A Chronology of the Life
and Work of Thomas Paine


Born: Thetford, England, as Thomas Pain. His father, a staymaker, was a member of the Society of Friends. His mother was a member of the Church of England. Paine practiced neither religion.

COMMENTS: Although apparently trained as a staymaker (the exact definition of which has been subject to dispute. This term was used to describe one who made the frames for women's corsets but was also used to describe shipbuilders who constructed the ribs of a ship. Recent research indicates that Thetrod was home to this industry. Paine's family may actually have been rather well off financially. The question is whether Paine's political detractors later attempted to deman him by inventing the story that he was a corset-maker.

Paine later wrote of his early education:

"My father being of the Quaker profession, it was my good fortune to have an exceeding good moral education, and a tolerable stock of useful learning. Though I went to grammar school, I did not learn Latin, not only because I had no inclination to learn languages, but because of the objection the Quakers have against the books in which the language is taught. but this did not prevent me from being acquainted with the subjects of all the Latin books used in the school. the natural bend of my mind was to science. ..."

1756 Paine ran away from home, joining the crew of a privateer, the King of Prussia. Historian Page Smith indicates that he remained on this or another warship through the end of the Seven Years' War (which would have kept him at sea until 1763 and conflicts with what is recorded by other historians and biographers).

1757 Arrived in London, where he remained for one year, then moved to Dover, and then to the village of Sandwich. His biographers carry forward the story that he opened his own staymaking stop.

1759 Married Mary Lambert, a maid employed by a local shopkeeper. Another story carried forward by his detractors is that his business failed and he was forced to make a midnight move to another village up the coast. Mary died the following year (apparently from the premature birth of their child).

1760 Enters school to learn mathematics, improve his knowledge of the English language and to study a position in the excise service, collecting internal customs duties (levied on tobacco, alcohol and other consumption items).

COMMENTS: Samuel Johnson, whom Paine probably came to know in London, expressed the general feeling about excise taxes when he called them "a hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges for property, but by wretches hired by those to whom the excise is paid."

1764 Appointed tax collector in the town of Alford, Lincolnshire -- at a salary of 50 pounds per year, from which he had to pay all his own expenses.

1765 Dismissed from his position as tax collector for failing to inspect goods before assigning the amount of tax due. Paine returns to the staymaking trade.

1766 Moves to London and takes a position as an instructor of English at a small academy, where he stays for only a short while before moving on to another school. Teaching does not seem to suit him. He is said to have also tried preaching, although this is out of character forhim given his religious views.

1768 After petitioning for his old position as excise tax collector, he is appointed tax collector of Lewes, Sussex (some fifty miles form London). Here, he joins an informal club of debaters that met evenings at a tavern. He writes a poem ostensibly about the death of General James Wolfe, who was killed in Quebec during the Seven Years' War, but in great part the poem is a criticism of British foreign policy.

COMMENTS: The members of this club espoused Whig political views. Even the radical-Whigs were not republicans. They merely wanted an end to the corruption existing under Pitt and the cabinet system. There was also great frustration with Parliamentary representation, which left some towns wihtout representation at all.

1769 Paine's landlord, owner of a tobacco shop, dies; Paine steps in to help run the shop. Paine adds footstuffs and alcoholic spirits to the shop's goods. As these were all taxable items, Paine finds himself in a conflict of interest as collector of the excise taxes on these goods.

1771 Marries for a second time, to Elizabeth Ollive, the eldest daughter of his dead benefactor. He later says the marriage was one of convenience entered into for the sake of appearances, and was never consummated. Meanwhile, the shop business slowly declines. Paine's biographers repeat earlier conclusions that his occurs because of Paine's ineptitude in business matters.

1772 Paine is among the leaders of a movement to obtain higher salaries for excise tax collectors, which fails. Ostensibly for his failure to perform his duties, but more likely because of his involvement, he is dismissed from his position. During this campaign he writes his first political pamphlet, The Case of the Officers of Excise.

COMMENTS: Paine's pamphlet talks about "general want" among the English people caused by increasing prices and expanded supply of money. He suggests that such want causes corruption of morals and suggested the wealth held by the rich came from the misfortune of others.

1772 More important is his friendship whith amateur mathematician George L. Scott, who had served as a tutor to George III. Through Scott, Paine joins a circle of intellectuals that includes Edward Gibbon, Samual Johnson, astronomer Dr. John Bevis and Benjamin Franklin. Evidence suggests that Paine became a very active political pamphleteer during this period, writing anonymously, as was the general practice of the time.

1773 Separates from his wife (but is never divorced). He is introduced to Benjamin Franklin (most likely by the Deist and politically progressive David Williams (who later authored the pamphlet Political Liberty) and expresses a desire to leave for North America. One story is that Paine hoped to establish an academy for young ladies; however, this seems to run counter to his brief exposure to teaching. Another possibility, one advanced by Paine's modern supporters, is that Franklin urged him to put his pen to use on behalf of the colonies.

COMMENTS: Historian Page Smith writes, for example, that it was paine's "radical views" that brought him to North America.

1774 Armed with a letter of introduction from Franklin, Paine leaves England for North America, arriving in Philadelhia in the fall, very ill from the journey. For six weeks he is bedridden. Then, when sufficiently recovered, he visited Richrad Bache, Franklin's son-in-law and a merchant in Philadelphia.

1774 While recovering he does his first serious writing, an essay titled "Dialogue Between General Wolfe and General Gage in a Wood near Boston," which was published in a local newspaper. In this essay, he attacked the royal governor of Massachusetts and the Quebec Act (which put the stamp of approval on the Catholic Church in Canada). He also suggested that the response by the colonial assembly in Massachusetts effectively declared its independence from both the British Parliament and the Crown.

1775 Obtains a position as editor of the new periodical, the Pennsylvania Magazine, whose owner (Robert Aitken) hoped to stay out of the political debate heating up in the colonies. Paine wrote under several pseudonyms, one of his submissions being his poem about Wolfe.

1775 Paine writes an essay published in the Pennsylvania Journal that condemns Britain's role in allowing slavery to be established in North America. At the same time, he warns the colonials that a fitting retribution against the American acceptance of slavery might be British enslavement of Americans. After this essay, Paine never again writes penetratingly on the subject. One reason, perhaps, is his association with Washington, Jefferson and other slave-holding colonial leaders.

