The Founding Father Of The United States Was Once A Pirate

Samuel Reason | July 2nd, 2018

Thomas Paine has the claim to the title of being one of the founding fathers of the United States. Born in England in 1737 he was always a revolutionary and political activist. He wrote some of the most influential pamphlets which some historians put down as the main inspiration to the American Revolution. What you might find a little shocking though is he was once a privateer. A legally sanctioned pirate by the British monarch.

A privateer was a private person or ship that entered the maritime war and legally was allowed to attack ships flying enemy colors, in this case, enemies of the British government. Quite funny considering how Paine then became a revolutionary against the British in later life. When you look into his past, it is not so hard to understand why this came to be. Paine’s father was a master staymaker, which is the profession of creating the thick ropes needed on ships. From an early life, Paine always had a connection to the sea and to the shipping industry, so that explains why during his late adolescence life he entered the world of privateering. By 1759, he was back in Britain.

It wasn’t for another fifteen years give or take, that this buckling pirate went on his journey to the Newfoundland and started his real political activist career. In 1774, he met Benjamin Franklin who believed Paine should emigrate to the American colonies. Which he did so with a letter of recommendation from Franklin himself. The voyage did nearly kill him with typhoid fever and a dangerous voyage through stormy weather. Paine, however, made it, and after a six week recovery period was ready for his new life: taking up a position of an editor at the Pennsylvania Magazine.

His claim to the title of The Father Of the American Revolution comes from two pamphlets he published. One was named Common Sense and it came to an immediate success. The estimation that in three months 100,000 copies were sold and that during the course of the revolution around 500,000 were sold. Also, there would have been numerous unauthorized editions. The success was due to the plain language and Paine’s unique ability to convey complex ideas easily. Maybe something he learned during his days of hanging out with pirates?

Next Article
  • A Sealed Garden That Was Last Watered 46 Years Ago

    One keen gardener was curious in 1960 and decided to plant a seed in a bottle which he promptly sealed up. David Latimer never thought he would be on to one of the first self-sustaining ecosystems, which has become an amazing case study for biologists around the world. When you break it down, this plant...

    Read More
  • Olympics Athletes Are Zapping Their Brain For Performance Increases

    A strange phenomenon is taking over the sports industry at an alarming pace, one that sees professional athletes zapping their brain in name of increasing their performance. The technology uses brain simulation with the goal of increasing everything an Olympic athlete needs to grab that gold medal. The basic explanation...

    Read More
  • The Sea Creature That Eats Its Own Brain

    There is one little creature that lives in tidal pools and over shallow ocean areas, that has a rather strange and fascinating characteristic: it eats its own brain. The sea squirt is a little undersea animal which is part of the tunicate family. Whenever poked or threatened, this small animal...

    Read More
  • Pokemon Go A Security Fear For The Pentagon

    If you happen to love Pokemon Go but work for the American government at the Pentagon, well that is just too bad. All employees are banned from playing Pokemon Go inside the Pentagon walls, due to its mapping features. Anyone working at the facility in Arlington, Virginia has been given...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Porthemmet Beach Hoax

    In some regions of the world no matter how much the local area survives off tourism, there is just a general distaste for tourists in general. All these strangers tramping around your Townsquare asking for directions, one of those places in Wales. With all the coastlines and beautiful beaches, locals can tend to get very...

    Read More
  • A Castaway Who Survived 14 Months At Sea

    One man defied all the odds and was able to survive lost at sea for over 14 months. This is no story of being washed up on an island and finding coconuts, this man just drifted around the ocean for months on end. He is called Jose Salvador Alvarenga and...

    Read More
  • The Romans Actually Invented The Swiss Army Knife

    When you think of the Swiss Army Knife you would have thought it was invented in Switzerland - and it was, unless you count Roman’s version as the first one. A spoon, a knife, a fork, and toothpick - all the tools you need to extract the meat out of the shells of seafood. This...

    Read More