Thomas Paine

1737 (Thetford, England) – 1809 (New York)

Paine was a member of the radical dissident group around Johnson, also including Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Blake, Price, Priestley and Franklin (who encouraged his first visit to America). Priestley’s and Paine’s fortunes were intertwined, both being burned in effigy in England and ending as eminent yet half-forgotten refugees in America, former members of Jefferson’s intellectual circle. Paine left Godwin and others to see his ‘Rights of Man’ published while on Blake’s advice he fled to France. Condorcet was among his French ‘philosophe’ friends. Paine met Fulton in Paris, and gave a model of his iron bridge design to Peale.