COMMENTS: Paine asks how the colonials could "complain so loudly of attempts to enslave them while they hold so many hundred thousand in slavery." He argues that "the slave, who is the proper owner of his freedom, has a right to reclaim it."

1775 April: British and colonial troops exchange fire at Lexington and Concord. The rebellion against British rule is underway.

1775 May: Benjamin Franklin returns to Philadelphia from London. The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia. The British leadership subsequently rejects the colonials' "Olive Branch Petition" and the colonials prepare for armed conflict.

1775 Paine writes to George L. Scott in England: "Surely the ministry are all mad, they never will be able to conquer America." He writes his first political essay to appear in Pennsylvania Magazine. In the July issue, he refers to the conflict as a defensive war rather than as a revolution or rebellion.

COMMENTS: In conflict with his publisher, Aitken, he soon left the magazine. Paine later explained: "When the country into which I had just set foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir. Those who had been settled had something to defend; those who had just come had something to pursue; and the call and the concern was equal and universal. For in a country where all mean were once adventurers, the difference of a few years in their arrival could make none in their right."

1775 October: Paine charges that Britain had used deception and false promises to enlist the indigenous tribes in the struggle between the Crown and the colonies. He reaches the conclusion that the colonials must separate from the British empire.

COMMENTS: At the suggestion of Benjamin Rush, Paine begins to write his pamphlet in defense of the break with Britain.

1776 Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, is published in January. The pamphlet is rapidly circulated throughout the colonies. Paine finishes revisions in February for a new printing.

Of Common Sense, Paine writes that the purpose of the pamphlet is to "rescue man from tyranny and false principles of government, and enable him to be free."

Paine attacked hereditary rule and monarchy and called for a representative system of government, a republic with a unicameral legislature, frequent elections and a written constitution.

COMMENTS: John Adams writes a long and somewhat critical response to Common Sense he titled Thoughts on Government. This opens a lifelong resentment by Paine against Adams.

Adams emphasizes the need for a balance of power in government, consistent with that proposed by the English theorist James Harrington.

1776 Addressing the morality of existing socio-political arrangements, Paine first attacked the conventional wisdom that the distinction between rich and poor is natural. He goes on to denounce the essence of inherited privilege: "[T]here is another and greater distinction for hwich no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is the distinction of men into Kings and Subjects. Male and Female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distincitons of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth inquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or misery to the world."

1776 Paine also appeals to the patriotism of the wealthy colonials to provide the funds necessary to fight the British and to establsih a new government. "A national debt is a national bond," he writes.

COMMENTS: It is curious that Paine did not advance, on principle, the perspective that the new government ought to raise needed revenue by taxation rather than borrowing. Practical considerations -- the resistance of the colonials to taxation -- dictated that the Continental Congress operated to a considerable degree on the credit of private individuals.

1776 The success of Common Sense was immediate becuse it was written in a manner the average person could appreciate. Paine's language and message expressed widely-held views.

COMMENTS: England was not the "mother country" to many European-Americans. Most colonials were born in North America and many were of Dutch, German, Scotish, Irish or African heritage.

1776 Among the educated, a number of critics of Common Sense suggested that Paine had taken much of the content from John Locke. Paine responded that Locke's A Treatise on Government was "a specultative, not a practical work, and the style of it is heavy and tedious, as all Locke's writings are."

COMMENTS: This statement by Paine contradicts another statement he made, that he had never read Locke. It is more likely that what he meant was that he had never thoroughly studied Locke because he found reading Locke "heavy and tedious."

1776 July: The leaders of the rebellion against British rule signed a Declaration of Independence.

COMMENTS: Was the rebellion an actual "revolution" or a struggle to preserve and incrementally change what already had existed under Britain's long-standing policy of salutary neglect, as described by historian Charles Andrews. Also, Peter Drucker's 1944 book, The Future of Industrial Man, argues the war was, in fact, a conservative counter-revolution.

1776 Paine volunteers to become secretary to the Pennsylvania troops headed to meet the British outside of New York City. After three months, he becomes aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene and takes on the role of war correspondent. As the army retreated to Trenton, Paine returned to Philadelphia.

1776 December: In an effort to strengthen the morale of the colonials, Paine writes the first of his Crisis Papers. He explained his reason for writing the Crisis Papers: "The deplorable and melancholy condition the people were in, afraid to speak and almost to think, the public presses stopped, and nothing in circulation but fears and falsehoods."

COMMENTS: Crisis No. 1 contains the famous words: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink form the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange, indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."

1777 January: Paine writes Crisis No. 2, addressed to Lord Howe, responding to proposals to settle the war to prevent an interruption in material prosperity. Paine writes: "The meanest peasant in America, blessed with [liberty and safety] is a happy man compared with a New-York toy."

1777 Paine is appointed secretary to a commission meeting with a number of indigenous tribes in Pennsylvania. Paine reported that the tribes intended to remain neutral. This was to be his only direct contact with the tribal societies of North America. The conference opened on 27 January in Easton, Pennsylvania.

1777 April: Paine is nominated by John adams to become secretary to a Committee for Foreign Affairs. One of Paine's ideas at this point was to write a history of the struggle for independence.

1777 Paine authors Crisis No. 3, in which he reviews the American progress toward independence. He appeals to all classes to support the war and calls for the persecution of American tories.

1777 Paine participates in the Constitutional Convention debates held by Pennsylvanians. Paine writes: "I consider freedom as personal property. If dangerous in the hands of the poor from ignorance, it is at least equally dangerous in the hands of the rich from influence, and if taken from the former under the pretense of safety, it must be taken from the latter for the same reason, and vested only in those which stand between the two; and the difficulty of doing this shows the dangerous injustice of meddling with it at all, and the necessity of leaving it at large."

1777 September: Washington's army is defeated at the Battle of Brandywine, and the British move into Philadelphia. Following the battle, Paine writes Crisis No. 4, doing as much as possible to put a favorable light on the outcome. "The nearer any disease approaches to a crisis," he writes, "the nearer it is to a cure."

