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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53

The Letter

The Letter.

New York, April 24, 1818.—Sir: Having been informed that you have a design to write a history of the life and writings of Thomas Paine, if you have been furnished with materials in respect to his religious opinions, or rather of his recantation of his former opinions before his death, all you have heard of his recanting is false. Being aware that, such reports would be raised after his death by fanatics who infested his house at the time it was expected he would die, we, the subscribers, intimate acquaintances of Thomas Paine since the year 1776, went to his house. He was sitting up in a chair, and apparently in full vigor and use of all his mental faculties. We interrogated him upon his religious opinions, and if he had changed his mind, or repented of anything he had said or wrote on that subject. He answered, "Not at all," and appeared rather offended at our supposition that any change should take place in his mind. We took down in writing the questions put to him and his answers thereto, before a number of persons then in his room, among whom were his doctor, Mrs. Bonneville, &c. This paper is mislaid and cannot be found at present, but the above is the substance, which can be attested by many living witnesses.

Thomas Nixon,

Daniel Pelton.

An old man in Pennsylvania told me once that his father hired