtedly feel fatigue, and want a Our own reinforcement, of rest, though not of valour. interest and happiness call upon us to give them every support in our power, and make the burden of the day, on which the safety of this city depends, as light as possible Remember, gentlemen, that we have forces both to the northward and southward of Philadelphia, and if the enemy be but stopped till those can arrive, this city will be saved, and the enemy finally routed. You have too much at stake to hesitate. You ought not to think an hour upon the Other states have matter, but to spring to action at once. been invaded, have likewise driven off the invaders. Now our time and turn is come, and perhaps the finishing stroke is reserved for us. When we look back on the dangers we have been saved from, and reflect on the success we have been blessed with, it would be sinful either to be idle or to
:

despair. I close this paper with a short address to general Howe. You, sir, are only lingering out the period that shall bring with it your defeat. You have yet scarce begun upon the war, and the further you enter, the faster will your troubles thicken. What you now enjoy is only a respite from ruin ; an invitation to destruction ; something that will lead on to our deliverance at your expense. know the cause which we are engaged in, and though a passionate fondness for it may make us grieve at every injury which threatens it, yet,

We

when

the

moment

of concern

is

gloomy smile of a worthless king, but by the ardent glow of generous patriotism. fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in. In such a case we are sure that we are right and we leave to.
duty returns.

We are not moved by the

over, the determination to

We

FHB

CRISIS.

57

you the despairing


tyrant.

reflection of

being the tool of a miserable

COMMON
Philadelphia, Sept. 12, 1777.

SENSE.

NUMBER

V.

TO GEN. SIR WILLIAM HOWE.


To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavouring to convert an atheist by scripture.
Enjoy, sir, your insensibility of feeling and reflecting. It is the prerogative of animals. And no man will envy you those honours, in which a savage only can be your rival and a bear

your master.

As

the generosity of this country rewarded your brother's

services last war, with an elegant monument in "Westminster Abbey, it is consistent that she should bestow some mark of distinction upon you. You certainly deserve her notice, and a conspicuous place in the catalogue of extraordinary per-

Yet it would be a pity to pass you from the world in and consign you to magnificent oblivion among the tombs, without telling the future beholder why. Judas is as much known as John, yet history ascribes their fame to very
sons.
state,

different actions. Sir William hath

undoubtedly merited a monument

but

or with what inscription, where placed or how embellished, is a question that would puzzle all the heralds of St. James's in the profoundest mood of historical deliberation. are at no loss, sir, to ascertain your real characof

what kind,

We

but somewhat perplexed how to perpetuate its identity, and preserve it uninjured from the transformations of time
ter,

false expression to your with some equivocal emblems, by which you may happen to steal into reputation and impose upon the hereafter traditionary world. Ill nature or ridicule may conspire, or a variety of accidents combine to lessen, enlarge, or change Sir William's fame ; and no doubt but he who h*s taken so much pains to be singular in his conduct, w ild

or mistake.

A statuary may give a


it

bust, or decorate

THE

OBI8I8.

choose to be just as singular in his exit, his monument and his epitaph. The usual honours of the dead, to be sure, are not sufficiently sublime, to escort a character like you to the republic of dust and ashes ; for however men may differ in their
ideas of grandeur or of government here, the grave is nevertheless a perfect republic. Death is not the monarch of the dead, but of the dying. The moment he obtains a conquest he loses a subject, and, like the foolish king you serve, will, in the end, war himself out of all his dominions. As a proper preliminary towards the arrangement of your funeral nonours, we readily admit of you? new rank of knighthood. The title is perfectly in character, and is your own, more by merit than creation. There are knights of various orders, from the knight of the windmill to the knight of the post. The former is your pattern for exploits, and the latter will assist you in settling your accounts. No honour-

The ingenuity is ary title could be more happily applied And your royal master hath discovered more sublime genius in fitting you therewith, than in generating the most finished figure for a button, or descanting on the properties of a button mould.
! !

But how, sir, shall we dispose of you ? The invention of a statuary is exhausted, and Sir William is yet unprovided with a monument. America is anxious to bestow her funeral favours upon you, and wishes to do it in a manner that shall distinguish you from all the deceased heroes of the last war. The Egyptian method of embalming is not known to the present age, and hieroglyphical pageantry hath outlived the science of decyphering it. Some other method, therefore, must be thought of to immortalize the new knight of the windmill and post. Sir "William, thanks to his stars, is noit oppressed with very delicate ideas. He has no ambition of
being wrapped up and handed about in myrrh, aloes and Less expensive odours will suffice and it fortunately happens, that the simple genius of America hath discovered the art of preserving bodies, and embellishing them too, with much greater frugality than the ancients. In balmage, sir, of humble tar, you will be as secure as Pharaoh, and in *
cassia.
;

hieroglyphic of feathers, rival in finery

all

the

mummies

of

Egypt.

As you have
world, and

already

made your

by numberless

exit from the moral acts both of passionate and deli

THE

CEIS18.

59

" " here on your deceased herate injustice, engraved an lyeth honour, it must be mere affectation in you to pretend concern at the humours or opinions of mankind respecting you. What remains of you may expire at any time. The sooner the better. For he who survives his reputation, lives out of despite of himself, like a man listening to his own
reproach.

Thus entombed and ornamented, I leave you to the inspection of the curious, and return to the history of your yet surviving actions. The character of Sir William nath undergone some extraordinary revolutions since his arrival in America. It is now fixed and known ; and we have nothing to hope from your candour or to fear from your capacity. Indolence and inability have too large a share in your composition, ever to suffer you to be anything more than the hero of little villanies and unfinished adventures. That, which to some persons appeared moderation in you at first, was not produced by any real virtue of your own, but by a contrast of passions, dividing and holding you in perpetual irresolution. One vice will frequently expel another, without the least merit in the man, as powers in contrary directions reduce each other to rest. It became you to have supported a dignified solemnity of character ; to have shown a superior liberality of soul ; to have won respect by an obstinate perseverance in maintaining order, and to have exhibited on all occasions, such an
unchangeable graciousness of conduct, that while we beheld you the resolution of an enemy, we might admire in you the sincerity of a man. You came to America under the high sounding titles of commander and commissioner not only to suppress what you call rebellion, by arms, but to
in
;

shame

it out of countenance, by the excellence of your example. Instead of which, you have been the patron of low and vulgar frauds, the encourager of Indian cruelties and have imported a cargo of vices blacker than those which you
;

pretend to suppress. Mankind are not universally agreed in their determination of right and wrong ; but there are certain actions which the consent of all nations and individuals hath branded with the unchangeable name of meanness. In the list of human vices we find some of such a refined constitution, they cannot bo carried into practice without seducing some virtue to theii assistance ; but meanness hath neither alliance nor apology. It is generated in the dust and sweepings of other vices, and

IHE
is

CRISIS.

it.

of such a hateful figure that all the rest conspire to disown Sir William, the commissioner of George the third, hath He has at last vouchsafed to give it rank and pedigree. the fugitive at the council board, and dubbed it complaced panion of the order of knighthood. The particular act of meanness which I allude to in this description, is forgery. You, sir, have abetted and patronized the forging and uttering counterfeit continental bills. In the same JNew-York newspapers in which your own proclamation under your master's authority was published, offering, or pretending to offer, pardon and protection to these states, there were repeated advertisements of counterfeit

money for sale, and persons who have come officially from you, and under the sanction of your flag, have been taken up in attempting to put them off A conduct so basely mean in a public character is without precedent or pretence. Every nation on earth, whether friends or enemies, will unite in despising you. "lis an incendiary war upon society, which nothing can excuse or An improvement upon beggarly villany and palliate. shows an imbred wretchedness of heart made up between the venomous malignity of a serpent and a spiteful imbecility of an inferior reptile. The laws of any civilized country would condemn you to the gibbet without regard to your rank or titles, because it is an action foreign to the usage and custom of war and should you fall into our hands, which pray God you may, it will be a doubtful matter whether we are to consider you
;

as a military prisoner or a prisoner for felony. Besides, it is exceedingly unwise and impolitic in you, or any other person in the English service, to promote or even encourage, or wink at the crime of forgery, in any case whatever. Because, as the riches of England, as a nation, are chiefly in paper, and the far greater part of trade among individuals is carried on by the same medium, that is, by notes and drafts on one another, they, therefore, of all people in the world, ought to endeavour to keep forgery out of sight, and, if possible, not to revive the idea of it. It is dangerous to make men familiar with a crime which they may afterwards practise to much greater advantage against those who first taught them. Several officers in the English army have made their exit at the gallows for forgery on
their agents;
for

we

all

know, who know any

tiling of

England, that there

is

not a more necessitous body of men,

THE

CRISIS.

61

taking them generally, than what the English officers are They contrive to make a show at the expense of the tailors, and appear clean at the charge of the washer-women. England hath, at this time, nearly two hundred million pounds sterling of public money in paper, for which she hath no real property besides a large circulation of bank notes, bank post bills, and promissory notes and drafts of She hath the private bankers, merchants and tradesmen. greatest quantity of paper currency and the least quantity of gold and silver of any nation in Europe the real specie
:

about sixteen millions sterling, serves only as change in large sums, which are always made in paper, or for payment small ones. Thus circumstanced, the nation is put to its wit's end, and obliged to be severe almost to crimi-

which

is

to prevent the practice and growth .of forgery. Scarcely a session passes at the Old Bailey, or an execution at Tyburn, but witnesseth this truth, yet you, sir, regardless of the policy wnich her necessity obliges ner to adopt, have made your whole army intimate with the crime. And as all armies, at the conclusion of a war, are too apt to carry into practice the vices of the campaign, it will probably happen, that England will hereafter abound in forgeries, to which art, the practitioners were first initiated under your authoYou, sir, have the honor of adding a new rity in America. vice to the military catalogue ; and the reason, perhaps, why the invention was reserved for you, is, because no general before was mean enough ever to think of it. That a man, whose soul is absorbed in the low traffic of vulgar vice, is incapable of moving in any superior region, is clearly shown in you by the event of every campaign. Your military exploits have been without plan, object, or decision. Can it be possible that you or your employers suppose that the possession of Philadelphia will be any ways equal to the expense or expectation of the nation which supports you ? What advantages does England derive from any achievement of yours ? To her it is perfectly indifferent what place you are in, so long as the business of conquest is unperformed and the charge of maintaining you remains the same. If the principal events of the three campaigns be attended to, the balance will appear against you at the close of each ; but the last, in point of importance to us, has exceeded the former two. It is pleasant to look back on dangers past, nd equally as pleasant to meditate on present ones when
nality,

62
the

THE

CRISIS.

The preparations made to defend New- York were, neverwise and military because your fordfes were then at storms, sickness, or a variety sea, their numbers uncertain of accidents might have disabled their coming, or so diminished them on their passage, that those which survived would have been incapable of opening the campaign with any prospect of success in which case the defence would have been sufficient and the place preserved for cities that have been raised from nothing with an infinitude of labor and expense, are not to be thrown away on the bare probatheless,
;
;

way out begins to appear. That period is now arrived, and the long doubtful winter of war is changing to the sweeter prospects of victory and joy. At the close of the campaign, in 1775, you were obliged to retreat from Boston. In the summer of 1776, you appeared with a numerous fleet and army in the harbor of New-York. By what miracle the continent was preserved in that season of danger is a subject of admiration! If instead of wasting your time against Long-Island, you had run up the North river, and landed any where above New-York, the consequence must have been, that either you would have compelled general Washington to fight you with very unequal numbers, or he must suddenly have evacuated tne city with the loss of nearly all the stores of his army, or have surrendered for want of provisions the situation of the place naturally producing one or the other of these events.
;

bility of their tions made to

being taken. On these grounds the preparamaintain New- York were as judicious as the

While you, in the interim, let slip the very opportunity which seemed to put conquest in your power. Through the whole of that campaign you had nearly double the forces which general Washington immediately commanded. The principal plan at that time, on our part, was to wear away the season with as little loss as possible, and to raise the army for the next year. Long-Island, NewYork, forts Washington and Lee were not defended after your superior force was known, under any expectation of their being finally maintained, but as a range of outworks, in the attacking of which your time might be wasted, your
retreat afterwards.

numbers reduced, and your vanity amused by possessing them on our retreat. It was intended to have withdrawn the garrison from fort Washington after it had answered the former of those purposes, but the fate of that day put a prize nto your hands without much honor to yourselves.

THE

CBI8I8.

6A
;

had

Your progress through the Jerseys was accidental you it not even in contemplation, or you would not have

sent a principal part of your forces to Rhode-Isand before hand. The utmost hope of America in the year 1776, reached no higher than that she might not then be conquered. She had no expectation of defeating you in that campaign. Even the most cowardly tory allowed, that, could she withstand the shock of that summer her indepenYou had then greatly the dence would be past a doubt. advantage of her. You were formidable. Your military knowledge was supposed to be complete. Your fleets and forces arrived without an accident. You had neither experience nor reinforcements to wait for. You Lad nothing to do but to begin, and your chance lay in the first vigorous
onset.

America was young and unskilled. She was obliged to and practice and hath, by mere dint of perseverance, maintained her cause, and brought the enemy to a condition, in which she is now capable of meeting him on any grounds. It is remarkable that in the campaign of 1776, you gained no more, notwithstanding your great force, than what was given you by consent of evacuation, except fort Washington while every advantage obtained by us was by fair and hard fighting. The defeat of Sir Peter Parker was comThe conquest of the Hessians at Trenton, by the replete. mains of a retreating army, which but a few days before you affected to despise, is an instance of their heroic perseverance very seldom to be met with. And the victory over the British troops at Princeton, by a harassed and weary party, who had been engaged the day before and marched
trust her defence ^to time
;
;

all night without refreshment, is attended with such a scene of circumstances and superiority of generalship, as will ever give it a place in the first rank in the history of great ac-

tions.

When I look back on the gloomy days of last winter, and see America suspended by a thread, I feel a triumph of joy at the recollection of her delivery, and -a reverence for the characters which snatched her from destruction. To doubt now would be a species of infidelity, and to forget the instruments which saved us then would be ingratitude. The close of that campaign left us with the spirit of conThe northern districts were relieved by the querors. The army undei retreat of general Carleton over the lakes.

64

THE

CRISIS.

your command were hunted back and had their bounds preThe continent began to feel its military importscribed. ance, and the winter passed pleasantly away in preparations for the next campaign. However confident you might be on your first arrival, the result of the year 1776 gave you some idea of the difficulty,
if

not impossibility of conquest.

To

this reason I ascribe

your delay in opening the campaign of 1777. The face of matters, on the close of the former year, gave you no encouragement to pursue a discretionary war as soon as the spring admitted the taking the field ; tor though conquest, ia that case, would have given you a double portion of fame,
yet the experiment was too hazardous. The ministry, had you failed, would have shifted the whole blame upon you, charged you with having acted without orders, and con demned at once both your plan and execution. To avoid the misfortunes, which might have involved you and your money accounts in perplexity and suspicion, you prudently waited the arrival of a plan of operations from England, which was that you should proceed to Philadelphia by way of the Chesapeake, and that Burgoyne, after reducing Ticonderoga, should take his rout by Albany, and, if
necessary, join you. The splendid laurels of the last campaign have flourished in the north. In that quarter America nas surprised the world, and laid the foundation of this year's glory. The conquest of Ticonderoga, (if it may be called a conquest) Even the has, like all your other victories, led on to ruin. provisions taken in that fortress (which by general Burgoyne's return was sufficient in bread and flour for nearly 5000 men for ten weeks, and in beef and pork for the same number of men for one month) served only to hasten his overthrow, by enabling him to proceed to Saratoga, the short review of the operations place of his destruction. of the last campaign will show the condition of affairs on

ooth sides.
phia.

taken Ticonderoga and marched into PhiladelThese are all the events which the year hath produced on your part. trifling campaign indeed, compared with the expenses of England and the conquest of the conOn the other side, a considerable part of vour tinent. northern force has been routed by the New- York militia under general Herkerner. Fort Stanwix has bravely survived a compound attack of soldiers and savages, and the

You have

THE

CRISIS

05

besiegers have fled. The battle of Bennington has put a thousand prisoners into our hands, with all their arms, stores, General Burgoyne, in two engageartillery and baggage. ments, has been defeated himself, his army, and all that were his and theirs are now ours. Ticonderoga and Independence are retaken, and not the shadow of an enemy remains in all the northern districts. At this instant we have upwards of eleven thousand prisoners, between sixty and seventy pieces of brass ordnance, besides small arms,
;

tents, stores, <xc.

In order to

know

the real value of those advantages,

we

must reverse the scene, and suppose general Gates and the force he commanded, to be at your mercy as prisoners, and general Burgoyne, with his army of soldiers and savages, to be already jojned to you in Pennsylvania. So dismal a It has all the tracings picture can scarcely be looked at. and colorings of horror and despair and excites the most
;

swelling emotions of gratitude, by exhibiting the miseries we are so graciously preserved from. I admire the distribution of laurels around the continent. South-Carolina has had It is the earnest of future union. her day of and of fame ; and the other southern sufferings states have exerted themselves in proportion to the force that invaded or insulted them. Towards the close of the campaign, in 1776, these middle states were called upon and did their duty nobly. They were witnesses to the almost expiring flame of human freedom. It was the close struggle of life and death. The line of invisible division : and on which, the unabated fortitude of a Washington prevailed, and saved the spark that has since blazed in the north with unrivalled lustre.

Let me ask, sir, what great exploits have you performed ? Through all the variety of changes and opportunities which the war has produced, I know no one action of yours that can be styled masterly. You have moved in and out, backwards and forwards, round and round, as if valor consisted a military jig. The history and figure of your movements would be truly ridiculous could they be justly delineated. They resemble the labours of a puppy pursuing his tail the end is still at the same distance, and all the turnings round must be done over again. The first appearance of affairs of Ticonderoga wore such an unpromising aspect, that it was necessary, in July, to
;

detach a part of the forces to the support of that quarter,

66

THE

CRISIS.

which were otherwise destined or intended to act against you and this, perhaps, has been the means of postponing your downfall to another campaign. The destruction of one army at a time is work enough. We know, sir, what we are about, what we have to do, and how to do it. Your progress from the Chesapeake, was marked by no Your principal aim capital stroke of policy or heroism. was to get general Washington between the Delaware and In Schuylkill, and between Philadelphia and your army. that situation, with a river on each side of his flanks, .which united about five miles below the city, and your army above him, you could have intercepted his reinforcements and supplies, cut off all his communications with the country, and, if necessary, have despatched assistance to open a passage for general Burgoyne. This scheme was too visible to succeed: for had general Washington suffered you to command the open country above him, I think it a very reasonable conjecture that the conquest of Burgoyne would not have taken place, because you could, in that case, have relieved him. It was therefore necessary, while that important victory was in suspense, to trepan you into a situation in which you could only be on the defensive, without the power of affording him assistanse. The manoeuvre had its effect, and Burgoyne was conquered. There has been something unmilitary and passive in you from the time of your passing the Schuylkill and getting
;

possession of Philadelphia, to the close of the campaign. You mistook a trap for a conquest, the probability of which had been made known to Europe, and the edge of your

triumph taken

off by your own information long before. Having got you into this situation, a scheme for a general attack upon you at Germantown was carried into execution on the 4th of October, and though the success was not equal

to the excellence of the plan, yet the genius of America to be on approaching to superiority. The was your best friend, for a fog hunted enemy. Some weeks after

the attempting it proved the rise, and her power obscurity of the morning is always favorable to a this you likewise planned an attack on general Washington, while at WhHemarsh. You marched out with infinite parade, but on finding him preparing to attack you next morning, you prudently turned about, and retreated to Philadelphia with all the precipitation of a man conquered in imagination. Immediately after the battle of Germantown, the pro

THE

CRISIS.

67

gave a new policy to affairs Pennsylvania, and it was judged most consistent with tlie general safety of America, to wait the issue of the northern campaign. Slow and sure is sound work. The news of that victory arrived in our camp on the 18th of October, and no sooner did the shout of joy, and the report of the thirteen cannon reach your ears, than you resolved upon a retreat, and the next day, that is, the 19th,you withdrew your drooping army into Philadelphia. This movement was evidently dictated by fear ; and carried with it a positive confession that you dreaded a second attack. It was
bability of Burgoyne's defeat
in

hiding yourself among women and children, and sleeping away the choicest part of a campaign in expensive inAn army in a city can never be a conquering activity. The situation admits only of defence. It is mere army. and every military power in Europe will conclude shelter
:

you to be eventually defeated. The time when you made this retreat was the very time vou ought to have fought a battle, in order to put yoursell in a condition of recovering in Pennsylvania what you had lost in Saratoga. And the reason wny you did not, must be either prudence or cowardice the former supposes your I draw no inability, and the latter needs no explanation. conclusions, sir, but such as are naturally deduced from known and visible facts, and such as will always have a being while the facts which produced them remain un;

altered.

After this retreat a new difficulty arose which exhibited the power of Britain in a very contemptible light ; which was the attack and defence of Mud-Island. For several weeks did that little unfinished fortress stand out against all the attempts of admiral and general Howe. It was the fable of Bender realized on the Delaware. Scheme after scheme,

and force upon force were tried and defeated. The garrison, with scarce any thing to cover them but their bravery, sur vived in the midst of mud, shot and shells, and were at last obliged to give it up more to the powers of time and gunpowder than to military superiority of the besiegers.

It is my sincere opinion tliat matters are in a much worse condition with you than what is generally known. Your master's speech at the opening of parliament, is like a It shows him to be coming a little to soliloquy on ill luck. his reason, for sense of pain is the first symptom of recovery His condition is deplorable. II in profound stupefaction.

68

THE

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is obliged to submit to all the insults of France and Spain, without daring to know or resent them ; and thankful for the most trivial evasions to the most humble remonstrances. The time was when he could not deign an answer to a petition from America, and the time now is when he dare not give an answer to an affront from France. The capture

of Burgoyne's

army

Europe as in America.

will sink his consequence as much in In his speech he expresses his suspi-

cions at the warlike preparations of France and Spain, and as he has only the one army which you command to support his character in the world with, it remains very uncertain when, or in what quarter it will be most wanted, or can be best employed and this will partly account for the great care you take to keep it from action and attacks, for should Burgoyne's fate be yours, which it probably will, England may take her endless farewell not only of all America but
;

upon itself with the eagerness and the ignorance with which Britain has done. Bent upon the ruin of a young and unoffending country, she has drawn the sword that has wounded herself to the heart, and in the agony of her resentment has applied a poison for a cure. Her conduct towards America is a compound of rage and lunacy ; she aims at the government of it, yet preserves neither dignity nor character in her methods to obtain it. Were government a mere manufacture or article of commerce, immaterial by whom it should be made or sold, we might as well employ her as another, but when we consider it as the fountain from whence the general manners and morality of a country take their rise, tnat the persons intrusted with the execution thereof are by their serious example and authority to support these principles, how abominably absurd is the idea of being hereafter governed by a set of men who have been guilty of forgery, perjury, treachery, theft, and every species of villany which the lowest wretches on earth could practise or invent. What greater public curse can befal any country than to be under such authority, and what greater blessing than to be delivered therefrom. The soul of any man of sentiment would rise in brave rebellion against them, and spurn them from the earth.

of all the West-Indies. Never did a nation invite destruction

The malignant and venomous tempered general Yaughan has amused his savage fancy in burning the whole town of Kingston, in York government, and the late governor of that state, Mr. Tyron, in his letter to general Parsons, has

TUB

CRISIS.

',.)

endeavoured to justify it, and declared his wish to burn the houses of every committeeman in the country. Such a confession from one who was once intrusted witn the powers of But it is is a reproach to the character. civil government, the wish and the declaration of a man, whom anguish and disappointment have driven to despair, and who is daily decaying into the grave with constitutional rottenness. There is not in the compass of language a sufficiency of words to express the baseness of your king, his ministry and his army. They have refined upon villany till it wants a name. To the fiercer vices of former ages they have added the dregs and scummings of the most finished rascality, and are so completely sunk in serpentine deceit, that there is not left among them one generous enemy. From such men and such masters, may the gracious hand And though the sufferings of Heaven preserve America she now enaures are heavy, and severe, are like straws they in the wind compared to the weight of evils she would feel under the government of your king, and his pensioned
!

parliament.

There is something in meanness which excites a species of resentment that never subsides, and something in cruelty which stirs up the heart to the highest agony of human hatred Britain hath filled up both these characters till no addition can be made, and hath not reputation left with us to obtain credit for the slightest promise. The will of God hath parted us, and the deed is registered for eternity. When she shall be a spot scarcely visible among the nations, America shall flourish the favorite of heaven, and the friend
;

of mankind. For the domestic happiness of Britain and the peace of the world, I wish she had not a foot of land but what is circumscribed within her own island. Extent of dominion lias been her ruin, and instead of civilizing others has brutalized herself. Her late reduction of India, under Olive and his successors, was not so properly a conquest as an extermi nation of mankind. She is the only power who could practise the prodigal barbarity of tying men to the mouths of loaded cannon and blowing them away. It happens that general Burgoyne, who made the report of that horrid "ransaction, in the house of commons, is now a prisoner with iis, and though an enemy, I can appeal to him for the truth of it, being confident that he neither can nor will deny it Yot Clivc received the approbation of the last parliament.

