Patriot's Corner · The Development of Democracy & Freedom in America · The American Crisis, 1776, Tom Paine
The American Crisis
Tom Paine
December 23, 1776

Paine wrote this commentary after the loss of New York on December 23, 1776. It was read to the revolutionary troops on Christmas morning, December 25, 1776, by order of George Washington.

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 by 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 I dearness only thay gives every thing 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.


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©2005 George A. Scheele MD