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Responding to Paine's Common Sense... Alternative to independence...

Item # 615511

April 13, 1776

PENNSYLVANIA LEDGER, Philadelphia, April 13, 1776 

* American Independence sought
* Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"
* Great year to have (1776)
* Revolutionary War

This was a decidedly Tory newspaper, supportive of the British efforts in America. This newspaper ended publication in June, 1778 when the British evacuated the city.
The top of the front page has an ad for the printing of a work taking the opposite stance of Paine's famous Common Sense, titled: "Additions to Plain Truth: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America Containing further Remarks on a late Pamphlet entitled COMMON SENSE: Wherein are clearly & fully shewn that American Independence is as illusory, ruinous, and impracticable as a liberal reconciliation with Great Britain is safe, honourable, and expedient...".
The balance of the front page is taken up with a very lengthy work: "To the People of Pennsylvania, Letter VI" which also takes over half of the bkpg., signed in type: Cato. It begins: "In the conclusion of my last letter I charged the author of Common Sense with perverting the scripture in his account of the origin of the Jewish monarchy..." which continues with much reference to the Jews of the Old Testament. Cato was the famous 1776 critic of Thomas Paine's famous pamphlet titled Common Sense, who wrote a series of essays arguing against American independence.
Most of page 2 is taken up with: "Cassandra to Cato - Number II", which is concluded in another issue. Cassandra was the pseudonym of a radical much in favor of Independence. Obviously his thoughts in this lengthy letter are very critical of Cato's. Pg. 2 also has an item: "...1000 of the Continental troops...went over & took possession of Governor's Island & began to fortify it..." and an account of a naval skirmish (see).
Page 3 has a letter to John Hancock. A lengthy item headed: "Plan of the American Compact" begins: "The capital subject of conversation thr9oughout America for these few weeks past hath been excited by a pamphlet entitled Common Sense; the author of which endeavours to shew the necessity of our final separation from Great Britain..." with much more. This is a great article which offers a bit of a compromise from a complete break from England but offering a series of 8 guidelines by which America could have some independence while still maintaining a relationship with the mother country (see).
Four pages, water stain to the bottom portion, Royal coat-of-arms in the masthead, 2 small binding holes at the spine margin, numeric notations next to ads (this was the editor's copy), nice condition.

Category: American

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