Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 23

Price Realized: $ 938
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1776.) A Dialogue between the Ghost of General Montgomery Just Arrived from the Elysian Fields; and an American Delegate, in a Wood Near Philadelphia. 16 pages, 8vo, modern 1/4 calf; minimal dampstaining on bottom edge. Philadelphia: R. Bell, 1776

Additional Details

Imagines a conversation with the late Major General Richard Montgomery of the Continental Army, who had given his life in the failed invasion of Quebec. Here his ghost warns the Continental Congress against entering into negotiations with Great Britain, and urges the fight for complete independence: "Britain and America are now distinct empires. Your country teems with patriots--heroes--and legislators, who are impatient to burst forth into light and importance. . . . America is the theatre where human nature will soon receive its greatest military, civil and literary honors." It was first published in a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet, on 19 February 1776. Though sometimes credited to Thomas Paine, its authorship is unknown.

This dialogue was published with its own title page, but appears in the present form as an appendix to an important early edition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, titled "Common Sense; with the Whole Appendix," following the 147-page main work. This edition of Common Sense was issued by 19 March 1776. It is prefaced by a leaf from the publisher, as published in Common Sense: "Robert Bell, Bookseller, to the Public. Self-defence against unjust attacks needs no apology." Another issue of this text was apparently released separately, which appears without Bell's preface leaf and with a final colophon leaf headed "The printer to the public: on the freedom of the press." Adams, American Independence 222e (note); Evans 14966; Gimbel, Common Sense CS-9 (note).