Friday, June 25, 2010


As a history buff I ran across an interesting factoid relative to Thomas Paine. Way back in my early school days I studied Paine’s significant contribution to the American Revolutionary movement when he authored his pamphlet Common Sense. If you do not remember Common Sense I strongly urge you to read it again because it is a seminal document. Remember it starts with, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

I turned to Wikipedia and found an extremely interesting report of 12 pages, which if you’re interested in history you should find most enlightening at:

Paine is frequently referred to as the Father of the American Revolution, because of the influence of his writings. One of the things I learned was that he was a proponent of Deism (belief in no need for faith or organized religion), and it caused him great harm over the later years of his long life. A fascinating fact I learned was that he served a six-year apprenticeship as a teenager in England as a corset maker, which was his father’s trade.

At the time of his death at age 72 the New York Citizen reported, “He had lived long, did some good, and much harm.” Considering the importance of his contributions to America’s independence, I found it shocking that only six people attended his funeral.

This story is certain proof that it makes little difference where one starts their journey, because the end of the trail can be both significantly influential and controversial.


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