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Philadelphia printers issued works that stoked debate over the American Revolution on both sides of the Atlantic. In the early months of 1776, printer and bookseller Robert Bell published Thomas Paine’s clarion call for independence, Common Sense, and Loyalist James Chalmers’ pointed rebuke, Plain Truth. London publisher John Almon bundled the two works in this June 1776 edition for British readers who wondered "whether Americans are, or are not prepared for a state of independence."

Object Details

  • Common Sense and Plain Truth
    Printed by John Almon
    London, England
    June 1776
    Paper, Ink
    Museum of the American Revolution

Image 091120 George Mason Roman History Collection Foundingfathersromanhistory

George Mason's Roman History

Virginia statesman George Mason, who acquired this volume of ancient Roman history, was among the members of America's founding generation that looked to ancient Rome for guidance on republican government.
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Image 092220 16x9 Patrick Henry Law Books Collection Patrickhenrylibrary

Patrick Henry's Law Books

The Museum owns five English law books that are listed in Patrick Henry’s 1799 estate inventory. Three books still bear Henry’s printed bookplate.
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This image shows Owen Madden's tune book. It is rectangular and displayed against a plain, white background. The book is in good condition, but rather worn out in the middle running down the middle.

Owen Madden's Tune Book

This handwritten tune book, attributed to Owen Madden, includes actual scores for the music of the American Revolution period.
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