How do you like my new Story for the Pennsylvania Magazine?
Look Benjamin, it's The Philadelphia Magazine, the one that Thomas Paine writes for, we must get it!
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. Set along the banks of the Delaware River, Philadelphia was the financial and cultural capital of the colonies. It was also a center of political activity.
You Should write about independence
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.
Ughh English rule
I'm scared of seperating
One of these readers was Benjamin Rush, a doctor who would later play a key role in the independence struggle.
Dr. Benjamin Rush encouraged Paine to write a pamphlet on independence. Though he cautioned him not to use that word.
The idea of independence made many colonists uneasy. They might complain about the British rule, but the prospect of separating from Great Britain scared them.
What happened next was astonishing. The first edition sold out in days. Paine had more copies printed, and those sold out, too. Within a few months, readers had bought more than 120,000 copies of Common Sense. By the end of the year, 25 editions had been printed. Hundreds of thousands of copies were in circulation throughout the colonies. It is estimated that as many as half of all colonial citizens had either read the pamphlet or had it read to them. Common Sense was a runaway success. And Thomas Paine was America's first bestselling author.