THE PAMPHLETEER

Washington maintained the spirits of the rag-tag Continental Army through his own qualities of leadership and courage and with the help of the pamphleteer.  Paine’s The Crisis and Common Sense were disseminated among the junior officers and ordered read to the men.  It is said these were the most effective propaganda materials ever seen until then, perhaps because they rang so true.  From The Crisis:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by 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 more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness 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 right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” 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 belong only to God.

Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

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