1778 Paine joins Washington briefly at Valley Forge, then travels ot York, Pennsylvania to take up his position as Secretary to the Committee for Foreign Affairs.

1778 March: March: Paine writes Crisis No. 5, as a letter to Sir William Howe, commander of the British troops in Philadelphia. Of Washington's army at Valley Forge, Paine writes: "The interest, the happiness of all America, is centered in this half-ruined spot."

1778 June: The British evacuate Philadelphia and the Continental Congress returns. In the interim, France declared war on Britain, and the French fleet arrives in Philadelphia.

1778 July: Paine writes Crisis No. 6, directed to the peace commissioners sent by the British. Paine defends the American alliance with the French as "open, noble, and generous."

COMMENTS: Many Americans, still recalling the intensity of the Seven Years' War and the alliance between the French and many of the indigenous tribes on the frontier, had to be wondering whether this alliance meant trading one Old World despotic overlord for another.

1778 November: Paine writes Crisis No. 7, addressed to the people of England. In this work, he reveals the essence of his personal socio-political principles. He challenges the English cliam to having created the highest order political system. English politics, he writes, "instead of civilizing, has tended to brutalized mankind." He appeals to the English merchant classes and their own interests to pressure the British government to end the war. He also suggested that the English people could find the cost of their high taxes in the militarism of their government.

COMMENTS: Also in Crisis No. 7, Paine shows he thinks of himself as a transnational. "Perhaps it may be said that I live in America, and write this from interest. To this I reply, that my principle is universal. My attachment is to all the world, and not any particular part, and if what I advance is right, no matter where or who it comes from."

1778 Paine writes a series of essays promoting the new Pennsylvania constitution, which provided for a legislature with only one house and an executive council in lieu of a governor.

1778 Silas Deane is recalled from France to explain hugh debts incurred in the name of the Continental Congress. The delegates split into factions defending or attacking Deane. Paine, having access to documents confirming goods supposedly purchased by Deane were gifts provided by the French government, wrote an essay attacking Deane. The pro-Deane faction then went after paine.

COMMENTS: Even John Adams warns that unless something was done to end the war profiteering a civil war might erupt in America.

1779 In the midst of controversy over the Deane Affair, in January Paine resigns from his position as Secretary to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He is approached by the French ambassador to become a paid propagandist on behalf of France and the Franco-American alliance. He declined. He spent the next several months writing a long series of essays meticulously reconstructing the case against Deane.

COMMENTS: Because of the Deane Affair and what he saw as profiteering by Robert Morris and others, Paine calls for price controls.

1779 During this period, Paine worked as a clerk in the office of Philadelphia merchant Owen Biddle.

1779 One result of Paine's efforts was that Maryland and Virginia passed laws prohibiting their delegates in Congress from profiting from government contracts. Several delegates attacked by Paine were not re-elected.

1779 Paine enters the debate over the question of whether Britain ought to be pressured to relinquish any claim to the fisheries off the coast of Newfoundland.

Paine argues that the law of nations is not fixed. In his view, international law "is a term without any regular defined meaning, in theory the law of treaties compounded with customary usage, and in practice just what they can get and keep till it be taken from them."
COMMENTS: About Americans and their aspirations for empire, he wrote: "We covet not domination, for we already possess a world." What is important in this comment is his inclusion of himself as an American.

1779 In the face of rapidly rising prices, Paine urges the Congress to institute price controls and serves on a committee to develop a plan for raising tax revenue. Paine's idea is to call for the voluntary contribution of hard money.

Paine argued that the unchecked prices acted as a tax on the plain people. The merchants argued, in response, that price controls would bring ruin, forcing them to sell below cost. The problem was the uncontrolled issuance of paper money by the Continental Congress.
1779 November: After an illness lasting several months, Paine contemplates leaving North America. However, he is chosen to become the clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly and accepts this position.

1780 February: Paine writes Crisis No. 8, directed to the people of England. He re-emphasizes England's "legacy of debts" and declared that "America is beyond the reach of conquest."

1780 Mid-year: Paine becomes intimately involved in the creation of the Bnak of Pennsylvania. The capital of the bank is to be used for loans made to the government for the war effort.

1780 June: Paine completes Crisis No. 9, meant to lift the spirits of colonials in the face of setbacks, such as the fall of Charleston to the British.

Paine explains how the creation of the Bank of Pennsylvania (later to become the Bank of North America) is central to solving the problem of supplying the army and is a clear demonstration that the wealthy class in America support the war.
1780 Paine is awarded an honorary masters degree by the newly-created University of Pennsylvania.

1780 Fall: Paine writes The Crisis Extraordinary, adding his voice to that of George Washington in condemning the system of procurement that left the army without adequate arms and other supplies and urging the states to increase taxation and to give the Congress power to tax imports.

1780 September: The British remain in control of New York City. Benedict Arnold abandons the rebellion and goes over to the British.


1780 December: Paine's pamphlet, Public Good, is published. Its main objective is to challenge Virginia's unwillingness to give up its claim to lands west of the Allegheny Mountains. Paine argues that the "Northwest Territory" belongs to all the states collectively. He saw the western lands as a potential source of income to the Congress. For Virginians, this would create "a frontier state for her defense against the Indians."

1781 Paine is proposed for membership in the American Philosophical Society but is rejected because he had ruffled the feathers of too many members.

1781 Paine decides to accompany John Laurens to France. Laurens is charged with obtaining additional financial assistance from the French. Paine returned several months later without position and without money to pay his bills.

Pain's reputation is negatively impacted during this trip, as reported by Elkanah Watson, to whom Paine had been sent by Benjamin Franklin. Watson describes Paine as "course and uncouth" and "a disgusting egoist..." Rumors also circulated in France that Paine was being paid by the government as a propaganda agent for France. There are records in 1782 and 1783 indicating Paine received payment from the French Embassy for commissioned articles.

COMMENTS: After finally returning to America from France in 1802, Paine bases his petition to Jefferson for a pension on the fact that he received nothing to compensate him for this trip to France. The trip was initiated on his own but was taken ostensibly to assist in raising funds for the American cause.

1781 October: Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.

1781 November: Paine completes a critical review of the book, The Revolution in America, written by the Abbe Guillaume Raynal.

COMMENTS: In response to Raynal's conclusion that the American Revolution resembled all revolutions in history, Paine wrote: "It is in vain to look for precedents among the revolutions of former ages, to find out, by comparison, the causes of thisl. Here the value and quality of liberty, the nature of government, and the dignity of man, were known and understood, and the attachment of the Americans to these principles produced the Revolution, as a natural unavoidable consequence."

COMMENTS: Here, Paine also declares his transnationalism, referring to himself as "a citizen of the world." He writes: "The true idea of a great nation is that which extends and promotes the principles of universal society; whose mind rises above the atmosphere of local thoughts, and considers mankind, of whatever nation or profession they may be, the work of the Creator."

DAVID FREEMAN HAWKE'S INSIGHT David Freeman Hawke writes of Paine (p.107):

"The picture of Paine as a wild-eyed radicla in the American Revolution dissolves under scrutiny. Instead, it could be said of him as has been said of the American he respected above all others, Benjamin Franklin, that he 'was one of those who achieved distinction by embodying completely the spirit of the society in which they live, rather than by deviating from it or going beyond it.' Paine called for no fundamental changes in the forms of government once a republic had been established; he propagandized for no great social experiments. He rarely risked energy or reputation on lost causes. His writings, like a barometer, registered the current climate of opinion and also a hope of what would be in the future."

COMMENTS: Hawke, I think, wishes to view Paine in this light; however, Paine's writings embody not the spirit of the societies in which he resided but a system of principles that gradually evolved in his thinking. His moral sense of right and wrong was more well-defined than almost any of his contemporaries.

1782 March: Paine writes Crisis No. 10 in response to a speech made by George III delivered on 27 November 1781. Paine observes that Parliament has voted to continue the war and warns Americans not to "wrap herself up in delusive hope and suppose the business done," as this would "only serve to prolong the war, and increase expenses."

1782 Paine accepts a position as a paid propagandist to support the new federal government formed under the Articles of Confederation.

Ironically, Paine reports in this position to Robert Morris, whom he had earlier condemned as a monopolist.

With regard to the Articles, he calls for a stronger central government but one that is fully representative of the citizenry.
1782 May: paine writes Crisis No. 11, responding to those who advocated negotiating peace with the British without consulting the French. "All the world are moved by interest," writes Paine, going on to remind the British government that America's "public affairs have flourished under the alliance."

Lord North had resigned from the British government. The Whigs, led by Rockingham, came to power and pledged to secure a truce with the Americans.
1782 October: Paine writes Crisis No. 12. News reached America that Rockingham had died and that his successor, Shelburne, was determined to prevent American independence. Paine delivered the message to Shelburne that Americans would never accept a return to being subjected to "British brutality." Adds Paine: "As America is gone, the only act of manhood is to let her go."

1782 November: Paine writes a series of essays encouraging Rhode Island to sign the Articles of Confederation.

Paine's observations offer important contributions to progressive socio-political thought:

"Wht would the sovereignty of any one individual state be, if left to itself, to contend with a foreign power? It is in our united sovereignty, that our greatness and safety, and the security of our foreign commerce, rest."

And, on the issue of dual citizenship:

"Every man in America stands in a two-fold order of citizen. He is a citizen of the state he lives in, and of the United States; and without justly and truly supporting his citizenship in the latter, he will inevitably sacrifice the former."
1783 April: Paine writes Crisis No. 13, declaring that the "greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew" had been accomplished.

In celebration of independence and the end of war, Paine writes:

"The times that tried men's souls are over -- and the greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew, gloriously and happily accomplished."

Yet, if all this was to be preserved, there must be a strengthening of the union of the States.
1783 In a serious financial situation, Paine writes to the U.S. Congress soliciting a pension for his services during the war. A committee recommended that Paine be offered the position of official historian.

Paine cautiously makes his care, comparing his position with those of others to whom the Congress is indebted:

"For besides the general principle of right, and their own privileges, they had estates and fortunes to defend, and by the event of the war they now have them to enjoy. They are at home in every sense of the word. But with me it is otherwise. I had no other inducement than principle, and have nothing else to enjoy."
1783 Fall: Paine comes down with scarlet fever (an epidemic was spreading throughout the Philadelphia population) and is bedridden for a month.

1783 November: The Peace of Paris formally ends the war between Britain and France and establishes the terms of independence of the thirteen North American colonies from British rule.

1783 November: Paine travels to New York City. He writes A Supernumerary Crisis, an essay arguing that only the strengthening of the union between the states would preserve their independence form foreign domination.

Paine criticizes Rhode Island for its unwillingness to work within the union and to contribute its fair share to the conduct of the war. He fears Britain will use whatever means it can to keep the states disunited and thereby monopolize American commerce.

1784 June: The New York legislature awards Paine a farm in New Rochelle, New York, a property confisced from a departed Tory.

1785 Paine is awarded $3,000 by the U.S. Congress for his services during the war.

COMMENTS: David Freeman Hawke observes that "[f]rom a nation unaccustomed to honoring literary gentlemen with cash rewards Paine had received more than almost any writer would ever receive from a national or state government in American history."

1785 A struggle arises over the granting of a charter to the Bank of North America. During and after the war, the country experienced a severe shortage of coinage (i.e., of hard money). European immigration had come to a virtual halt because of the political uncertainty, which hit the land speculation market hard. With the end of fighting, farm production increased dramatically, and farmers delivered large surpluses for which there was no market. As a result, prices fell sharply and many states fell into recessionary downturns.

1786 Paine prepares a pamphlet, Dissertation on Government; the Affairs of the Bank; and Paper Money. Finished in February, he has copies distributed to the members of the Pennsylvania Assembly.

He attacks paper money issued by government and the requirement that citizens must accept this as money in lieu of coinage. He does, however, express his support of paper money issued by private banks on the grounds that these notes can be accepted or rejected by individuals as they choose.
COMMENTS: Economic historian Bray Hammond (author of Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War, published in 1957) rated Paine "the most effective participant on either side..."

