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SECRETARY TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN THE
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED
A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR'S LIFE
A NEW EDITION WITH ADDITIONS
IN TWO VOLUMES.
J. P. MENDUM,
LIFE OF THOMAS PAINE.
THOMAS PAINE was born in Thetford, county of Norfolk, England, January 29, 1737. His father was a staymaker by trade, and professed the Quaker system of religion. His parents were respectable though poor, which prevented their giving him a college education. All the learning which he possessed, was obtained at a common English grammar school.
He left school when he was about thirteen, and went to work with his father, at staymaking, where he continued two or three years. He then went to London, and afterwards to Dover, working at his trade a few weeks in each place. About this time he entered on board a privateer, but was prevented from going in her, as he says, "by the affectionate and moral remonstrances of his father." Dissatisfied, however, with his profession, he soon after entered and sailed in the privateer king of Prussia, captain Mendez. How long he was absent is uncertain. In the year 1759, he settled at Sandwich, as a master-staymaker, and married Mary Lambert, who died the next year.
He obtained a situation in the excise in 1761, which he retained till 1774.
In 1771, he married Elizabeth Olive; he lived with her but a short time; a separation took place, the real cause of which, although a number have been assigned, as is usual in such cases, probably was never known to the public. After the separation from his wife, he went to London, where he procured an introduction to Dr. Franklin, who advised him to go to America; this advice he followed, and arrived in Philadelphia about the close of the year 1774. Here his political career commenced.
His first engagement was with Mr. Aitkin, a bookseller, who established the Pennsylvania Magazine in January, 1775, which