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This past year:

The Institute for Thomas Paine Studies hosted an international conference from Oct. 11 to 13. At the conference, Gary Berton, coordinator for the ITPS, announced his claim that a newly discovered, authenticated and partial draft of the Declaration of Independence proves that Thomas Paine was involved in its creation.

The document only includes the first page of the Declaration. John Adams noted on the back of the draft: “A beginning perhaps – Original with Jefferson – Copied from the original with T.P.’s permission.”

 

Junius unmasked, published  1872 makes a credible argument that Thomas Paine was the author of the Letters of Junius, who to this day has not been identified). Junius was  famously attacked the British monarchy in the years before Paine left for America. With a detailed and compelling analysis comparing of style, argument, themes, words, etc. of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, author Joel Moody concludes that  Paine, not Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence.

 

"There is a scarcity of acts, a painful obscurity connected with that part of Mr. Paine's life before he removed to America, writes the author, Moody, "In fact, history has given him to the world, as almost beginning life on his arrival at Philadelphia, near the close of 1774. At this time, in the full stature of manhood, a little less than forty years of age, we find him without a person history, without any events in life sufficient to predicate his after life upon. Can the great life to come rest on nothing?"

 

A computer linguistics analysis at the University of Aberdeen by Peter W.H. Smith and David A, Rikhards,  regarding authorship of the Declaration of Independence comes to the same conclusion, Paine, not Jefferson was the author.

Paine Documentary Project

Paine and the Declaration of Independence

There have been a number of revelations over the years and some very recently, that suggest Thomas Paine's involvement in the creation of our Declaration of Independence was much more than just inspiration.

A new original draft of the Declaration has been discovered. As is known a paragraph about slavery, in the draft of the Declaration, was omitted from the final version. It is also well known that Thomas Paine was a leading voice for the abolition of slavery. Jefferson, on the other hand, owned hundreds of slaves until the day he died.

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