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[75] was writing the most famous pamphlet of our political literature, Common sense, which appeared in January, 1776. “A style hitherto unknown on this side of the Atlantic,” wrote Edmund Randolph. Yet this style of familiar talk to the crowd had been used seventy years earlier by Defoe and Swift, and it was to be employed again by a gaunt American frontiersman who was born in 1809, the year of Thomas Paine's death. The crisis, a series of thirteen pamphlets, of which the first was issued in December, 1776, seemed to justify the contemporary opinion that the “American cause owed as much to the pen of Paine as to the sword of Washington.” Paine, who was now serving in the army, might have heard his own words, “These are the times that try men's souls,” read aloud, by Washington's orders, to the ragged troops just before they crossed the Delaware to win the victory of Trenton. The best known productions of Paine's subsequent career, The Rights of man and The age of reason, were written in Europe, but they were read throughout America. The reputation of the “rebellious Staymaker” has suffered from certain grimy habits and from the ridiculous charge of atheism. He was no more an atheist than Franklin or Jefferson. In no sense an original

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