70

THE

CRISIS.

take a survey of mankind, we cannot heljD the wretch, who, to the unavoidable misfortunes oi cursing One would nature, shall wilfully add the calamities of war. think there were evils enough in the world without studying to increase them, and that life is sufficiently short without shaking the sand that measures it. The histories of Alexander, and Charles of Sweden, are the histories of human devils ; a good man cannot think of their actions without abhorrence, nor of their deaths without rejoicing. To see the bounties of heaven destroyed, the beautiful face of nature laid waste, and the choicest works of creation and art tumbled into ruin, would fetch a curse from the soul of piety itself. But in this country the aggravation is heightened by a new combination of affecting circumstances. America wa 5 young, and, compared with other countries, was virtuous. _^one but a Herod of uncommon malice would have made V.T upon infancy and innocence: and none but a people of the iiiost finished fortitude, dared under those circumstances, have resisted the tyranny. The natives, or their ancestors, had fled from the former oppressions of England, and with the industry of bees had changed a wilderness into a habitable world. To Britain they were indebted for nothing. The country was the gift of heaven, and God alone is their Lord and Sovereign. The time, sir, will come when you, in a melancholy houi, shall reckon up your miseries by your murders in America. The vision Life, with you, begins to wear a clouded aspect. of pleasurable delusion is wearing away, and changing to the barren wild of age and sorrow. The poor reflection of having served your king will yield you no consolation in your parting moments. He will crumble to the same undistinguished ashes with yourself, and have sins enough of his own to answer for. It is not the farcial benedictions of a bishop, nor the cringing hypocrisy of a court of chaplains, nor the formality of an act of parliament, that can change guilt into innocence, or make the punishment one pang the
*

When we

less. You may, perhaps, be unwilling to be serious, but this destruction of the goo.ds of Providence, this havoc of the human race, and this sowing the world with mischief, must be accounted for to him who made and governs it. To us they are only present sufferings, but to him they are deep

rebellions. If there is a sin superior to every other, it is that of wilful /% f and offensive wa"r. Most other sins are circumscribed withiu

THE

CRISIS.

71

narrow limits, that is, the power of one man cannot give them a very general extension, and many kinds of sins have only a mental existence from which no infection arises but he who is the author of a war, lets loose the whole contagion of hell, and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. W^e leave it to England and Indians to boast of these honors we feel no thirst for such savage glory a nobler fame, a purer spirit animates America. She has taken up the sword of virtuous defence she has bravely put herself between Tyranny and Freedom, between a curse and a blessing, determined to expel the one and protect the other. It is the object only of war mat makes it honourable. Aid if there was ever a just war since the world began, it She invaded no is this in which America is now engaged. land of yours. She hired no mercenaries to burn your She towns, nor Indians to massacre their inhabitants. wanted nothing from you, and was indebted for nothing to you and thus circumstanced, her defence is honorable and
; ;
;

herposterity

is

certain.

not on the justice only, but likewise on the importance of this cause that I ground my seeming enthusiThe vast extension of astical confidence of our success. America makes her of too much value in the scale of Providence, to be cast, like a pearl before swine, at the feet of an European island and of much less consequence would it be that Britain were sunk in the sea than that America should miscarry. There has been such a chain of extraordinary events in the discovery of this country at first, in the peopling and planting it afterwards, in the rearing and nursing it to its present state, and in the protection of it through the present war, that no man can doubt, but Providence hath some nobler end to accomplish, than the gratification of the petty elector of Hanover, or the ignorant and insignificant ting of Britain. As the blood of the martyrs hath been the seed of ^he Christian church, so the political persecutions of England will and has already enriched America with industry, experience, union, and importance. Before the present era she was a mere cilaos of uncemented colonies, individually exposed to the ravages of the Indians and the invasion oi any power that Britain should be at war with. She had nothing that she could call her own. Her felicity depended upon accident. The convulsions of Europe might have thrown her from one conqueror to another, till she nad boon

Yet

it

is

72
the slave of
all,

THE

CRISIS.

and ruined by every one for until she had become her own master, there was no spirit enough knowing to which master she should belong. That period, thank God, is past, and she is no longer the dependant, disunited colonies of Britain, but the Independent and United States of America, knowing no master but heaven and her" " self. You, or your king, may call this delusion," rebelor what name you please. To us it is perfectly lion," indifferent. The issue will determine the character, and
;

to

time will give

as lasting as his own. tried the fate of three campaigns, and can fully declare to England, that nothing is to be got on your part, but blows and broken bones, and nothing on hers but waste of trade and credit, and an increase of poverty and taxes. You are now only where you might have been
it

name

You have now,

sir,

two years ago, without the loss of a single ship, and yet not a step more forward towards the conquest of the continent ; " an because, as I have already hinted, army in a city can never be a conquering army." The full amount of your losses, since the beginning of the war, exceeds twenty thousand men, besides millions of treasure, for which you
in exchange. Our expenses, though great, are circulated within ourselves. Yours is a direct sinking of money, and that from both ends at once ; first, in hiring troops out of the nation, and in paying them afterwards, because the money in neither case can return to Britain. are already in possession of the prize, you only in pursuit of it. To us it is a real treasure, to you it would be

have nothing

We

only an empty triumph. Our expenses will repay themselves with tenfold interest, while yours entail upon you
everlasting poverty. Take a review, sir, of the ground which you have gone You over, and let it teach you policy, if it cannot honesty. stand but on a very tottering foundation. change of the ministry in England may probably bring your measures into question, and your head to the block. Olive, with all his successes, had some difficulty in escaping, and youre being all a war of losses, will afford you less pretensions,

and your enemies more grounds for impeachment. Go home, sir, and endeavour to save the remains of your ruined country, by a just representation of the madness of A few moments, well applied, may yet her measures. I am not one of preserve her from political destruction. & flame, because I am those who wish to see Euro IT
i.-i

THE

CRISIS.

78

persuaded that such an event will not shorten the war. The rupture, at present, is confined between the two powers of finds that she cannot America and England.
conquer America, and America has no wish to conquer what you can never obtain, England. You are fighting for and we are defending what we never mean to part with. few words, therefore, settle the bargain. Let England mind
business and we will mind ours. Govern yourand we will govern ourselves. You may then trade where you please unmolested by us, and we will trade where we please unmolested by you and such articles as we can purchase of each other better than elsewhere may be mutually done. If it were possible that you could carry on the war for twenty years you must still come to this point at last, or worse, and the sooner you think of it the better i*

England

her

own

selves,

will

be for you.
official

My
insults

situation enables

me

to

know

the repeated

which Britain is obliged to put up with from foreign powers, and the wretched shifts that she is driven to, to gloss them over. Her reduced strength and exhausted coffers in a three years' war with America, hath given a powerful She is not now a match superiority to France and Spain. for them. But if neither councils can prevail on her to think, nor sufferings awaken her to reason, she must e'en go on, till the honour of England becomes a proverb of contempt, and Europe dub her the Land of Fools. I am, Sir, with every wish for an honourable peace, Your friend, enemy, and countryman, (JOMMON SENSE.

TO THE INHABITANTS OF AMERICA.


the pleasure with which a man exchanges baa my leave of Sir William ana return company It is now nearly three years since the tyranny of to you. Britain received its first repulse by the arms of America. perio I which has given birth to a new world, and erected a monument to the folly of the old. I cannot help being sometimes surprised at the complimentary references which I have seen and heard made to ancient histories and transactions. The wisdom, civil governments, and sense of honor of the states of Greece and Rome, are frequently held up as objects of excellence and

WITH

all

for good, I take

imitation.

Mankind have

lived to very little purpose,

if,

at

THE

CRISIS.

this period of the world, they must go two or three thousand do ^reat injustice years back for lessons and examples. to ourselves by placing them in such a superior line. have no just authority for it, neither can we tell why it isthat we should suppose ourselves inferior. Could the mist of antiquity be cleared away, and men and things be viewed as they really were, it is more than probable that they would admire us, rather than we them. America has surmounted a greater variety and combination of difficulties, than, I believe, ever fell to the share of any one people, in the same space of time, and has replenished the world with more useful knowledge and sounder maxims of civil government than were ever produced in any age before. Had it not been for America, there had been no such thing as freedom left throughout the whole universe. England hath lost hers in a long chain of right reasoning from wrong principles, and it is from this country, now, that she must learn the resolution to redress herself, and the wisdom

We

We

how

to accomplish

it.

of the of liberty but not the principle, K>r at the time that spirit they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind. But this distinguished era is blotted by no one misanthropical vice. In short, if the principle on which the cause is founded, the universal blessings that are to arise from it, the difficulties that accompanied it, the wisdom with which it has been debated, the fortitude by which it has been supported, the strength of the power which we had to oppose, and the condition in which we undertook it, be all taken in one view, we may justly style it the most virtuous and illustrious revolution that ever graced the history of mankind. good opinion of ourselves is exceedingly necessary in private life, but absolutely necessary in public life, and of the utmost importance in supporting national character. I have no notion of yielding the palm of the United 3tates to have any Grecians or Romans that were ever born. equalled the bravest in times of danger, and excelled the wisest *in construction of civil governments. From this agreeable eminence let us take a review of present affairs. The spirit of corruption is so inseparably interwoven with British politics, that their ministry suppose all mankind are governed by the same motives. They have no idea of a people submitting even to temporary inconve-

The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed

We

THE

CRISIS.

75

nience from an attachment to rights and privileges. Theii plans of business are calculated try the hour and/ar the hour, and are uniform in nothing but the corruption which gives them birth. They never had, neither have they at this time, any regular plan for the conquest of America by arms. They known not now to go about it, neither have they power to The thing is not within the comeffect it if they did know. of human practicability, for America is too extensive pass But she either to be fully conquered or passively defended. may be actively defended by defeating or making prisoners of the army that invades her. And mis is the only system of defence that can be effectual in a large country. There is something in a war carried on by invasion which makes it differ in circumstances from any other mode of war, because he who conducts it cannot tell whether the ground he gains be for him, or against him, when he first f btains it. In the winter of 1776, general Howe marched with an air of victory through the Jerseys, the consequence of which was his defeat and general Burgoyne at Saratoga experienced the same fate from the same cause. The Spaniards, about two years ago, were defeated by the Algerines in the same manner, that is, their first triumphs became a trap in which they were totally routed. And whoever will attend to the circumstances and events of a war carried on by invasion, will find, that any invader, in order to be finally
;

conquered must first begin to conquer. I confess myself one of those who believe the loss of Philadelphia to be attended with more advantages than injuries.

The case stood thus The enemy imagined Philadelphia to be of more importance to us than it really was for we all know that it had long ceased to be a port not a cargo of goods had been brought into it for near a twelvemonth, nor any fixed manufactories, nor even ship-building, carried on in it yet as the enemy believed the conquest of it to be practicable, and to that belief added the absurd idea that the soul of all America was centred there, and would be
:

conquered there, it naturally follows that their possession of by not answering the end proposed, must break up the plans they had so foolishly gone upon, and either oblige them to form a new one, for which tneir present strength ig
it,

not sufficient, or to give over the attempt. never had so small an army to fight against, nor so fair an of final success as now. The death opportunity wound is already given. The day is ours if we follow it up

We

76

THE

CRISIS.

his situation, is within our reach, and by his reduced strength is within our power. The ministers of Britain may rage as they please, but our part is to conquer their armies. Let them wrangle and welcome, but let it not draw our attention from the one thing needful. Here y in this spot is our own business to be accomplished, our felicity secured. What we have now to do is as clear as light, and the way to do it is as straight as a line. It needs not to be commented upon, yet, in order to be perfectly understood I will put a case that cannot admit of a mistake. Had the armies under generals Howe and Burgoyne been united, and taken post at Germantown, and had the northern army under general Gates been joined to that under Washington, at Whitemarsh, the consequence would feueral ave been a general action ; and if in that action we had killed and taken the same number of officers and men, that is, between nine and ten thousand, with the same quantity of artillery, arms, stores, etc. as have been taken at the northward, and obliged general Howe with the remains of his army, that is, with the same number he now commands, to take shelter in Philadelphia, we should certainly have and thought ourselves the greatest heroes in the world as soon as the season permitted, have collected should, together all the force of the continent and laid siege to the
;

The enemy, by

a much greater force to besiege an enemy town than to defeat him in the field. The case now is just the same as if it had been produced by the means I nave here supposed. Between nine and ten thousand have been killed and taken, all their stores are in our possession, and Howe, in consequence of that victory, has thrown general for shelter into Philadelphia. He, or his trifling friend imself Galloway, may form what pretences they please, yet no just reason can be given for their going into winter quarters so
city, for it requires

in a

early as the 19th of October, but their apprehensions of a defeat if they continued out, or their conscious inability of keeping the field with safety. I see no advantage which can arise to America by hunting the enemy from state to state. It is a triumph without a prize, and wholly unworthy the attention of a people determined to conquer. Neither can any state promise itself security while the enemy remains in a condition to transport themselves from one part of the continent to another. Howe, likewise, cannot conquer where we have no army to oppose, therefore any such removals in him are mean and cowardly, and reduces Britain to a

THE

CRISIS.

77

common

pilferer.
;

If he retreats
stays,
if

be despised

if

he

and the country,

has his choice of evils and we of opportuniSaratoga. he moves early, it is not only a sign but a proof ties. that he expects no reinforcement, and nis delay will provo that he either waits for the arrival of a plan to go upon, or force to execute it, or both ; in which case our strength will increase more than his, therefore in any case we cannot be wrong if we do but proceed. The particular condition of Pennsylvania deserves the attention of all the other states. Her military strength must not be estimated by the number of inhabitants. Here are

He

from Philadelphia, he will he may be shut up ana starved out, he adyances into it, may become his

&

men

of all nations, characters, professions and interests. are the firmest whigs, surviving, like sparks in the ocean, unquenched and uncooled in the midst 01 discouragement and disaffection. Here are men losing their all with cheerfulness, and collecting fire and fortitude from the flames Here are others skulking in secret, of their own estates. many making a market of the times, and numbers who are changing to whig or tory with the circumstances of every

Here

day.

by mere dint of fortitude and perseverance that the of this state have been able to maintain so good a whigs countenance, and do even what they have done. 'We want help, and the sooner it can arrive the more effectual it will The invaded state, be it which it may, will always feel be. an additional burden upon its back, and be hard set to supit is

port its civil power witn sufficient authority and this dlfnculty will rise or fall, in proportion as the other states throw in their assistance to the common caase.
:

The enemy will most probably make many manoeuvres at of this campaign, to amuse and draw off the the opening attention of the several states from the one thing needful. "We may expect to hear of alarms and pretended expeditions to this place and that place, to the southward, the eastward, and the northward, all intended to prevent our forming into one formidable body. The less the enemy's strength is, the more subtleties of this kind will they make use of. Their existence depends upon it, because the force of America,

when
up.

swallow their present army our business to make short work of it, by bending our whole attention to this one principal point, for the instant that the main body under general Howe is
collected,
is

sufficient to

It is therefore

T8

THE

CRISIS.

defeated, all the inferior alarms throughout the continent, many shadows, will follow his downfall. The only way to finish a war with the least possible bloodshed, or perhaps without any, is to collect an army, against the power of which the enemy shall have no chance. By not doing this, we prolong the war, and double both the calamities and expenses of it. What a rich and happy country would America be, were she, by a vigorous exerHer tion, to reduce Howe as she has reduced Burgoyne. currency would rise to millions beyond its present value.
like so

Every man would be rich, and every man would have it in his power to be happy. And why not do these things ? What is there to hinder ? America is her own mistress, and can do what she pleases. If we had not at this time a man in the field, we could, nevertheless, raise an army in a few weeks sufficient to overwhelm all the force which general Howe at present commands. Vigor and determination will do any thing and every thing. We began the war with this kind of spirit, why not end it with the same ? Here, gentlemen, is the enemy. Here is the army. The interest, the happiness of all America, is centred in this half ruined spot. Come and help us. Here are laurels, come and share them. Here are Here are whigs tones, come and help us to expel them. that will make you welcome, and enemies that dread your
coming. The worst of all policy is that of doing things by halves. Penny wise and pound foolish, has been the ruin of thou-

sands. The present spring, if rightly improved, will free us from all troubles, and save us the expense of millions. We have now only one army to cope with. No opportunity can be fairer no prospect more promising. I shall conclude this paper with a few outlines of a plan, either for filling up the battalions with expedition, or for raising an additional force, for any limited time, on any sudden emergency. That in which every man is interested, is every man's duty to support. And any burden which falls equally on all men, and from which every man is to receive an equal benefit, is consistent with the most perfect ideas of liberty. I would wish to revive something of that virtuous ambition which first called America into the field. Then every man was eager to do his part, and perhaps the principal reason why we have in any degree fallen therefrom, is, because we did not set a right value by it at first, but left it to blaze
;

THE
out of

CRISIS.

79

itself, instead of regulating and preserving it by just proportions of rest and service. Suppose any state whose numbr of effective inhabitants was 80,000, should be required to furnish 3,200 men towards the defence of the continent on any sudden emergency. 1st, Let the whole number of effective inhabitants be divided into hundreds ; then if each of those hundreds turn out four men, the whole number of 3,200 will be had. 2d, Let the name of each hundred men be entered in a book, and let four dollars be collected from each man, with as much more as any of the gentlemen, whose abilities can afford it, shall please to throw in, which gifts likewise shall be entered against the names of the donors. 3d, Let the sums so collected be offered as a present, over and above the bounty of twenty dollars, to any four who may be inclined to propose themselves as volunteers: if more than four offer, the majority of the subscribers present if none offer, then four out of the shall determine which
:

nundred
the
sa.id

be taken bv lot, who shall be entitled to sums, and shall either go, or provide others that
shall

will, in the

space of
will

MX

days.

always happen, that in the space of ground on which an hundred men shall live, there will be always a number of persons who, by age and infirmity, are incapable of doing personal service, and as such persons are generally
4th,
it

As

possessed of the greatest part of the property in any country, their portion of service, therefore, will be to furnish each man with a blanket, which will make a regimental coat, and breeches, or clothes in lieu thereof, and another jacket, for a watch cloak, and two pair of shoes ; for however choice people may be of these things matters not in cases of this kind ; those who live always in houses can find many ways to keep themselves warm, but it is a shame and a sin to suffer a soldier in the field to want a blanket while there is one in the country. Should the clothing not be wanted, the superannuated 01 infirm persons possessing property, mav, in lieu thereof, throw in their money subscriptions towards increasing the bounty for though age will naturally exempt a person from personal service, it cannot exempt him from his share of the charge, because the men are raised for the defence of property and
;

liberty jointly.

There never not be raised.

was a scheme against which objections might But thi* alone is not a sufficient reason fur

50
rejection.

FHE

CRISIS.

line to judge truly upon, is to draw out the objections which can fairly be made, and place against them all the contrary qualities, conveniences and advantages, then by striking a balance you come at the true character of any scheme, principle or position. The most material advantages of the plan here proposed are, ease, expedition, and cheapness ; yet the men so raised get a much larger bounty than is any where at present given because all the expenses, extravagance, and consequent idleness of recruiting are saved or prevented. The country incurs no new debt nor interest thereon the whole matter being all settled at once and entirely done with. It is a subscription answering all the purposes of a tax, without either the charge or trouble of collecting. The men are ready for the field with the greatest possible expedition, because it becomes the duty of the inhabitants themselves, in every part of the country, to find their proportion of men, instead of leaving it to a recruiting sergeant, who, be he ever so industrious, cannot know always where to apply. I do not propose this as a regular digested plan, neither will the limits of this paper admit of any further remarks upon it. I believe it to be a hint capable of much improvement, and as such submit it to the public. COMMON SENSE. Lancaster, March 21, 1T78.

The only

and admit

all

KUMBEK VL
TO THE EAEL OF CARLISLE, GENERAL CLINTON, AND WIL LIAM EDEN, ESQ., BRITISH COMMISSIONERS, AT NEWYORK.
is a dignity in the warm passions of a whig, which never to be found in the cold malice of a tory. In the one nature is only heated in the other she is poisoned. The instant the former has it in his power to punish, he feels a disposition to forgive but the canine venom of the latter knows no relief but revenge. This general distinction will, I believe, apply in all cases, and suit as well the meridian of England as America. As I presume your last proclamation wTi undergo the

THERE

is

THE

OBI8I8.

81

remarks to only itrictures of other pens, I shall confine a few parts thereof. All that you have said might have been comprised in half the compass. It is tedious and

my

unmeaning, and only a repetition of your former follies, with here and there an offensive aggravation. Your cargo of pardons will have no market It is unfashionable to look at them even speculation is at an end. They have become a
perfect drug, and no way calculated for the climate. In the course of your proclamation you say, " The policy as well as the benevolence of Great Britain have thus far checked the extremes of war, when they tended to distress a still considered as their fellow subjects, and to desoEeople country shortly to become again a source of mutual ite a What you mean by " the benevolence of Great advantage." is to me inconceivable. To put a plain question ; Britain do you consider yourselves men or devils ? For until this point is settled, no determinate sense can be put upon the You have already equalled, and in many cases expression. excelled, the savages of either Indies ; and if you have yet a cruelty in store you must have imported it, unmixed with every human material, from the original warehouse of hell. To the interposition of Providence, and her blessings on our endeavours, and not to British benevolence, are we indebted for the short chain that limits your ravages. Remember you do not at this time, command a foot of land on the continent of America. Staten-Island, York-Island, a small part of Long-Island, and Rhode-Island, circumscribe your power ; and even those you hold at the expense of the West-Indies. To avoid a defeat, or prevent a desertion of your troops, you have taken up your quarters in holes and corners of inaccessible security ; and in order to conceal

what every one can perceive, you now endeavour to impose your weakness upon us for an act of mercy. If you think to succeed by such shadowy devices, you are but infants in the political world you have the A, B, C, of stratagem yet to learn., and are wholly ignorant ot the people you have to contend witn. Like men in a state of intoxication, you forget that the rest of the world have eyes, and that the same stupidity which conceals you from yourselves exposes yon to their satire and contempt. The Darap raph which I have quoted, stands as an introduction to the following " But when that country (America)
;
:

pro'eofte.*

the unnatural design, not only of estranging herself from us, but of mortgaging herself and her resources to

82

THE

OBISI8.

I consider you in this declaration, like madmen biting in the hour of death. It contains likewise a fraudulent meanness; for, in order to justify a barbarous conclusion, you have advanced a false position. The treaty we have formed with France is open, noble, and generous. It is true policy, founded on sound philosophy, and neither a surrender or

our enemies, the whole contest is changed and the question is how far Great Britain may, by every means in her power, destroy, or render useless, a connexion contrived for her ruin, and the aggrandizement of France. Under such circumstances, the Taws of self-preservation must direct the conduct of Britain, and if the British colonies are to become an accession to France, will direct her to render that accession of as little avail as possible to her enemy."
:

mortgage, as you would scandalously insinuate. I have seen every article, and speak from positive knowledge. In France, we have found an affectionate friend and faithful ally in Britain, we have found nothing but tyranny, cruelty,
;

and infidelity. But the happiness is, that the mischief you threaten, is not in your power to execute and if it were, the punishment would return upon you in a ten-fold degree. The humanity of America hath hitherto restrained her from acts of retaliation, and the affection she retains for many individuals in England, who have fed, clothed and comforted her prisoners, has, to the present day, warded off her resentBut even ment, and operated as a screen to the whole. these considerations must cease, when national objects interfere and oppose them. Repeated aggravations will provoke a retort, and policy justify the measure. We mean now to take you seriously up upon your own ground and principle, and as you do, so shall you be done by. You ought to know, gentlemen, that England and Scotland are far more exposed to incendiary desolation than America, in her present state, can possibly be. "We occupy a country, with but few towns, and whose riches consist in land and annual produce. The two last can suffer but little, and that only within a very limited compass. In Britain it is otherwise. Her wealth lies chiefly in cities and large towns, the depositories of manufactories and fleets of merchantmen. There is not a nobleman's country seat but may
;
'

by a single person. Your own may probably contribute to the proof in short, there is no evil which cannot be returned wnen you come to incendiary mischief.
be laid in ashes
:

w
.,

THE

CRISIS.

83

fir, as the
thai; affair

no discovery was ever made and the loss you would sustain by sucn an event, executed at a proper sea son, is infinitely greater than any you can inflict. The EastIndia house, and the bank, neither are, nor can be secure from this sort of destruction, and, as Dr. Price justly obIt serves, a fire at the latter, would bankrupt the nation. has never been the custom of France and England, when at war, to make those havocs on each other, because the ease with which they could retaliate, rendered it as impolitic as if each had destroyed his own.
;

1 he ships in the Thames, may certainly be as easily set on temporary bridge was a few years ago yet ol
;

But think not, gentlemen, that our distance secures you, can much easier accomplish or our invention fails us. talk the same such a point than any nation in Europe. dress in the same habit, and appear with the same language, can pass rrom one part of manners as yourselves. England to another unsuspected many of us are as well acquainted with the country as you are, and should you impolitically provoke us, you will most assuredly lament the effects of it. Mischiefs of this kind require no army to execute them. The means are obvious, and the opportunities nnguardable. I hold up a warning to your senses, if you have any left, and " to tne unhappy people likewise, whose affairs are committed to you."* I call not with the rancour of an enemy, but the earnestness of a friend, on the deluded people of England, lest, between your blunders and theirs, they sink beneath the evils contrived for us. " He who lives in a glass house," says a Spanish proverb, *' should never begin throwing stones. This, gentlemen, is exactly vour case, and you must be the most ignorant of mankind, or suppose us so, not to see on whicn side the balance of accounts will fall. There are many other modes of retaliation, which, for several reasons, I choose not to mention. But be assured of this, that the instant you put your threat into execution, a counter-blow will follow it. If you openly profess yourselves savages, it is high time we ihould treat you as such, and if nothing but distress can recover you to reason, to punish will become an office of

We

We

We

Charity.

