Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Paine’

Robespierre’s “Paine”

May 8, 2012

Image from American Patriotism – Success in America

Thomas Paine.

Thomas Paine was born 29th of January 1737, at Metford, in the county of Norfolk, England. He was trained to the business of a stay maker, and afterwards obtained a situation in the Customs and the management of a tobacco manufactory; but he fell into debt and was dismissed in 1774. He then came to America and took the side of the colonies against England. In 1776 he published “Common Sense,” which is a strong appeal for the freedom of the colonies. He was appointed by Congress secretary of the committee on Foreign affairs and visited France in 1787 where he made the acquaintance of Buffon, Malesherves and other leading men.

In 1791 he went to England and published his “Rights of Man,” which is a reply to Burke’s “Reflections on the French Revolution.” On his return to France he was elected in 1792 a deputy to the National Convention and acted with the Girondist party. He opposed the execution of Louis XVI and wanted that unhappy monarch exiled to America. This proposition gave offense to Robespierre, who caused Paine to be put in prison where he was detained fourteen months.

During his imprisonment he wrote his famous work “The Age of Reason.” He argues in favor of Deism but against Christianity. He was released from prison at the intercession of the United States Government, and restored to his seat in the Convention. Napoleon said that it was his intention when he conquered England to make Paine introduce a popular form of government there.

In 1802 Paine returned to the United States and devoted the remainder of his days to the study of finance. He died on the 8th of June, 1809.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jan 28, 1886

Samuel Adams in the Shade

February 23, 2009
Samuel Chase

Samuel Chase


A correspondent has communicated for publication the following anecdote, which, although quite familiar to us, having previously been made acquainted with it through several different sources, yet presuming it to be new to most of our readers, we insert it, tending to display the high estimation in which the great patriot alluded to was held by one, who having labored with him in the darkest periods of the Revolution, was most competent to judge of his merits. — We can also add, that a similar sentiment was avowed by the late Judge Paine* on all proper occasions; and the prevailing opinion of all those who took an active part in the Revolution which resulted in our emancipation from foreign thraldom.

The first time Judge Chase visited Boston, he was introduced at one place and another, where he dined, to nearly all our distinguished men; but wondered that he did not see or hear any thing of Samuel Adams. At length he asked, where is your famous Samuel Adams? He was answered, Mr. Adams is in the shade, and he is now seldom seen or mentioned. Be that as it may, said the Judge, I will not leave Boston until I have paid my profound respects to that great man. But he is in his dotage; old and broken down. I am sorry for it said the Judge, but rather increases than diminishes my strong desire to pay him the homage of my profound respect; for said he, had it not been for Samuel Adams, I should not have been where I now am, a Judge in the Court of the United States; nay, he added, there would have been no United States for any of us to dwell in and boast of — He accordingly waited on him, and spoke to him, and of him, as the greatest man and the most meritorious patriot of the Revolution.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams

Two things threw Samuel Adams into the shade. 1st. He opposed, with all his might, the return of the refugees and royalists; while Alexander Hamilton did all in his power to facilitate their reception, and ensure their welcome. This conferred favor and popularity on the latter, and cast an odium on the former.

2d. His capacious and active mind was kept so constantly on the stretch, during more than thirty years, that its energies broke down its material frame before he came to the chair of government in this commonwealth. There are but few now living who can remember Samuel Adams when he was the main spring of our opposition to Britain, and our faithful pilot on the tempestuous sea of liberty.
*Judges Chase and Paine, it will be remembered, were decided federalists.Boston Chron.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Aug 25, 1819