Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings

By Thomas Paine; Mark Philp | Go to book overview

A CHRONOLOGY OF THOMAS PAINE
1737 Born 29 January at Thetford, Norfolk.
1742-51 Educated at a local school in Thetford.
1751-9 Apprenticed to his father in the stay-making trade, but
on two occasions runs away to sea.
1759-60 Moves to Kent and sets up as a stay-maker. Marries, his
wife dying less than twelve months later.
1764 Admitted into the Excise Service, accepts a post in Lin-
colnshire. Dismissed July 1765 for 'stamping' (approving
cargo without checking its contents).
1767 Teaches in a school in London. Applies for re-admission
into the Excise Service.
1768 Accepts a post as excise officer in Lewes, Sussex.
1771 Marries into a tobacconist business and combines his
work there with his excise duties.
1772 Acts as the representative in London to the Excise Offi-
cers in their appeal for higher pay. Writes and circulates
The Case of the Offices of the Excise.
1774 Discharged from Excise Service; marriage and business
fail; secures letter of recommendation from Benjamin
Franklin and, in October, emigrates to America.
1775 Settles in Philadelphia, works on Pennsylvania
Magazine
.
1776 Following the fighting in Lexington and Concord, April
1775 Paine becomes involved in the move to Independ-
ence for the colonies. In January his Common Sense
is published, six months before the Declaration of In-
dependence. First Crisis published December 1776.
1777-9 Serves in Congress as a Secretary to the Foreign Affairs
Committee. Resigns following the Silas Deane affair--
Paine using confidential information, embarassing to
America's allies France, to argue that Deane had acted
corruptly. November 1779, appointed Clerk to Penn-
sylvania Assembly.
1781 Visits France as secretary to John Laurens to secure aid
for America.

-xxxi-

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