NO. R-181. JOINT RESOLUTION DESIGNATING JANUARY 29 AS THOMAS PAINE DAY.
Offered by: Representative Tracy of Burlington.
Whereas, on the advice of Benjamin Franklin, in 1774 Thomas Paine journeyed from his native England to the American colonies, and
Whereas, immediately upon his arrival in Philadelphia he put his quill pen to paper, condemning slavery in his first monograph, entitled "African Slavery," that appeared in 1775, and
Whereas, sensing that time was opportune for the 13 colonies to separate from Great Britain and form a newly independent nation, on January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine historic publication, entitled "Common Sense," appeared strongly advocating American Independence, and
Whereas, in "Common Sense", he set forth his opinions on the English monarchy and the ripeness of the year 1776 for American self-government, and
Whereas, Thomas Paine cited the need for a navy to defend American shores, rightly observing in a reference to the British military that "the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us," and
Whereas, the publication of "Common Sense" was a significant influence in the Continental Congress's decision to adopt the Declaration of Independence, and
Whereas, once independence was declared, Thomas Paine served as Secretary to Congress's Committee on Foreign Affairs, and wrote the highly influential "American Crisis" series as he marched with Washington's army, and
Whereas, he was so committed to the cause of American Independence that he donated his copyright and royalties to the struggling national government, and
Whereas, at the time of the French Revolution, Thomas Paine eloquently defended its goals, if not always its methods, in his "Rights of Man," and
Whereas, he was an inspiration for future American journalists, and has recently been honored with a special exhibit by the Newseum in Arlington, Virginia, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the 29th of January is designated as Thomas Paine Day, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Thomas Paine National Historical Association in New Rochelle, New York, and to Robert N. Walsh.