Thomas Paine Foundation/Memorial Committee

Thomas Paine Foundation/Memorial Committee

The Thomas Paine Foundation/Memorial Committee began as a separate organization (formerly simply the Thomas Paine Foundation) created by Margaret Downey, which was then adopted by the Freethought Society as a standing committee.

Through the committee, the Freethought Society conducts educational and entertaining programs promoting the ideals of Thomas Paine and freethought philosophy. The committee has received local, national and international recognition for its efforts.

See photos from the committee’s events and gatherings here!

Thomas Paine, A Brief History

Thomas Paine arrived in America in 1774 at the request of Benjamin Franklin. On January 10, 1776, Paine published Common Sense, a remarkable and powerful republican pamphlet, which proved an immediate success.

Paine served in the Revolutionary War under General Greene, and later in official congressionally-appointed positions and the Pennsylvania legislature. In his later publication, Age of Reason, Paine expressed that “all religions are in their nature mild and benign” when not associated with political systems; Paine was the quintessential Deist of the 18th century.

Between March 1791 and February 1792 Paine published numerous editions of Rights of Man, in which he defended the French Revolution. The words of Thomas Paine inspired many to strive for political, economic and social advancement. He was among the first to call for an end to slavery and the establishment of human rights around the world.

In Honor of Thomas Paine

In appreciation, the Thomas Paine Foundation/Memorial Committee celebrates the birthday of Thomas Paine on January 29th, as well as a Thomas Paine Day proclamation on June 8 and other Paine-themed events during the year. The committee is a participant in the beautification project for the Thomas Paine National Historical Museum, located at what was once Paine’s farm in New Rochelle, NY.

Read all about the committee’s 20th anniversary Thomas Paine Day 2014!

Thomas Paine Educational Assemblies

Five Thomas Paine assemblies have been presented at elementary schools throughout the Delaware Valley region. Assemblies have also taken place in New Jersey and California.

Urbana-Paine-Assembly  – Thomas Paine School in Urbana, Illinois

Thomas Paine Assemblies - Charlestown Elementary School and Uwchlan Hills Elementary, PA

If you are a teacher or school administrator, you may apply for a Thomas Paine Assembly Grant- contact Margaret Downey.

Tax-Deductible Contributions

Donations towards the production costs and supplies needed for these assemblies can be made online at; just note your earmark for either Paine Assemblies or the Thomas Paine Committee in general in the message field at the PayPal payment page. All donors will receive a receipt. FS is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) educational, charitable organization*.


You may hire the Thomas Paine Foundation/Memorial Committee to conduct an assembly at your school. Simply contact Margaret Downey, Committee Director at:

610-793-2737 office

610-793-2561 fax