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The Lost Grave Of Paine


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Failure to mark the resting-places of great men and to indicate the
scenes of their deeds has led to misunderstanding and confusion among
those who discover a regard for history and tradition in this practical
age. Robert Fulton, who made steam navigation possible, lies in an
unmarked tomb in the yard of Trinity Church--the richest church in
America. The stone erected to show where Andre was hanged was destroyed
by a cheap patriot, who thought it represented a compliment to the spy.
The spot where Alexander Hamilton was shot in the duel by Aaron Burr is
known to few and will soon be forgotten. It was not until a century of
obloquy had been heaped on the memory of Thomas Paine that his once
enemies were brought to know him as a statesman of integrity, a
philanthropist, and philosopher. His deistic religion, proclaimed in The
Age of Reason, is unfortunately no whit more independent than is
preached in dozens of pulpits to-day. He died ripe in honors, despite his
want of creed, and his mortal part was buried in New Rochelle, New York,
under a large walnut-tree in a hay-field. Some years later his friends
removed the body to a new grave in higher ground, and placed over it a
monument that the opponents of his principles quickly hacked to pieces.
Around the original grave there still remains a part of the old
inclosure, and it was proposed to erect a suitable memorial--the Hudson
and its Hills the spot, but the owner of the tract would neither give nor
sell an inch of his land for the purpose of doing honor to the man. Some
doubt has already been expressed as to whether the grave is beneath the
monument or in the inclosure; and it is also asserted that Paine's ghost
appears at intervals, hovering in the air between the two burial-places,
or flitting back and forth from one to the other, lamenting the
forgetfulness of men and wailing, Where is my grave? I have lost my

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