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Statues of Thomas Paine

In all the United States, there are only two statues of Thomas Paine. They are both in New Jersey!

One is in Morristown and the other is in Bordentown. The statue in Bordentown is pictured here (it was taken by Elizabeth Davidson of the Express-Times, Easton, Pa.).

In other places there are monuments and busts of Paine.

There's a bust in each museum of Washington Crossing State Park in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And there's a monument on the grounds of the National Association of Thomas Paine in New Rochelle, New York.

In the rest of the world, there's a statue in Paine's hometown of Thetford, England, and another one in Paris.

It was said that when Napoleon Bonaparte met Paine in Paris he remarked that a golden statue of Paine should be in every town in the world.

The village of Thetford, Paine's English hometown, in 1964 hosted many American, French and English dignitaries who came for the unveiling of a Thomas Paine statue there. Some U.S. Air Force pilots with the 8th Division, who were stationed in Thetford during World War II, decided to present Thetford with the statue of Paine. Working with the Thomas Paine Foundation in New York, the group raised funds to make the statue.

The front of the Thetford statue reads:

My country is the world
My religion to do good.

Words on the back of the statue read:

Englishman by birth, French citizen by degree, American by adoption.

Eleven years later, in 1975, inspired by the coming Bicentennial in the United States, citizens of Bordentown, N.J., met to discuss the idea of a statue or a monument to honor Thomas Paine of Bordentown.

Headed by Bordentown Historical Society members, the project grew into a head-to-toe statue of its former resident who adopted the town as his hometown.

To memorialize Paine's death (June 9, 1809), the unveiling of his statue in Bordentown took place on June 7, 1997.

The statue pictured above sits on land that Paine may have owned but surely walked on during his time in Bordentown.

Today, the statue is part of a walking tour, "In His Footsteps," conducted by the Thomas Paine Society of Bordentown. The walking tour is conducted the second Saturday of every month from April to December, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Old Bookshop, 200 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown, N.J.

Individuals are welcome. Tour groups must first write the Thomas Paine Society of Bordentown, 200 E. Chestnut Street, Suite 3-B, Bordentown, N.J. 08505.

Come visit !

Mae Kramer Silver, whose manuscript is the basis for Thomas Paine: An American Patriot, is president of the Thomas Paine Society of Bordentown.

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