How History Unfolds on Paper: Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection, Part IX
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[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE]. PAINE, Thomas (1737-1809), editor. The Pennsylvania Magazine: or, American Monthly Museum for June 1776. Philadelphia: R. Aitken, 1776. Disbound pamphlet, 8vo (210 x 133 mm). Text in double columns, woodcut vignette on title, engraved folding map of the Carolinas by Aitken (spotting to map, browning throughout). EARLY PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE FORM WITH ONE OF THE FIRST NOTICES OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE’S PASSAGE.

This printed notice was made possible due to a hold in publication until July 3 (but possibly July 4 or 5, but no later), thus allowing the notice of important Congressional action to be printed almost immediately. A temporary paper shortage also aided in the delay of the printing. The editor (Paine) explains the delay that allowed that inclusion: “To our Correspondents. Hermes came too late for insertion this month. Our customers will excuse us, though the day of publication be sometimes delayed: The great difficulty we have procuring printing paper, renders it impossible for us to publish always on the first Wednesday of the month.” With the later publication date, the June 1776 issue contains one of the first reports of the break with England found in any publication.

The notice, found on page 296, reads in part: “A DECLARATION. Whereas George the Third, King of Great-Britain, &c. in violation of the principles of the British constitution, and of the laws of justice and humanity, hath, by an accumulation of oppressions unparalleled in history, excluded the inhabitants of this with the other American colonies from his protection: And whereas he hath paid no regard to any of our numerous and dutiful petitions for redress of our complicated grievances, but hath lately purchased foreign troops to assist in enslaving us, and hath excited the Savages of this country to carry on a war against us, as also the Negroes to embrue their hands in the blood of their masters, in a manner unpracticed by civilized nations; and moreover hath lately insulted our calamities by declaring that he will show us no mercy until, he hath subdued us…WE THE DEPUTIES of the people of Pennsylvania, assembled in FULL Provisional Conference for forming a plan for the executing the resolve of Congress of the 15th of May last, for suppressing all authority in this province derived from the crown of Great-Britain, and for establishing a government upon the authority of the people only, DO in this public manner...UNANIMOUSLY declare our willingness to concur in a vote of the Congress declaring the United Colonies free and independent STATES…” This issue also contains a poetic essay entitled “Ode to the British Empire”, which is an ironic poem against the tyranny of Great Britain.

A RARE AND IMPORTANT IMPRINT PUBLISHED ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE. Evans 14380; Mott, American Magazines I, pp. 87-91; Richardson, p. 368; Sabin 60346 (“a periodical of great rarity”).

 [DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE]. PAINE, Thomas (1737-1809), e...
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