Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thomas Paine lived in Bordentown, New Jersey for 25 years?

A friend to this blog, Rod Bradford, sent in the following link from the New Jersey Hall of Fame into which Paine was recently inducted:

http://www.njhalloffame.org/

The text on Paine reads:

"Thomas Paine, Bordentown (1737-1809) Born in England, this great thinker immigrated to the colonies in 1774 where he was an author, pamphleteer, revolutionary, leading intellectual in pre-Revolutionary War efforts. Bordentown was his home for more than 25 years."

Certainly Paine kept up a long connection with Bordentown, the Kirkbrides and others in the area, but to say it was his home (he purchased a cottage and 7 acres in 1783) for 25 years tends to mislead since Paine was out of the country within three and a half years, didn't return to America for another 15, did not live in the property when he returned and sold it off in 1808, leaving a total on-sight residence of perhaps 3.5 years out of 25.

An article by Mae Silver of Bordentown seems to be the source of the Bordentown "claim" to Paine. The author met Ms. Silver many years ago, holds her in friendship and esteem and vouches without reserve for her sincere and steadfast interest in both Thomas Paine and Bordentown.

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