While your *
* as ono

my service to
who

fleet lay last winter in the Delaware, I offered the Pennsylvania navy-board then at Trenton, would make a party with them, or any four or
*

General Clinton's letter to Congress.

84
five

THE

CBISIS.

gentlemen, on an expedition down the river to set fire and though it was not then accepted, nor the thing personally attempted, it is more than probable that your own folly will provoke a much more ruinous act. Say not when mischief is done, that you had not warning, and remember that we do not begin it, but mean to repay it. Thus much for your savage and impolitic threat. In another part of your proclamation you say, " But if the honors of a military life are become the object of the Americans, let them seek those honors under the banners of
to
it,

their rightful sovereign, and in fighting the battles of the united British empire, against our late mutual and natural the union of absurdity with madness enemies." Surely was never marked in more distinguishable lines than these. Your rightful sovereign, as you call him, may do well
!

enough
cities of

for you,

the

who dare not inquire into the humble capaman but we, who estimate persons and things
;

judgments to be so and unless it is your wish to see him eximposed upon posed, it ought to be your endeavour to keep him out of The less you have to say about him tne better. We sight. have done with him, and that ought to be answer enough. You have been often told so. Strange that the answer must be so often repeated. You go a begging with your king as with a brat, or with some unsaleable commodity you are tired of and though every body tells you no, no, still you keep hawking him about. But there is one that will have him in a little time, and as we have no inclination to disappoint you of a customer, we bid nothing for him. The impertinent folly of the paragraph that I have just quoted, deserves no other notice than to be laughed at and thrown by, but the principle on which it is founded is de-

by

their real worth, cannot suffer our


;

testable.

We

are invited to submit to a

man who

has

attempted by every cruelty to destroy us, and to join him in making war against France, who is already at war against him for our support. Can Bedlam, in concert with Lucifer, form a more mad and devilish request ? Were it possible a people could sink would deserve to be swept from the into such apostacy they
earth like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. The proposition is an universal affront to the rank which man holds in the creation, and an indignity to him who placed him there. It supposes him made up without a spark of honor, and under no obligation to God or man.

THE

CRISIS.

What sort of men or Christians must you suppose the A-inericans to be, who, after seeing their most humble
petitions insultingly rejected ; the most grievous laws passed and undeclared war let to distress them in every quarter ; loose upon them, and Indians and negroes invited to the slaughter ; who, after seeing their kinsmen murdered, their fellow citizens starved to death in prisons, and their houses. and property destroyed and burned ; who, after the most

serious appeals to heaven ; the most solemn abjuration by oath of all government connected with you, and the most heart-felt pledges and protestations of faith to each other and who, after soliciting the friendship, and entering into . alliances with other nations, should at last break through al1 these obligations, civil and divine, by complying with your horrid ana infernal proposal ? Ought we ever after to be considered as a part of the human race ? Or ought we not rather to be blotted from the society of mankind, and become a spectacle of misery to the world ? But there is something in corruption, which, like a jaundiced eye, transfere the colour of itself to the object it looks upon, and see? every thing stained and impure ; for unless you were capable of such conduct yourselves, you would never have supposed such a character hi us. The offer fixes your inIt exhibits you as a nation without faith; with famy. whom oaths and treaties are considered as trifles, and the breaking of them as the breaking of a bubble. Regard to decency, or to rank, might have taught you better ; or pride inspired you, though virtue could not. There is not left a step in the degradation of character to which you can now descend ; you aave put your foot on the ground floor, and the key 01 the dungeon is turned upon you.

That the invitation may want nothing of being a complete monster, you have thought proper to finish it with an assertion which has no foundation, either in fact or philosophy and as Mr. Ferguson, your secretary, is a man of letters, and has made civil society his study, and published a treatise on that subject, I address this part to him. In the close of the paragraph which I last quoted, France " " natural is styled the enemy of England, and by way of " the late lugging us into some strange idea, sne is styled mutual and natural enemy" of both countries. I deny that she ever was a natural enemy of either; and that there
;

does not exist in nature such a principle. The expression is an unmeaning barbarism, and wholly unphilosophicnl. when

36
applied to beings of the same species, let their station in the creation be what it may. have a perfect idea of a natural enemy when we think of the devil, because the enmity is perpetual, unalterable, and unabateable. It admits neither of peace, truce, or treaty ; consequently the warfare is eternal, and therefore it is natural. But man with man cannot arrange in the same opposition. Their quarrels are accidental and equivocally created. They become friends or enemies as the change of temper, or the cast of interest inclines them. The Creator of man did not constitute them the natural enemy of each other. He has not made any one order of beings so. Even wolves may quarrel, If any two nations are so, then still they herd together. must all nations be so, otherwise it is not nature but custom, and the offence frequently originates with the accuser. England is as truly the natural enemy of France, as France is of England, and perhaps more so. Separated from the rest of Europe, she has contracted an unsocial habit of manners, and imagines in others the jealousy she creates in herself. Never long satisfied with peace, she supposes the discontent universal, and buoyed up with her own importance, conceives herself to be the object pointed at. The expression has been often used, and always with a fraudulent design ; for when the idea of a natural enemy is conceived, it prevents all other inquiries, and the real cause of the quarrel is hidden in the universality of the conceit. Men start at the notion of a natural enemy, and ask no other question. The cry obtains credit like the alarm of a mad dog, and is one of those kind of tricks, which, by operating on the common passions, secures their interest through their folly. But we, sir, are not to be thus imposed upon. "We live in a large world, and have extended our ideas beyond the limits and prejudices of an island. hold out the right hand of friendship to all the universe, and we conceive that there is a sociality in the manners of France, which is much better disposed to peace and negociation than that of England, and until the latter becomes more civilized, she cannot expect to live long at peace with any power. Her common language is vulgar and offensive, and children with their milk suck " The arm of Britain in the rudiments of insult The Britain that shakes the earth to its mighty arm of Britain centre and its poles The scourge of France The terror of the world That governs with a nod, and pours down vengeance like a God." This language neither makes a

We

We

THE
nation great or little
;

CRISIS.

87

and has a tendency

to

but it shows a savageness of manners, keep national animosity alive. The

entertainments of the stage are calculated to the same end, and almost every public exhibition is tinctured with insult. Yet England is always in dread of France. Terrified at the apprehension of an invasion. Suspicious of being outwitted in a treaty, and privately cringing though she is publicly Let her, therefore, reform her manners and do offending. and she will find the idea of a natural enemy, to be justice, only a phantom of her own imagination. Little did I think, at this period of the war, to see a proclamation which could promise you no one useful purpose whatever, and tend only to expose you. One would tnink
that you were just awakened from a four years' dream, and of what had passed in the interval. Is this a time to be offering pardons, or renewing the long forgotten subjects of charters and taxation ? Is it worth your while, after every force has failed you, to retreat under the shelter of argument and persuasion ? Or can you think that we, with nearly half your army prisoners, and in alliance with France, are to be begged or threatened into submission by a piece of paper ? But as commissioners at a hundred pounds sterling a week each, you conceive yourselves bound to do something, and the genius of ill fortune told you, that

knew nothing

you must write. For my own


several months.

have not put pen to paper these Convinced of our superiority by the issue of every campaign, I was inclined to hope, that that which all the rest of the world now see, would become visible to you, and therefore felt unwilling to ruffle your temper by There have fretting you with repetitions and discoveries. been intervals of hesitation in your conduct, from which it seemed a pity to disturb you, and a charity to leave you to You have often stopped, as if you intended to yourselves. think, but your thoughts have ever been too early or too
part, I
late.

There was a time when Britain disdained to answer, >r even hear a petition from America. That time is past, and she in her turn is petitioning our acceptance. We now stand on higher ground, and offer her peace and the time will come when she perhaps in vain, will ask it from us. The latter case is as probable as the former ever was. She cannot refuse to acknowledge our independence with greater obstinacy than she before refused to repeal her laws and if
; ;

88

THE

CRISIS

America alone could bring her to the one, united with France she will reduce her to the other. There is something whenin obstinacy which differs from every other passion ever it fails it never recovers, but either breaks like iron, or crumbles sulkily away like a fractured arch. Most other passions have their periods of fatigue and rest their sufferings and their cure but obstinacy has no resource, and the first wound is mortal. You have already begun to give it up, and you will, from the natural construction of the vice, find yourselves both obliged and inclined to do so. If you look back you see nothing but loss and disgrace. If you look forward the same scene continues, and the close You may plan and execute little is an impenetrable gloom. mischiefs,- but are they worth the expense they cost you, or will such partial evils have any effect on the general cause ? Your expedition to Egg-Harbour, will be felt at a distance like an attack upon a hen-roost, and expose you in Europe, with a sort of childish phrenzy. Is it worth while to keep an army to protect you in writing proclamations, or to get once a year into winter-quarters ? Possessing yourselves of towns is not conquest, but convenience, and in which you will one day or other be trepanned. Your retreat from Philadelphia, was only a timely escape, and your next expedition may be less fortunate.
; ; ;

would puzzle all the politicians in the universe to conwhat you stay for, or why you should have staid so You are prosecuting a war in which you confess you long. have neither object nor hope, and that conquest, could it be in the mean while effected, would not repay the charges the rest of your affairs are running to ruin, and a European war kindling against you. In such a situation, there is
It

ceive

neither doubt nor difficulty ; the first rudiments of reason will determine the choice, for if peace can be procured with more advantages than even a conquest can be obtained, he must be an idiot indeed that hesitates. But you are probably buoyed up by a set of wretched mortals, who, having deceived themselves, are cringing, with the duplicity of a spaniel, for a little temporary bread. Those men will tell you just what you please. It is their interest to amuse, in order to lengthen out their protection. They study to keep you amongst them for that very purpose : and in proportion as you disregard their advice, and grow callous to their complaints, they will stretch into improbaCharacters like bility, and season their flattery the higher.

THE

CRISIS.

89

these, are to be found in every country, will despise them.


Philadelphia, Oct. 20, 1778.

and every country

COMMON

SENSE.

NUMBER
THERE are stages amuse is cruel, but

VIL

TO THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND.


in the business of serious life in which to to deceive is to destroy ; and it is of little

consequence, in the conclusion, whether men deceive themselves, or submit, by a kind of mutual consent, to the That England has long been impositions of each other. under the influence of delusion or mistake, needs no other proof than the unexpected and wretched situation that she and so powerful has been the influence, is now involved in that no provision was ever made or thought of against the misfortune, because the possibility of its happening was never conceived. The general and successful resistance of America, the conquest of Burgoyne, and a war in France, were treated in parliament as the dreams of a discontented opposition, or a distempered imagination. They were beheld as objects of a serious thought, and the bare intimation of unworthy them afforded the ministry a triumph of laughter. Short For every thing wnich has been predicted triumph indeed has happened, and all that was promised has failed. long series of politics so remarkably distinguished by a succession of misfortunes, without one alleviating turn, must
:
!

have something in it systematically wrong. It is awaken the most credulous into suspicion, and the most obstinate into thought. Either the means in your power are insufficient, or the measures ill planned either the execution has been bad, or the thing attempted impracticable or, to speak more emphatically, either you are not able or heaven is not willing. For, why is it that you have not conquered ns ? Who, or what has prevented you ? You have had every opportunity that you could desire, and succeeded to your utmost wish in every preparatory means.
certainly
sufficient to
;
;

90

THE
fleets

CKIBIS.

in America without au misfortune hath intervened. No foreign nation hath interfered until the time which you had

Your

and armies have arrived

accident.

No uncommon
was

allotted for victory

past.

The

opposition, either in or

out of parliament, neither disconcerted your measures, retarded or diminished your force. They only foretold your fate. Every ministerial scheme was carried with as high a hand as if tne whole nation had been unanimous. Every thing wanted was asked for, and every thing asked for was
granted. greater force was not within the compass of your abilities to send, and the time you sent it was of all others the most favorable. You were then at rest with the whole world beside. You had the range of every court in Europe uncontradicted by us. You amused us with a tale of the commissioners of peace, and under that disguise collected a

numerous army and came almost unexpectedly upon us. The force was much greater than we looked for and that which we had to oppose it with, was unequal in numbers, badly armed, and poorly disciplined beside which, it was embodied only for a short time, and expired within a few months after your arrival. We had governments to form measures to concert an army to train, and every necessary Our non-importation scheme article to import or to create. had exhausted our stores, and your command by sea intercepted our supplies. "We were a people unknown, and unconnected with the political world, and strangers to the Could you possibly wish for disposition of foreign powers. a more favourable conjunction of circumstances ? Yet all these have happened and passed 'away, and, as it were, left you with a laugh. They are likewise events of such an original nativity as can never happen again, unless a new world should arise from the ocean. If any thing can be a lesson to presumption, surely the Had circumstances of this war will have their effect. Britain been defeated by any European power, her pride would have drawn consolation from the importance 01 her
; ; ;

conquerors ; but in the present case, she is excelled by those that she affected to despise, and her own opinions retorting upon herself, become an aggravation of her disgrace. Mis-

fortune and experience are lost upon mankind, when they Evilu, like produce neither reflection nor reformation. poisons, have their uses, and there are diseases which no other remedy can reach. It hat* been the crime and folly

THE
Df

CRISIS.

91

whole world created for her diversion. Her politics, instead of civilizing, has tended to brutalize mankind, and under the " Defender of the Faith," she ha& vain, unmeaning title of made war like an Indian against the religion of humanity. Her cruelties in the East Indies will never be forgotten , and it is somewhat remarkable that the produce of that ruined country, transported to America, should there kindle up a war to punish the destroyer. The chain is continued, though with a mysterious kind of uniformity both in the crime and the punishment. The latter runs parallel with the former, and time and fate will give it a perfect illustration.

England to suppose herself invincible, and that, without acknowledging or perceiving that a full third of her strength was drawn from the country she is now at war with. The arm of Britain has been spoken of as the arm of the Almighty, and she has lived of late as if she thought the

"WTien information is withheld, ignorance becomes a reasonable excuse and one would charitably hope that the people of England do not encourage cruelty from choice but from mistake. Their recluse situation, surrounded by the sea, preserves them from the calamities of war, and keeps them in the dark as to the conduct of their own armies. They see not, therefore they feel not. They tell the tale that is told them and believe it, and accustomed to no other news than their own, they receive i;t, stripped of its horrors and prepared for the palate of the nation, through the channel of the London Gazette. They are made to believe that their generals and armies differ nom those of other nations, and have nothing of rudeness or barbarity in them. They suppose them what they wish them to be. They feel a disin thinking otherwise, and naturally encourage the grace belief from a partiality to themselves. There was a time when I felt the same prejudices, and reasoned from the same errors; but experience, sad and painful experience, hag taught me better. What the conduct of former armies was. I know not, but what the conduct of the present is, I well know. It is low, cruel, indolent and profligate ; and had the people of America no other cause for separation than what the army has occasioned, that alone is cause sufficient. The field of politics in England is far more extensive than Men have a right to reason for themselves, that of news. and though they cannot contradict the intelligence in tha Gazette, they may frame upon it wl>t .sentiments
;

92
they please.
lias prevailed

THE

CRISIS.

But the misfortune is, that a general ignorance


over the whole nation respecting America,

The ministry and minority have both been wrong. The former was always so, the latter only lately so. Politics, to l)e executively right, must have a unity of means and time, and a defect in either overthrows the whole. The ministry

rejected the plans of the minority while they were practicable, and joined in them when they became impracticable. From wrong measures they got into wrong time, and have now completed the circle of absurdity by closing it upon themselves. I happened to come to America a few months before the breaking out of hostilities. I found the disposition of the people such, that they might have been led by a thread and governed by a reed. Their suspicion was quick and penetrating, but their attachment to Britain was obstinate, and it was at that time a kind of treason to speak against it. They disliked the ministry, but they esteemed the nation. Their idea of grievance operated without resentment, and their single object was reconciliation. Bad as I believed the ministry to be, I never conceived them capable of a measure so rash and wicked as the commencing of hostilities ; much I viewed less did I imagine the nation would encourage it. the dispute as a kind of law-suit, in which I supposed the I had parties would find a way either to decide or settle it. no thoughts of independence or of arms. The world could not then have persuaded me that I should be either a soldier or an author. If I had any talents for either, they were buried in me, and might ever have continued so, had not the necessity of the times dragged and driven them into action. I had formed plan of life, and conceiving myself happy, wished every body else so. But when the country, into which I had just set foot, was set on fire about ears,

my

was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir. Those who had been long settled had something to defend those who had just come had something to pursue; and the call and the concern was equal and universal. For in a country where all' men were once adventurers, the difference of a few years in their arrival could make none in their right. The breaking out of hostilities opened a new suspicion in
it
;

my

my

the politics of America, which, though at that time very rare, has since been proved to be verv right. "What I allude to is, " a secret and fixed determination in the British cabinet to annex America to the crown of England as a con-

THE

OKI8I8.

93

quered country." If this be taken as the object, then the line of conduct pursued by the ministry, though rash in its origin and ruinous in its consequences, is nevertheless uniform and consistent in its parts. It applies to every case,

whole

But if taxation, or any thing difficulty. be taken in its room, there is no proportion between the object and the charge. Nothing but the whole soil and of the country can be placed as a possible equivaproperty No lent against the millions which the ministry expended. revenue taxes raised in America could possibly repay it. of two millions sterling a year would not discharge the sum
and resolves every
else,

interest accumulated thereon, in twenty years. Reconciliation never appears to have been the wish or the object of the administration, they looked on conquest as certain and infallible, and, under that persuasion, sought to drive the Americans into what they might style a general

and

rebellion, and then, crushing them with arms in theirnands, reap the rich harvest of a general confiscation, and silence them for ever. The dependants at court were too numerous The market for plunder in to be provided for in England.

the East-Indies was over ; and the profligacy of government required that a new mine should be opened, and that mine co aid be no other than America, conquered and forfeited. They had no where else to go. Every other channel was drained ; and extravagance, with the thirst of a drunkard,

was gaping

for supplies.

If the ministry deny this to have been their plan, it becomes them to explain what was their plan. For either

they have abused us in coveting property they never labored for, or they have abused you in expending an amazing sum upon an incompetent object. Taxation, as I mentioned before, could never be worth the charge of obtaining it by arms; and any kind of formal obedience which America could have made, would have weighed with the lightness of a laugh against such a load of expense. It is therefore most probable, that the ministry will at last justify their
policy by their dishonesty, and openly declare that their original design was conquest; and in this case, it well becomes the people of England to consider how far the nation would nave been benefited by the success. In a general view, there are few conquests which repay the charge of making them, and mankind are pretty wci' convinced that it can never be worth their while to g war for profit's sake. If they are made war upon, their
>

>

94

THE

CRISIS.

country invaded, or their existence at stake, it is their dutj defend and preserve themselves, but in every other light, and from every other cause, is war inglorious and deBut to return to the case in question testable.
to

"When conquests are made of foreign countries, it is supposed that the commerce and dominion of the country which made them are extended. But this could neither be the
object nor the consequence of the present war. You enjoyed the whole commerce before. It could receive no possible addition by a conquest, but on the contrary, must diminish as the inhabitants were reduced in numbers and wealth. You had the same dominion over the country which you used to have, and had no complaint to make against her for breach of any part of the contract between you or her, or contending against any established custom, commercial, The country and commerce were political or territorial. both your own when you began to conquer, in the same manner and form as they had been your own an hundred Nations have sometimes been induced to years before. make conquests for the sake of reducing the power of their enemies, or bringing it to a balance with their own. But thia could be no part of your plan. No foreign authority was claimed here, neither was any such authority suspected by you, or acknowledged or imagined by us. What then, in Or what the name of heaven, could you go to war for ? chance could you possibly have in the event, but either to !. jLd the same country which you held before, and that in a much worse condition, or to lose, with an amazing expense, what you might have retained without a farthing of

charges.

War

more than quarrelling can be profitable to a man in But to make war with those who trade with us, business. is like setting a bull-dog upon a customer at the shop-door. The least degree of common sense shows the madness of the latter, and it will apply with the same force of conviction Piratical nations, having neither commerce to the former. or commodities of their own to lose, may make war upon out all the world, and lucratively find their account in it
;

never can be the interest of a trading nation, any

it is

quite otherwise with Britain for, besides the stoppage of trade in time of war, she exposes more of her own property to be lost, than she has the chance of taking from others. Some ministerial gentlemen in parliament have mentioned the greatness of her trade as an apology for the
:

THE
greatness of her
loss.

CRISIS.

95
1

This

is

miserable politics indeed

ought to have been given as a reason for her not The coast of America comin a war at first. engaging mands the West-India trade almost as effectually as the coast of Africa does that of the Straits and England can no more carry on the former without the consent of America, than she can the latter without a Mediterranean pass. In whatever light the war with America is considered upon commercial principles, it is evidently the interest of the people of England not to support it and why it has been supported so long, against the clearest demonstrations of truth and national advantage, is to me, and must be to all the reasonable world, a matter of astonishment. Perhaps it may be said that I live in America, and write this from

Because

it

interest.

that my principle is universal. the world, and not to any particular part, and if what I advance is right, no matter where or have given the proclamation of who it comes from. commissioners a currency in our newspapers, and I your have no doubt you will give this a place in yours. To oblige
this I

To

reply,

My

attachment

is to all

We

and be obliged

is fair.

Before I dismiss this Dart of my address, I shall mention * one more circumstance in w k the people of Eng1 11 land have been equally mistu*^-. ~^a then proceed to other
1
.

matters.

There is such an idea existing in the world, as that of national honor, and this falsely understood, is oftentimes the cause of war. In a Christian and philosophical sense, mankind seem to have stood still at individual civilization, and to retain as nations all the original rudeness of nature. Peace by treaty is only a cessation of violence for a reformation of sentiment. It is a substitute for a principle that is wanting and ever will be wanting till the idea ot national honor be rightly understood. As individuals we profess ourselves Christians, but as nations we are heathens, I remember the late admiral Komans, and what not. Saunders declaring in the house of commons, and that in the time of peace, " That the city of Madrid laid in ashes was not a sufficient atonement for the Spaniards taking off the rudder of an English sloop of war." I do not ask whether this is Christianity or morality, I ask whether it is decency ? whether it is proper language for a nation to use ? In private life we call it by the plain name of bullying, and the elevation of rank cannot alter its character. It

96

THE

CRISIS.

is, I think, exceedingly easy to define what ought to be understood by national honor ; for that which is the best character for an individual is the best character for a nation and wherever the latter exceeds or falls beneath the former, there is a departure from the line of true greatness. I have thrown out this observation with a design of applying it to Great Britain. Her ideas of national honor, seem devoid of that benevolence of heart, that universal expansion of philanthropy, and that triumph over the rage of vulgar prejudice, without which man is inferior to himself, and a companion of common animals. To know whom she shall regard or dislike, she asks what country they are of, what
;

Her religion they profess, and what property they enjoy. idea of national honor seems to consist in national insult, and that to be a great people, is to be neither a Christian, a philosopher, or a gentleman, but to threaten with the rudeness of a bear, and to devour with the ferocity of a
lion.
is

This perhaps may sound harsh and uncourtly, but it too true, and the more is the pity. I mention this only as her general character. But towards America she has observed no character at all ; and destroyed by her conduct what she assumed in her title. She set out with the title of parent, or mother country. The association of ideas which naturally accompany this expression, are filled with every thing that is fond, tender and forbearing. They have an energy peculiar to themselves, and, overlooking the accidental attachment of common affections, apply with infinite softness to the first feelings of the heart, it is a political term which every mother can feel the force of, a. every child can judge of. It needs no painting of mine to set it off, for nature only can do it justice. But has any part of your conduct to America corresponded with the title you set up? If in your general national character you are unpolished and severe, in this you are inconsistent and unnatural, and you must have exceeding false notions of national honor, to suppose that the world can admire a want of humanity, or that national honor depends on the violence of resentment, the inflexibility of temper, or the vengeance of execution. I would willingly convince you, and that with as much temper as the times will suffer me to do, that as you opposed your own interest by quarrelling with us, so likewise your national honor, rightly conceived and understood, wae no ways called upon to enter into a war with America had
:

THE

CRISIS.

97

you studied true greatness of heart, the first and fairest ornament of mankind, you would have acted directly contrary to all that you have done, and the world would have besides which, you had ascribed it to a generous cause
;

of this country) secured a power(though with the assistance ful name by the last war. You, were known and dreaded abroad ; and it would have been wise in you to have suffered the world to have slept undisturbed under that idea. a force existing without expense. It produced It was to

the advantages of real power; and you were stronger through the universality of that charm, th:\.. any Your future fleets and armies may probably make you. greatness was so secured and interwoven with your silence, that you ought never to have awakened mankind, and had nothing to do but to be quiet. Had you been true politicians you would have seen all this, and continued to draw from the magic of a name, the force and authority of a nation. Unwise as you were in breaking the charm, you were still more unwise in the manner of doing it. Samson only told the secret, but you have performed the operation ; you have shaven your own head, and wantonly thrown away the America was the hair from which the charm was locks. drawn that infatuated the world. You ought to have quarY ou relled with no power ; but with her upon no account. had nothing to fear from any condescension you might make. You might have humored her, even if there had been no
to

you

you

all

in her claims, without any risk to your reputation ; justice lor Europe, fascinated by your fame, would have ascribed
it

to

grant,

your benevolence, and America, intoxicated by the would have slumbered in her fetters.

