- Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk to a Joseph and Frances Paine. Joseph Paine was a tenant framer and made corsets.
- Young Thomas apprenticed his father from age 13. By the time he was 19, Thomas enlisted for a short time.
- When he came back to England, Thomas established his own business make corsets (he was now a master of the occupation) in Sandwich, England.
- In 1759 Mr. Paine married Mary Lambert. Unfortunately soon after his business collapsed. The couple had a tough time. Mary and their baby died soon after delivery.
- Thomas’ businesses failed, he was in debt, however he found his call in civil service. In 1774 he separated from his second wife, Elizabeth Ollive, and moved to London where he met Benjamin Franklin.
- On the advice of Franklin, accompanied with a letter from him, Thomas Paine moved to the American colonies – just in time for the revolution.
- Franklin’s son in law, Richard Bach, found Paine a tutoring job. Later he got a job as the executive editor of Pennsylvania Magazine. Within three month his fiery essays raised the magazines subscriptions threefold.
- Mr. Paine wrote the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and helped inspire the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from England. He wrote Common Sense anonymously, it was speculated that John Adams was the author.
- In 1777 Mr. Pain worked for Congress as the Secretary to the Committee of Foreign Affairs. He kept writing essays on the side and got fired after he accidentally revealed top-secret negotiations with the French.
- Mr. Paine moved to France in the 1790s and, of course, became involved in the French Revolution. He did run afoul of the revolutionaries and was jailed – sentenced to death (he wrote Rights of Man in jail). He was sick with fever the day before he was scheduled to be guillotined, and the jailers left his door open. As a result the chalk mark marking the condemned was on the inside of the door and missed by the executioners the next day.
Zohar — Man of la Book
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