I don't usually provide biographies of the persons quoted but Paine is such a fascinating character that I will provide a brief one.
He was on the spot for so many important historical events that he reminds me of Forrest Gump.
Thomas Paine (29 January 1737 – 8 June 1809) was an English pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor and intellectual. He lived and worked in Britain until age 37, when he emigrated to the British American colonies, in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contribution was the powerful, widely-read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and of The American Crisis (1776–1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series.
Later, he greatly influenced the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), a guide to Enlightenment ideas. Despite not speaking French, he was elected to the French National Convention in 1792. The Girondits regarded him an ally, so, the Montagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him an enemy. In December of 1793, he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris, then released in 1794. He became notorious because of The Age of Reason (1793–94), the book advocating deism and arguing against Christian doctrines. In France, he also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income.
He remained in France during the early Napoleonic era, but condemned Napoleon's dictatorship, calling him "the completest charlatan that ever existed". In 1802, at President Thomas Jefferson's invitation, he returned to America.
Thomas Paine died, aged 72, at 59 Grove Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, on 8 June 1809. He was buried in New Rochelle, New York,, where he had lived after returning to America in 1802. His remains were later disinterred by an admirer looking to return them to England; his final resting place today is unknown.