But this method of studying the progress of the passions, in order to ascertain the probable conduct of mankind, is a philosophy in politics which those who preside at St. James's nave no conception of. They know no other influence than corruption, and reckon all their probabilities from precedent. new case is to them a new world, and while they are seeking for a parallel they get lost. The talents of lord Mansfield can be estimated at best no higher than those of a sophist. He understands the subtleties but not the elegance of nature ; and by continually viewing mankind through the cold medium of the law, never thinks of peneAs for lord trating into the warmer /tsgion of the mind. North, il is his happiness to have in him more philosophy

98

THE

CRISIS.

than sentiment, for he bears flogging like a top, and sleeps the better for it. His punishment becomes his support, for while he suffers the lash for his sins, he keeps himself up by In politics, he is a good arithmetician, and twirling about. in every thing else nothing at all.

There

is

one circumstance which comes so

much

within

lord North's province as a financier, that I am surprised it should escape him, which is, the different abilities of the two countries in supporting the expense for, strange as it may seem, England is not a match For America in this particular. By a curious kind of revolution in accounts, the people of England seem to mistake their poverty for their riches ; that their national debt as a part of their national is, they reckon wealth. They make the same kind of error which a man would do, who after mortgaging his estate, should add the money borrowed, to the full value of the estate, in order to count up his worth, and in this case he would conceive that he got rich by running into debt. Just thus it is with England. The government owed at the beginning of this war one hundred and thirty-five millions sterling, and though the individuals to whom it was due, had a right to reckon their shares as so much private property, yet to the nation There is as effectual collectively it was so much poverty. limits to public debts as to private ones, for when once the money borrowed is so great as to require the whole yearly revenue to discharge the interest thereon, there is an end to further borrowing ; in the same manner as when the interest of a man's debts amounts to the yearly income of his estate, there is an end to his credit. This is nearly the case with England, the interest of her present debt being at least equal to one half of her yearly revenue, so that out of ten millions annually collected by taxes, she has but five that
:

she can call her own. The very reverse of this was the case with America ; she began the war without any debt upon her, and in order to carry it on, she neither raised money by taxes, nor borrowed and her situation at this it upon interest, but created it time continues so much the reverse of yours that taxing would make her rich, whereas it would make you poor When we shall have sunk the sum which we have created, we shall then be out of debt, be just as rich as when we began, and all the while we are doing it shall feel no difference, because the value will rise as the quantity decreases. There was not a country in the world so capable of bear;

mi; CRISIS.

99

ing the expense of a war as America ; not only because she was not in debt when she began, but because the country is young and capable of infinite improvement, and has an almost boundless tract of new lands in store whereas England has got to her extent of age and growth, and has no unoccupied land or property in reserve. The one is like a young heir coming to a large improvable estate ; the other like an old man whose chances are over, and his estate mortgaged for half its worth. In the second number of the Crisis, which I find has been republished in England, I endeavored to set forth the I stated every impracticability of conquering America. that I conceived could possibly happen, and ventured case,
;

As my conclusions were drawn to predict its consequences. not artfully, but naturally, they have all proved to be true. I was upon the spot; knew the politics of America, her strength and resources, and by a train of services, the best in my power to render, was honored with the friendship of the army and the people. I considered the the congress, cause a just one. I know and feel it a just one, and under that confidence never made my own profit or loss an object. My endeavor was to have the matter well understood on both sides, and I conceived myself tendering a general service, by setting forth to the one the impossibility of being conquered, and to the other the impossibility of conquering. Most of the arguments made use of by the ministry for supporting the war, are the very arguments that ought to have been used against supporting it ; and the plans, which
they thought to conquer, are the very plans in which they were sure to be defeated. They have taken every thing up at the end. Their ignorance is astonishing, and were

by

wrong you in my situation you would see it. They may, perhaps, have your confidence, but I am persuaded that they would make very indifferent members of congress. I know what England is, and what America is, and from the compound of am better enabled to judge of the issue, than knowledge, what the king or any of his ministers can be. In this number I nave endeavored to show the ill policy and disadvantages of the war. I believe many of my remarks are new. Those whicli are not so, I have studied to improve and place in a manner that may be clear and striking. Y our failure is, I am persuaded, as certain as fate. America is above your reach. She is at least your equal in the world, and her independence neither rests upon your consent, nor

100

THE

GBI8I8.

can it be prevented by your arms. In short, you spend your substance in vain, and impoverish yourselves without
a hope.

But suppose you had conquered America, what advantages, collectively or individually, as merchants,

manufac-

This is an turers, or conquerors, could you have looked for. Listening for object you seemed never to have attended to. the sound of victory, and led away by the phrenzy of arms, you neglected to reckon either the cost or the consequences.

Y ou must all pay towards the expense the poorest among you must bear his share, and it is both your right and your duty to weigh seriously the matter. Had America been Conquered, she might have been parcelled out in grants to the favorites at court, but no share of it would have fallen to you. Your taxes would not have been lessened, because she would have been in no condition to have paid any towards your relief. We are rich by a contrivance of our own, which would have ceased as soon as you became masters. Our paper money will be of no use in England, and silver and gold we have none. In the last war you made many conOn quests, but were any of your taxes lessened thereby? the contrary, were you not taxed to pay for the charge of making them, and have not the same been the case in every war? To the parliament I wish to address myself in a more particular manner. They appear to have supposed themselves partners in the chase, and to have hunted with the lion from an expectation of a right in the booty but in this it is most probable they would, as legislators, have been disappointed. The case is quite a new one, and many unforeseen difficulties would have arisen thereon. The parliament claimed a legislative right over America, and the war originated from that pretence. But the army is supposed to belong to the crown, and if America had been conquered through their means, the claim of the legislature would have been suffo; ;

cated in the conquest. Ceded, or conquered, countries are supposed to be out of the authority of parliament. Taxation is exercised over them by prerogative and not by law. It was attempted to be done in the Granadas a few years ago, and the only reason why it was not done was because the crown had made a prior relinquishment of its claim. Therefore, parliament have been all this while supporting measures for the establishment of their authority, in the same issue of which, they would have been triumphed over by the prero-

THE
gative.

CRISIS.

101

This might have opened a new and interesting opposition between the parkament and the crown. The crown would have said that it conquered for itself, and that

conquer for parliament was an unknown case. The parliament might nave replied, that America not being a foreign country, but a country in rebellion, could not be said to be conquered, but reduced; and thus continued their claim by disowning the term. The crown might have rejoined, that however America might be considered at first, she became foreign at last by a declaration of independence, and a treaty with France ; and that her case being, by that treaty, put within the law of nations, was out of the law of parliament, who might have maintained, that as their claim over America had never been surrendered, so neither could it be taken away. The crown might have insisted, that though the claim of parliament could not be taken away,
to
yet,

being an inferior, it might be superseded and that, whether the claim was withdrawn from the object, or the object taken from the claim, the same separation ensued and that America being subdued after a treaty with France,
;

was to all intents and purposes a regal conquest, and of course the sole property of the king. The parliament, as the legal delegates of the people, might have contended " against the term inferior, and rested the case upon the of power, and this would have brought on a set of antiquity
very interesting and rational questions. 1st, What is the original fountain of power and honor in any country ? 2d, Whether the prerogative does not belong to the

people ?
3d, Whether there is stitution ?
4th, 5th,

any such thing as the English con-

Of what use is the crown to the people ? Whether he who invented a crown was not an enemy to mankind ? 6th, Whether it is not a shame for a man to spend a million a year and do no good for it, and whether the money
Whether such a man is not better dead than alive ? Whether a congress, constituted like that of America, is not the most happy and consistent form of government in the world ? With a number of others of the same
7th, 8th,

might not be better applied

import.

In short, the contention about thr dividend might have

102
;

fHE

CRISIS.

distracted the nation for nothing is more common than to agree in the conquest and quarrel for the prize ; therefore it is, perhaps, a happy circumstance, that our successes have prevented the dispute. If the parliament had been thrown out in their claim, which it is most probable they would, the nation likewise would have been thrown out in their expectation for as the taxes would have been laid on by the crown without the parliament, the revenue arising therefrom, if any could have arisen, would not have gone into the exchequer, but into the privy purse, and so far from lessening the taxes, would not even have been added to them, but served only as pocket money to the crown. The more I reflect on this matter, the more I am astonished at the blindness and ill policy of my countrymen, whose wisdom seems to operate without discernment, and their strength without an object. To the great bulwark of the nation, I mean the mercantile
;

and manufacturing part thereof, I likewise presen my adIt is your interest to see America an independent, and IK t a conquered country. If conquered, she is ruined and if ruined, poor consequently the trade will be a trifle, and her credit doubtful. If independent, she flourishes, and from her flourishing must your profits arise. It matters nothing to you who governs America, if your manufactures find a consumption there. Some articles will consequently be obtained from other places, and it is right that they
fc

dress.

but the demand for others will increase, by the ; influx of inhabitants which a state of independence great and peace will occasion, and in the final event you may be enriched. The commerce of America is perfectly free, and ever will be so. She will consign away no part of it to any nation. She has not to her friends, and certainly will not to her enemies, though it is probable that your narrowminded politicians, thinking to please you thereby, may some time or other unnecessarily make such a proposal. Trade flourishes best when it is rree, and it is weaJt policy Her treaty with France is on the to attempt to fetter it. most liberal and generous principles, and the French, in their conduct towards her, have proved themselves to be
should
philosophers, politicians and gentlemen. To the ministry I likewise address myself. You, gentlemen, have studied the ruin of your country, from which it --s not within your abilities to rescue her. Your attempts tc recover her are as ridiculous as your plans which in

THE CRD*
volved her are detestable.

108

The CCJIIL.**. iers, being about probably bring you this, and with it my sixtl number addressed to them ana in so doing they carry back more Common Sense than they brought, and you likewise will have more than when you sent them. Having thus addressed you severally, I conclude by ad dressing you collectively. It is a long lane that has no turn A period of sixteen years of misconduct and misforing. tune, is certainly long enough for any one nation to suffer under ; and upon a supposition that war is not declared between France and you, I beg to place a line of conduct
to depart, will
;

before
bles.

you that
It
to.

will easily lead you out of all your trouhas been hinted before, and cannot be too much at-

tended

Suppose America had remained unknown to Europe till the present year, and that Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, in another voyage round the world, had made the first discovery of ner, in the same condition that she
is

now

in,

of

What, I ask, in that arts, arms, numbers and civilization. For that case, would have been your conduct towards her ? will point out what it ought to be now. The problems and their solutions are equal, and the right line of the one is the The question takes in every circumparallel of the other.
stance that can possibly arise. It reduces politics to a simple thought, and is moreover a mode of investigation, in which, while you are studying your interest the simplicity of the case will cheat you into good temper. You have nothing to do but to suppose that you have found America, and she appears found to your hand, and while in the joy of your heart you stand still to admire her, the path of poKtici rises straight before you. Were I disposed to paint a contrast, I could easily set oft what you have done in the present case, against what you

would have done in that case, and by justly opposing them, conclude a picture that would make you blush. But, as when any of the prouder passions are hurt, it is much better philosophy to let a man slip into a good temper than to attack him in a bad one for tnat reason, therefore, I only state the
;

case,

and leave you to reflect upon it. To go a little back into politics, it will be found that th* true interest of Britain lay in proposing and promoting the independence of America immediately after the last peace for the expense which Britain had then incurred by defending America as her own dominions, ought to have shown hei
;

104

THE

CRISIS.

the policy and necebsity of changing ihe style of the country, as the best probable method of preventing future wars and expense, and the only method by which she could hold the commerce without the charge of sovereignty. Besides which, the title which she assumed, of parent country, led to, and pointed out the propriety, wisdom and advantage of a separation ; for, as in private life, children grow into men, and by setting up for themselves, extend and secure the interest of the whole family, so in the settlement of colonies large enough to admit of maturity, the same policy should be pursued, and the same consequences would follow. Nothing hurts the affections both of parents and children so much, as living too closely connected, and keeping up the distinction too long. Domineering will not do over those, who, by a progress in life, have become equal in rank to their parents, that is, when they have families of their own ; and though they may conceive themselves the subject of their advice, will not suppose them the objects of tneir government. I do not, by drawing this parallel, mean to admit the title of parent country, because, if it is due any where, it is due to Europe collectively, and the first settlers from England were driven here by persecution. I mean only to introduce the term for the sake of policy and to show from your title the line of your interest. When you saw the state of strength and opulence, and that by her own industry, which America had arrived at, you ought to have advised her to set up for herself, and proposed an alliance of interest with her, and in so doing you would have drawn, and that at her own expense, more real

advantage, and more military supplies and assistance, both of ships and men, than from any weak and wrangling government that you could exercise over her. In short, nad you studied only the domestic politics of a family, you would have learned how to govern the state ; but, instead of this easy and natural line, you flew out into every thing which was wild and outrageous, till, by following the passion and stupidity of the pilot, you wrecked the vessel wiihin sight of the shore. Having shown what you ought to have done, I now proceed to show why it was not done. The caterpillar circle of the court, had an interest to pursue, distinct from, and opposed to yours ; for though by the independence of America and an alliance therewith, the trade would have continued, if not increased, as in many articles neither country can go

THE
to a better market,

CRIST?.

105

and though by defending and protecting would have been no expense to you, and consequently your national charges would have decreased, and your taxes might have been proportionably lessened thereby yet the striking off so many places from the court calendar was put in opposition to the interest of the nation. The loss of thirteen government ships, with their appendages, here and in England, is a shocking sound in the ear of a hungry courtier. Your present king and ministry will be the ruin of you and you had better risk a revolution and call a congress, than be thus led on from madness to despair, and from despair to ruin. America has set you the example, and you may follow it and be free. I now come to the last part, a war with France. This is what no man in his senses will advise you to, and all good men would wish to prevent. "Whether France will declare war against you, is not for me in this place to mention, or to hint, even if I knew it but it must be madness in you to do it first. The matter is come now to a full crisis, and peace is easy if willingly set about. Whatever you may She would think, France has behaved handsomely to you. have been unjust to herself to have acted otherwise than she did and having accepted our offer of alliance, she gave you genteel notice of it. There was nothing in her conduct reserved or indelicate, and while she announced her determination to support her treaty, she left you to give the first offence. America, on her part, has exhibited a character of firmness to the world. Unprepared and unarmed, without form or government, she singly opposed a nation that domineered ove'r half the globe. The greatness of the deed demands respect and though you may feel resentment, you are compelled both to wonder and admire. Here I rest my arguments and finish my address. Such as it is, it is a gift, and you are welcome. It was always
herself, she
;
; ;

to dedicate a Crisis to you, when the time should it a Crisis ; and when, likewise I should catch myself in a temper to write it, and supThat time has now pose you in a condition to read it.

my design

come that would properly make

and with it the opportunity of conveyance. For the commissioners -poor commissioners ! having proclaimed, that " yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown /" have waited out the date, and, discontented with their God, are returning to their gourd. And all the harm I wish them is, that it may not wither about their ears, and
arrived,

106
that they whale.

THE

CRISIS.

may

not

make

their

exit in

the

belly of

COMMON SENSE
Philadelphia, Nov. 21, 1778.

P. S. Though in the tranquillity of my mind I have concluded with a laugh, yet I have something to mention to the commissioners, which, to them, is serious and worthy their Their authority is derived from an act of parliaattention.

ment, which likewise describes and limits their official powers. Their commission, therefore, is only a recital, and personal investiture, of those powers, or a nomination and Had it description of the persons who are to execute them. contained any thing contrary^ to, or gone beyond the line of, the written law from which it is derived, and by which it is bound, it would, by the English constitution, have been treason in Cj crown, and the king been to an imsubject peachment. He dared not, therefore, put in his commission what you have put in your proclamation, that is, he dared not have authorised you in that commission to burn and destroy any thing in America. You are both in the act and in the commission styled commissioners for restoring peace, and the methods for doing it are there pointed out. Your last proclamation is signed by you as commissioners under
that act. You make parliament the patron of its contents. Yet, in the body of it, yeu insert matters contrary both to the spirit and letter of the act, and what likewise your king dared not have put in his commission to you. The state of things in England, gentlemen, is too ticklish for you to run hazards. You are accountable to parliament for tlie execu-

Your heads tion of that act according to the letter of it. for breaking it, for you certainly have broke it by exceeding it. And as a friend, who would wish you to escape the paw of the lion, as well as the belly of the whale, I civilly hint to you, to keep within compass. Sir Harry Clinton, strictly speaking, is as accountable as the rest; K>r though a general, he is likewise a commisHis first obedisioner, acting under a superior authority. ence is due to the act ; and his plea of being a general, will not and cannot clear him as a commissioner, for that would suppose the crown, in its single capacity, to have a power of dispensing with an act of parliament. Your situation, is nice and critical, and the more so because fBntlemen, unsettled. Take heed Remember the times of ngland is

may pay

THE
Charles the
to a
first
!

CRISIS.

10?
fell

For Laud and Stafford

by

trusting

Having thus shown you the danger of your proclamation, the folly of it. The means contradict your design you threaten to lay waste, in order to render America a useless acquisition of alliance to France. I reply, that the more destruction you commit (if you could do it) the more valuable to France you make that alliance. Fou can destroy only houses and goods and by BO doing you increase our demand upon her for materials and merI

hope

like yours.

now show you


;

chandize; for the wants of one nation, provided it has freedom and credit, naturally produces riches to the other and, as you can neither ruin tne land nor prevent the vegetation, you would increase the exportation of our produce in payment, which would be to her a new fond of wealth. In short, had you cast about for a plan or purpose to enrich your enemies, you could not have hit upon a
;

better.

C. 8.

NUMBER
November
of
vigor,

VIII.

ADDRESSED TO THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND.


" TRUSTING (says the king of England in his speech ol
last,)

my cause,
and

in the divine providence, and in the justice resolved to prosecute the war with to make every exertion in order to compel our

am firmly

enemies to equitable terms of peace and accommodation." To this declaration the United States of America, and the confederated powers of Europe will reply, if Britain witt ha/oe war, she shall 'have enough of it. Five years have nearly elapsed since the commencement of hostilities, and every campaign, by a gradual decay, has lessened your ability to conquer, without producing a serious thought on your condition or your fate. Like a prodigal lingering in an habitual consumption, you feel the relics of New schemes, like new life, and mistake them for recovery. medicines, have administered fresh hopes, and prolonged the disease instead of curing it. change of generals, like a change of physicians, served only to keep the flattery alive, and furnish new pretences for a new extravagance.

iOS
u

THE

CKI8I8.

Can Britain fail f"* Has been proudly asked at the " whatever she undertaking of every enterprise, ana that wills is fate"-^ has been given with the solemnity of prophetic confidence, and though the question has been constantly replied to by disappointment, and the prediction falsified by misfortune, yet still the insult continued, and your catalogue of national evils increased therewith. Eager to persuade the world of her power, she considered destruction as the minister of greatness, and conceived that the glory of a nation, like that of an Indian, lay in the number of its scalps and the miseries which it inflicts. Fire, sword and want, as far as the arms of Britain could

extend them, have been spread with wanton cruelty along the coast of America and while yon, remote from the scene of suffering, had nothing to lose and as little to dread, the information reached you like a tale of antiquity, in which the distance of time defaces the conception, and changes the severest sorrows into conversable amusement. This makes the second paper, addressed perhaps in vain to the people of England. That advice should be taken
;

wherever example has failed or precept be regarded where warning is ridiculed, is like a picture of hope resting on despair but when time shall stamp with universal currency, the facts you have long encountered with a laugh, and tne irresistible evidence of accumulated losses, like the hand writing on the wall, shall add terror to distress, you will
; ;

then, in a conflict of suffering, learn to sympathise with others by feeling for yourselves. The triumphant appearance of the combined fleets in the channel and at your harbor's mouth, and the expedition of captain Paul Jones, on the western and eastern coasts of England and Scotland, will, by placing you in the condition of an endangered country, read to you a stronger lecture on the calamities of invasion, and bring to your minds a truer picture of promiscuous distress, than the most finished rhetoric can describe or the keenest imagination conceive.

Hitherto you have experienced the expenses, but nothing of the miseries of war. Your disappointments have been

accompanied with no immediate suffering, and your losses came to you only by intelligence. Like fire at a distance
* Whitebead's new-year's ode for 1776. f Ode at the installation of lord North, for Chancellor of the university of Oxford.

THE
;

OKI8I8.

109

you heard not even the cry you felt not the danger, you Baw not the confusion. To you everything has been foreign but the taxes to support it. You knew not what it was to be alarmed at midnight with an armed enemy in the streets. Yon were strangers to the distressing scene of a family in the thousand restless cares and tender sorrows flight, and to that incessantly arose. To see women and children wanderin^ in the severity of winter, with the broken remains of a well-furnished house, and seeking shelter in every crib and hut, were matters that you had no conception of. Y ou knew not what it was to stand by and see your goods chopped for
fuel,

plunder.

and your beds ripped to pieces to make packages for The misery of others, like a tempestuous night, added to the pleasures of your own security. You even en-

joyed the storm, by contemplating the difference of condiand that which carried sorrow into the breasts of thousands, served but to heighten in you a species of tranYet these are but the fainter sufferings of war, quil pride. when compared with carnage and slaughter, the miseries of
tions,

a military nospital, or a town in flames. The people of America, by anticipating distress, had fortified their minds against every species you could inflict. They had resolved to abandon their homes, to resign them to destruction, and to seek new settlements rather tnan submit. Thus familiarized to misfortune, before it arrived, they bore their portion with the less regret the justness of their cause was a continual source of consolation, and the hope of final victory, which never left them, served to lighten the load and sweeten the cup allotted them to drink. But when their troubles shall become yours, and invasion be transferred upon the invaders, you will have neither their extended wilderness to fly to, their cause to comfort you, nor their hope to rest upon. Distress with them was sharpened by no self-reflection. They had not brought it on themselves. On the contrary, they had by every proceeding endeavored to avoid it, and had descended even below the mark of congressional character, to prevent a war. The national honor or the advantages of independence were matters, which at the commencement of the dispute, they had never studied, and it was only at the last moment that the measure was
:

resolved on.

Thus circumstanced, they naturally and con-

scientiously felt a dependance upon providence. They had a clear pretension to it, and had they failed therein, infidelity

had gained a triumph

110

THE

CRISIS.

But your condition is the reverse of theirs. Every thing you suner you have sought nay, had you created mischiefi on purpose to inherit them, you could not have secured your The world awakens with no pity at title by a firmer deed. your complaints. You felt none for others; you deserve none for yourselves. Nature does not interest herself in cases like yours, but, on the contrary, turns from them with You may now dislike, and abandons them to punishment. memorials to what court you please, but so far as present America is the object, none will listen. The policy of Europe, and the propensity there in every mind to curb insulting ambition, and bring cruelty to judgment, are unitedly against you and where nature and interest reinforce eacn other, the compact is too intimate to be dissolved. Make but the case of others your own, and your own theirs, and you will then have a clear idea of the whole Had France acted towards her colonies as you have done, you would have branded her with every epithet of abhorand had you, like her, stepped in to succour a rence struggling people, all Europe must have echoed with your own applauses. But entangled in the passion of dispute, you see it not as you ought, and form opinions'thereon which You wonder that suit with no interest but your own. America does not rise in union with you to impose on herself a portion of your taxes and reduce herself to unconYou are amazed that the southern ditional submission. of Europe do not assist you in conquering a country powers which is afterwards to be turned against themselves and that the northern ones do not contribute to reinstate you in America who already enjoy the market for naval stores by the separation. You seem surprised that Holland does not pour in her succours, to maintain you mistress of the seas, when her own commerce is suffering by your act of navigation; or that any country should study her own interest while yours is on the carpet. Such excesses of passionate folly, and unjust as well aa unwise resentment, have driven you on, like Pharaoh, to nil pitied miseries, and while the importance of the quarrel shall perpetuate your disgrace, the flag of America will The natural feelings of every carry it round the world. rational being will be against you, and wherever the story shall be told, you will have neither excuse nor consolation With an unsparing hand, and an insatiable mind, you left. have desolated the world, to gain dominion and to lose it
:

THE

OBI8I8.

