"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thomas Paine

This 1791 portrait of Thomas Paine (1737-1809) by Laurent Dabos hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"'For God's sake, let us come to a final separation', pleaded an anonymous author in a brief pamphlet called Common Sense, published in Philadelphia on January 9, 1776. 'You have it in your power to begin the world all over again.' Written by Thomas Paine, a down-at-the-heels immigrant recently arrived from England, this call for an immediate declaration of independence had a stunning effect, rousing spirits within Congress and without.

In December 1776 Paine was with the Continental army as it retreated across New Jersey, and George Washington confessed privately that the game was nearly up. 'The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country,' Paine wrote in an essay that Washington read to the troops, 'but he that stands by it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.'" -- National Portrait Gallery

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