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  • Thomas Paine's American Crisis achieves $125,000 at Swann
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AmericanCrisisPaine'sThomas

Thomas Paine's American Crisis achieves $125,000 at Swann

A rare copy of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis (1776-1777) made $125,000 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on November 25.

The book called for the overthrow of the British and the establishment of an American republic.

Paine American Crisis
Thomas Paine's The American Crisis was issued as a series of six pamphlets

The most widely quoted part of the collection are the opening lines, which read in part: "These are the times which try men's souls…

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly."

They were read to American troops before the battle of Trenton in 1776.

A letter copy book belonging to Boston merchant Russell Thomas during the revolutionary war sold for $75,000 - up 316.6% on an $18,000 estimate.

The majority of the letters are addressed to financier Robert Morris and primarily concern the war and its affect on business.

In March 1781, he wrote: "I approve much of the new ship coming to your port, my only fear is that she cannot be got ready before your coast is infested with British cruisers.

"If the Dutch are at war with the British, the channel of getting English goods must be shut up, which I think will soon give a chance for the sale of your linnens."

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AmericanCrisisPaine'sThomas