Thomas Paine In Paris

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.

Thomas Paine’s Revolutionary Reckoning

Of course there are some the dispute the reason why Washington refused to help Paine…..I have heard many from religious to economic… 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.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Freya Stark

Sunday and my break from the dismal news of the week…..if I cannot entertain then I need to educate.

I have been given my readers a look at the women that helped mold the modern Middle East after World War One….

First was Gertrude Bell then Jane Digby…..

The third and final woman is that of Freya Stark…..

Raised in Italy and England by liberal-minded parents, Freya Stark already spoke several languages as a child. Riding and mountaineering were part of her education, and with her mother and grandmother as role models she developed into an unconventional woman who was as at home in elegant salons as she was able to deal with poverty and physical exertion.

In spite of her delicate and sickly constitution, Freya Stark was tough and tenacious. In 1912 she began her studies in history at Bedford College in London, but broke them off with the onset of the First World War, when she left for Bologna to work as a nurse.

She had problems with self-esteem, feeling awkward and unattractive because she had to wear clothes tailored by her mother. Later in life, when she had her own money, she was known for her elegant and extravagant clothes/outfits.

Her engagement to a physician from Bologna was short-lived. Shocked, Freya moved to London, where for a time she worked as a censor of international correspondence – good preparation for her later collaboration with the Ministry of Information in London where she would be employed as an expert on the Middle East during the Second World War.

To help my readers learn about this fascinating women I found a couple of short videos……

This one is longer but a good look at the life of an interesting woman……

And finally……

Women made a difference in the Middle East as the First World War ended….for the good or the bad…they made a difference….something that cannot be said about the US which pretended that they were solidly behind the idea of self-determination for all people.

I hope this short series helped my reader learn about the courage and the fortitude of these women.

Class Dismissed!

“lego ergo scribo”