Thomas Paine – Fraunces Tavern

Thomas Paine and The Fraunces Tavern

Borough: Manhattan

Location: 54 Pearl Street at Broad Street.

Much of the Revolutionary history of New York revolved around Fraunces Tavern. The Tavern was a place of business that played a prominent role in the pre – Revolution and American Revolution history. Important figures such as George Washington and Thomas Paine who had at least been their once at the time when American Colonists argued for freedom from the British rule. Fraunces Tavern was a place where a number of writers influenced by the Enlightenment era and also those opposed of Britain rule and seeking independence gathered at a crucial time when it was still undecided.

Thomas Paine


Thomas Paine was an English American Political Activist, author and revolutionary who were born in January 29th, 1737 in Thetford, England. His powerful and famous read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), supported America’s Independence from Great Britain. The Pamphlet was passed around and mostly read in Taverns such as, The Fraunces Tavern, contributing the importance of separation from Great Britain, as well as recruiting their army. According to Thomas Burgan’s “Thomas Paine: Great Writer of the Revolution”, Paine supported the idea of separation from Great Britain in which he compelled the reader’s of the pamphlet to make an immediate choice whether to become an independent country or be treated unfairly under a tyrant ruler.



american rev

In 1686, Major Nicholas Bayard granted the Tavern to Stephanus Van Cortlandt. Before the Tavern was used for war purposes, it was made as a gift to Cortlandt’s daughters Anne and son-in-law, Etienne Delancey, as a wedding present. Since the Tavern is now Delancey’s, he decided to construct a three – story building in 1719, which is now the main building of Fraunces Tavern Museum. After Delancey’s death, his heirs sold the building in 1762 to Samuel Fraunces who converted the three – story home into a Tavern, which was first, named the Queen’s Head which was located at 54 Pearl Street at Broad Street.

Modern Time



The Tavern itself is still located in the exact same place where it was first built on 54 Pearl Street at Broad Street. The Tavern, since 1904 has been owned by The Sons of the Revolution which claims Manhattan’s oldest surviving building. The Tavern is now a restaurant, museum, and a bar where they throw many events such as live Irish music and craft beers from around the world. It had changed dramatically since the building of the Tavern, from a war purpose structure to a bar/lounge or museum.


Unknown. “Fraunces Tavern Museum Chronological History”. Fraunces Tavern Museum.

     This source is the chronology of the Fraunces Tavern.

Unknown. “Hangout of Sons of Liberty; Hosted Washington, several Cabinet Department”. NyFreedom. www

     Tells us the purpose of the Tavern and what it was use for during the War.

Claeys, Gregory. Thomas Paine Social and Political Thought. New York:Routledge, November 14, 1989

     Thomas paine’s role during the war. Also gives the chronology of Thomas Paine and his social and political thoughts.

Burgan, Thomas. Thomas Paine: Great Writer of the Revolution. Minnesota: Compass Point Books; 1st edition, June 1, 2005

     Explains Paine’s careers, his other roles during the war, and why he was portrayed a hated and lonely man


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