1802 — Thomas Paine returns to America from Paris

Tom Paine was a fiery pamphleteer whose works were among the foremost of those preaching revolution in the American colonies in the 1770s. After the revolution, he traveled to France in 1781, where he was intended to serve diplomatic and fund raising roles. However, the French, who were at that time at war with Britain, called him a British citizen rather than an American, and threw him in prison in 1793.

He was released after the end of the Terror, but he never regained his prominence or public support. His later writings attacked sacred cows: the church and President Washington. This, along with nasty rumours about his personal life, led to a homecoming less welcoming than might be expected for a hero of the revolution.

Referenced in:
Pretty Pink Rose — Adrian Belew