Thomas Paine 1736-1809 Pamphleteer ? wrote series of 16 pamphlets entitles The American Crisis The first one ?Common Sense? was a 47 page pamphlet denouncing George III and urging independence from Pamphlet sold 500,000 copies ? note the population of the country at the time was 2.5 million Remaining pamphlets continued to urge support of the war Unusual background Poorly educated son of corset maker, lived in until he was 37 years old Held a variety of jobs ? corset maker, tobacconist, schoolteacher, excise man Came to with a letter of introduction from Ben Franklin Began work as a journalist Immediately identified with the cause of the colonists against the British After Revolutionary War, he returned to and took up French cause ? wrote The Rights of Man ? defense of the Republican form of government and call to overthrow the monarchy Tried for treason in absentia in , found guilty and banned from ever returning to upon pain of execution Published a second work titles The Age of Reason ? also very controversial ? brought to question the existence of God, condemned by many When he died later in , he refused a Christian burial and was buried on a corner of his own farm Years later someone thought he had been misunderstood and dug up his body to take it back to with plans for a monument to be erected in his honor was not interested in glorifying him and his body was moved from one location to another and finally lost. Last known location of his bones was with a furniture dealer in
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