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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 2

From Edmund Hawes
Hawes, Edmund RTP
Barnstable February the 23d: Day 1773 Hond: Sr:,

These are to Inform you that we are in Usual Health Hopeing the Same of yr: Self and Family. I1 Now Acquaint you of an Unhappy Affair Desireing your Advice & Assistance therein. Novr. the 2nd: 1772 On Monday Evening James Paine Freeman 2 was at Husking Corn to Mr. Thomas Annables. Elisha Gray 3 Goldsmith of this Town being there, after Husking they had a Dance the said Gray being Tired Danceing Sot Down in a Chair And it is Said that the sd. James tied the Button of the Sd. Gray's Coat to the Chair with a Large Twine & when Gray Jumped up to Dance the Chair follow'd Him & Gray to Get Clear of the Chair Puled of his Own Button which was all the Dammage that was Done: He Gave out that he would whip James for what He had Done: all which I was not Acquainted with by any Body on Saturday the 7th: of sd. Novr. I went to Eastham and Tarry'd there Exactly a Week. The sd. Gray have'g Waited for This Oppertunity to Whip Jame in my Absence. On Thursday the Twelfth Day of sd. Novr. at About Eight O Clock in the Evening the sd. Elisha Gray Assaulted the sd. James with a Stick About as thick as one's thumb as the Witnesses Say and Beat him with Great Violence till the Stick Broak to Pieces then Josep Hinckley haveing heard the Blows at a Distance Ridd up to Se the Affray. The sd. Gray Pull'd his Horse Whip out of his hand & whip James with that till the Lash Came off Then Bid James Down on his knees & Begg & then a Second Time which he Did as Once would Not Satisfy his Wicked Revenge. This was Done between My House & the Bridge. Then Job Howland the Sheriff who Stood at Lawyer Bourns Shop Door Hearing the Blows Came & found James Laying on the Ground & sd. Gray Standing Over him: & would not leave him till the Officer Pull'd him Away By main force and Bid James Get up & Gray should not strike him again: and when He Got up he was much Beat and Bloody. All which I Prov'd Before Col. Otis & I hope I Can Again. On Thursday follow'g I had sd. Gray Before Col. Otis for the Kings Part and he was convicted of a Breach of Peace & Fine'd. But this did not Satisfy Him yet. He has Since Sue'd James in an Action of Assault the Writ fill'd By Lawyer Bourne the Coppy of which I Send You Inclosed in this Letter. Then I took up a letter of Guardianship to James and Stood the Action Before David Gorham Esq. The Plea was: And the Defendt. Come in & Says that he is not Guilty as the Plantiff509Declares (or nearr to that). The Proof was that one Witness Saw James tie the Button to the Chair & two Saw it was tied but did not know who tied it upon which the Justice Made up Judgment that James Should Pay Six shillings Dammage & Costs which was 17 Shilings more from the which Judgment I Appeal'd and Now Sr. I have Stated the Matter from the first till now & I Desire yr. Advise 1st. as to this Action whether I had Best Carry it to the Inferiour Court or Stop it where it is now. And 2nd. I Desire You to fill up a Writt for April Court for Elisha Gray Goldsmith of Barnstable for this Great Assault upon James Paine Freeman & State the Sum at your Discretion And Send it to Me in a Letter before the time of Service for sd. Court is Out. Also Please to Write me word if you Expect to Come to Barnstable at April Court or at the Superiour Court & I will Satisfy You for your Trouble. These are From Yours. to Serve,


NB The Marks of James's being Whip'd was Plain to be Seen Before Col. Otis as His Honour together with Others Can witness the which was allmost a week after he was whip'd.

RC ; addressed: "For Robert Treat Paine Esq."; endorsed.


Edmund Hawes (1738–1831). son of Edmund and Mary (Paine) Hawes, uncle of James Paine Freeman, and a cousin of RTP (Paine Family Records, 2:171).


James Paine Freeman (1757—ca. 1832), the son of James Freeman (1726–1758) of Halifax, later went to live with his father's family in Barnstable, Mass. (see Edmund Hawes to RTP, Feb. 23, 1773, Apr. 12, 1773). He married first Bethiah Cobb, and in 1793 Deborah Ide of Rehoboth. He lived at Barnstable, served in the army, and received a military pension (Charles C. Paine, manuscript genealogy, RTP Papers).


Elisha Gray of Barnstable (d. 1776).