1786 March: Paine initiates his project to design and construct a model of an iron bridge. the model is completed by June. Late in the year, he tries to get the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society to use his design to build a bridge across the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

1786 Late in the year, Paine writes an essay that reverses his stand in Common Sense on the virtues of a unicameral legislature and a strong executive. He now openly worries over the potential of such a legislative body to become "a complete aristocracy." and, he fears that a strong executive is equally dangerous.

1787 April: Paine leaves for Europe, in part to gain approval in France and England for his bridge design.

1787 May: Delegates meet in Philadelphia to come up with a list of proposed amendments to the Articles of Confederation.

1787 THE OLD WORLD: In the summer, civil war broke out in the Netherlands. France, suffering severe financial problems, declines to honor a commitment to intervene. In Britain, a group of reformers join to create the Society for Constitutional Information.

1787 In response to the civil war in the Netherlands, Paine writes a pamphlet, Prospects on the Rubicon arguing that French and British intervention would be an expression of fiscal irresponsibility.

1787 August: The French Academy of Sciences issues a formal endorsement of Paine's bridge design. In September, he leaves for England but returns to France in December, unsuccessful in his attempt to get the Royal Society to endorse his bridge design.

1787 Pennsylvania adopts a new Constitution. In France, Paine, Jefferson and Lafayette engage in long discussions over whether there are such things as natural rights. Paine writes an essay on the subject for personal consideration by Jefferson.

COMMENTS: Paine argues that natural rights are those the individual can fully exercise without the aid of government; that men come together to form a civil society not to impose restraints on these rights but to protect them. Separate from these natural rights are civil rights that emerge out of any social compact, those "of personal protection, of acquiring and possessing proerty."

1788 January: The Parlement of Paris censured the government for attempting to levy new taxes.

1788 May: Paine returns to England to once again pick up his efforts to market his bridge design. He finally receives a patent for the bridge in September and enters into a partnership with a Yorkshire ironworks to take on the construction.

1788 August: Paine opens a correspondence with Edmund Burke to discuss relations between Britain and France.

Paine wrote: "I had been educated ... to look on France as a wrangling, contentious nation striving at universal monarchy and oppression. But experience, reflection, and an intimacy with the political and personal character of that nation, removed those prejudices, and placed me in a situation to judge freely and impartially for myself."
COMMENTS: In September, Paine called upon Burke, one of the few British statesmen to receive favorable treatment in Paine's wartime writings.

1788 During the winter, John Adams departs from Britain. The united States of America are left without official representation. At Jefferson's request, Paine agrees to do what he can to unofficially represent American interests.

1788 December: A constitutional crisis occurs in Britain, when George III temporarily "goes mad."

COMMENTS: David Freeman Hawke observes of Paine during this period: "[A]t no time during the turbulent weeks had Paine mocked or reviled hereditary monarchy. Indeed, once in censuring the aristocracy, he remarked that "the monarchy is nearer related to the people than the peers are."

1789 January: The French King convenes the Estates-General for the first time since the mid-sixteenth century.

The first estate was the church, the second the aristocracy, and the third the bourgeoisie. Despite Jefferson's optimism, the aristocracy refused to negotiate any lessening of its privileges or to contribute to the nation's tax revenue.
1789 July: The Bastille is taken in Paris, and the first phase of the "French Revolution" begins. A people's army was then formed to maintain order, with Lafayette at its head.

1789 Fall: Food shortages resulted in a march on Versailles. The royal stores were emptied and the King and Queen escorted to Paris. In November, the National Assembly confiscates lands of the Catholic church.

1789 October: Paine spends several weeks in a debtors' prison until able to raise funds to pay off a debt. Shortly after his release, he returns to France. He writes to Edmund Burke with enthusiasm over the success of the French Revolution.

COMMENTS: Gouverneur Morris advised Lafayette that Paine would be of little help on serious questions of constitutional principles, "for although he has an excellent pen to write he has but an indifferent head to think."

1790 January: Paine writes to Edmund Burke optimistically on the progress of the French Revolution. Burke's reply reveals his inherent conservatism:

"Do ou mean to propose that I, who have all my life fought for the constitution, should devote the wretched remains of my days to conspire its destruction? Do you knot know that I have always opposed the things called reform; to be sure, because I did not think them reforms."

This is the last time Paine and Burke corresponded.

1790 March: Paine returns to England.

Of Burke, Paine wrote:

"I am so out of humor with Mr. Burke with respect to the French Revolution and the Test Act [the anti-Catholic laws of England] that I have not called on him. My idea of supporting liberty of conscience and the rights of citizens, is that of supporting those rights in other people, for if a man supports only his own rights for his own sake, he does no moral duty."

1790 Gouverneur Morris arrives in England, asked by George Washington to serve as unofficial representative of American interests.

1790 May: A skirmish between Spanish and British fleets off the coast of Vancouver Island results in heated exchanges and preparations for war between the European powers.

1790 May: The parts to Paine's completed bridge arrive at London and are hauled to a small village outside London for assembly. He works continuously through September supervising its construction.

During this same period, Paine writes an essay entitled, "Thoughts on the Establishment of a Mint in the United States," which he sends to Jefferson. Jefferson sees to the publication of this essay in pamphlet form.

1790 November: Edmund Burke's book, Reflections on the Revolution in France is published.

Burke had written this book as a Whig manifesto; however, the result was broad acceptance by tories and defenders of monarchy and attack from republicans. The reactionary nature of what was happening in France was not yet clear, and many Whigs had not yet come down against the French Revolution.

1791 February: Paine completes the manuscript for The Rights of Man. After some hundred copies were sold, the publisher recalled all those that had not yet been sold. With another publisher taking over, Paine set about writing a new preface.

1791 May: Paine journeys to France to visit Lafayette. While there, he begins working on another book on the nature monarchy which, when completed, became the second part of a new edition of The Rights of Man, published in February 1792.

The Rights of Man became a manual for overturning the British constitution of government and the monarchy. Mere possession of the book was sufficient to bring charges of sedition and treason.

Paine asks why people form societies and answers the question himself:

"Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of his civil rights."

By natural rights, Paine means "those which appertain to man in right of his existence." These exist prior to civil authority and are unalienable.

