The Crisis: in Thirteen Numbers


Category: Liberty/Dignity

By Thomas Paine

Published in 1792

Reference #0272

First Collected American Edition. “The Crisis: in Thirteen Numbers,” also known as “The American Crisis,” is a collection of sixteen articles written by English-American political philosopher Thomas Paine between December 23, 1776 and April 19, 1783.

Only five articles were published in pamphlet form, with the rest appearing in only newspapers and signed with the pseudonym Common Sense. Seen here is the first collected American edition printed and sold by Charles R. and George Webster in Albany in 1792. In the articles, Paine mocked the British officers, condemned the Tories, examined the war and the issues at stake, appealed to the English people to abandon making war, and proposed plans for the taxation and strengthening the American Union.

These articles were tremendously popular and distributed widely. Paine showed his commitment to the Revolutionary cause by refusing to accept a penny for his work, and even went into debt to personally cover the cost of publication.