PAINE, Thomas (1737-1809). Partly printed document endorsed and signed ("Thos. Paine"), an official pay warrant for the state of Pennsylvania, signed by John Bayard, Speaker of the Assembly. Philadelphia, 1 June 1780. 1 page, oblong, 155 x 209 mm (66 x 86 in.), accomplished in manuscript in a florid hand, the sheet neatly backed.
THOMAS PAINE'S SALARY AS CLERK OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSEMBLY
A document authorizing David Rittenhouse, State Treasurer, to pay "Thomas Paine Esquire, or his Order, the Sum of One thousand six hundred & ninety nine pounds 2/6 for his Wages for Sixty eight Dayes Service in the Assembly; and Sundry Extra expenses." Vertically along the left-hand margin Paine has boldy written: "June 7 Received the within Contents Thos. Paine."
The author of Common Sense had been accorded official recognition and appointed Secretary to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs in April 1777. He was forced to resign after revealing, in a published attack on Silas Deane, the secret of France's clandestine support for the American cause. After an interval, he was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in November 1779. "When his arrears of salary, amounting by then to 1,699 dollars [the amount named here] were paid to him on 7 June, Paine at once subscribed five hundred dollars of it for the relief of Washington's currently hard-pressed army. His example was followed and by the end of the year a sum of three hundred thousand pounds had been raised, making possible the establishment of a bank which was incorporated by Congress..." (A.J. Dyer, Thomas Paine, London, 1988, pp.46-47) That bank was to become the precursor of the Bank of America.