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Terrific discussions on the value of independence from England... Confirmation Howe has evacuated Boston...



Item # 687419

March 30, 1776

THE PENNSYLVANIA LEDGER, Philadelphia, March 30, 1776

* Rare Revolutionary War era title
* Tory issue from Pennsylvania

* Great year to have (1776)


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 entire front page and a portion of the back page are filled with a terrific letter signed by "A Common Man" headed: "To Cato, Cassandra, and all the Writers on the Independent Controversy" which has been debated in many previous issues.  Cato was the famous 1776 critic of Thomas Paine's pamphlet titled 'Common Sense' and who wrote this series of essays arguing against American independence, and "Cassandra" was a voice in opposition to Cato.
This letter has some great comments concerning independence. It begins: "Though it might be deemed absolutely necessary to suppress all publications which tend to disunite the colonies in their present spirited opposition to a cruel & unnatural attack from the people of England; yet as the question of Independency has been lately started in a pamphlet entitled 'Common Sense" and supported by a variety of subsequent authors, I confess I was much pleased on the appearance of a writer on the other side of the question..." with much more.
As if this terrific report was not sufficient, all of page 2 and a bit of page 3 are taken up with Cato's fourth letter "To the People of Pennsylvania" concerning his thoughts against independence.
And there is historic war reporting as well with a page 3 "...letter, received by express, dated Head Quarters, Cambridge, 19th March, 1776" which gives the significant report: "It is with the greatest pleasure I inform you that on Sunday last the 17th inst. about 9 o'clock in the forenoon, the ministerial army evacuated the town of Boston and that the forces of the United Colonies are in actual possession thereof..." with much more.
Included with this issue is a full single sheet "Supplement To the Pennsylvania Ledger" of the same date with its own masthead, mostly taken up with Canto's fifth letter "To the People of Pennsylvania". The author emphasizes his thoughts against independence in his closing statements: "...I am not able, with all the pains I have taken, to understand what is meant by a declaration of independence unless it is to be drawn up in the form of a solemn abjuration of Great Britain...and this seems the doctrine of the author of Common Sense...to continue this resistance, and it is our duty to continue it till Great Britain is convinced  (as she must soon be) of her fatal policy and open her arms to reconciliation upon the permanent & sure footing of mutual interest & safety. Upon such a footing we may again be happy. Our trade will be revived. Our husbandmen, our mechanics, our artificers will flourish...Pennsylvania has much to lose in this content & much to hope from a proper settlement of it. We have long flourished under our charter government. What may be the consequences of another form we cannot pronounce with certainty, but this we know that it is a road we  have  not traveled, and may be worse than it is described."
Complete in 6 pages with the "Supplement" issue, Royal coat-of-arms in the masthead, a few numeric notations in margins next to ads, generally in very nice condition.

Category: American