It was on this date, January 29, 1737 (N.S February 9), that English-born American patriot and pamphleteer Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, into an English Quaker family. He worked as a stay-maker for women’s dresses, and as an excise-man, but in London Benjamin Franklin persuaded the budding writer to emigrate to America. As a soldier in George Washington’s army, Paine witnessed the struggle for independence for himself and penned Common Sense, which made him so popular that the title became Paine’s nickname.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Joseph McCabe (1867) It was on this date, November 11, 1867, that Freethought writer Joseph Martin McCabe was born in Manchester, the product of Protestant East Anglians and Irish Catholic stock. He was named Joseph, after the saint, because he was, from infancy, promised to the priesthood. He entered the priesthood at age 16 and […]