Upon setting up shop @WordPress, back in January 2016, I opted-in to the screen-name CommonSenseTom. That’s my historical link to the English / American journalist and political radical, Thomas Paine (b. 1737 – d. 1809), who authored Common Sense (his content advocating American Independence from Great Britain).
Little doubt, his anti-subjugation sentiments had links to his proper upbringing re a closely related matter. This brief passage from Paine’s bio will elaborate…
“He grew up in a Quaker family in Thetford, England. The Quakers were some of the first people to condemn slavery and the slave trade. Both in England and America, the Quakers expressed their beliefs in freedom for all men. Quaker societies cut ties with the slave trade and demanded that all men followed in their footsteps. Thomas Paine remained close to the roots, by seeking out the Quaker community in Philadelphia.”
As for the actual intensity of Paine’s condemnation of slavery? Well, that’d depend upon which historian you ask. Personality-wise, some peg him as a quiet Englishman, who felt that his own countrymen’s enslavement of Africans had rendered him a far from credible opponent.
Personally, I believe that’d have made him the perfect man for the job.
However, history is clear on one matter. Paine had never owned slaves. And that, in itself, would certainly prove him far more enlightened and evolved than many of his revolutionary contemporaries.
Had an overwhelming majority of my homeland’s Founding Fathers harbored Thomas Paine’s beliefs, early Americans could’ve simultaneously freed themselves from England and the slaves from “America”. Those quotation marks represent my editorial comment… i.e., a nation that enslaves anyone is not America.
Had Black Lives Mattered when we had won our Revolutionary War, just imagine how much better off American society would be by now.