On November 30, 1774, the London Packet arrived Philadelphia. On board was a 37-year-old Englishman named Thomas Paine. Paine was not aware that he had landed in America. He was burning with fever and was barely conscious. He had caught the deadly disease typhus.
Yes, it has been going great.
The Pennsylvania Magazine, huh?
Paine was lucky to be alive, but he was still very ill. Unable to walk, he was carried ashore in a blanket. A local doctor agreed to nurse him back to health.
Write a pamphlet on independence, but don't use the word independence.
Don't use that word... okay.
Paine had met Franklin in London and had impressed him with his sharp mind and his interest in science and politics. Franklin encouraged Paine to move to Pennsylvania and gave him letters of reference, calling him “an ingenious, worthy young man.” These letters would help Paine start a new life.
Common Sense ! Buy now!
You've done well, my friend..
With the help of Franklin's introduction, Paine soon landed a job as the editor of a new magazine. He had already done some writing in England. But it was here that he discovered his true calling as a writer. Paine soon made his publication, Pennsylvania Magazine, the most widely read magazine in the colonies.
Rush told Paine to write a pamphlet on independence, but he told him not to use the word. Independence made many colonists uneasy. They might complain about British, but the idea of separating from Great Britain scared them. It didn't scare Paine.In October 1775, he began the essay called Common Sense.
What happened next was astonishing. It sold out in days. More copies printed, and those sold out, too. Within a few months, people had bought more than 120,000 copies of Common Sense. By the end of the year, 25 editions had been printed. Thousands of copies were in circulation throughout the colonies.