Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Thomas Paine was at various times in his life a corset-maker, tobacconist, preacher, schoolmaster, customs official, editor, writer, soldier, engineer, convicted felon, outlaw, and legislator. By current day standards he can hardly be called a success, since he never made much money or wielded significant power. He died sick and broke (except for a modest farm) in 1809 in Greenwich Village, New York City. His obituary was a classic example of damnation by faint praise. His body was later disinterred from its burial place in New Rochelle, New York; his bones were then lost and remain so to this day.
How is it then that this Englishman played such an important role in the formation of the United States of America? Why did the Founding Fathers such as Washington, Franklin, Monroe, and Jefferson clearly see and appreciate his genius and importance in history? How is it that Washington read aloud from one of his pamphlets to buck up the troops during that terrible winter at Valley Forge?
William's Whimsical Words:
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Last updated on January 27, 2013