Ill

and while, in a phrenzy of avarice and ambition, the east and the west are doomed to tributary bondage, yon rapidly earned destruction as the wages of a nation. At the thoughts of a war at home, every man amongst you ought to tremble. The prospect is far more dreadful there than in America. Here the party that was against the measures of the continent were in general composed of a kind of neutrals, who added strength to neither army. There does not exist a being so devoid of sense and sentiment as to covet " unconditional submission" and therefore no man in America could be with you in principle. Several might from cowardice of mind, prefer it to the hardships and dangers of opposing it but the same disposition that gave them such a choice, unfitted them to act either for or against us. But England is rent into parties, with equal shares of resolution. The principle whicn produced the war
;

divides the nation. Their animosities are in the highest state of fermentation, and both sides, by a call of the militia, are in arms. n No human foresight can discern, no conclusion can be formed, what turn a war might take, if once set on foot by an invasion. She is not now in a fit disposition to make a common cause of her own affairs, and having no

When nothing can be politically right or wrong. a war, but what must be lost without it, war is then by the policy of that country ; and such was the situation of America at the commencement of hostilities ; but when no security can be gained by a war, but what may be accoma the case becomes reversed, and such now plished by peace, is the situation of England. That America is beyond the reach of conquest, is a fact which experience has shown and time confirmed, and this admitted, what, I ask, is now the object of contention? If there be any honor in pursuing self-destruction with inflexible passion if national suicide be the perfection of national glory, you may, with all the pride 01 criminal happiness, expire unenvied and unrivalled. But when the tumult of war shall cease, and the tempest of present passions be succeeded by calm reflection, or when those, who, surviving its fury, shall inherit from you a legacy of debts and
may be
lost

conquests to hope for abroad, and nothing but expenses arising at home, her every thing is staked upon a defensive combat, and the further she goes the worse she is off. There are situations that a nation may be in, in which peace or war, abstracted from every other consideration,

112
fortunes,

THE

CRISIS.

the j >arly revenue shall scarcely be able tc the intere&t of the one, and no possible remedy discharge be left for the other, ideas, far different from the present, will arise, and imbitter the remembrance of former follies. mind disarmed of its rage, feels no pleasure in contemSickness of thought, the sure conplating a frantic quarrel. sequence of conduct like yours, leaves no ability for enjoyment, no relish for resentment ; and though, like a man in a the injury of the struggle, nor distinguish fit, you feel not between strength and disease, the weakness will nevertheless be proportioned to the violence, and the sense of pain increase with the recovery. To what persons or to whose system of politics you owe your present state of wretchedness, is a matter of total in-

when

They have contributed, however, unwillingly, to set her above themselves, and she, in the tranquillity of conquest, resigns the inquiry. The case now is not so properly who began the war, as who continues it. That there are men in all countries to whom a Itate of war is a mine of wealth, is a fact never to be doubted. Characters like these naturally breed in the putrefaction of distempered times, and after fattening on the disease, they perish with it, or, impregnated with the stench, retreat into
difference to America.

obscurity. But there are several erroneous notions to which you likewise owe a share of your misfortunes, and which, if conAn tinued, will only increase your trouble and your losses. opinion hangs about the gentlemen of the minority, that America would relish measures under their administration, On this which she would not from the present cabinet. rock lord Chatham would have split had he gained the helm, and several of his survivors are steering the same course. Such distinctions in the infancy of the argument had some degree of foundation, but they now serve no other purpose than to lengthen out a war, in which the limits of a dispute being fixed by the fate of arms, and guaranteed by treaties, are not to be changed or altered by trivial circumstances.

The ministry, and many of the minority, sacrifice their time in disputing on a question with whicii they have nothing to do, namely, whether America shall be independent or not ? Whereas the only question that can come under their determination is, whether they will accede to it or not ? They confound a military question with a political one, and

THE

CRISIS.

113

undertake to supply by a vote what they lost bv a battle. Say, she shall not be independent, and it will signify as much as if they voted against a decree of fate, or say that she shall, and she will be no more independent than before. Questions,

only to

which when determined, cannot be executed, serve show the folly of dispute and the weakness of dia-

putanta

From a long habit of calling America your own, you suppose her governed by the same prejudices and conceits which govern yourselves. Because you have set up a particular denomination of religion to the exclusion of all others, you imagine she must do the same, and because you, with an unsociable narrowness of mind, have cherished enmity against France and Spain, you suppose her alliance must be defective in friendship. Copying her notions of the world from you, she formerly thought as you instructed, but now feeling herself free, and the prejudice removed, she thinks
and
acts upon a different system. It frequently happens that in proportion as we are taught to dislike persons and countries, not knowing why, we feel an ardor of esteem upon the removal of the mistake it seems as if something was to be made amends for, and we eagerly give into every office of friendship, to atone for the injury of the error. But, perhaps, there is something in the extent of countries, which, among the generality of people, insensibly communicates extension of the mind. The soul of an islander, in its native state, seems bounded by the foggy confines of the water's edge, and all beyond affords to him matters only for His island is to him profit or curiosity, not for friendship. his world, and fixed to that, his every thing centres in it ; vhile those, who are inhabitants of a continent, by casting taeir eye over a larger field, take in likewise a larger intel:

lectual circuit, and thus approaching nearer to an acquaintance with the universe, their atmosphere of thought extended, and their liberality fills a wider space. In short, oui' minds seem to be measured by countries when we are men, as they are by places when we are children, and until something happens to disentangle us from the prejudice, we serve under it without perceiving it. In addition to this, it may be remarked, that men who study anv universal science, the principles of which are universally known, or admitted, and applied without disi

tinction to the

common

benefit of all countries, obtain there-

by a larger share of philanthropy than those who only study

114

THE

CRISIS.

Natural philosophy, national arts and improvements. mathematics and astronomy, carry the mind from the countrv fib to the creation, and give it a fitness suited to the extent, was not Newton's honor, neither could it be his pride, that he was an Englishman, but that he was a philosopher the heavens had liberated him from the prejudices of an island,
;

and science had expanded


studies.
Philadelphia, Jtarch, 1780.

his

soul as boundless as

hit/

COMMON

SENSE.

NUMBER

IX.

HAT> America pursued her advantages with half the spirit that she resisted her misfortunes, she would, before now, have been a conquering and a peaceful people ; but lulled in the lap of soft tranquillity, she rested on her hopes, and adversity only has convulsed her into action. Whether subtlety or sincerity at the close of the last year, induced the enemy to an appearance for peace, is a point not material to know it is sufficient that we see the effects it has had on our politics, and that we sternly rise to resent the delusion. The war, on the part of America, has been a war of natural feelings. Brave in distress ; serene in conquest ; drowsy while at rest ; and in every situation generously disposed to dangerous calm, and a most heightened zeal, peace. as circumstances varied, succeeded each other. have, Every passion, but that of despair, has been called to a tour of duty ; and so mistaken has been the enemy, of our abilities and disposition, that when she supposed us conquered, we rose the conquerors. The extensiveness of the United States, and the variety of their resources ; the universality of their cause, the quick operation of their feelings, and the similarity of their sentiments, have, in every trying situation, produced a something, which, favored by providence, and pursued with ardor, has accomplished in an instant the business of a campaign. have never deliberately sought victory, but snatcned it : and bravely undone in an hour, the blotted operations of a season. The reported fate of Charleston, like the misfortune* of
:

We

THE

CRI8I8.

15

1776, has at last called forth a spirit, and kindled up a flame, which perhaps no other event could have produced. If the enemy has circulated a falsehood, they have unwisely aggravated us into life, and if they have told us a truth,

they have unintentionally done us a service. "We were returning with folded arms from the fatigues of war, and thinking and sitting leisurely down to enjoy repose. The dependence that has been put upon Charleston threw a drowsiness looked on the business done the conflict over America. over the matter settled or that all which remained unfinished would follow of itself. In this state of dangerous relaxation, exposed to the poisonous infusions of the enemy,

We

to attract our attention, we were extinguishing, by stages, the ardor we began with, and surrendering by piece-meals the virtue that defended us.

and having no common danger

Ainicting as the loss of Charleston may be, yet if it uni versally rouse us from the slumber of twelve months past, and renew in us the spirit of former days, it will produce an

advantage more important than

what she thinks herself

to be.

America ever is its loss. Governed by sentiment, and

acting her own mind, she becomes, as she pleases the victor or the victim. It is not the conquest of towns, nor the accidental capture of garrisons, that can reduce a country so extensive as this. The sufferings of one part can never be relieved by the exertions of another, and there is no situation the enemy can be placed in, that does not afford to us the same advantages he seeks himself. By dividing his force, he leaves every post attackable. It is a mode of war that carries with it a confession of weakness, and goes on the principle of 4istre&s, rather than conquest. The decline of the enemy is visible, not only in their ope rations, but in their plans ; Charleston originally made but a secondary object in the system of attack, and it is now become the principal one, because they have not been able to succeed elsewhere. It would have carried a cowardly ap
.

pearance

in Europe had they formed their grand expedition, in 1776, against a part of tne continent where there was no army, or not a sufficient one to oppose them ; but failing year after year in their impressions here, and to the eastward

ind northward, they deserted their capital design, and prudently contenting themselves with what they could get, give a flourish of honor to conceal disgrace. But this piece-meal work is not conquering the continent

116
It is

THE
a discredit in
full

OBI8I8.

them to attempt it, and in us to suffer it. time to put an end to a v? ar of aggravations, which, on one side, has no possible object, and on the other, has every inducement whicn honor, interest, safety and hapIf we suffer them much longer to repiness can inspire.
It is

now

main among

An us, we shall become as bad as themselves. association of vice will reduce us more than the aword. nation hardened in the practice of iniquity knows better how to profit by it, than a young country newly corrupted. are not a match for them in the line of advantageous guilt, nor they for us on the principles which we bravely set out with. Our first days were our days of honor. They have marked the character of America wherever the story of her wars are told and convinced of this, we have nothing to do, but wisely and unitedly tread the well known track. The progress of a war is often as ruinous to individuals, as the issue of it is to a nation ; and it is not only necessary that our forces be such that we be conquerors in the end, but that by timely exertions we be secure in the interim. The present campaign will afford an opportunity which has

We

itself before, and the preparations for it are equally necessary, whether Charleston stand or fall. Suppose the first, it is in that case only a failure of the enemy, not a defeat. All the conquest that a besieged town can hope for, is, not to be conquered and compelling an enemy But there to raise the siege, is to the besieged a victory. must be a probability amounting almost to certainty, that would justify a garrison marching out to attack a retreat. Therefore should Charleston not be taken, and the enemy abandon the siege, every other part of the continent should prepare to meet them ; and, on the contrary, should it be taken, the same preparations are necessary to balance the loss, and put ourselves in a condition to co-operate with our

never presented

immediately on their arrival. "We are not now fighting our battles alone, as we were in 1776 England, from a malicious disposition to America, has not only not declared war against France and Spain, but the better to prosecute her passions here, has afforded those powers no military object, and avoids them, to distress us. She will suffer her West India islands to be overrun by France, and her southern settlements to be taken by Spain,
allies,
;

rather than quit the object that gratifies her revenge. This conduct, on me part of Britain, has pointed out the propriety T ')f France sending a na 'al arid land force to co-operate wito

THE

CRISIS.

117

America on the spot. Their arrival cannot be very distant, nor the ravages of the enemy long. The recruiting the army, and procuring the supplies, are the two things most necessary to be accomplished, and a capture of either of the enemy s divisions will restore to America peace and plenty. At a crisis, big, like the present, with expectation and events, the whole country is called to unanimity and exer-

Not an ability ought now to sleep, that can produce but a mite to the general good, nor even a whisper to pass
tion.

that militates against it. The necessity of the case, and the importance of the consequences, admit no delay from a friend, no apology from an enemy. To spare now, would be the height of extravagance, and to consult present ease, would

be to sacrifice it perhaps forever. America, rich in patriotism and produce, can want neither men nor supplies, when a serious necessity calls them forth. The slow operation of taxes, owing to the extensiveness of collection, and their depreciated value before they arrived in the treasury, have, in many instances, thrown a burden upon government, which has been artfully interpreted by the enemy into a general decline throughout the country. Yet
this, inconvenient as it may at first appear, is not only remediable, but may be turned to an immediate advantage ; for it makes no real difference, whether a certain number of men, or company of militia (and in this country every man is a militia-man) are directed by law to send a recruit at their own expense, or whether a tax is laid on them for that purpose, and the man hired by government afterwards. The
is any difference, is both cheapest and best, saves the expense which would attend collecting it as a tax, and brings the man sooner into the field than the modes of recruiting formerly used ; and, on this principle, a law has been passed in this state, for recruiting two men from each company of militia, which will add upwards of a thousand to the force of the country. But the flame which has broke forth in this city since the report from New York, of the loss of Charleston, not only does honor to the plac, but, like the blaze of 1776, will kindle into action the scattered sparks throughout America. The valor of a country may be learned by the bravery of its soldiery, and the general cast of its inhabitants, but confidence of success is best discovered by the active measures pursued by men of property ; and when the spirit of interprise becomes so universal as to act at om-e on all ranks of

nrst x if there

because

it

118

THE

CRISIS.

men. a war may then, and not till then, be styled truly popular. In 1776, the ardor of the enterprising part was considerably checked by the real revolt of some, and the coolness ol others. But in the present case, there is a firmness in the substance and property of the country to the public cause. An association has been entered into by the merchants, tradesmen, and principal inhabitants of the city, to receive and support the new state money at the value of gold and silver ; a measure which, while it does them honor, will likewise contribute to their interest, by rendering the operations of the campaign convenient and effectual. Nor has the spirit of exertion stopped here. voluntary subscription is likewise begun, to raise a fund of hard money, to be given as bounties, to fill up the full quota of the Pennsylvania line. It has been the remark 01 the enemy, that every thing in America has been done by the force of government; but when she sees individuals throwing in in their voluntary aid, and facilitating the public measures concert with the established powers of the country, it will convince her that the cause of America stands not on the will of a few, but on the broad foundation of property and

popularity.

Thus aided and thus supported, disaffection will decline, and the withered head of tyranny expire in America. The ravages of the enemy will be short and limited, and like all
their former ones, will
Philadelphia, June

produce a victory over themselves.

COMMON
9,

SENSE.

1780.

ISgr' At the time of writing this number of the Crisis, the loss of Charleston, though believed by some, was more confidently disbelieved by others. But there ought to be no longer a doubt upon the matter. Charleston is gone, and I believe for the want of a sufficient supply of provisions. The man that does not now feel for the honor of the bert and noblest cause that ever a country engaged in, and exert himself accordingly, is no longer worthy of a peaceable S. residence among a people determined to be free.

THE

CRISIS.

119

NUMBEK
IT
is

X.

ON THE SUBJECT OF TAXATION.


sit down and think seriously on the America, but the original principles on which she resisted, and the glow and ardor which they inspired, will occur like the undefaced remembrance of a lovely scene. Tt trace over in imagination the purity of the cause, the volun tary sacrifices that were made to support it, and all th* various turnings of the war in its defence, is at once both paying and receiving respect. The principles deserve to be remembered, and to remember them rightly is repossessing them. In this indulgence of generous recollection, we become gainers by what we seem to give, and the more we bestow tne richer we become. So extensively right was the ground on which America proceeded, that it not only took in every just and liberal sentiment which could impress the heart, but made it the direct interest of every class and order of men to defend the country. The war, on the part of Britain, was originally a

impossible to

affairs of

war

oi

covetousness.
it

passions gave

being.

The sordid, and not the splendid The fertile fields and prosperous

infancy of America appeared to her as mines for tributary wealth. She viewed the hive, and disregarding the industry that had enriched it, thirsted for the noney. But in the present stage of her affairs, the violence of temper is added to the rage of avarice and therefore, that which at the first aetting out proceeded from purity of principle and public interest, is now heightened by all the obligations of necessity for it requires but little knowledge of human nature to discern what would be the consequences, were America again reduced to the subjection of Britain. Uncontrolled power, in the hands of an incensed, imperious, and rapacious conqueror, is an engine of dreadful execution, and wo be to that country over which it can be exercised. The names of whig and tory would then be sunk in the general term of rebel, and the oppression, whatever it might be, would, with very few instances of exception, light equally on all. Britain did not go to war with America for the sake of dominion, because she was then in possession neither was it for the extension of trade and commerce, because she had
; ; ;

L-20

THE

CEISIS.

monopolized the whole, and the country had yielded to


neither

it j

above eleven times heavier than the taxes we now pay

she might call rebellion, because before she began no resistance existed. It could then be from no other motive than avarice, or a design of establishing, in the first instance, the same taxes in America as are paid in England (which, as I shall presently show, are
it

was

to extinguish

what

for

the present year, 1T80) or, in the second instance, to confiscate the whole property of America, in case of resistance and conquest of the latter, of which she had then no doubt. I shall now proceed to show what the taxes in England are, and what the yearly expense of the present war is to her what the taxes of this country amount to, and what the annual expense of defending it effectually will be to us ; and shall endeavor concisely to point out the cause of our difficulties, and the advantages on one side, and the consequences on the other, in case we do, or do not, put ourselves in an effectual state of defence. I mean to be open, candid, and sincere. I see a universal wish to expel the enemy from the country, a murmuring because the war is not carried on with more vigor, and my intention is to show, as shortly as possible, both the reason and the remedy. The number of souls in England (exclusive of Scotland and Ireland) is seven millions,* and the number of souls in America is three millions. The amount of taxes in England (exclusive of Scotland and Ireland) was, before the present war commenced, eleven millions six hundred and forty-two thousand six hundred

sterling per head per annum, men, women and children \ besides county taxes, for the support of the poor, and a tenth of all the produce of the earth for the support of the bishops and clergy. Nearly five millions of this sum went annually to pay the interest of the national debt, contracted by former wars, and the remaining sum of six millions six

and fifty-three pounds sterling ; which, on an average, is no less a sum than one pound thirteen shillings and three-pence

hundred and forty-two thousand six hundred pounds was applied to defray the yearly expense of government, the peace establishment of the army and navy, placemen, pensioners, &c., consequently, the whole of the enormous taxee being thus appropriated, she had nothing to spare out of them towards defraying the expenses of the present war
th*>

* This is taking the highest number that or can be rated at.

people of England hare

121

Yet had she not been in debt at the beginof the war, as we were not, and, like ns, had only a ning land and not a naval war to carry on, her then revenue of eleven millions and a half pounds sterling would have defrayed all her annual expenses of war and government within each year. But this not being the case with her, she is obliged to borrow about ten millions pounds sterling, yearly, to prosecute the war that she is now engaged in, (this year she borrowed twelve) and lay on new taxes to discharge the interest ; allowing that the present war has cost her only fifty millions
or

any other.*

sterling, the interest thereon, at five per cent.; will be two millions and an half; therefore the amount of her taxes now must be fourteen millions, which on an average is no less than

forty shillings sterling, per throughout the nation.


lions

Now

head men, women and children,

as this expense of fifty mil-

was borrowed on the hopes of conquering America, and as it was avarice which first induced ner to commence the war, how truly wretched and deplorable would the condition of this country be, were she, by her own remissness, to suffer an enemy of such a disposition, and so circumstanced, to reduce her to subjection. I now proceed to the revenues of America.

* The following is taken from Dr. Price's state of the taxes of England, p. 96, 97, 98. An account of the money drawn from the public by taxes, annually, being the medium of three years before the year 1*776. Amount of customs in England. 2,528,2757. Amount of the excise in England 4,649,892 Land tax at 8* 1,800,000 Land tax at Is. in the pound 450,000
Salt duties

218,789 Duties on stamps, cards, dice, advertisements, bonds, leases, indentures, newspapers, almanacks, &c. . 280,788 Duties on houses and windows 885,369 Post office, seizures, wine licences, hackney coaches, Ac.. 260,000 Annual profits from lotteries 150,000 Expense of collecting the excise in England 297,887 Expense of collecting the customs in England 468,700 Interest of loans on the land tax at 4s. expenses of collec.

tion, militia,

&c

Perquisites,

Expense
cent

to custom-house officers, &c. supposed. .. of collecting the salt duties in England 10 1-2 per

&c

260,000 250,000
27,000 18,000
18,000

Bounties, on fish exported

Expense of collecting the duties on stamps, cards, advertisements, &c. at 5 and 1-4 per cent

Total, ll,642,fl53J.

122

THE

CRISIS.

I have already stated the number of souls in America tobe three millions, and by a calculation that I have made, which I have every reason to believe is sufficiently correct, the whole expense of the war, and the support of the several governments, be defrayed by two million pounds may^ sterling annually which, on an average, is thirteen shillings and four pence per head, men, women, and children, and the peace establishment at the end of the war, will be but three
;

quarters of a million, or five shillings sterling per head. out of the question every thing of honor, principle, happiness, freedom and reputation in the world, and taking it up on the simple ground of interest, I put the following case Suppose Britain was to conquer America, and, as a conqueror, was to lay her under no other conditions than to pay the same proportion towards her annual revenue which the people of England pay our share, in that case, would be six million pounds sterling yearly can it then be a question, whether it is best to raise two millions to defend the country, and govern it ourselves, and only three quarters of a million afterwards, or pay six millions to have it conquered, and let the enemy govern it ? Can it be supposed that conquerors would choose to put themselves in a worse condition than what they granted to the conquered ? In England, the tax on rum is five shil-

Kow, throwing

lings and one penny sterling per gallon, which is one silver would it not be laughadollar and fourteen coppers. ble to imagine, that after the expense they have been at, they would let either whig or tory drink it cheaper than themselves ? Coffee, which is so inconsiderable an article of consumption and support here, is there loaded with a duty, which makes the price between five and six shillings

Now

per pound, and a penalty of fifty pounds sterling on any person detected in roasting it in his own house. There is scarcely a necessary of life that you can eat, drink, wear, or even the light enjoy, that is not there loaded with a tax from heaven is only permitted to shine into their dwellings
;

by paying eighteen pence


and the humblest drink of

life,

sterling per window annually ; small beer, cannot there be

purchased without a tax of nearly two coppers per gallon, besides a heavy tax upon the malt, and another on the hops before it is brewed, exclusive of a land-tax on the earth which produces them. In -short, the condition of that country, in point of taxation, is so oppressive, the number of her

THE

CRISIS.

123

What they want is clear, solid revenue, and the modes which they would take to procure it would operate would be short, alike on all. Their manner of reasoning because they would naturally infer, that if we were able to carry on a war of five or six years against them, we were able to pay the same taxes which they do. I have already stated that the expense of conducting the and the government 01 the several states, may present war, be done for two millions sterling, and the establishment in
tions.

poor so great, and the extravagance and rapaciousness of the court BO enormous, that, were they to effect a conquest of America, it is then only that the distresses of America would begin. Neither would it signify any thing to a man whether he be whig or tory. The people of England, and the ministry of that country, know us by no such distinc-

the time of peace, for three quarters of a million.* As to navy matters, they nourish so well, and are so well attended to by individuals, that I think it consistent on every principle of real use and economy, to turn the navy into hard money (keeping only three or four packets) and shall not have a apply it to the service of the army. ship the less ; the use of them, and the benefit from them, will be greatly increased, and their expense saved. are

We

We

with a formidable naval power, from whom we derive the assistance of a navy. And the line in which we can prosecute the war, so as to reduce the common enemv and benefit the alliance most effectually, will be by attending closely to the land service. I estimate the charge of keeping up and maintaining an

now

allied

army, officering them, and all expenses included, sufficient for the defence of the country, to oe equal to the expense of forty thousand men at thirty pounds sterling per head, which
one million two hundred thousand pounds. I likewise allow four hundred thousand pounds for continental expenses at home and abroad. And four hundred thousand pounds for the support of the several state governments the amount will then oe,
is

Forthearmy
Continental expenses at home and abroad Government of the several states

1,200,OOOJ.

400,000 400,000
Total 2,000,000*.

I have made the calculations In sterling, because it is a rate generally in all the states, and because, likewise, it admits of an easy comparison between our expense to support the war, and those of the enemy. Four silver dollar? and a half is one pound b'.erluur three pence over.

known

md

124

THE

OKI8I8.

I take the proportion of this state, Pennsylvania, to be an eighth part of the thirteen United States the quota then for us to raise will be two hundred and fifty thousand pounds .sterling ; two hundred thousand of which will be our share for the support and pay of the army, and continental ex;

penses at home and abroad, and fifty thousand pounds foi the support of the state government. In order to gain an idea of the proportion in which the raising such a sum will fall, I make the following calculation.

Pennsylvania contains three hundred and seventy-five thousand inhabitants, men, women and children ; which is
likewise an eighth of the number of inhabitants of the whole United States ; therefore two hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling to be raised among three hundred and seventy-five thousand persons, is, on an average, thirteeen shillings and four pence per head, per annum, or something

more than one shilling sterling per month. And our proportion of three quarters of a million for the government of the country, in time of peace, will be ninety-three thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds sterling ; fifty thousand of which will be for the government expenses of the state, and forty-three thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds for continental expenses at home and abroad. The peace establishment then will, on an average, be five Whereas, was England now to shillings sterling per head. stop, and the war cease, her peace establishment would continue the same as it now is, viz. forty shillings per head ; therefore was our taxes necessary for carrying on the war, as much per head as hers now is, and the difference to be only whether we should, at the end of the war, pay at the rate of five shillings per head, or forty shillings per head, the case needs no thinking of. But as we can securely defend and keep the country for one third less than what our burden would be if it was conquered, and support the governments afterwards for one eighth of what Britain would levy on us, and could I find a miser whose heart never felt the emotion of a spark of principle, even that man, uninfluenced by every love but the love of money, and capable

of no attachment but to his interest, would and must, from the frugality which governs him, contribute to the defence of the country, or he ceases to be a miser and becomes an idiot. But whefti we take in with it every thing that can ornament mankind ; when the line of our interest becomes the line of our happiness* when all that can cheer and

THE
ay at

CRISIS.

