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Life In Philadelphia: It’s Thomas Paine Day

June 8, 2009

History in Philadelphia is about the present as well as the past. Historical sites and events define Philadelphia, attact visitors, and provide reason for celebration. So, the Philadelphia City Council has declared June 8, 2009, the 200th anniversary his death, Thomas Paine Day.

Most of Thomas Paine’s attempts to gain fame and fortune were failures, but when he arrived in Philadelphia in 1774 his interests in equality and freedom fit right in with the interests of the new American patriots. Paine’s articles and pamphlets made him a key figure in the American Revolution.

Benjamin Franklin helped Paine, a Quaker, to emigrate from England to Pennsylvania in 1774.

He began writing articles for Pennsylvania Magazine. Articles in opposition to slavery led to the founding of the first Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1774. Thomas Paine was a founding member of that society.

Paine published the pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), advocating independence from England and inspiring the rebellions colonists. A series of pamphlets, The Crisis, (1777-83) helped to inspire the Continental Army troops to carry on through hardship and difficulty.

We remember Thomas Paine because of his ability to move people with his writing. If he were alive today he would surely be blogging.

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