December 1776 - General Washington and the Americans are facing the harshest times imaginable. They have been pushed out of NY by British General Howe. The Continental Congress is indecisive and impoverished and unable to supply them. One of the coldest Winters on record is in full force and the soldiers' enlistments are expiring on the last day of the year.
How will Washington keep everyone together to continue the fight?
Author Thomas Paine (Common Sense) releases the first in a series of pamphlets titled "The American Crisis". It begins:
"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 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 everything 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. "
Paine continues on, discussing the current panic and crisis in the American Colonies.
"...their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world."
Then he reminds everyone of the differences between Loyalists (Tory) and Patriots (Whig).
"I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, "Well! give me peace in my day." Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;" and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty. "
I hope you will join me here on FB this Thursday, 12/15 at 7pm ET for "Mrs. Q LIVE". Mrs. Q will take you step by step through Paine's remarkable pamphlet and explain the effect it had on the downtrodden American army. You will be inspired by Paine's words this holiday season.