Paine represents a view of government at one extreme from that of Burke. Paine writes:

"Formal government makes but a small part of civilized life."

Burke writes:

"[Government] is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection."

1791 June: The French King and Queen attempt to escape from Paris but are captured. Leading French reformers (all aristocrats) form the Republican Club to oppose the monarchy and agrgue for the establishment of the republican system with equal representation.

1791 July: Paine returned to London to learn that The Rights of Man had made him something of a celebrity. An unflattering biography of Paine, written by Francis Oldys, is pubished. In France, Robespierre and others form an informal political society call the Jacobin Club.

1791 August: Edmund Burke replies to The Rights of Man with his Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs. Burke's references to Paine's work are patronizing, centering on Paine's least supportable assertions.

1792 John Quincy Adams (under the pen name "Publicola") writes a series of essays attacking The Rights of Man.

1792 Thomas Jefferson inadvertently gives Paine's book his suport by sending it to the American publisher with a note that was printed with the book. George Washington also acknowledged the book but in a much more cautious tone.

1792 The British government orders Paine's arrest on charges of treason, but Paine makes his escape to France.

April: Paine leaves London to avoid the possibility of arrest. His publisher was indicted for sedition and a summons issued for Paine's arrest. William Pitt declared: "Principles had been laid down by Mr. Paine which struck at hereditary nobility, and which went to the destruction of monarchy and religion, and the total subversion of the established form of government."

1792 April: In Britain, members of the Society for Constitutional Information who have become fearful because of the revolution in France, break off to form a more conservative organization, Friends of the People. In London, workers form an organization called the London Corresponding Society to fight for what htye believed were real reforms.

1792 April: In France, the National Assembly declared war on Prussia, Hungary and Bohemia. Protests erupted among the common people.

1792 April: Paine is once again briefly detained in debtors' prison until an obligation is paid to the same creditors as previously (to whom he had given a personal note for the balance he owed). In May, the English courts issued a summons for Paine's arrest, charging him with "wicked and seditious writings." The record is unclear on just how much of an effort was then made to determine Paine's whereabouts and bring him in for trial.

1792 July: Prussian troops moved into French territory. In August, the government in Paris was overturned by a Revolutionary Commune, who then marched on the National Assembly. Under pressure from the Commune leaders, the king was ut under guard and a National Convention called to create a republican constitution.

COMMENTS: Lafayette, disgusted with the turn of events, attempts to escape through Belgium, is captured by the Austrians and imprisoned. He remains imprisoned until freed by Napoleon Bonaparte. In the interim, his family is also arrested by the Jacobins, and his mother is executed as a counter-revolutionary.

1792 August: Paine (along with James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington) are made honorary French citizens.

Paine, while still in England, is chosen to represent the "department" of Calais as a delegate to the National Convention, charged with writing and adopting a new constitution. The invitation is delivered personally to him, and -- despite his horror over the recent murders -- he accepts.

1792 September: Prussian troops take Verdun and set about to march on Paris. Mob violence explodes in Paris, with priests and Catholic aristocrats the first to be murdered.

1792 Mid-September: Paine leaves for France. He comes very close to being detained, and some of his papers are confiscated prior to his departure. He arrives in Calais to a warm reception, then makes his way to Paris where he receives a similar welcome by the new Assembly. On 21 September he attends the first session of the National Convention.

1792 September: The French resistance against the Prussians holds at Valmy, and the Prussians withdraw.

1792 Late September: Paine delivers his first speech before the French National Assembly. He argues against the wholesale removal of the existing judiciary. He believed in checks and balances and the need for a trained judiciary. He also writes a Letter of Thomas paine to the People of France, his plea for all oppressed peoples to rise up to overthrow tyranny.

1792 October: Paine is selected for the committee drafting the new French constitution. He collaborates with the mathematician and philosopher Condorcet. They used the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution as their model.

Condorcet and Paine worked on what they viewed as the Pennylvania Constitution's deficiencies, but the final document -- eighty-five pages long -- reflected Condorcet's view of French needs. In Paine's view, the exposition of principle was sacrificed in the elaboration of administrative detail.

1792 December 18: Paine is tried in absentia in England for sedition, and convicted.

1792 December: Louis XVI is put on trial in Paris for conspiracy against the revolution, convicted and sentenced to death. The execution was carried out on January 21, 1793.

Paine added his voice to those who urged leniency and thereby came under suspicion by the radicals. He told the Convention that their vote to execute Louis XVI would be viewed in the future as "performed from a spirit of revenge rather than from a spirit of justice." He expressed concern for French honor.
1793 February: The French declare war on Britain and Holland. In March, the French army was defeated near Brussels. Scarcities and rising food rpices brought unrest, and the National Convention responded by creating a Committee of Public Safety. The Reign of Terror was then initiated.

1793 May: Paine writes to Jefferson:

"Had this Revolution been conducted consistently with its principles, there was once a good prospect of extending liberty through the greatest part of Europe; but I now reqlinquish that hope."

1793 June: Paine is removed as a delegate to the National Convention. That summer, he assists the French foreign office in an effort to bring food from America to help remove the threat of famine.

1793 August: Robespierre is elected to head the Committee of Public Safety.

1793 October 3: Paine is denounced on the floor of the National Convention as "an Englishman" and -- along with prominent Girondin leaders -- declared an enemy of France. Robespierre then plans his arrest.

During October Marie Antoinette and many of Paine's French friends are sent to the guillotine.
1793 Expecting to be arrested, Paine rushes to complete his attack on established religion -- The Age of Reason -- which he had begun early in the year.

The Age of Reason is condemned (on both sides of the Atlantic) as an atheistic manifesto, although wht it really condemns is the influence of organized religion. Similar views are quietly held by Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and others. Paine challenged the Bible as a book of second hand tales interpreted and rewritten to serve those who sought to put themselves between the individual and their god.

