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Paine

Paine, Thomas, was born in 1736, and, after various efforts to make a living, emigrated to America at the age of thirty-eight. Soon after his arrival he published a pamphlet, entitled Common Sense, which is admitted to have turned the majority of the colonists against the mother country. He now joined Washington's army as a private, and was appointed secretary to the Foreign Committee of the first Congress. Returning to England, he brought out in 1791 The Rights of Man as a reply to Burke's Reflections. This brought a prosecution for treason upon Paine, but the Government allowed him to escape to France, where he had been elected to the Convention as the representative of Calais. His moderation incurred Robespierre's enmity, and he narrowly escaped execution. Whilst under confinement he composed the first part of The Age of Reason, which had the effect of depriving him of much sympathy. In 1792 he went back to America, but wrote nothing of importance in the interval before his death, which took place in 1809.

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