To the Honorable Henry Laurens January 17, 1779

To the Honorable Henry Laurens January 17, 1779

PHILADELPHIA,

DEAR SIR :

I received the additional testimony of your friendship, for which, it is needless to say, you have my thanks. It is true that I have subjected myself to present inconveniences, but I beg leave to mention that it is my design to publish all of my political and other writings in two volumes, and to set a proper price upon them. I shall begin with the pamphlet Common Sense; and this I believe will make some recompense for the trouble I have been at hitherto. And though I have constantly given everything I have yet published to the public gratis, yet no gentleman will expect that I should give away in volumes.

I feel myself exceedingly hurt by some expressions in Mr. Gerard's letter to Congress of the 14th inst. I have mentioned them to Mr. Mirales and shall write to Mr. Gerard on the subject.

The expressions are:

"I entreat you to receive and to express to Congress the great sensibility with which their frank, noble and categorical manner of destroying those false and dangerous insinuations which might mislead ignorant people, and put arms into the hands of the enemy."

I find myself obliged to tell him that I think it convenient to absent myself from the company even of my most intimate friends till he shall be pleased to explain that I am not personally alluded to in this paragraph. I believe my apprehensions were not ill grounded when I said that I believed they wished to get me to submit to a censure.

The resolution of Congress is more moderate than is either Mr. Jay's or Mr. Gerard's letter. I mean to give Mr. Gerard a most polite opportunity of doing me justice.

I am, dear sir, your most obedient and obliged humble servant,

T. PAINE.

Please excuse a scrawl, as I am in haste to get my letter to Mr. G[erard] completed. It is a nice step, but I think I shall manage it with address.