Thomas Paine, American Patriot
Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an author, pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor, intellectual and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was born in England and lived and worked there until age 37, when he emigrated to the British American colonies, in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely-read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series.
Thomas Paine began work on Common Sense in late 1775 under the working title of Plain Truth. With the help of Benjamin Rush, who suggested the title Common Sense and helped edit and publish, Paine developed his ideas into a forty-eight page pamphlet. Paine published Common Sense anonymously because of its treasonous content. Printed and sold by R. Bell, Third Street, Philadelphia, it sold as many as 120,000 copies in the first three months, 500,000 in the first year, and went through twenty-five editions in the first year alone. Paine donated his royalties from Common Sense to George Washington’s Continental Army, saying:
As my wish was to serve an oppressed people, and assist in a just and good cause, I conceived that the honor of it would be promoted by my declining to make even the usual profits of an author.
Thomas Paine died at 59 Grove Street, Greenwich Village, New York City on June 8, 1809 at the age of 72. Ostracized for his religious views, only six people attended his funeral. He was buried at what is now called the Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle, New York, where he had lived after returning to the USA in 1802.
Thomas Paine was a Patriot.