COMMENTS: Philip S. Foner writes:

Paine always made it his practice to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of science, so that when he prepared to begin writing The Age of Reason he was in the position to apply all the discoveries in the field of scientific knowledge to incidents related in the Old and New Testaments. In essence, therefore, the work is an application of reason to the Bible, in the light of the Newtonian principles of science, and is devoted chiefly to a careful analysis of the revelations, prophecies, miracles and stories related in that book. Actually, Paine was doing for the English world what had already been done in France by men like Voltaire and Diderot. Moreover, he was doing what Jefferson had advised his nephew Peter Carr to do as early as August 10, 1787. "Fix reason firmly in her seat," wrote Jefferson in his letter of advice, "and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfold fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus. . . . Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but the uprightness of the decision." (Philip S. Foner, editor, Thomas Jefferson Selections from His Writings, p. 76.)

1793 December 28: Paine is arrested on order by Robespierre and imprisoned at Luxembourg palace. His only hope of release rested with Gouveneur Morris, who believed Paine had essentially given up his American citizenship by becoming a delegate to the French National Convention.

Robespierre regards Paine as a paid journalist, dangerous because journalists mislead the people with their writings.

1794 July: After months of executions, Robespierre falls and is himself executed.

1794 August: James Monroe is appointed to replace Gouverneur Morris as the American minister to France.

1794 September: Paine writes a forty-three page essay supporting his assertion of American citizenship, which he sends to James Monroe.

1794 October: A letter written by Monroe in mid-September finally reached Paine in prison. The letter stated that Monroe solidly believed Paine to be an American citizen and would do all he could to obtain Paine's release.

1794 November 4: After ten months in prison and without any financial resources left, Paine is released.

Monroe invites Paine to stay at his home; he stays for more than a year.
1795 January: Paine is reinstated to the French National Convention, although he did not attend any sessions until the later part of the year.

1795 June: Paine's essay, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government, written when he first arrived in France, is published.

Paine wrote this essay to guide Dutch republicans in their own struggle for a new form of government. Of property, Paine acknowledges that some have small desire for material goods while to others the accumulation of property is "the sole business of their lives, and they follow it as a religion." He argues against making property ownership the criterion for the right to vote. He writes:

"An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret and to misapply even the best of laws. He that owuld make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

1795 July: Paine speaks to the National Convention on the fundamental importance of discarding expediency in fvor of adherence to principles.

1795 July: A new French Constitution is adopted, creating two legislative bodies, the Council of Five Hundred and the Council of Elders.

1795 October: The second part of The Age of Reason is published.

In this second part, he challenges the assertion that the Bible is the word of God. "I totally disbelieve that the Almighty ever did communicate anything to man by any mode of speech, in any language, or by any kind of vision or appearance, or by any means which our senses are capable of receiving, otherwise than by the universal display of himself in the works of the creation, and by that repugnance we feel in ourselves to bad actions, and disposition to good ones."

Paine is a believer in moral sense, that we are born with an instinctive understanding of right and wrong -- but an understanding that is subject to nurturing that can be necessary and appropriate or wholly inappropriate and repugnant.

1796 Over the winter of 1795-96, Paine writes his pamphlet, Agrarian Justice, in response to a sermon by the bishop of Llandaff that attempts to give divine sanction to the maldistribution of wealth.

Paine refers to the societal structure of the indigenous tribes of North America as an example of the "natural and primitive state of man." He writes:

"There is not, in that state, any of those spectacles of human misery which poverty and want present to our eyes in all the towns and streets of Europe. Poverty, therefore, is a thing created by that which is called civilized life. It exists not in the natural state. On the other hand, the natural state is without those advantages which flow from agriculture, arts, sciences, and manufactures."

Paine also understands the fundamental conflict between the indigenous societies and that of European-Americans:

"[M]an in a natural state, subsisting by hunting, requires ten times the quantity of land to range over to procure himself sustenance, than would support him in a civilzed state, where the earth is cultivated. When, therefore, a country becomes populous by the additional aids of cultivation, arts, and science, there is a necessity of preserving things in that state; without it there cannot be sustenance of more, perhaps, than a tenth part of its inhabitants. The thing, therefore, now to be done is to remedy the evils and preserve the benefits that have arisen to society by passing from the natural to that which is called the civilized state."

Paine recognizes clearly the principle that the earth is the birthright of all humankind; and, he is sufficiently perceptive to recognize the practical problems of preserving this birthright:

"[A]s it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that inseparable connection; but it is nevertheless true that it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property."

Paine's solution to the dilemma is one championed by others, including Herman Spencer and Henry George. He writes:

"Every proprietor ... of cultivated land owes to the community a ground rent .. for the land which he holds..."

1796 April: Paine's pamphlet, The Decline and Fall of the English system of Finance is completed and published.

This essay may have been commissioned by the French government. He compared Britain's national debt of some 400 million pounds with the hard money on deposit with the Bank of England -- estimated to be 1 million pounds. As things turned out, the Bank of England was forced to suspend convertibility in 1797, although the Bank and government survived the crisis.

1796 July: Paine writes an open Letter to George Washington, which attacks Washington and blames him for his long imprisonment in France. The letter was delivered in Philadelphia to Benjamin Frnaklin Bache, who released portions in October and November, then the entire pamphlet in February 1797.

COMMENTS: David Freeman Hawke reports that one of Paine's American supporters in France concluded that Paine "was, like many other geniuses advanced in life, both vain and obstinate to an extreme degree."

1796 November: James Monroe is recalled by Washington, replaced as minister in France by Charles Pinckney.

1796 December: John Adams is elected to succeed George Washington if president of the united States.

1797 In Philadelphia, Paine's complete works are published by Thomas Carey.

1797 September: Upheaval in France results in the purging of anti-republicans from the government.

Napoleon Bonaparte's armies emerge victorious over the Austrians and English.

1797 October: An American commission, composed of Pinckney, John Marhsall and Elbridge Gerry, arrived in France to settle the differences between the two countries.

Paine is not trusted to maintain confidences. Pinckney believes that much that makes its way to the French does so by way of Paine.

1797 December: After being called upon by Napoleon Bonaparte, Paine wrote an essay on how to successfully invade England.

1798 September: An embittered Paine writes an essay published in a French newspaper offering a plan for the conquest of America.

1800 October: Thomas Jefferson is elected to succeed John Adams as president of the united States.

1800 During the year, Paine writes a series of essays outlining a model maritime compact to govern international commerce.

