Did Thomas Paine live in Bordentown?
Bordentown is the only place in the world where Paine bought property. He was given a farm in New Rochelle, NY by the State Assembly, but never chose a place to buy outside of Bordentown. The house he actually bought, along with a piece of land across Crosswicks Creek, was on Church St. W. It was moved sometime in the late 19th century from the corner of Farnsworth down the block of Church St W. a couple of lots, and is still there. The plaque on Farnsworth is incorrect as it names the present structure at the NW corner of Farnsworth and Church W as the house. However, Paine never lived in the house he bought! He “gave” it to a widow of the war to live rent free, and then rented it to a ship Captain and his wife. He eventually sold it in 1803 along with the land across the creek. Paine actually lived in Bordentown between 1778 and 1787 (one of the longest residences in his life) with his close friend Joseph Kirkbride at the foot of Farnsworth overlooking the river (the property is at 2 Farnsworth). He had a room on the second floor of a large house, and it was there he worked on his famous bridge. A statue of Paine was erected in 1996 near this property where his horse Button grazed at the end of Prince St. This house became a hotel and then the first female college in the country. It burned to the ground around 1900, and the current house there was built soon after.