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In December 1776, George Washington and his army had retreated out of New York, down through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. A series of defeats, bitter cold, and meager supplies left the troops weary and disheartened.
Meanwhile, the British, sensing opportunity, offered colonists in New Jersey conciliation and reprieve in return for swearing allegiance to the Crown. Hundreds, eventually thousands of residents flocked to the British camps to bend the knee and declare their loyalty.
Thomas Paine, a philosopher and author, knew the situation was becoming desperate and on December 23, 1776, Thomas Paine published “The American Crisis.” A pamphlet destined to stir the souls of the American public. It began with the following passage:
"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 his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. “ Thomas Paine.
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