A National Hero in Transit: The Problem of Thomas Paine's American Citizenship
This paper talks about the problem of Thomas Paine’s (1737-1809) American Citizenship. English by birth, American by adoption, French by decree, a self-proclaimed “citizen of the world”, Paine was one of those few eighteenth-century writers who have shaped modern political thought. Banished from England for “high treason”, jailed in France during the Terror, hated in America for his religious views, he sailed back to the United States in 1802, where he was deprived of his voting rights. A number of letters and other documents testify Paine’s attempts to gather evidence for his American citizenship, collecting affidavits. These, however, would not have been admitted in evidence. Paine lost his case and, as a result, spent the last two years of his life without any formal citizenship or voting rights.
Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Bernard Vincent, “A National Hero in Transit: The Problem of Thomas Paine's American Citizenship", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, I (1994), pp. 56-63