12$
character,

mate the heart; when a sense of honor, fame,

abroad, are interwoven not only with the sec arity but the increase of property, there exists not a man in America, unless he be an hired emissary, who does not see that his good is connected with keeping up a sufficient
defence. I do not imagine that an instance can be produced in the woild, of a country putting herself to such an amazing charge to conquer and enslave another, as Britain has done. The gum is too great for her to think of with any tolerable degree of temper ; and when we consider the burden she sustains, as well as the disposition she has shown, it would be the height of folly in us to suppose that she would not reimburse herself by the most had she America once more rapid means, within her power. With such an oppression of expense, what would an empty conquest be to her! What relief under such circumstances could she derive from a victory without a prize ? It was money, it was revenue she first went u> war for, and nothing but that would satisfy her. It is not the nature of avarice to be satisfied with any thing else. Every passion that acts upon mankind has a peculiar mode of operation. Many of them are temporary and fluctuating ; they admit of cessation and variety. But avarice is a fixed, uniform passion. It neither abates of its vigor

home and

nor and the reason why it does pot, ia its object changes founded in the nature of things, for wealth has not a rival
;

where avarice is a ruling passion. One beauty mav excel another, and extinguish from the mind of man the pictured remembrance of a former one but wealth is the phoenix of avarice, and therefore cannot seek a new object, because
:

there is not another in the world. I now pass on to show the value of the present taxes, and compare them with the annual expense ; but this I shall preface with a few explanatory remarks. There are two distinct things which make the payment of taxes difficult ; the one is the large and real value of the sum to be paid, and the other is the scarcity of the thing in which the payment is to be made ; and although these appear to be one and the same, they are in several instances not only different, but the difficulty springs from different causes. Suppose a tax to be laid equal to one half of what a man's yearly income is, such a tax could not be paid, because the property could not be spared ; and on the other hand, sup-

126

THE

CRISIS.

pose a very trifling tax was laid, to be collected in pearh, such a tax likewise could not be paid, because they could not be had. Now any person may see that these are distinct cases, and the latter of them is a representation of our own. That the difficulty cannot proceed from the former, that is, from the real value or weight of the tax, is evident at the
first

view to any person who will consider The amount of the quota of taxes for

it.

present year, 1780, (and twenty millions of dollars, which, at seventy for one> is but sixty-four thousand two hundred and eighty pounds three shillings sterling, and on an average, is no more than three shillings and fivepence sterling per head, per annum, per man, woman and child, or threepence two-fifths per head per month. Now here is a clear, positive fact, that cannot be contradicted, and which proves that the difficulty cannot be in the weight of the tax, for in itself it is a trifle, and far from being adequate to our quota of the expense of the war. The quit-rents of one penny sterling per acre on only one half oil the state, come to upwards of fifty thousand pounds, which is almost as much as all the taxes of the present year, and as those quit-rents made no part of the taxes then paid, and are now discontinued, the quantity of money drawn for public service this year, exclusive of the militia fines, which I shall take notice of in the process of this work, is less than ivhat was paid and payable in any year preceding the revolution, and since the last war; what I mean is, that the quit-rents and taxes taken together came to a larger sum then, than the present taxes without the quit-rents do now. intention by these arguments and calculations is to the difficulty to the right cause, and show that it does place not proceed from the weight or worth of the tax, but from the scarcity of the medium in which it is paid ; and to illustrate this point still further, I shall now show, that if the tax of twenty millions of dollars was of four times the real value it now is, or nearly so, which would be about two hunstate) is

this state, for the so in proportion for every other

My

thousand pounds sterling, and would be our sum would have been raised with more ease, and have been less felt, than the present sum of only sixtyfour thousand two hundred and eighty pounds. The convenience or inconvenience of paying a tax in money arises from the quantity of money that can be
dred and
fifty

full

quota, this

spared out of trade. When the emissions stopped, the continent was

left ID

THE

CRISIS.

127

millions of dollars, perhaps as possession of two hundred as it was possible for trade to do it. And equally dispersed as no more was to be issued, the rise or fall of prices could neither increase nor diminish the quantity. It therefore remained the same through all the fluctuations of trade and

exchange.

Now nad the exchange stood at twenty for one, which was the rate congress calculated upon when they arranged
the quota of the several states, the latter end of last year, trade would have been carried on for nearly four times less money than it is now, and consequently the twenty millions

would have been spared with much greater ease, and when would have been of almost four times the value that they now are. And on the other hand, was the depreciation to be ninety or one hundred for one, the quantity required for trade would be more than at sixty or seventy for one, and though the value of them would be less, the difficulty of sparing the money out of trade would be greater. And on tnese facts and arguments I rest the matter, to prove that it is not the want of property, but the scarcity of the medium by which the proportion of property for taxation is to be measured out, that makes the embarrassment which we lie
collected

under.

There

is

not

money enough,

and,

what

is

equally as

true, the people will not let there be money enough. While I on the subject of the currency, I shall offei one remark which will appear true to every body, and caL

am

for by nobody, which is, that the better th times were, the worse the money grew and the worse the times were, the better the money stood. It never depreciated by any advantage obtained by the enemy. The troubles o^ 1776, and the loss of Philadelphia in 1777, made no sensible impression on it, and every one knows that the surrender of Charleston did not produce the least alteration in the rate

be accounted

of exchange, which, for long before, and for more than three It seems as if the cerafter, stood at sixty for one. of its being our own, made us careless of its value, tainty and that the most distant thoughts of losing it made us hug it the closer, like something we were loth to part with or that we depreciate it for our pastime, which, when called to seriousness by the enemy, we leave off to renew again at our In snort, our good luck seems to break us, and our leisure.

months

bad makes us whole. Passing on from this

digression, I shall now endeavor to bring into one view the several parts which I have already

128

THE

CRISIS.

stated, and form thereon, some propositions, and conclude. I have placed before the reader, the average tax per head, paid by the people of England which is forty shillings
:

sterling.

And I have shown the rate on an average per head, which will defray all the expenses of the war to ns, and support the several governments without running the country into
debt, which is thirteen shillings and fourpence. I have shown what the peace establishment may

ducted

for, viz.

an eighth part of what

it

would

be, if

be conunder

the government of Britain. And I have likewise shown what the average per head of three shillings and fivepence the present taxes are, namely, sterling, or threepence two-nfths per month; and that their whole yearly value, in sterling, is only sixty-four thousand two hundred and eighty pounds. Whereas our quota, to keep the payments equal with the expenses, is two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Consequently, there is a deficiency of one hundred and eighty-five thousand seven hundred and twenty pounds, and the same proportion of defect, according to the several quotas, happens in every othei And this defect is the cause why the army has been state. It is the cause, likeso indifferently fed, clothed and paid. wise, of the nerveless state of the campaign, and the insecuNow, if a tax equal to thirteen and rity of the country. per head, will remove all these difficulties, and fourpence make the people secure in their homes, leave them to follow the business of their stores and farms unmolested, and not only keep out, but drive out the enemy from the country ; and if the neglect of raising this sum will let them in, and produce the evils which might be prevented on which side, I ask, does the wisdom, interest and policy lie ? Or, rather, would it not be an insult to reason, to put the question ? The sum when proportioned out according to the several abilities of the people, can hurt no one, but an inroad from the enemy ruins hundreds of families. Look at the destruction done in this city. The many houses totally destroyed, and others damaged ; the waste of fences in the country around it, besides tha plunder of furI do not suppose that half niture, forage, and provisions. a million sterling would reinstate the sufferers; and does this, I ask, bear any proportion to the expBnse that would make us secure. The damage, on an average, is at least

THE
len

OBI8I8.

18S

pounds i.terling per head, which is as much as thirteen and four pence per head comes to for fifteen years. The same has happened on the frontiers, and in the Jerseys, New-York, and other places where the enemy has been Carolina and Georgia are likewise suffering the same fate. That the people generally do not understand the insuffi eiency of the taxes to carry on the war, is evident, not only from common observation, but from the construction of several petitions, which were presented to the assembly of this state against the recommendations of congress of the 18th of March last, for taking up and funding the present curat forty for one, and issuing new money in its stead. rency The prayer of the petition was, that the currency might be appreciated by taxes (meaning the present taxes) and that part of the taxes be applied to the support of the army, if the
shillings

army

could not be otherwise supported.

*Now

it

could not

have been possible for such a petition to have been presented, had the petitioners known, that so far from part of the taxes being sufficient for the support of the army, the whole of them falls three-fourths short of the year s expenses.

of

which a sufficiency Before I proceed to propose methods by be raised, I shall take a short view of the money may general state of the Country. Notwithstanding the weight of the war, the ravages of the enemy, and the obstructions she has thrown in the way of trade and commerce, so soon does a young country outgrow misfortune, that America has already surmounted many that heavily oppressed her. For the first year or two of the war, we were snut up within our ports, scarce venNow our rivers are turing to look towards the ocean. beautified with large and valuable vessels, our stores filled with merchandize, and the produce of the country has a ready market, and an advantageous price. Gold and silver, chat for a while seemed to have retreated again within the bowels of the earth, have once more risen into circulation, and every day adds new strength to trade, commerce and agricuUme. lii a pamphlet, written by Sir John Dalrymple, and dispersed in America in the year 1775, he asserted, that,
two
tu>6ti</-(fun shtps, nay, say he, tenders of those ships, stationed oetfioeen Albemarle sound and Chesapeake bay, would ghi*t up the trade of America for 600 rrvdes. little did Sii t)ouu. Dalrymple know of the abilities of
(

How

A men* c.

130

THE

CRISIS.

While under the government of Britain, the trade of this country was loaded with restrictions. It was only a few foreign ports which we were allowed to sail to. Now it is otherwise and allowing that the quantity of trade is but half what it was before the war, the case must show the vast advantage of an open trade, because the present quantity under her restrictions could not support itself; from which. I infer, that if half the quantity without the restrictions can bear itself up nearly, if not quite, as well as the whole when subject to them, now prosperous must the condition of America be when the whole shall return open with all the world. By the trade I do not mean the employment of a merchant only, but the whole interest and business of the country taken collectively. It is not so much my intention, by this publication, to
;

propose particular plans for raising money, as it is to show the necessity and the advantages to be derived from it. My principal design is to form the disposition of the people to the measures which I am fully persuaded it is their interest and duty to adopt, and which needs no other force to accomplish them than the force of being felt. But as every hint may be useful, I shall throw out a sketch, and leave others to make such improvements upon it as to them may appear
reasonable.
rate in

The annual sum wanted is two millions, and the average which it falls, is thirteen shillings and fourpence per

head.

Suppose, then, that we raise half the sum and sixty thousand pounds over. The average rate thereof will be seven shillings per head. In this case we shall have half the supply that we want, and an annual fund of sixty thousand pounds whereon to borrow the other million because sixty thousand pounds is
;

the interest of a million at six per cent. ; and if at the end of another year we should be obliged, by the continuance of the war, to borrow another million, the taxes will be increased to seven shillings and sixpence; and thus for every million borrowed, an additional tax, equal to sixpence

per head, must be levied. The sum to be raised next year will be one million and sixty thousand pounds one half of which I would propose should be raised by duties on imported goods, and prize goods, and the other half by a tax on landed property and nouses, or such other means as each state may devise.
:

THE

CRISIS.

131

But as the duties oo imports and prize goods mast be the same in all the states, therefore the rate per cent, or what other form the duty snail be laid, must be ascertained and regulated by congress, and ingrafted in that form into the law of each state and the monies arising therefrom carried
;

The duties to be paid in into the treasury of each state. gold or siiver. There are many reasons why a duty on imports is the most convenient duty or tax that can be collected one of which is, because the whole is payable in a few places in a country, and it likewise operates with the greatest ease and equality, because as every one pays in proportion to what he consumes, so people in general consume in proportion to what they can afford, and therefore the tax is regulated by the abilities which every man supposes himself to have, or in other words, every man becomes his own assessor, and pays by a little at a time, when it suits him to buy.
;

a tax which people may pay or let alone by not the articles and though the alternative may have consuming no influence on their conduct, the power of choosing is an agreeable thing to the mind. For my own part, it would be a satisfaction to me, was there a duty on all sorts of liquors during the war, as in my idea of things it would be an addition to the pleasures of society, to know, that when the health of the army goes round, a few drops from every How often have I heard an emphatiglass become theirs. " cal wish, almost accompanied with a tear, Oh, that our

Besides

it is

poor fellows in the field had some of this /" Why, then, need we suffer under a fruitless sympathy when there is a way to enjoy both the wish and the entertainment at once ? But the great national policy of putting a duty upon imports is, that it either keeps the foreign trade in our hands, or draws something for the defence of the country

from every foreigner who participates

it

with

us.

for the first half of the taxes, and as each state will best devise means to raise the other half, I shall confine remarks to the resources of this state. The quota, then, of this state, of one million and sixty thousand pounds, will be one hundred and thirty-three thousand two hundred and fifty pounds, the half of which is sixtysix thousand six hundred and twenty-five pounds and sup-

Thus much

my

posing one fourth part of Pennsylvania inhabited, then a tax or one bushel of wheat on every twenty acres of land, one with another, would produce the sum, and all the pre-

132

THE

CRISIS.

Bent taxes to cease. Whereas, the tithes of the bishops and in England, exclusive of the taxes, are upwards of clergy half a bushel of wheat on. every single acre of land, good and bad, throughout the nation. In the former part of this paper, I mentioned the militia fines, but reserved speaking to the matter, which I shall now The ground I shall put it upon is, that two millions do. Bteiling a year will support a sufficient army, and all the

expenses of war and government, without having recourse to the inconvenient method of continually calling men from their employments, which, of all others, is the most expenI consider the revenues sive and the least substantial. created by taxes as the first and principal thing, and fines only as secondary .and accidental things. It was not the intention of the militia law to apply the fines to any thing else but the support of the militia, neither do they produce any revenue to the state, yet these fines amount to more than all the taxes for taking the muster-roll to be sixty thousand men, the fine on forty thousand who may not attend, will be sixty thousand pounds sterling, and those who muster, will give up a portion of time equal to half that sum, and if the eight classes should be called within the year, and one third turn out, the fine on the remaining forty thousand would amount to seventy-two millions of dollars^
:

beside the fifteen shillings on every hundred pounds of proand the charge of seven and a half per cent, for collecting, in certain instances, which, on the whole, would be upwards of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterperty,
ling.

disable the country from raising a revenue without producing an equivalent advantage, would it not be for the ease and interest of all parties
sufficient

Now if those very fines

to increase the revenue, in the manner I have proposed, or any better, if a better can be devised, and cease the operaI would still keep the militia as an tion of the fines?

organized body of men, and should there be a real necessity to call them forth, pay them out of the proper revenues of the state, and increase the taxes a third or fourth per cent. on those who do not attend. My limits will not allow me
to

with

go further into this matter, which I shall therefore close that fines are, of all modes of revenue, this remark the most unsuited to the minds of a free country. When a man pays a tax, he kno\vs that the public necessity requires but it, and therefore feels a pride in discharging his duty
; ;

THE
a fine

CBISIS.

133

seems an atonement for neglect of duty, and of consequence is paid with discredit, and frequently levied with
severity. with which I I have now only one subject more to speak of, shall conclude, which is, tne resolve of congress of the 18th of March last, for taking up and funding the present cur-

rency at forty for one, and issuing


steaa.

new money

in it&

Every one knows that I


but in

am

not the flatterer of congress,

and if that measure is the currency will acquire a value, which, withsupported, out it, it will not. But this is not all it will give relief to the finances until such time as they can be properly arranged, and save the country from being immediately double taxed under the present mode. In short, support
this instance they are right /
:

that measure, and it will support you. I have now waded through a tedious course of difficult

and over an untrodden path. The subject, on every point in which it could be viewed, was entangled with perplexities, and enveloped in obscurity, yet such are the resources of America, that she wants nothing but system to
business,

secure success.

COMMON
Philadelphia, Oct. 6, 1780.

SENSIL.

NUMBER

XI.

ON THE KING OF ENGLAND'S SPEECH.


OF all the innocent passions which actuate the human mind, there is none more universally prevalent than curiosity, It reaches all mankind, and in matters which concern us, or concern us not, it alike provokes in us a desire to know them.
Although the situation of America, superior to every and daily rising to importance and opulence, hath placed her above the region of anxiety, it has still left her within the circle of curiosity and her fancy to see the speech of a man who had proudly threatened to bring her to his feet, was visibly marked with that tranquil coneifort to enslave her,
;

134
fidence

THE

CRISIS.

which cared nothing about its contents. It was inquired after with a smile, read with a laugh, and dismissed
with disdain.
But, as justice is due, even to an enemy, it is right to say. that the speech is as well managed as the embarrassed condition of their affairs could well admit of ; and though hardly a line of it is true, except the mournful story of Cornwallis, it may serve to amuse the deluded commons and people of England, for whom it was calculated. " The " war," says the speech, is still unhappily prolonged that restless ambition which first excited our enemies to by commence it, and which still continues to disappoint earnest wishes and diligent exertions to restore the public

my

tranquillity."

How easy it is to abuse truth and language, when men, by habitual wickedness, have learned to set justice at defiance. That the very man who began the war, who with the most sullen insolence refused to answer, and even to hear the humblest of all petitions, who hath encouraged his officers and his army in the most savage cruelties, and the most scandalous plunderings, who hath stirred up the Indians on one side, and the negroes on the other, and invoked every aid of hell in his behalf, should now, with an affected air of pity, turn the tables from himself, and charge to another the wickedness that is his own, can only be equalled by the baseness of the heart that spoke it.
To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right, an expression I once used on a former occasion, and it is equally applicable now. "We feel something like respect for consistency even in error. We lament the virtue that is debauched into a vice, but the vice that affects a virtue becomes the more detestable and amongst the various assumptions of character, which hypocrisy has taught, and men have prac tised, there is none that raises a higher relish of disgust, than to see disappointed inveteracy twisting itself, by the most visible falsehoods, into an appearance of piety which it has no pretensions to. " answer the " But I should not," continues the speech, trust committed to the sovereign of a free people, nor make
is
:

a suitable return to

and affectionate attachment to my person, family and governif I consented to sacrifice, either to my own desire of peace, or to their temporary ease and relief, those essential riohts and permanent interests, upon the maintenance and

my

subjects for tneir constant, zealous,

ment,

THE

CRISIS.

135

preset ation of which, the future strength and security of this country must principally depend." That the man whose ignorance and obstinacy first involved and still continues the nation in the most hopeless and expensive of all wars, should now meanly flatter them with the name of a free people, and make a merit of his crime, under the disguise of their essential rights and permanent interests, is something which disgraces even the character of perverseIs he afraid they will send him to Hanover, or wjiat ness. does he fear? "Why is the sycophant thus added to the hypocrite, and the man who pretends to govern, sunk into the humble and submissive memorialist ? What those essential rights and permanent interests are, on which the future strength and security of England must
principally depend, are not so

much

words which impress nothing but the

as alluded to. They are ear, and are calculated

only for the sound. But if they have any reference to America, then do they amount to the disgraceful confession, that England, who once assumed to be her protectress, has now become her dependant. The British king and ministry are constantly holding up the vast importance which America is of to England, in order to allure the nation to carry on the war now,
:

whatever ground there

is

for this idea, it


;

ought to have

operated as a reason for not beginning it and, therefore, they support their present measures to their own disgrace, because the arguments which they now use, are a direct reflection on their former policy. "The favorable appearance of affairs," continues the " in the East Indies, and the safe arrival of the peech, numerous commercial fleets of my kingdom, must have given

you satisfaction." That things are not quite so bad every where as in America may be some cause of consolation, but can be none for
triumph. One broken leg is better than two, but still it is not a source of joy and let the appearance of affairs in the East Indies be ever so favorable, they are nevertheless worse than at first, without a prospect of tneir ever being better. But the mournful story of Cornwallis was yet to be told, and it
:

was necessary to give "

But

of

my my

it the softest introduction possible. in Ihe course of this year," continues the speech, assiduous endeavors to guard the extensive dominiona crown have not been attended with success equal to

the justice and uprightness of

mv views." What

justice

and

136

THE

CRISIS.

uprightness there was in beginning a war with America, the world will judge of, and the unequalled barbarity with which it has been conducted, is not to be worn from the memory by"the cant of snivelling hypocrisy. And it is with great concern that I inform you that the events of war have been very unfortunate to my arms in Virginia, having ended in the loss of my forces in that pro vince." And our great concern is that they are not all served in the same manner. " No endeavors have been wanting on my part," says the " to that spirit of rebellion which oui extinguish speech, enemies have found means to foment and maintain in the

deluded subjects in America and to restore to colonies that happy and prosperous condition which they formerly derived from a due obedience to the laws." The expression of deluded subjects is become so hacknied and contemptible, and the more so when we see them making prisoners of whole armies at a time, that the pride of not being laughed at would induce a man of common sense to But the most offensive falsehood in the paraleave it off. graph, is the attributing the prosperity of America to a wrong cause. It was the urn-emitted industry of the settlers and their descendants, the hard labor and toil of persevering fortitude, that were the true causes of the prosperity of America. The former tyranny of England served to people Ask the it, and the virtue of the adventurers to improve it. man, who, with his axe hath cleared a way in the wilder;

my

of her own created wealth. " the estimates of the " I will order," says the speech, ensuing year to be laid before you. I rely on your wisdom and public spirit for such supplies as the circumstances of our affairs shall be found to require. Among the many ill consequences which attend the continuation of the present war, I most sincerely regret the additional burdens which it must

ness, and now possesses an estate, what made him rich, and he will tell you the labor of his hands, the sweat of his brow, and the blessing of heaven. Let Britain but leave America to herself and she asks no more. She has risen into greatness without the knowledge and against the will of England, and has a right to the unmolested enjoyment

unavoidably bring upon my faithful subjects." It is strange that a nation must run through such a, labyrinth of trouble, and expend such a mass of wealth to
gain the

wisdom which an

hour's reflection

might have

THE
taught.

CSISIB.

187

The final superiority of America over every attempt that an island might make to conquer her, was as
naturally marked in the constitution of things, as the future ability of a giant over a dwarf is delineated in his features far providence, to accomplish purposes while an infant. which no human wisdom could foresee, permitted such of time, extraordinary errors, is still a secret in the

How

womb
birth.

and must remain so

till

" In the prosecution of this great and important contest," the speech, " in which we are engaged, I retain a firm says confidence in the protection of divine providence and a perfect conviction in the justice of my cause, and I have no doubt, but, that by the concurrence and support of my parliament, by the valour of my fleets and armies, and by a vigorous, animated, and united exertion of the faculties and resources of my people, I shall be enabled to restore the blessings of a safe and honorable peace to all my dominions."
is one of the readiest believers in the In the beginning of the contest he passed an act to put America out of the protection of the crown of England, and though providence, for seven years together, hath put him out of her protection, still the man has no doubt. Like Pharaoh on the edge of the Ked sea, he sees not the plunge he is making, and precipitately drives across the flood that is closing over his head. I think it a reasonable supposition, that this part of the speech was composed before the arrival of the news of the capture of Cornwallis for it certainly has no relation to their condition at the time it was spoken. But, be this as

futurity shall give

it

The king of England

world.

may, it is nothing to us. Our line is fixed. Our lot is and America, the child of fate, is arriving at maturity. We have nothing to do but by a spirited and quick exerToo great to tion, to stand prepared for war or peace. yield, and too noble to insult superior to misfortune, and
it

cast

us untaintedly preserve the character which we have gained, and show the future ages an example of unequalled magnanimity. There is something in the cause and consequence of America that has drawn on her the attention of all mankind. The world has seen her brave. Her love of liberty ; her ardour in supporting it the justice of her claims, and the constancy of her fortitude has won her the esteem of Europe, and attached to her interest the first power in that country.

generous in success,

let

138

THE

CRISIS.

Her situation now is such, that to whatever point, pasty present or to come, sne casts her eyes, new matter rises to convince her that she is right. In her conduct towards her enemy, no reproachful sentiment lurks in secret. No sense of injustice is left upon the mind. Untainted with ambition, and a stranger to revenge, her progress hath been marked by providence, and she, in every stage of the conflict, has
blest her with success.

not America wrap herself up in delusive hope and the business done. The least remiosness in prepasuppose ration, the least relaxation in execution, will only serve to If our enemies prolong the war, and increase expenses. can draw consolation from misfortune, and exert themselves upon despair, how much more ought we, who are to win a continent by the conquest, and have already an earnest of

But

let

success ?

remarks on the Having in the preceding part, made several matters which the speech contains, I shall now make remarks on what it does not contain. There is not a syllable in it respecting alliances. Either the injustice of Britain is too glaring, or her condition too desperate, or both, for any neighboring power to come to her support. In the beginning of the contest, when she had only America to contend witn, she hired assistance from Hesse, and other smaller states of Germany, and for nearly three years did America, young, raw, undisciplined and un-

my

my

provided, stand against the power of Britain, aided by twenty thousand foreign troops, and made a complete conquest of one entire army. The remembrance of those things ought to inspire us with confidence and greatness of mind, and carry us through every remaining difficulty with conWhat are the little sufferings of the tent and cheerfulness. present day, compared with the hardships that are past ? There was a time, when we had neither house nor home in safety ; when every hour was the hour of alarm and danger ; when the mind, tortured with anxiety, knew no repose, and every thing but hope and fortitude, was bidding us
I

farewell. It is of use to look

mind the times of

back upon these things ; to call to trouble and the scenes 01 complicated

anguish that are past and gone. Then every expense was cheap, compared with the dread of conquest and the misery of submission. We did not stand debating upon trifles, or contending about the necessary and unavoidable charges or

THE

CRISIS.

