26 November 2008

the writings of thomas paine volume 1 .pdf

"These are the times that try men's souls."
This simple quotation from Founding Father Thomas Paine's The Crisis not only describes the beginnings of the American Revolution, but also the life of Paine himself. Throughout most of his life, his writings inspired passion, but also brought him great criticism. He communicated the ideas of the Revolution to common farmers as easily as to intellectuals, creating prose that stirred the hearts of the fledgling United States. He had a grand vision for society: he was staunchly anti-slavery, and he was one of the first to advocate a world peace organization and social security for the poor and elderly. But his radical views on religion would destroy his success, and by the end of his life, only a handful of people attended his funeral. ~ read more

click here to download 475 page .pdf [8.3mb]

thomas paine was a true intellectual and radical. despite his pamphlet "common sense" (included in the..pdf) which is credited as the source by which the residents of the colonies began to understand and stir support for the revolution, the founding fathers didnt quite know what to make of him -- which is probably why there are no statues, no memorials to this great man.

many historians think that it was mr. paine's essay "age of reason" [.html] [.pdf] which was merely an intellectuals pondering and analysis of religion that turned the public against him -- thus showing that people back then were just as shallow as they are today.

soon after the appearance of paine's antislavery essay the first american anti-slavery society was organized. it was founded in philadelphia, in the sun tavern, second street, april 14, 1775, under the title of "the society for the relief of free negroes, unlawfully held in bondage." there can be little doubt that paine was among these founders, and it will be seen on a farther page that he partly drafted, and signed, the act of pennsylvania abolishing slavery, march 1, 1780,--the first legislative measure of negro-emancipation in christendom. ~ excerpt from prefatory note to paine's first essay.

thomas paine memorial at find-a-grave