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Thomas Paine: Works and Possessions: no. 1-5

Inaugural Exhibit, Fall 2011

no.1 Sketches of the life of Billy Cobb.....

Sketches of the Life of Billy Cobb, and the Death of Tommy Pain: compiled from original documents, obtained in an original manner, with cuts: to which is added, an expostulatory epistle to Mr. Hone, the Lunarian / by the author of the Dorchester guide. 2nd ed. London: Printed (for the author,) and sold by Dean and Munday,  ca. 1819.  35p./p>

A satirical account of William Cobbett exhuming the remains of Thomas Paine in New Rochelle ten years after his death and bringing them to England in order to inspire a democratic revolution. Most of  Paine's bones have been lost leaving Paine the only Founder without a gravesite.

no. 2-4 Coins

Created in England in 1793; during the era when other "condor coins" were minted by towns in the absence of national hard currency. The coins minted carried propaganda against Paine's Rights of Man. Lore has it that the coins were nailed to the bottom of boots, allowing nobility to “tread” on Paine.

Coin 2  The Wrongs of Man & January 21, 1793 ( Louis XVI was executed in Paris on that date)

Coin 3  May the Knave of Jacobin Clubs Never Get a Trick  Jacobins were the radical democrats in the French Revolution.

 Coin 4  Contains an engraving of Paine being hung on the reverse side, with a church in the background with the phrase The End of Pain.

no. 5 Age of Reason

Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason; being an investigation of true and fabulous theology.  Paris: Printed by Barrois; London: Sold by D.I. Eaton, 1794. 55p.

The Age of Reason is still the most widely read of all of Paine’s works. Started in Paris just before his arrest, and finished after his release, Paine was determined to put his religious ideas to paper before his death.  Many printers in Europe and America were imprisoned for printing this work.  Paine, like many leading Founders, was a Deist.  Part of his political philosophy of democracy was that all superstitions and restraints on science and reason were obstacles to an engaged and educated electorate.