Escape from New York

Discussing Common Sense with Thomas Paine

By Seth Fera-Schanes

New York has some distinct historical advantages.  If you wanted to visit the final resting place of our 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant, simply head to 122nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

If you then felt so inclined, walk 1.5 miles north for a tour of Alexander Hamilton’s Grange.

Still up for more history?  Tighten your walking shoes and make the additional 1 mile trek north to Morris Jumel Mansion which at different points during the American Revolution was used by both British and American armies as a base (including General George Washington.)

And sometimes you just need to experience history outside of the city.  In that case, get a ticket on the Metro North Train for a short train ride upstate.

That is exactly what I did one semi-warm Sunday in February.

I went to Thomas Paine’s cottage in New Rochelle.  Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, one of our Founding Fathers, political activist, philosopher (and the list goes on) had around 300 acres of land in the area and lived in the house for 4 years between 1802-1806. The cottage was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973.thomas-paine-cottage-in-new-rochelle-new-york

While touring the cottage, I was fortunate enough to speak with John R. Wright, Executive Director of the museum that is on the premises.  Mr. Wright not only answered any questions I had but also provided information about some of the walking trails in the area (which at the time he warned were a little muddy) and also pointed me to Glen Island, which I went to after I left.

Glen Island was about 4 miles away from the cottage and did require a short Uber trip but was worth the visit.  With sweeping viewing of the Long Island Sound, this would be a great location for a summer picnic destination with family and friends.glen-island-on-long-island-sound-in-new-york

Be sure to check for upcoming events on the Thomas Paine Cottage website (and definitely plan a trip.)

 

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