1775 · London
Provenance: Hannah D. Rabinowitz (bookplate)
One of the most famous pamphlets of the Revolution.
Second edition, printed within a few days of the first impression, of this famous political pamphlet by lexicographer Samuel Johnson. This edition includes a number of textual changes from the first, and is also easily distinguished from the first by differing press marks. Written in response to the opening rumblings of the American Revolution, Johnson's acerbic pamphlet was published at the height of his popularity and fame. In Johnson's response to the colonists' rallying cry of "No taxation without representation," he argues that the colonists "are represented ... by the same virtual representation as the greater part of England." He writes of the Americans: "That it is their duty to pay the cost of their own safety they seem to admit; nor do they refuse their contribution to the exigencies, whatever they may be, of the British empire; but they make this participation of the public burden a duty of very uncertain extent, and imperfect obligation, a duty temporary, occasional and elective, of which they reserve to themselves the right of settling the degree, the time, and the duration, of judging when it may be required, and when it has been performed." This pamphlet elicited many responses, and doubtless further spurred the cause of the Revolution.
ESTC T49891; Sabin 36303; American Controversy 75-69b; Courtney & Smith, p.125; Reese, Revolutionary Hundred 26; Adams 75-69b; Kress 11291. (Inventory #: 39791)