Name

Thomas Paine

Career

Public life

Occupation 1

revolutionary publicist

Identifier

Founding Father

Region

NA/North America

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Born

1737

Died

1809

Source

ANB

Text

Author of political pamphlets of the Age of Revolution� In 1756 he ran away to enlist on the privateer Terrible, commanded by Captain William Death. Hours before the ship sailed from London, Paine's father persuaded him to abandon his plans, a fortunate turn of events since the ship was nearly destroyed by a French vessel, and most of its crew perished. In 1757 Paine served for six months on the privateer King of Prussia

[Friends] suggested that Paine write a pamphlet supporting the idea [of American independence], though he urged him to avoid using the word itself so as to avoid frightening those who believed open avowal of independence would unleash a movement for democratic change within the colonies� Common Sense appeared in January 1776. It quickly became one of the most successful and influential pamphlets in the history of political writing, selling, by Paine's estimate, some 150,000 copies. Paine directed that his share of the profits be used to buy supplies for the Continental army. The pamphlet offered not only a powerful argument for American independence but an attack on the British Constitution and the principle of hereditary rule�

Related Images

external image head6_thomas_paine_1865.jpg

Related Locations

Philadelphia,

Related Source

Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (1976)

External Links

Thomas Paine, __Common Sense__ (1776), including Ch. 4. on America's maritime prospects

Related Documents

Paine, Thomas -- Miscellaneous Reflexions [on America's Maritime Prospects]