The first "Crisis" is of especial historical interest. It was written during the retreat of Washington across the Delaware, and by order of the Commander was read to groups of his dispirited and suffering soldiers. Its opening sentence was adopted as the watchword of the movement on Trenton, a few days after its publication, and is believed to have inspired much of the courage which won that victory, which, though not imposing in extent, was of great moral effect on Washington's little army.
this work as The American Crisis, remembering perhaps that a number of political pamphlets had appeared in London, 1775-1776, under general title of " The Crisis." By the blunder of an early English publisher of Paine's writings, one essay in the London " Crisis " was attributed to Paine, and the error has continued to cause confusion. This publisher was D. I. Eaton, who printed as the first number of Paine's " Crisis " an essay taken from the London publication. But his prefatory note says: " Since the printing of this book, the publisher is informed that No. 1, or first Crisis in this publication, is not one of the thirteen which Paine wrote, but a letter previous to them." Unfortunately this correction is sufficiently equivocal to leave on some minds the notion that Paine did write the letter in question, albeit not as a number of his " Crisis " ; especially as Eaton's editor unwarrantably appended the signature " C. S.," suggesting " Common Sense." There are, however, no such letters in the London essay,