Bordentown, New Jersey
The historic Castle Green, Pasadena, California.
Thomas Paine Society
Located in the Historic Castle Green in Pasadena, California, the Thomas Paine Society was founded and endowed by the late George G. Holtz, in 1993 to educate the public about the life and works of Thomas Paine. The Thomas Paine Society is a non-profit charitable educational organization with 501(c)(3) status. Donations to the Thomas Paine Society are tax deductible. The Society is operated by a 5-member Board of Directors. Executive Director, Alaine Lowell, runs the office and directs daily activities.
Our Mission Statement
The purpose of the Thomas Paine Society is to educate the public about the life, works and ideals of Thomas Paine and to make known his vital role in the American Revolution and creation of our government. The Society will continue Thomas Paine’s legacy of inspiring citizens to take action for change by disseminating information about freedom, equality,justice, religion and democratic ideals. The Society encourages and recognizes those men and women who, through their activities, promote and defend the kind of democracy envisioned by Thomas Paine and the other founders of our nation.
Thomas Paine: The Man Who Inspired the Revolution
Thomas Paine was perhaps one of America's most influential advocates for independence. In Common Sense and The American Crisis he wrote to "The Inhabitants of America" using plain language and sound argument to encourage citizens to rise up against their English rulers. His pamphlets became the most widely read publications of his day and have been credited with turning the tide for the success of the American Revolution.
Always at the center of controversy in his fight to promise justice for all, Thomas Paine is considered by many to be America's first radical. In the late 1700s he argued for such revolutionary concepts as freedom for slaves, voting rights for tradesmen and artisans and education for women.
“Citizen of the World”
With a letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin describing him as “An ingenious worthy young man,” Thomas Paine arrived in America from his home in England on November 30, 1774. Without fortune, position or formal education, Thomas Paine managed to become one of America’s most significant though unsung patriots. In describing his work, he wrote, “My motive and objective in all my political works…has been to rescue man from the tyranny and false systems and false principles of government, and enable him to be free.”
The Age of Reason
During the French Revolution, from his prison cell in Luxembourg Prison, Thomas Paine penned his most controversial work, The Age of Reason. In this pamphlet, Paine itemized what he called the contradictions contained in the Christian Bible, pointed out the hypocrisy of the Priesthood and described Christianity as mythology. The Age of Reason cost Paine his popularity and many friends, with the exception of Thomas Jefferson who remained loyal. When Thomas Paine died on June 8, 1809, few attended his funeral.
Thomas Paine Today
Thomas Paine’s influence on the American struggle for independence is one of the great untold stories of history but unfortunately, today there has been an effort to distort his words and suppress the true meaning of his ideas of freedom and equality. Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, inspired the average colonist to fight and win the revolution. It also clearly dictated the substance of the Declaration of Independence, written six months later. Paine ideas of equality, justice, and the freedom to speak out against the tyranny of unbridled power are as important today as they were in the 18th century.
■ Tom Talks on YouTube - These mini-documentaries, modeled of the popular Ted Talks feature authors, historians and others discussing Paine's ideas and their relevance in the 21st century.
■ The Thomas Paine Research Library -- Located at the office of the Thomas Paine Society, the library is a repository for books, papers and other material not only by and about Thomas Paine but also included are works by authors and historians who offer alternative and uncommon views of American history that reflect Paine’s ideals of common sense and reason.
■ The Headstrong Evening Club – Based on the Headstrong Club in
Lewes, England where Paine honed his debating skills. We celebrate Paine's Birthday (January 29th) fireside at the Historic Castle Green with actors representing Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson to discuss the important topics of the day. Audience participation is encouraged.
■ Paine's Pamphlet -- Our bi-annual e-newsletter featuring updates on the Society's activities, articles, news and events pertaining to Thomas Paine locally and around the world.
In the Works.
■Thomas Paine Society Essay Contest for the middle school history students.
■ Tom Paine’s Crisis – A one-man play for young audiences to be
performed in museums and libraries across the country.
■ Thomas Paine: You Can Change the World -- a play for children and young adults to be performed in schools.
■ Thomas Paine Book Club - Will meet in the Thomas Paine Research Library monthly to discuss works by Thomas Paine and others.