I guess it is no secret that I am a fan of Thomas Paine…he did more to establish the United States than many of our so-called Founding Fathers.
I have written many times about Thomas Paine……just a couple of my posts…..
And then there is everybody’s hero, George Washington…..a person that I do not think should be held to such high esteem…..he should be known as the first president but then that is about all the accolades I will give him.
But to me the highest form of political cowardice was when Washington, the man not the city, ignored Paine’s pleas for help when he was arrested in Paris in 1793.
On December 28, 1793, at the height of the Reign of Terror in France, Paris police rousted Thomas Paine in the cold hours before dawn, arrested him as a “foreign conspirator” and locked him in a wet, 10-by-8-foot cellar in Luxembourg Prison. The only light came from cracks in a boarded-up window. Paine was sure the guillotine awaited him.
Citizen Thomas Paine, whose pamphlet Common Sense helped ignite the American Revolution, was an enthusiastic early supporter of the French Revolution. He received a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Paris in 1792 and was even granted honorary French citizenship and a seat in the National Convention, the body charged with writing a constitution for the new republic. But Paine angered Maximilien Robespierre and other Jacobin extremists when he urged the Convention to spare the life of the deposed French king, Louis XVI. Instead, Jacobins brandished the king’s severed head in front of a cheering crowd. Then they proceeded to round up thousands of suspected counterrevolutionaries who, Paine observed, fell “as fast as the guillotine could cut their heads off.” Now they’d come for him, too.
Of course there are some the dispute the reason why Washington refused to help Paine…..I have heard many from religious to economic…..it matters NOT to me….Paine was the soul of the Revolution and in as such this country owed him all its support and assistance when needed.
But instead it was possibly divine providence that saved Paine….matters not for it WAS NOT the president of the United States.
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”