189

defence. Every one bore hie lot of suffering, and looked forward to happier days, and scenes of rest. Perhaps one of tne greatest dangers which any country can be exposed to, arises from a kind of trifling which sometimes steals upon the mind, when it supposes the danger and this unsafe situation marks at this time the past What would she once have peculiar crisis of America. given to have known that her condition at this day should be what it now is ? And yet we do not seem to place a proper value upon it, nor vigorously pursue the necessary measures to secure it. We know that we cannot be defended, nor yet defend ourselves, without trouble and expense. We have no right to expect it neither ought we to look for it. We are apeople, wno, in our situation, differ from all the world. We form one common floor of public good, and, whatever is our charge, it is paid for our own interest and upon our own account. Misfortune and experience have now taught us system and method and the arrangements for carrying on the war are reduced to rule and order. The quotas of the several states are ascertained, and I intend in a future publication to show what they are, and the necessity as well as the advantages
; ; ;

of vigorously providing them. In the mean time, I shall conclude this paper with an instance of British clemency, from Smollett's History of England, vol. xi. p. 239, printed in London. It will serve to show how dismal the situation of a conquered people is, and that the only security is an effectual defence. all know that the Stuart family and the house of Hanover opposed each other for the crown of England. The Stuart family stood first in the line of succession, but the other was the most successful. In July, 1745, Charles, the son of the exiled king, landed in Scotland, collected a small force, at no time exceeding five or six thousand men, and made some attempts to re-establish his claim. The late duke of Cumberland, uncle to the present king of England, was sent against him, and on the 16th of April following, Charles was totally defeated at Culloden, in Scotland. Success and power are the only situations in which clemency can be shown, and those who are cruel, because they are victorious, can with the same facility act any other degenerate character. 11 Immediately after tne decisive action at Culloden, the duke <-f Cumberland took possession of Inverness; where

We

140

THE

CRISIS.

Mackintosh, who was sent prisoner to Inverness, plundered her house, and drove away Tier cattle, though her husband

six and thirty deserters, convicted b/ a court martial, were ordered to be executed then he detached several parties to ravage the country. One of these apprehended the Lady
:

was actually in the service of the government. The castle of Lord Lovat was destroyed. The French prisoners were
to Carlisle and Penrith Kiimarnoek, Balmerino, Cromartie, and his son, the lord Macleod, were conveyed by sea to London and those of an inferior rank were confined The marquis of Tullibardine, together in different prisons. with a brother of the earl of Dunmore and Murray, the pretender's secretary, were seized and transported to the tower of London, to which the earl of Traquaire had been committed on suspicion and the eldest son of lord Lovat was imprisoned in the castle of Edinburgh. In a word, all the jails in Great Britain, from the capital, northwards, were and great numbers filled with those unfortunate captives of them were crowded together in the holds of ships, where they perished in the most deplorable manner, for want of

sent

Some rebel chiefs escaped in two French air and exercise. frigates that arrived on the coast of Lochaber about the end of April, and engaged three vessels belonging to his Britannic majesty, which they obliged to retire. Others embarked
on board a ship on the coast of Buchan, and were conveyed to Norway, from whence they travelled to Sweden. In the month of May, the duke of Cumberland advanced with the army into the Highlands, as far as fort Augustus, where he encamped and sent off detachments on all hands, to hunt down the fugitives, acd Jay waste the country with fire and sword. The castles of Glengary and Lochiel were plundered and burned; every house, hut, or habitation, met with the same fate, without distinction and all the cattle and provision were carried off the men were either shot upon the mountains, like wild beasts, or put to death in cold blood, without form of trial the women, after having seen their husbands and fathers murdered, were subjected to brutal violation, and then turned out naked, with their One whole family children, to starve on the barren heaths. was- enclosed in a barn, and consumed to ashes. Those ministers of vengeance were so alert in the execution of their oflfice, that in a few days there was neither house, cottage, man, nor beast, to be seen within the compass of fifty mites all was ruin, silence, and desolation."
; ; ;

THE

CRISIS.

141

I have here presented the reader with one of the most shocking instances of cruelty ever practised, and I leave it to rest on his mind, that he may be fully impressed with a sense of the destruction he has escaped, in case Britain had

and likewise, tnat he may see and feel the necessity, as well for his own personal safety, as for the honor, the interest, and happiness of the whole community, to omit or delay no one preparation necessary to secure tne ground which we so happily stand upon.
conquered America
:

TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA.


On
the expenses,

war, and finishing

arrangements and disbursements for carrying on the it with honor and advantage.

WHEN any necessity or occasion has pointed out the convenience of addressing the public, I have never made it a consideration whether the subject was popular or unpopular, but whether it was right or wrong for that which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem. remarkable instance of this happened in the case of Silas Deane; and I mention this circumstance with the greater ease, because the poison of his hypocrisy spread over the whole country, and every man, almost without excepThe best friends tion, thought me wrong in opposing him. I then had, except Mr. Laurens, stood at a distance, and this tribute, which is due to his constancy, I pay to him with respect, and that the readier, because he is not here to hear it. If it reaches him in his imprisonment, it will afford him
;

an agreeable
"

reflection.

he rose Uke a rocket, he would. fall like a stick" is a metaphor which I applied to Mr. Deane, in the first piece which I published respecting him, and he has exactly fulfilled the description. The credit he so unjustly obtained from the public, he lost in almost as short a time. The delusion perished as it fell, and he soon saw himself stripped of popular support. His more intimate acquaintances began to doubt, and to desert him long before he left America, and at his departure, he saw himself the object of general suspiWhen he arrived in France, he endeavored to effect cion. bv treason what he had failed to accomplish by fraud. His
plans, schemes

As

and

projects, together

with his expectation

142

THE

CRISIS.

of being sent to Holland to negotiate a loan of money, had He then began traducing and accusing miscarried. America of every crime, which could injure her reputation. " That she was a ruined country ; that she only meant to make a tool of France, to get what money she could out of her, and then to leave her, and accommodate with Britain."
all

Of all which and much more, Colonel Laurens and myself when in France, informed Dr. Franklin, who had not before
heard of
has,
it.

And

to

writing, are now in the possession of congress, used every expression and argument in his power, to injure the reputation of France, and to advise America to renounce her alliance, and surrender up her independence.* Thus in France he abuses America, and in his letters to America he abuses France and is endeavoring to create disunion be-

own hand

by

letters to this

complete the character of a traitor, he country since, some of which, in his

tween the two countries, by the same arts of double-dealing by which he caused dissentions among the commissioners in But his life has been Paris, and distractions in America.

and his character is that of a plodding, plotting^ cringing mercenary, capable of any disguise that suited his purpose. His final detection has very happily cleared up those mistakes, and removed that uneasiness, which his unprincipled conduct occasioned. Every one now sees him in the same light for towards friends or enemies he acted with the same deception and injustice, and his name, like that of
fraud,
;

Arnold^ ought now to be forgotten among us. As this is the first time that I have mentioned him since my return from France, it is my intention that it shall be the last. From this digression, which for several reasons I thought necessary to give, I now proceed to the purport of my address.

I consider the war of America against Britain as the country's war, the public's war, or the war of the people in their own behalf, for the security of their natural rights, and the protection of their own property. It is not the war of congress, the war of the assemblies, or the war of the government in any line whatever. The country first, by a
Mr. William Marshall, of this city, formerly a pilot, who had been taken ;U sea and carried to England, and got from thence to France, brought over let" Robert Morters from Mr. Deane to America, one of which was directed to Mr. Morris sent it unopened to congress, and advised Mr. Marshall ris, Esq." The letters were of the same purto deliver the others there, which he did. port with those which have been already published under the signature of i had frequent reference. Deane, to which they

THE

CRISIS.

145

fortunes, they elected their representatives, by whom they appointed their members of congress, and saia, act you for Tnis is the true ground and us, and we will support you. of the war on the part of America, and, conseprinciple quently, there remains nothing to do, but for every one to
fulfil his

mutual compact, resolved to defend their rights and maintain their independence, at the hazard of their lives and

It

was next

obligation. to impossible that a

new

new undertaking, could

country, engaged in

set off systematically right at first.

She saw not the extent of the struggle that she was involved could she avoid the beginning. She supposed that she took, and every resolution which she every step formed, would bring her enemy to reason and close the conThose failing, she was forced into new measures and test. these, like the former, being fitted to her expectations, and failing in their turn, left her continually unprovided, and without system. The enemy, likewise, was induced to prosecute the wai from the temporary expedients we adopted We were continually expecting to see for carrying it on. their credit exhausted, and they were looking to see our currency fail and thus, between their watching us, and we them, the hopes of both have been deceived, and the childin, neither
;
,

ishness of the expectation has served to increase the expense. Yet, who through this wilderness of error, has been to blame ? Where is the man who can say the fault, in part, has not been his? They were the natural, unavoidable errors of the day. They were the errors of a whole counwhich nothing but experience could detect and time try, remove. Neither could the circumstances of America admit of system, till either the paper currency was fixed or laid aside. No calculation of a finance could be made on

medium failing without


But there is one and was not and

reason, and fluctuating without rule. error which might have been prevented as it is not custom to flatter, but to ; serve mankind, I will speak it freely. the It certainly was duty of every assembly on the continent to have known, at all times, what was the condition of its and to have treasury, ascertained at every period of depreciation, how much the real worth of the taxes fell short of their nominal value. This knowledge, which might have been easily gained, in the time of it, would have enabled them to have kept their constituents well informed, and this is one of the greatest iuties of representation. They ought to have studied and

my

144

THE

OttlSIS.

calculated the expenses of the war, the quota of each state,

and the consequent proportion that would fall on each man's property for his defence and this must easily have shown to them, that a tax of one hundred pounds could not be paid by a bushel of apples or an hundred of flour, which was often the case two or three years ago. But instead of this, which would have been plain and upright dealing, the little line of temporary popularity, the feather of an hour's duraand in this involved condition tion, was too much pursued of things, every state, for the want of a little thinking, or a little information, supposed that it supported the whole
;

expenses of the war, when in fact it fell, by the time the tax was levied and collected, above three-fourths short of its

own

quota.

Impressed with a sense of the danger to which the country was exposed by this lax method of doing business, and the prevailing errors of the day, I published, last October was a twelvemonth, the Crisis No. JL, on the revenues of America, and the yearly expense of carrying on the war. My estimation of the latter, together with the civil list of
congress and the civil
lion
list

of the several states,


is

was two

mil-

pounds

sterling,

which

very nearly nine millions of

dollars.

Since that time, congress have gone into a calculation, and have estimated the expenses of the war department and
the civil list of congress (exclusive of the civil list of the several governments) at eight millions of dollars ; and as the remaining million will be fully sufficient for the civil list of the several states, the two calculations are exceedingly near each other. The sum of eight millions of dollars they have called upon the states to furnish, and their quotas are as follows, which I shall preface with the resolution itself.
"

By
"

the United States in congress aMembled.

October 80, 1781.

Resolved, That the respective states be called upon to furnish the treasury of the United States with their quotas of eight millions of dollars, for the war department and civil list for the ensuing year, to be paid quarterly, in equal proto be made on the first day of portions, the first payment

April next.
Jtesofaed,

That a committee consisting of a member from

THE

CRISIS.

145

each state, be appointed to apportion to the several statea the quota of the above sum. " November 2d. The committee appointed to ascertain the proportions of the several states of the monies to be raised for the expenses of the ensuing year, report the following resolutions " That the sum of eight millions of dollars, as required to be raised by the resolutions of the 30th of October la^* *>a
:

paid by the states in the following proportion


New-Hampshire
Massachusetts

$378,698
1,807,596 216,684 747,196 878,598 485,679 1,120,794 112,085

Rhode

Island

Connecticut

New-York
New-Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland
Virginia North Carolina South Carolina

....
,

...

533,996
1,807,694

622,677 873,598
24,90ft

Georgia

$8,000,000

ftesolved) That it be recommended to the several states, for raising their quotas of money for the United States, separate from those laid for their own particular use."
to

"

pay taxes

these resolutions I shall offer several remarks. On the sum itself, and the ability of the country. 2d, On the several quotas, and the nature of a union.
1st,

On

And,
3d,
1st,

As know my own calculation is as low as possible, and as the sum called for by congress, according to their calculation,
I

On the manner of collection and expenditure. On the sum itself, and the ability of the country.

agrees very nearly therewith, I

am sensible it cannot possibly


;

be done for that, unless there is to go to market with and even in that case, ready money the utmost management and economy that it it is only by can be maae to do. By the accounts which were laid before the British parliament last spring, it appeared that the charge of only subsisting, that is, feeding their army in America, cost annually four million pounds sterling, which is verv nearly eighteen Now if| for eight millions, we can feed, millions of dollars. t-lot'he, arm, provide for, and pay an army sufficient for our

be lower.

Neither can

it

146

THE

CKI8I8.

defence, the very comparison shows that the n-oney

must be

well laid out.


It may be of some use, either in debate or conversation, to attend to the progress of the expenses of an army, because it will enable us to see on what part any deficiency will fall. The first thing is, to feed them and provide for the sick.

Third, to

Second to clothe them. arm and furnish them.

Fourth, to provide means for removing them from place


to place. And, Fifth, to pay them.

The first and second are absolutely necessary to them as men. The third and fourth are equally as necessary to them And the fifth is their just due. Now if the as an army. sum which shall be raised should fall short, either by the
several acts of the states for raising collecting it, the deficiency will fall
soldiers'
it,

or

by the manner
fifth

of

on the

head, the

pay, which would be defrauding them, and eternally disgracing ourselves. It would be a blot on the councils, the country, and the revolution of America, and a man

would hereafter be ashamed


in
it.

to

own

that he

had any hand

still shorter, it would next means of removing the a/rmy from place to place / and, in this case, the army must either stand still where it can be of no use, or seize on horses, carts, wagons, or any means of transportation which it can lay hold of and in this instance the country suffers. In short, every attempt to do a thing for less than it can be done for, is sure to become at last both a loss and a dishonor. But the country cannot bear it, say some. This has been the most expensive doctrine that ever was held out, and cost America millions of money for nothing. Can the country bear to be overrun, ravaged, and mined by an enemy? Ihis will immediately follow where defence is wanting, and defence will ever be wanting where sufficient revenues are not provided. But this is only one part of the folly. The second is, that when the danger comes, invited in part by Dur not preparing against it, we have been obliged, in a lumber of instances, to expend double the sums to do that which at first might have been done for half the money.

But

if

the deficiency should be


the,

fall

on the fourth head,

is not all. third mischief has been, that grain f ail sorts, flour, beef, fodder, horses, carts, wagons, or whatever was absolutely or imisenia t<lv wanted, have been takeu

But this

THE

CRISIS.

147

without pay. Now, I ask, why was all this done, but from that extremely weak and expensive doctrine, that the country could not bear it f That is, that she could not bear, in the first instance, that which would have saved her twice as much at last ; or, in proverbial language, that she could not bear to pay a penny to save a pound ; the consequence of which has been, that she has paid a pound for a penny. are there so many unpaid certificates in almost every man's hands, but from the parsimony of not providing sufficient revenues? Besides, the doctrine contradicts itself; because, if the whole country cannot bear it, how is it possible that a part should ? And yet this has been the case for those things have been had ; and they must be had ; but the misfortune is, that they have been obtained in

Why

a very unequal manner, and upon expensive credit, whereas, with ready money, they might have been purchased for half the price, and nobody distressed. But there is another thought which ought to strike us, which is, how is the army to bear the want of food, clothing and other necessaries ? The man who is at home, can turn himself a thousand ways, and find as many means of ease, convenience or relief: but a soldier's life admits of none of those their wants cannot be supplied from themselves for an it is the defence of a state, is at the army, though aame time the child of a country, or must be provided for in
:
:

And lastly, The doctrine is false. There are not three millions of people in any part of the universe, who live so The inwell, or have such a fund of ability as in America. come of a common laborer, who is industrious, is equal to In the that of the generality of tradesmen in England. mercantile line, I have not heard of one who could be said to be a bankrupt since the war began, and in England they
have been without number. In America almost every farmer lives on his own lands, and in England not one in a hundred does. In short, it seems as if the poverty of that country had made them furious, and they were determined
to risk all to recover
all.

every thing.

Yet, notwithstanding those advantages on the part of America, true it is, that had it not been for the operation of taxes for our necessary defence, we had sunk into a state of for there was more wealth lost by neglectsloth and poverty ing to till the earth in the years 1176, '77, '78, than the
:

quota of taxes (\inounts

to.

*That

which

is lost

by

neglect.

148

THE

CRISIS.

of this kind, is lost for ever : whereas that which is paid, ana continues in the country, returns to us again ; and at the same time that it provides us with defence, it operates not only as a spur, but as a premium to our industry. I shall now proceed to the second head, viz. on the s&vwal quotas, and the natwe of a imion. There was a time when America had no other bond of union, than that of common interest and affection. The whole country flew to the relief of Boston, and, making her cause their own,participated in her cares and administered The fate of war, since that day, has carried to her wants. the calamity in a ten-fold proportion to the southward ; but in the mean time the union has been strengthened by a legal compact of the states, jointly and severally ratified, and that which before was choice, or the duty of affection, is now likewise the duty of legal obligation. The union of America is the foundation-stone of her independence ; the rock on which it is built ; and is something so sacred in her constitution, that we ought to watch every word we speak, and every thought we think, that we injure When a multitude, extended, or it not, even by mistake. rather scattered, over a continent in the manner we were, mutually agree to form one common centre whereon the whole shall move, to accomplish a particular purpose, all parts must act together and alike, or act not at all, and a stoppage in any one is a stoppage of the whole, at least for a time. Thus the several states have sent representatives to assemble together in congress, and they have empowered that body, which thus becomes their centre, and are no other than themselves in representation, to conduct and manage the war, while their constituents at home attend to the domestic cares of the country, their internal legislation, their farms, professions or employments for it is only by reducing
:

complicated things to

method and orderly connexion

that

they can be understood with advantage, or pursued with success. Congress, by virtue of this delegation, estimates the expense, and apportions it out to the several parts of the empire according to their several abilities; and here trie debate must end, because each state has already had its voice, and the matter has undergone its whole portion of argument, and can no more be altered by any particular state, than a law of any state, after it has. passed, can be For with respect to those thingg altered by any individual.

THE

CRISIS.

149

irhicli immediately concern the union, and for which the union was purposely established, and is intended to secure, each state is to the United States what each individual is tc And it is on this grand point, this the state he lives in. movement upon one centre, that our existence as a nation, our happiness as a people, and our safety as individuals,

depend.
It may happen that some state or other may be somewhat over or under rated, but this cannot be much. The experience which has been had upon the matter, has nearly ascertained their several abilities. But even in this case, it can only admit of an appeal to the United States, but cannot authorise any state to make the alteration itself, any more than our internal government can admit an individual for if one state to do so in the case of an act of assembly can do it, than may another do the same, and the instant this is done the whole is undone. Neither is it supposable that any single state can be a judge of all the comparative reasons which may influence the collective body in arranging the quotas of the continent. The circumstances of the several states are frequently varying, occasioned by the accidents of war and commerce, and it will often fall upon some to help others, rather beyond what their exact proportion at another time might be ; but even this assistance is as naturally and politically included in the idea of a union, as that of any particular assigned proportion ; because we know not whose turn it may be next to want assistance, for which reason that state is the wisest which sets the best example. Though in matters of bounden duty and reciprocal affection, it is rather a degeneracy from the honesty and ardour of the heart to admit anything selfish to partake in the government of our conduct, yet in cases where our duty, our affections, and our interest all coincide, it may be of some use to observe their union. The United States will become heir to an extensive quantity of vacant land, and
;

their several titles to shares and quotas thereof, will naturally be adjusted according to their relative quotas during the war, exclusive of that inability which may unfortunately arise to any state by the enemy's holding possession of a part but as this is a cold matter of interest, I pass it by, and proceed to my third head, viz.
;

160

THE

ClilSis.

ON THE MANNER OF COLLECTION AND EXPENDITURE.


IT hath been our error, as well as our misfortune, to blend the affairs of each state, especially in money matters,, with those of the United States ; whereas, it is our ease, convenience and interest, to keep them separate. The ex-

penses of the United States for carrying on the war, and the expenses of each state for its own domestic government, are distinct things, and to involve them is a source of perplexity and a cloak for fraud. I love method, because I see and am convinced of its beauty and advantage. It is that which makes all business easy and understood, and without which, everything becomes embarrassed and difficult. There are certain powers which the people of each state have delegated to their legislative and executive bodies, and there are other powers which the people of every state have delegated to congress, among which is that of conducting
the war, and, consequently, of managing the expenses atcehding it ; for how else can that be managed, which concerns every state, but by a delegation from each ? When a state has furnished its quota, it has an undoubted right to know how it has been applied, and it is as much the duty of congress to inform the state of the one, as it is the duty of the state to provide the other. In the resolution of congress already recited, it is recommended to the several states to lay taxes for raising their

quotas of money for the United States, separate from those laid for their own particular use. This is a most necessary point to be observed, and the distinction should follow all the way through. They should be levied, paid and collected, separately, and kept separate in every instance. Neither have the civil officers of any dtate, or the government of that state, the least right to touch that money which the people pay for the support of their army and the war, any more than congress has to touch that which each state raises for its own use. This distinction will naturally be followed by another. It will occasion every state to examine nicely into the expenses
its civil list, and to regulate, reduce, and bring it into because the money better order than it has hitherto been for that purpose must be raised apart, and accounted for to the public separately. But while the monies of both were blended, the necessary nicety was not observed, and th

01

THE

CRISIS.

151

the taxes separately, will know what they are for ; and will likewise know that those which are for the defence of the country will cease with the war, or soon after. For although, as I have before observed, the war is their own, and for the si:pport of their own rights and the protection of their own property, yet they have the same right to know, that they have to pay, and it is the want of not knowing that is often the cause of dissatisfaction. This regulation of keeping the taxes separate has given rise to a regulation in the office of finance, by which it was
directed.

poor soldier, who ought to have been the first, was the last who was thought of. Another convenience will be, that the people, by paying

receivers shall, at the end of every month, out an exact account of the monies received by them such month, specifying therein the respectively, during names of the persons from whom the same shall have been received, the dates and the sums which account they sliall respectively cause to be published in one of the newspapers of the state ; to the end that every citizen may know how much of the monies collected from him, in taxes, is transmitted to the treasury of the United States for the suppor* of the war and also, that it may be known what monies have been at the order of the superintendent of finance. It being proper and necessary, that, in a free country, the should be as fully informed of the administration of people their affairs as the nature of things will admit." It is an agreeable thing to see a spirit of order and economy taking place, after such a series of errors and difficulties. government or an administration, who means and acts honestly, has nothing to fear, and consequently has nothing to conceal ; and it would be of use if a monthly or quarterly account was to be published, as well of the expenditures as of the receipts. Eight millions of dollars must be husbanded with an exceeding deal of care to make it do, and, therefore, as the management must be reputable, the publication would be serviceable. I have heard of petitions which have been presented to the assembly of this state (and probably the same may have happened in other states) praying to have the taxes lowered. Now the only way to keep taxes low is, for the United States to have ready money to go to market with and though tho taxes to be raised for the present year will fall heavy, and

"That the

make

152

THE OKI SIS.

there will naturally be some difficulty in paying them, yet the difficulty, in proportion as money spreads about the country, will every day grow less, and in the end we shall gave some millions of dollars by it. see what a bitter, we have to deal with, and any expense is revengeful enemy have seen the cheap compared to their merciless paw. unfortunate Carolineans hunted like partridges on the mountains, and it is only by providing means for our defence, that we shall be kept from the same condition. When we think or talk about taxes, we ought to recollect that we lie down in peace and sleep in safety ; that we can follow our farms or stores or other occupations, in prosperous tranquillity; and that these inestimable blessings are procured to us by the taxes that we pay. In this view, our taxes are properly our insurance money; they are what we pay to be made safe, and, in strict policy, are the best money we can

We

We

lay out.
It was my intention to offer some remarks on th,e impost law of five per cent, recommended by congress, and to be established as a fund for the payment of the loan-office cerbut I have tificates, and other debts of the United States already extended my piece beyond my intention. And as this fund will make our system of finance complete, and is and consequently requires nothing but honesty strictly just, to do it, there needs but little to be said upon it.
;

COMMON SENSE,
Philadelphia,

March

5,

1782.

NUMBER

XH.

ON THE PRESENT STATE OF NEWS.


SINCE the arrival of two, if not three packets, in quick New-York, from England, a variety of unconnected news has circulated through the country, and afforded as great a variety of speculation. That something is the matter in the cabinet and councils of our enemies, on the other side of the water, is certain
succession, at

that they have run their length of madness, and are under the necessity of changing their measures may easily be seen

THE

OEI8I8.

153

into; but to what this change of measures may amount, or how far it may correspond with our interest, happiness and duty, is yet uncertain ; and from what we have Thitherto experienced, we have too much reason to suspect them in every
thing. I do not address this publication so much to the people of America as to the British ministry, whoever they may be, for if it is their intention to promote any kind of negotiation, it is proper they should know beforehand, that the United States nave as much honor as bravery ; and that they are no more to be seduced from their alliance ; that their line of politics is formed and not dependant, like that of their enemy, on chance and accident. On our part, in order to know, at any time, what the British government will do, we have only to find out what they ought not to do, and this last will be their conduct Forever changing and forever wrong ; too distant from Amer ica to improve in circumstances, and too unwise to foresee

scheming without principle, and executing without whole line of management has hitherto probability, their been blunder and baseness. Every campaign has added to their loss, and every year to their disgrace till unable to go on, and ashamed to go back, their politics have come to a halt, and all their fine prospects to a halter. Could our affections forgive, or humanity forget the wounds of an injured country we might, under the influence of a momentary oblivion, stand still and laugh. But can conceal them, they are engraven where no amusement and of a kind for which there is no recompense. Can ye Can ye say to the grave, restore to us the beloved dead ? the murdered ? Can ye obliterate from our memogive up Think not then to tamper ries those who are no more? with our feelings by insidious contrivance, nor suffocate oui

them

humanity by seducing us

to dishonor.

