Five Fascinating Facts about Thomas Paine

Interesting Literature

Five fun facts about Thomas Paine, firebrand of the American War of Independence

1. Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense remains one of the bestselling books in American publishing history. In 1776 alone it is thought to have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense argued for independence for America, and when Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he drew heavily on Paine’s work (Paine was also the first person to use the phrase ‘United States of America’). John Adams would later say, ‘Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.’

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