- Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America … Written by an Englishman. Boston: Edes & Gill and T. & J. Fleet, 1776
- Paper, Ink
Common Sense first appeared on 9 January 1776, printed by R. Bell in Philadelphia. It asked controversial questions such as why an island should rule over a continent, which made it an immediate success—and America's first bestseller. Paine's work was reprinted several times in both the colonies and in London. "It is not too much to say that the Declaration of Independence was due more to Paine's Common Sense than to any other single piece of writing" (Grolier American).
The present copy bears the inscription of Eldad Taylor, Sr. (1708–1777), a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, the Governor's Council, and the Massachusetts Senate during the Revolution. He represented Westfield in the first "Continental" legislature of Massachusetts in 1775 and was a deacon of the Congregational church.