Paine is now isolated from any influence in Franco-American affairs and prevented from writing anything on the subject in the French press.

He also wrote to Jefferson that he was working to complete a third part to The Age of Reason, which he planned to have published once he returned to America. This manuscript and other writings entrusted to Madame Bonneville as executrix of Paine's will, are thought to have been destroyed by her after she reverted to Catholicism.
1801 A bridge incorporating Paine's design is completed over the River Wear in England. Paine begins work on an improved design.

1802 March: The French and English sign a truce, creating a very tentative peace and an opportunity for Paine to return to America.

1802 August: Paine departs from France for his return to America. His ship arrives in Baltimore on October 30.

He arrived to a host of sneers and jeers rather than applause.

1802 November: Paine begins a series of open letters To the Citizens of the United States, charging Federalists with subverting the principles of the revolution, attacking John Adams and George Washington specifically.

1802 December: Paine responds to a friendly but questioning letter from Samuel Adams concerning Paine's religious beliefs. Paine has the letter along with his response published.

Paine's letter ends with the following:

"Our relations to each other in this world is as men and the man who is a friend to man and to his rights, let his religious opinions be what they may, is a good citizen to whom I can give, as I ought to do, and as every other ought, the right hand of fellowship, ..."

1803 January: Spain cedes the Louisiana Territory to France, and the French close off access to the Mississippi River to American commerce.

1803 March: Paine made his way to New York City, where he was treated by repubicans to a banquet in his honor.

1803 May: Paine wrote a public letter supporting the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory.

1803 August: The American purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France is consummated.

1803 October: Paine moves to his farm in New Rochelle but ends up staying in the village.

1803 January: Paine moves back to New York City. During the year he writes several essays which he contributes to a deist journal.

1804 Spring: Paine returns to his farm in New Rochelle. His tenant had decided to leave, and he was put to the task of settling affairs. He sold off part of the farm for $4,000, which he planned to use to build a workshop.

1804 September: Paine writes an essay attacking missionaries who used the Bible to proselytize among the indigenous peoples of North America. He also wrote an essay responding to a petition from the French inhabitants of Louisiana, who asked for approval of their involvement in the slave trade. Paine wrote:

"Will the prisoners they take in war be treated the better by their knowing the horrid story of Samuel's brewing Agog in pieces like a block of wood, or David's putting them under the harrows of iron?"

1804 Late December: Paine's former tenant attempts to shoot him through the window of his cottage, but misses.

1805 January: Paine accepts an invitation to come live with William Carver in New York City. He now contemplates assembling his own writings for publication.

1805 April: Paine returns to his farm in New Rochelle.

1805 June: He wrote another letter to The Citizens of the United States, again restating old greviences against the Federalists and John Adams, in particular. He also wrote a short pamphlet entitled Constitutions, Governments, and Charters.

This pamphlet was written in response to the disclosure that elected officials in New York had accepted bribes in return to voting to give certain individuals a lucrative bank charter. Paine wrote of the need for laws dealing with the incorporation of companies.

1805 Fall: Most of his $4,000 gone, Paine petitions Jefferson for a grant of land. His health is failing and it is reported by biographers that he begins to drink heavily.

1806 Spring: Paine's health is failing and he is in serious financial difficulty. He is forced to sell his property in Bordentown, New Jersey. He comes to board with William Carver in New York City. Carver helps him to recover.

1806 June: He wrote an essay on the cause of yellow fever, published in the newspaper, The American Citizen.

Although he had no idea that the disease was being carried by the mosquito, he was pretty sure that it somehow traveled in ships from the tropics.

1806 October: Paine writes another essay, A Challenge to the Federalists to Declare Their Principles.

1806 November: While visiting his property in New Rochelle, New York (leased to Andrew Dean), Paine attempts to vote in a local election but is refused on the ground that he is not an American citizen..

He reports that his health is failing. He writes: "I have passed through an experiment of dying, and I find death has no terrors for me. ...As I am well enough to sit up some hours in the day, though not well enough to get up without help, I employ myself as I have always done, in endeavoring to bring man to the right use of the reason that God has given him, and to direct his mind."
1807 After several months sharing quarters with a young artist named John Wesley Jarvis (who painted Paine's portrait), Paine moved into rooms with a man named Zakarias Hitt, a baker, a disciple of Paine. He stayed for ten months.

1808 January: Paine was forced to sell his farm in New Rochelle, for which he received $10,000. He then moved to a tavern, where he stayed until July, when he was persuaded to sell the remainder of his assets (his house and small parcel of land in Bordentown) and went to live with a man named Ryder in Greenwich.

1809 January 18: Ill and thinking he would soon die, Paine makes out his will. He writes nothing more. He dies the morning of 8 June.

1809 BIOGRAPHY: James Cheetham

COMMENTS: Cheetham describes Paine as a drunkard and an athiest.

1819 BIOGRAPHY: Cleo Rickman


1819 William Cobbett, who had become a disciple of Paine, removed Paine's remains from his burial plot in New Rochelle and took them to England.

1892 BIOGRAPHY: Robert G. Ingersoll


1892 BIOGRAPHY: Moncure Daniel Conway


1925 BIOGRAPHY: Thomas Alva Edison

COMMENTS: His book is titled The Philosophy of Thomas Paine

1925 BIOGRAPHY: William van der Weyde

COMMENTS: "Paine's works are a crystallization of acute human reasoning, and they will surely be appreciated more and more as the awakening world reads what he has written."

1938 BIOGRAPHY: Frank Smith published


1945 Paine's collected works, edited by Philip S. Foner, are published.

1951 BIOGRAPHY: Arnold Kinsey King

COMMENTS: The details of Paine's years in America during the war for independence.

1959 BIOGRAPHY: Alfred Owen Aldridge


1974 BIOGRAPHY: David Freeman Hawke

COMMENTS: "Paine had known virtually every important political figure in England, France, and the United States during his lifetime. Not one of them publicly praised him after his death."

1994 BIOGRAPHY: Jack Fruchtman

COMMENTS: Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom.

2002 BIOGRAPHY: Brian McCartin

COMMENTS: Thomas Paine: Common Sense and Revolutionary Pamphleteering.