Thomas Paine was an influential man who achieved many accomplishments throughout his life. He was an American Revolutionary War hero. Through his numerous publications, especially the famous "Common Sense", he helped convince many American colonist that freedom from Britain was what was best for them.
Born in England, where he was an only child to Joseph and Frances Paine, he struggled to make ends meet as a young adult. As chance would have it and at a time when Paine was looking for a new start in life; he met Benjamin Franklin who gave him reasons why he should emigrate to America. It is at this point where his life took an interesting turn. The short biography below lists interesting information as well as famous quotes from the life of Thomas Paine.
Thomas Paine Interesting Facts
- Because his father was a Quaker and his mother was Anglican, Thomas Paine's parents would often argue about religion making it a focal point in his life.
- He was unsuccessful as an apprentice to his father, a privateer, a corset shop owner and a custom's officer before he moved to America.
- In 1774, he sailed to America where he landed a job as an editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine. It wasn't long before his interest in journalism grew and he was writing articles himself.
- Although he served some time in the army and monetarily supported the American Revolution, it was not his success as a soldier, but his writings that inspired colonists to continue their revolt against the British.
Thomas Paine Short List of Famous Quotes
- "These are the times that try men's souls."
- "Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true."
- "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
- "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."
Thomas Paine Pamphlet/Writing Facts
- Of all of the publications written by Thomas Paine, "Common Sense" became the most influential and memorable piece.
- Paine's "Common Sense" which stressed the need for the separation from England eventually helped pave the way for the formulation of the Declaration of Independence.
- Paine had a gift for writing in such a way that even the most average of readers could understand his ideas and become motivated by his clear point of view.
- His series of sixteen pamphlets titled "American Crisis" encouraged the colonist to continue to fight the British in the American Revolution. These publications were extremely popular.
List of Thomas Paine's Publications
- The Case of the Officers of Excise (1772)
- African Slavery in America (1775)
- Common Sense (1776)
- The American Crisis (1776-83)
- The Age of Reason (1794)
- The Rights of Man (1791)
Thomas Paine Later Years
- Eventually Thomas Paine left America and returned to Europe. He found himself passionately involved in the French Revolution.
- After publishing numerous editions of The Rights of Man, he was considered to be an outlaw by England because they saw his writings as defending the French.
- Upon his eventual return to the United States from France, he discovered that because of his religious views, his efforts towards the American Revolution had been considered null and void.
- Thomas Paine was 72 years old when he died in New York in 1809 in relative solitude.