The American Crisis 1776
The quotes are from battlefields.org and show the importance of writers encouraging patriots to keep fighting in a very dark time. Thomas Paine, an English immigrant to America, published the following in Philadelphia while he took part in Washington’s Continental Army:
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
On the night of December 25th, as Washington prepared to make a strike on Trenton, he ordered that Paine’s words be read to the entire army as a reminder of the importance of their task.
“I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state: up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it.”
Their resolve renewed, the battered but not broken Continental Army went back on the offensive. The “Ten Crucial Days” that followed saw Washington and his men victorious at Trenton and Princeton, forcing the Howe to abandon much of New Jersey.