Lot 5
  • 5

[Thomas Paine]

20,000 - 25,000 USD
32,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America … Written by an Englishman. Boston: Edes & Gill and T. & J. Fleet, 1776  
  • Paper, Ink
Disbound (7 5/8 x 4 5/8 in.; 193 x 117 mm).  [4], 44 pp.; title-page stained and with light foxing, chipped at edges, scattered light foxing and browning.  Half brown morocco gilt slipcase and chemise.


Eldad Taylor, Sr. (inscribed on title "Eldad Taylor of Westfield") — Thomas Paine National Historical Association (deaccessioned in 2005)


Evans 58214; Gimbel CS-18; Grolier American 14; Howes P17

Catalogue Note

FIRST BOSTON PRINTING OF THOMAS PAINE'S COMMON SENSE, advertised in Edes' Boston Gazette,  4 March 1776: “A few of those celebrated Pamphlets entitled Common Sense … to be Sold (if applied for soon). …"   

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.