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Portrait of Thomas Paine, 1737-1809
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809). Courtesy Thomas Paine National Historical Association

Thomas Paine Memorial Museum

Built in 1926 by the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, this museum is part of a cluster of historical sites in New Rochelle, New York, at the edge of what was once Paine's farm of 277 acres, given to him in 1784 by a grateful New York State Legislature for his eminent services in the cause of independence and establishment of the United States of America.

The association was founded in 1884 in New York City to commemorate the life and public service of Thomas Paine, a seminal thinker, a Founding Father of the United States, and a key participant in both the American and French revolutions. Paine wrote Common Sense, Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, Agrarian Justice, and Dissertation on First Principles of Government. These profound works inspired his contemporaries and continue to inspire and to challenge our thinking today. The association moved its headquarters to the museum, upon its completion. The historical sites include the Thomas Paine Cottage, Paine's grave site, and the Thomas Paine Monument, the oldest known memorial to the seminal thinker and writer.

In 1973, the Huguenot and Historical Association and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association voted to merge, and take the name Huguenot-Thomas Paine Historical Association. The association maintains the Thomas Paine Museum, the Paine collections, and the Hufeland Library at the museum.

The museum is the setting for the Thomas Paine Center for Citizenship, which endeavors to increase discussion and critical thought about a broad range of public policy topics. The association confers the Thomas Paine Journalism Award annually to a journalist who, like Paine, is committed to democratic principles, civil liberties and human rights, and freedom of thought and expression in a setting that recalls the achievements and the spirit of Thomas Paine.

Documentation comprises a booklet on the Paine Cottage and Grounds, a brochure and Paine chronology.

Originally submitted by: Nita M. Lowey,Representative (18th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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