Building of the Week: Thomas Paine Cottage
03 Nov, 2011
By Wesley Moroz
One of our favorite local revolutionaries, Thomas Paine lived in this New Rochelle cottage from 1802-06. Born in England in 1737, Paine immigrated to America in 1774 after meeting a guy named Benjamin Franklin who suggested the move.In England, Paine had worked (but not successfully) as a corset maker, privateer (legalized pirate, essentially), excise officer (collector of customs and taxes), school teacher and personal servant. He is best known for writing Common Sense, the pamphlet that argued for freedom from British rule.
For his service in the Revolutionary War, the New York State Legislature awarded him 320 acres in New Rochelle in 1784. The bulk of the property (277 acres) was a farm that had been confiscated.
The house is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.