"In January 1776, the pamphlet Common Sense was published in Philadelphia. The document caused an immediate sensation"
On November 30, 1774, the ship London Packet arrived in the port of Philadelphia. On board was a 37-year-old Englishman named Thomas Paine. Paine was not even aware that he had landed in America.
But he did have one important asset for his new life: letters of introduction from Benjamin Franklin.
Paine had arrived in the largest and most prosperous city in colonial America. Philadelphia was a bustling place of around 30,000 people and the third largest port in the British Empire.
His articles criticized British officials and colonial rule. These stories did not please the Loyalist citizens of Philadelphia, who favored strong ties to Great Britain. On the other hand, they did appeal to readers with Patriot sympathies.
He called the king the “royal brute of England” and said, “Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families.”