In March 1780, I published part of the Crisis, No. VIII. in the newspapers, but did not conclude it in the following papers, and the remainder has lain by me till the present
day.

There appeared about that time some disposition in the British cabinet to cease the further prosecution of the war, and as I had formed opinion that whenever such a dewith a disshould take place, it would be sign

my

honorable proposition to America, respecting France, I had suppressed the remainder of that number, not to expose the

accompanied

154

THE

OEI8I8.

baseness of any such proposition. But the arrival oi the next news from England, declared her determination to go on with the war, and consequently as the political object 1 had then in view was not become a subject, it was unnecessary in me to bring it forward, which is the reason it was never published. The matter which I allude to in the unpublished part, I shall now make a quotation of, and apply it as the more enlarged state of things, at this day, shall make convenient or
necessary. It was as follows
:

the speeches which have appeared from the British parliament, it is easy to perceive to what impolitic and imprudent excesses their passions and prejudices have, in every Provoked instance, carried them during the present war. at the upright and honorable treaty between America and France, they imagined that nothing more was necessary to be done to prevent its final ratification, than to promise, through the agency of their commissioners (Carlisle, Eden and Johnston) a repeal of their once offensive acts of parliament. The vanity of the conceit, was as unpardonable as the experiment was impolitic. And so convinced am I of their wrong ideas of America, that I shall not wonder, if in their last stage of political phrenzy, they propose to her to break her alliance with France, and enter into one with them. Such a proposition, should it ever be made, and it has been already more than once hinted at in parliament, would discover such a disposition to perfidiousness, and such disregard of honor and morals, as would add the finishing vice to national corruption. I do not mention this to put America on the watch, but to put England on her guard, that she do not, in the looseness of her heart, envelope in disgrace every fragment of her reputation." Thus far the

"

By

quotation. By the complexion of some part of the news which has transpired through the New- York papers, it seems probable that this insidious era in the British politics is beginning to make its appearance. I wish it may not ; for that which is a disgrace to human nature, throws something of a shade over all the human character, and each individual feels his share of the wound that is given to the whole. The policy of Britain has ever been to divide America in some way or other. In the beginning of the dispute, she practised every art to prevent or destroy the union of the

THE

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155

states, weLI knowing that could she once get them to stand Failing in singly, she could conquer them unconditionally. this project in America, she renewed it in Europe; and, after the alliance had taken place, she made secret offers to France to induce her to give up America ; and what is still

at the same time made propositions to Dr. Franklin, then iu Paris, the very court to which she was secretly applying, to draw off America from France.

more extraordinary, she


But
this is not all.

the 14th of September, 1778, the British court, through "Weymouth, made application to the d'Almodovar, the Spanish ambassador at London, marquis to " ask the mediation" for these were the words, of the court of Spain, for the purpose of negociating a peace with France, leaving America (as I shall hereafter show) out of the question. Spain readily offered her mediation, and likewise the city of Madrid as the place of conferr-nce, but withal, proposed, that the United States of America should be invited to the treaty, and considered as independent during the time the business was negotiating. But this was not the view of England. She wanted to draw France from the war, that she might uninterruptedly pour out all her force and fury upon America and being disappointed in this plan, as well through the open and generous conduct of Spain, as the determination of France, she refused the mediation which she had solicited. I shall now give some extracts from the justifying memorial of the Spanish court, in which she has set the conduct and character of Britain, with respect to America, in a clear and striking point of light. The memorial, speaking of the refusal of the British court to meet in conference, with commissioners from the United States, who were to be considered as independent during the time of the conference, says, " It is a thing very extraordinary and even ridiculous, thai the court of London, who treats the colonies as independent, not only in acting, but of right, during the war, should have a repugnance to treat them as such only in acting during a The convention of Sara truce, or suspension of hostilities. toga the reputing general Burgoyne as a lawful prisoner, in order to suspend his trial the exchange and liberation the having of other prisoners made from the colonies named commissioners to go and supplicate the Americans, at their own doors, request peace of them, ?i;;d treat with
their secretary, lord
;
;

On

156

THE
:

CRISIS.

and, finally, by a thousand other by the court of London, which have been, and are true signs of the acknowledgment of their independence. " In aggravation of all the foregoing, at the same time the British cabinet answered the king of Spain in the terms already mentioned, they were insinuating themselves at the court of France by means of secret emissaries, and making very great offers to her, to abandon the colonies and make peace with England. But there is yet more for at this same time the English ministry were treating, by means of another certain emissary, with Dr. Franklin, minister plenipotentiary from the colonies, residing at Paris, to whom they made various proposals to disunite them from France, and accommodate matters with England. " From what has been observed, it evidently follows, that the whole of the British politics was, to disunite the two courts of Paris and Madrid, by means of the suggestions and offers which she separately made to them ; and also to separate the colonies from their treaties and engagements entered into with France, and induce them to arm against the house of Bourbon, or more probably to oppress them when they foitnd^from breaking their engagements, that they stood alone and without protection. " This, therefore, is the net they laid for the American states ; that is to say, to tempt them with flattering and
acts of this sort, authorized
;

them and the congress

very magnificent promises to come to an accommodation with them, exclusive of any intervention of Spain or France, that the British ministry might always remain the arbiters

king (the king of Spain) faithful on the one part of the engagements whicn bind him to the Most Christian king (the king of France') his nephew just and upright on the other, to ms own subjects, whom he ought to protect and guard against so many insults and finally, full of humanity and compassion for the Americans and other individuals who suffer in the present war he is determined
;

of the fate of the colonies. " But the Catholic

to pursue and prosecute it, and to make all the efforts in his power, until he can obtain a solid and permanent peace, with full and satisfactory securities that it shall be observed." Thus far the memorial ; a translation of which into English, may be seen in full, under the head of State Papers, in

the Annual Kegister, for 17T9, p. 367. The extracts I have here given, serve to show the various

THE

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157

endeavors and contrivances of the enemy, to draw France from her connection with America, and to prevail on her to make a separate peace with England, leaving America totally out of the question, and at the mercy of a merciless, unprincipled enemy. The opinion, likewise, which Spain has formed of the British cabinet character, for meanness and perfidiousness, is so exactly the opinion of America, respecting it, that the memorial, in this instance, contains however for our own statements and language people, remote, who think alike, will unavoidably speak alike. Thus we see the insidious use which Britain endeavoured to make of the propositions of peace under the mediation of Spain. I shall now proceed to the second proposition under the mediation of the emperor of Germany and the empress of Russia the general outline of which was, that a congress of the several powers at war, should meet at Yienna, in 1781,
;

to settle preliminaries of peace. I could wish myself at liberty to make use of all the information which I am possessed of on this subject, but as there is a delicacy in the matter, I do not conceive it prudent, at least at present, to make references and quotations in the same manner as I have done with respect to the mediation of Spain, who published the whole proceedings herself ; and
this part of the business, credit with the public, assuring them, that when the whole proceedings, relative to the proposed account congress of Yienna, shall appear, they will find

must

therefore, rest

what comes from me, on

on

my own

my

not only true, but studiously moderate. "We know at the time this mediation was on the carpet, and ministry ran Ingh the expectation of the British king The English with respect to the conquest of America. which was taken with the mail on board, and carried packet into 1'Orient, in France, contained letters from lord G. Germaine to Sir Henry Clinton, which expressed in the fullest terms the ministerial idea of a total conquest. Copies of those letters were sent to congress and published in the newspapers of last year. Colonel Laurens brought over the originals, some of which, signed in the hand writing of the then secretary, Germaine, are now in my possession. Filled with these high ideas, nothing could be more insolent towards America than the language of the British court on the proposed mediation. peace with France and she anxiously solicited but America, as before, was Spain to be left to her mercy, neither would she hear any proposi-

THE
tion for admitting

CRISIS.

an agent from the United States

into the

congress of Vienna. On the other hand, France, with an open, noble, and manly determination, and the fidelity of a good ally, would hear no proposition for a separate peace, nor even meet in congress at Vienna, without an agent from America : and likewise that the independent character of the United States, represented by the agent, should be fully and unequivocally defined and settled before any conference should be entered The reasoning of the court of France on the several on. propositions of the two imperial courts, which relate to us, is rather in the style of an American than an ally, and she advocated the cause of America as if she had been America Thus the second mediation, like the first, proved herself.
ineffectual.

But since that time, a reverse of fortune has overtaken the British arms, and all their high expectations are dashed to the ground. The noble exertions to the southward under Greene ; the successful operations of the allied arms general in the Chesapeake ; the loss of most of their islands in the West Indies, and Minorca in the Mediterranean ; the perse
vering spirit of Spain against Gibraltar ; the expected capture of Jamaica ; the failure of making a separate peace with Holland, and the expense of an hundred millions sterling, by which all these fine losses were obtained, have read them a loud lesson of disgraceful misfortune, and necessity has called on them to change their ground. In this situation of confusion and despair their present councils have no fixed character. It is now the hurricane months of British politics. Every day seems to have a storm of its own, and they are scudding under the bare poles of
hope.

'

Beaten, but not humble ; condemned, but not penitent ; they act like men trembling at fate and catching at a straw. From this convulsion, in the entrails of their politics, it is more than probable, that the mountain groaning in labor, will bring forth a mouse, as to its size, and a monster in its make. They will try on America the same insidious arts they tried

We sometimes experience sensations to which

on France and Spain.

language

is

not equal. The conception is too bulky to be born alive, and in the torture of thinking, we stand dumb. Our feeland. ings, imprisoned by their magnitude, find no way out in the struggle 01 expression, tries to be a every finger The machinery of the body seems too little for tongue..

THE
the inind, and

CRISIS.

159

we

look about for helps to show our thought*

Such must be the sensation of America, whenever by. Britain, teeming with corruption, shall propose to her to
her faith. But, exclusive of the wickedness, there is a personal It is calling us offence contained in eveiy such attempt. for no man asks another to act the villain unless villains
sacrifice
:

No man attempts to seduce a truly honest woman. It is the supposed looseness of her mind that starts the thoughts of seduction, and he who offers it calls her a prostitute. Our pride is always hurt by the same propositions which offend our principles ; for when we are shocked at. the crime we are wounded by the suspicion of our compliance. Could I convey a thought that might serve to regulate the public mind, I would not make the interest of the alliance the basis of defending it. All the world are moved by interest, and it affords them nothing to boast of. But I would .go a step higher, and defend it on the ground of honour and 'principle. That our public affairs have flourished under the alliance that it was wisely made, and has been nobly executed that by its assistance we are enabled to preserve our country from conquest, and expel those who sought our destruction that it is our true interest to maintain it unimpaired, and that while we do so no enemy can conquer us, are matters which experience has taught us, and the common good of ourselves, abstracted from principles of faith and honor, would lead us to maintain the connexhe believes him inclined to be one.
ion.

But over and above the mere letter of the alliance, we have been nobly and generously treated, and have had the same respect and attention paid to us, as if we had been an old established country. To oblige and be obliged is fair work among mankind, and we want an opportunity of showing to the world that we are a people sensible of kindness and worthy of confidence. Character is to us, in our present circumstances, of more importance than interest.

young nation, just stepping upon the stage of and the eye of the world is upon us to see how we act. We have an enemy who is watching to destroy our reputation, and who will go any length to gain some
public
lite,

We

are a

evidence against us, that may serve to render our conduct suspected, and our character odious; because, could she accomplish this, wicked as it is, the world would withdraw

160

THE

CEI8I8.

from us, as from a people not to be trusted, and our task would then become difficult. There is nothing which sets the character of a nation in a
higher or lower light with others, than the faithfully fulThey are things filling, or perfidiously breaking of treaties. not to be tampered with and should Britain, which seems very probable, propose to seduce America into such an act of baseness, it would merit from her some mark of unusual It is one of those extraordinary instances in detestation. which we ought not to be contented with the bare negative of congress, because it is an affront on the multitude as well as on the government. It goes on the supposition that the public are not honest men, and that they may be managed by contrivance, though they cannot be conquered by arms. But, let the world and Britain know, that we are neither That our mind is great and fixed to be bought nor sold. our prospect clear ; and that we will support our character as firmly as our independence.
: ;

But I will go still further ; general Conway, who made the motion, in the British parliament, for discontinuing offensive war in America, is a gentleman of an amiable character. have no personal quarrel with him. But he feels not as we feel ; he is not in our situation, and that alone, without any other explanation, is enough. The British parliament suppose they have many friends in America, and that, when all chance of conquest is over, they will be able to draw her from her alliance with France. Now, if I have any conception of the human heart, they will fail in this more than in any thing that they have yet tried. This part of the business is not a question of policy only, but of honor and honesty ; and the proposition will have in it something so visibly low and base, that their partisans, if they have any, will be ashamed of it. Men are often hurt by a mean action who are not startled at a wicked one, and this will be such a confession of inability, such a declaration of servile thinking, that the scandal of it will ruin all

'

We

have nothing to do but to go on with vigor and determination. The enemy is yet in our country. They hold New- York, Charleston and Savannah, and the very being in those places is an offence, and a part of offensive war, and until they can be driven from them, or captured in them, it would be folly in us to listen to an idle tale. J
take
it

their hopes. In short, we

for granted that the British ministry are sinking

THE

CRISIS.

161

under the impossibility of carrying on the war. Let them then come to a fair and open peace with France, Spain, Holland and America, in the manner that she ought to do but until then, we can have nothing to say to them.

COMMON
Philadelphia,

SENSE.

May

22, 1782.

NUMBER
IT
is

YTTT.

TO SIR GUY OARLETOK


the nature of compassion to associate with mislorI address this to you in behalf even of an enemy, a captain in the British service, now on his way to the headquarters of the American army, and unfortunately doomed to death for a crime not his own. sentence so extraordian execution so repugnant to every human sensation', nary, ought never to be told without the circumstances which produced it and as the destined victim is yet in existence, and in your hands rest his life or death, I shall briefly state the case, and the melancholy consequence. Captain Huddy, of the Jersey militia, was attacked in a small fort on Tom's River, by a party of refugees in the

tune

and

British pay and service, was made prisoner, together with his company, carried to New- York and lodged in the provost of that city about three weeks after which, he was taken out of the provost down to the water-side, put into a
:

boat, and brought again upon the Jersey shore, and there, contrary to the practice of all nations but savages, was hung up on a tree, and left hanging till found by our people, who took him down and buried him. The inhabitants of that part of the country where the murder was committed, sent a deputation to general Washington with a full and certified statement of the fact. Struck, as every human breast must be, with such brutish outrage, and determined both to punish and prevent it for the future, the general represented the case to general Clinton, who then commanded, and demanded that the refugee officer who ordered and attended the execution, and whose name is Lippincut, should be delivered up as a murderer ; and in case of refusal, that the person of some British officer should

162
Buffer in his stead.

THE

CRISIS.

The demand, though noc refused, not been complied with ; and the melancholy lot (not by selection, but by casting lots) has fallen upon captain Asgill, of the guards, who, as I have already mentioned, is on his way from Lancaster to camp, a martyr to the general wickedness of the cause he engaged in, and the ingratitude of
those

whom

he served.

The first reflection which arises on this black business is, what sort of men must Englishmen be, and what sort of order and discipline do they preserve in their army, when
in the immediate place of their head-quarters, and under the eye and nose of their commander-in-chief, a prisoner can be taken at pleasure from his confinement, and his death made a matter of sport. The history of the most savage Indians does not produce instances exactly of this kind. They, at least, have a formality in their punishments. With them it is the horridness of revenge, but with your army it is a still greater crime, the horridness of diversion. The British gen'erals, who have succeeded each other, from the time of general Gage to yourself, have all affected to speak in language that they have no right to. In their proclamations, their addresses, their letters to general Washington, and their supplications to congress (for they deserve no other name) they talk of British honor, British generosity, and British clemency, as if those things were matters of fact ; whereas, we whose eyes are open, who speak the same language with yourselves, many of whom were bom on the same spot with you, and who can no more be mistaken in your words than in your actions, can declare to all the world, that so far as our knowledge goes, there is not a more detestable character, nor a meaner or more barbarous enemy, than the present British one. With us, you have forfeited all pretensions to reputation, and it is only holding you like a wild beast, afraid of your keepers, that you can be made manageable. But to return to the point in question. Though I can think no man innocent who has lent his hand to destroy the country which he did not plant, and to ruin those that he could not enslave, yet, abstracted from all ideas of right and wrong on the original question, captain The Asgill, in the present case, is not the guilty man. You villain and the victim are here separated characters. You disown, or affect to hold the one and we the other. diaown and reprobate the conduct of Lippincut, yet you give

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CRISIS.

163

and by so doing you as effectually become ; the executioner of AsgiU, as if you had put the rope on his neck, and dismissed him from the world. Whatever your are best known to feelings on this interesting occasion may be Within the grave of our own mind lies buried the yourself. He becomes the corpse of your will, or the fate of Asgill. survivor of your justice. Deliver up the one, and you save the other ; withhold the one, and the other dies by your

him a sanctuary

choice.

On our part the case is exceeding plain ; cm officer has been taken from his confinement and murdered^ and the murderer is within your lines. Your army has been guilty of a thousand instances of equal cruelty, but they nave been rendered equivocal, and sneltered from personal detection. Here the crime is fixed ; and is one of those extraordinary cases which can be neither denied nor palliated, and to which the custom of war does not apply ; for it never could be supposed that such a brutal outrage would ever be comIt is an original in the history of civilized barbamitted.
rians,

and

is

We can have no idea of your honor, or your justice, in any future transaction, of what nature it may be, while you shelter within your lines an outrageous murderer, and sacrifice in his stead an officer of your own. If you have no regard to us, at least spare the blood which it is youi duty to save. Whether the punishment will be greater on him, who, in this case, innocently dies, or on niib whom aii
necessity fcrces to retaliate,
is,

by men immured within a dungeon. circumstance from men in the field, and every leave no pretence tor severity of punishment. But if to the dismal condition of captivity with you, must be added the constant apprehensions of death ; if to be imprisoned is sr nearly to be entombed and, if after all, the murderers ara to be protected, and thereby the crime encouraged, wherein do you differ from Indians, either in conduct or character \
jected to miscarriage,
differ in

your part you are accountable to us for the personal Here can be no safety of the prisoners within your walls. mistake they can neither be spies nor suspected as such vour security is not endangered, nor your operations sub; ;

On

truly British.

They

in the nicety of sensation, an

undecided question.
ferings of both.

It rests 'with

You have

you to prevent the sufnothing to do but to give up the


is

murderer, and the matter ends. Ba'. to protect him, be he who he may,

to patronise hiB

164
crime, and to
quiries, is to

THE

CRISIS.

trifle it off by frivolous and unmeaning in promote it. There is no declaration you can make nor promise you can give that will obtain credit. It is the man and not the apology that is demanded. You see yourself pressed on all sides to spare the life of your own officer, for die he will if you withhold justice. The murder of captain Huddy is an offence not to be borne with, and there is no security with which we can have, that such actions or similar ones shall not be repeated, but by making

the punishment fall upon yourselves. To destroy the last security of captivity, and to take the unarmed, the unresist-

ing prisoner to private and sportive execution, is carrying barbarity too high for silence. The evil must be put an end to ; and the choice of persons rests with you. But if your Attachment to the guilty is stronger than to the innocent, you invent a crime that must destroy your character, and if the cause of your king needs to be so supported, for ever cease, sir, to torture our remembrance with the wretched phrases of British honor, British generosity, and
British clemency.

From this melancholy circumstance, learn, sir, a lesson of morality. The refugees are men whom your predecessors have instructed in wickedness, the better to fit them to their master's purpose. To make them useful, they have made them vile, and the consequence of their tutored villainy is now descending on the heads of their encouragers. They have been trained like hounds to the scent of blood, and cherished in every species of dissolute barbarity. Their ideas of right and wrong are worn away in the constant habitude, of repeated infamy, till, like men practised in execution, they feel not the value of another's life. The task before you, though painful, is not difficult ; give up the murderer, and save your officer, as the first outset of necessary reformation.
COMMON
Philadelphia,

May

31,

1782.

THE

CRISIS.

165

NUMBER
A

XIV.

TO THE EARL OF SHELBTJRNE.

Mr LORD, speech, which has been printed in seveial of the British and New-York newspapers, as coming from your lordship, in answer to one from the duke of Kichmond, of the 10th of July last, contains expressions and opinions so new and singular, and so enveloped in mysterious reasoning, that I address this publication to you, for the purpose them a free and candid examination. The speech of giving that I allude to is in these words : "His lordship said, it had been mentioned in another To clear place, that he had been guilty of inconsistency. himself of this, he asserted that he still held the same principles in respect to American independence which he at first imbibed. He had been, and yet was of opinion, whenever the parliament of Great Britain acknowledges that Such were point, the sun of England's glory is set ibrever. the sentiments he possessed on a former day, and such the sentiments he continued to hold at this hour. It was the opinion of lord Chatham, as well as many other able statesmen. Other noble lords, however, think differently ; and as the majority of the cabinet support them, he acquiesced in the measure, dissenting from the idea ; and the point is settled for bringing the matter into the full discussion of parliament, where it will be candidly, fairly, and impartially debated. The independence of Ajnerica would end in the ruin of England ; and that a peace patched up with France, would give that proud enemy the means of vet trampling on The sun of England's glory he wished not to this country.
see set forever; he looked for a spark at least to be left, which might in time light us up to a new day. But if independence was to be granted, if parliament deemed that measure prudent, he foresaw, in his own mind, that England was undone. He wished to God that he had been deputed to congress, that he might plead the cause of that country as wefl us of this, and that he might exercise whatever powers h^ possessed as an orator, to save both from ruin, in a conviction to congress, that, if their independence was igned, their liberties were gone forever.

166

THE

CRISIS.

" Peace, his lordship added, was a desirable object, but it must be an honorable peace, and not an humiliating one, dictated by France, or insisted on by America. It was very true, that this kingdom was net in a flourishing state, it was impoverished by war. But if we were not rich, it was evident that France was poor. If we were straitened in our finances, the enemy were exhausted in tjieir resources. This was a great empire it abounded with brave men, who were able and willing to fight in a common cause the language of humiliation should not, therefore, be the language of Great Britain. His lordship said, that he was not afraid nor ashamed of those expressions going to America. There were numbers, great numbers there, who were of the same
; ;

of thinking, in respect to that country being dependant on this, and who, with his lordship, perceived rum and independence linked together." Thus far the speech on which I remark That his lordship is a total stranger to the mind and sentiments of America that he has wrapped himself up in fond delusion, that something less than independence may, under his adminisand he wishes himself sent to congress, tration, be accepted to prove the most extraordinary of all doctrines, which is,

way

that independence, the sublimest of all human conditions, is loss of liberty. In answer to which we may say, that in order to know what the contrary word dependance means, we have only to look back to those years of severe humiliation, when the mildest of all petitions could obtain no other notice than the haughtiest of all insults ; and when the base terms of unconditional submission were demanded, or undistmguishable deIt is nothing to us that the ministry struction threatened.
;

have been changed, for they may be changed again. Th^ government is the crime of a whole country ana the nation that can, though but for a moment, think and act as England has done, can never afterwards be believed or trusted. There are cases in which it is as impossible to reguilt of a
store character to
It is a life, as it is to recover the dead. that can expire but once, and from whose ashes there phenix Some offences are of such a slight comis no resurrection. position, that they reach no further than the temper, and are created or cured by a thought. But the sin of England has struck the heart of America, and nature has not left in our

power to say we can forgive. Your lordship wishes for an opportunity to plead before

THE

CRISIS.

167

congress the cause of England and America, and to save, as you say, both from ruin. That the country, which, for more than seven years has sought our destruction, should now cringe to solicit our protection, is adding the wretchedness of disgrace to the misery of disappointment and if England has the least spark of
;

Jhat spark must be darkened by asking, and extinguished by receiving, the smallest favor from America for the criminal who owes his life to the ^race and mercy of the injured, is more executed by the living, than he who dies. But a thousandpleadings, even from your lordship, can have no effect. Honor, interest, and every sensation of the We are a people who think heart, would plead against you. not as you think and what is equally true, vou cannot feel as we reel. The situation of the two countries are exceedOurs has been the seat of war yours has ingly different. seen nothing of it. The most wanton destruction has been committed in our sight the most insolent barbarity has been acted on our feelings. We can look round and see the remains of burnt and destroyed houses, once the fair fruit of hard industry, and now the striking monuments of British We walk over the dead whom we loved, in every brutality. part of America, and remember by whom they fell. There is scarcely a village but brings to life some melancholy thought, and reminds us of what we have suffered, and of those we have lost by the inhumanity of Britain. A thousand images arise to us, which, from situation, you cannot see, and are accompanied by as many ideas which you cannot know and therefore your supposed system of reasoning would apply to nothing, and all your expectations die of

supposed honor
;

left,

themselves.

The question whether England shall accede to the independence of America, and which your lordship says is to undergo a parliamentary discussion, is so very simple, and composed of so few cases, that it scarcely needs a

way out of an expensive and ruinous war, which has no object, and without which acknowledgment there can be no peace. But your lordship says, the sun of Great Britain will set whenever she acknowledges the independence of America. Whereas the metaphor would have been strictly just, to Have left the sun "vholly out of the figure, and have

debate. It is the only

'.68

THE OBI SIB.


it

ascribed her not acknowledging

to the