Crisis. Number LIX


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Item#: 105570 price:$1,750.00

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[MOORE, William]. The Crisis. Number LIX. (London: T.W. Shaw), March 2, 1776. Small folio (7 by 11-1/2 inches), disbound, three leaves tipped together at center fold for six pages; pp. [377]-382. $1750.

A 1776 rarity, first edition of the 59th installment of "The Crisis": part of a weekly series of political essays published in London defending American liberty and criticizing royal authority—“violent censure of the British ministry’s American policy” (Howes).

The present issue is the 59th installment of a pro-American publication printed in London entitled "The Crisis." This weekly, published by T.W. Shaw, ran from January 1775 to September 1776 in 91 issues and was notable for its fierce attacks, not only against Parliament but George III as well; by order of the House of Commons, No. 3 was publicly burned in March, 1775. (Note: this series is not to be confused with Thomas Paine's similarly titled series of essays, "The American Crisis" which ran in newspapers beginning in December 1776 – though he very well may have been inspired by the title.) Editorship has been attributed to William Moore, author of "The Whisperer," an anti-government British newspaper, using various pseudonyms. ("Casca" is the name used for this issue.) The text begins with an ornate initial "H" enclosed in the motto "Auro Libertas Pretiosior" – "Freedom is more precious than gold."

The present installment begins with a quote from Dr. Church's letter to Major Kane of the King's Army, calling Dr. Church "General Gage's Spy": "For the sake of the miserably convulsed Empire solicit Peace, repeal the Acts, or Britain is undone." The essay urges the administration to follow Dr. Church's advice, since "he is a villain of their own." It goes on to read, in part, "From the innocent blood thus spilt in America will arise a hydra with many heads; not a monster, but (hear it ye wise counselors of the royal cabinet!) an opulent, a splendid, a powerful Commonwealth… The rule of right is immutable and eternal. A government free from kings, and sons of kings, bids the fairest for preserving it. Such is a Commonwealth, (now in embryo in America) because it has virtue for its basis… With more than human fortitude they are wisely providing for their future peace in the midst of war." Pagination continuous from previous numbers, as issued.

Fine condition. Scarce.

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