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Robert Treat Paine

Robert Treat Paine Portrait, oil on canvas
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[ This description is from the project: Revolutionary-era Art and Artifacts ]

This portrait of Robert Treat Paine, delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was begun by painter Edward Savage (1761-1817), who painted Paine's head and face, and finished by John Coles, Jr. (1776?-1854).

Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1731. After graduating from Harvard College in 1749, he worked at a variety of jobs including teacher, sea captain, army chaplain, and whaler. He also studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1757. In the fall of 1770, Paine served as one of the prosecuting attorneys during the Boston Massacre trials. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Massachusetts and his signature is part of the Declaration of Independence. Paine became Massachusetts' first attorney general, and in 1790 he was named to the State Supreme Court, retiring from the bench in 1804. Robert Treat Paine died in Boston in 1814.