Who was the true author of American independence?
Many say Mr. Paine was the guy. A radical writer who emigrated from England to America in 1774, his pamphlet Common Sense was read by every colonist questioning their fealty to Great Britain. No less a figure than John Adams was quoted as saying: “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
Yet despite playing the greatest role in moving the American people from a spirit of rebellion to one of revolution, he was later ostracized due to his ridicule of institutionalized religion in his seminal work The Age of Reason. In fact, only 6 people attended his funeral in 1806. It’s tough being a truly independent thinker.
And so, in honor of July 4th, here is Thomas Paine, SuperOptimist Extraordinaire, ready to adorn your visage.*
*But please remove before lighting any sparklers, crackling balls, killer bees, or wizard’s hats.