Thomas Paine was one of the most controversial writers of the Revolution. A protege of Benjamin Franklin, a failed stays maker, a Britisher who passionately voiced the sentiments of the Revolution here and helped to ignite the French Revolution later on, he remains even today a striking figure. Washington, himself , distributed Paine’s pamphlet, “Common Sense” to the beleagured soldiers at ValleyForge. He said that Paine did more to rally the troops during the “times that try men’s souls” than any other source and he credited Paine for boosting morale to the point where the troops were able to win the battle of Trenton under unlikely circumstances. There’s a terrific link to the Thomas Paine Society I am putting in the primary source section. You might want to read and definitely check out the links.
Thomas Paine on You Tube: