Thomas Paine was a writer and revolutionary. He was born in Thetford, England, and lived and worked in Britain until age 37, when he immigrated to the British American colonies, in time to participate in the American Revolution.
Thomas Paine will be most remembered because of the pro independence editorial called Common Sense, published January 10. 1776. It expressed the ideas behind the American Revolution.
In a time when there were only two million free colonists living in America, 100,000 copies were sold in just three months! (In modern lingo, that’s New York Times bestseller material!) It was read by everyone who was anyone, including in later years, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison.
The publication of this hugely popular pamphlet, along with other similar publications, would lead to his legacy as the Father of the American Revolution.
After the American Revolution ended, he moved back to England were he was outlawed for treason for defending the French Revolution. In 1792 he fled to France.
Thomas Paine didn't speak French, yet amazingly he was elected to the French National Convention in 1792. (Now that’s initiative!)
Thomas Paine died, at aged 72, at 59 Grove Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, on June 8, 1809. He was buried in New Rochelle, New York.
An "admirer" looking to return the remains to England later disinterred him however, and his final resting place is unknown.
The thing that sticks in my head about Thomas Paine, is that despite his genius regarding politics, his power and connections, that 100,000 people read his book... only six people attended his funeral ?
"Common Sense" was a pamphlet, but Paine did write several books. His last, "The Age of Reason", was a scathing criticism of ALL organized (or revealed) religions, as being only institutions of control over man. He used Christianity (most familiar to him) as his example, and the Bible itself, to disprove any Divine origin. Paine was not an atheist, but a Deist, believing God would not reveal himself to Man via anything as mutable as writing, but did so via nature and immutable natural laws. "The World is my Country, and to do good my religion." But on his final return to America, AofR was seen only as an "attack on Christianity", resulting in only 6 funeral attendees, 2 of which were freed slaves. Why? Read Paine's pamphlet "African Slavery in America" written 90 yrs < the Civil War.