A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Joseph Greenleaf

12 May 1775

From David Cobb

12 May 1775
From Abigail Paine Greenleaf
Greenleaf, Abigail Paine RTP
Taunton May 12. 1775 Dear Brother,

With a heart full of gratitude for your tender care of me and mine I take this first oppertunity to acquaint you that I and mine have once more obtaind. our liberty and are injoying the delights you left with a serenity of mind that was not to be injoyed in the scitutation I’ve liv’d in for some months past. We sent our three eldest children to Braintrey the day after the battle at Concord we found ourselves shut in and waited patiently hoping for a release but no one can imagine how great the universal distress. In many joy rose in propotion when as we vainly thought we had leave to retire to the country with our effects this pleasing prospect soon vanish’d and the inhabitants were nesesetated to leave their all excepting a few cloaths and wander without any prospects but the charity of our country brethren without the coveynience of a cariage for none cou’d be hir’d as none cou’d return. Under these opessive Curcumstances Mr. Greenleaf myself and Eunice with our two printers Cros’d the ferry with a trunk and some bundles change of raiment and account books only Charlstown was a sad spectacle the houses all left desolate no carriage to be had so we trudg’d on towards Cambridge but was so lucky as to meet a horse cart who took our load myself and daughter and set us down at College where we were receiv’d by our army and a Gentelman resident there in a very friendly manner there hir’d a chaise and went to Major Fullers1 who receiv’d us gladly and administer’d every cordial in their power. From thence we sent our boy to their parents and Jo White sent Tommy to us from braintry and last saterday we came here. We cherrish some hopes that Coll. Leverett2 has sent some of our goods out but 50fear t’was not in his power. Here is many refugees in town some poorer some have sav’d more than we. I had sent a bed and other valuable cloathing and a little pewter and plate out before. We are trying to scheme some business for tommy in the printing way as many printers are in the country, but at present all is gloomy. Mrs. Paine has wrote so omit your dear family. Sister Eunice is unwell to day. My children send their duty we all remember your importance and shan’t omit petitioning for your safty and the guidance of infinite wisdom in your arduous task. I am your afflicted affectionate Sister,

Abigail Greenleaf

RC ; endorsed.


Nathan Fuller (1741–1822) and his wife, Beulah Craft (c.1745–1818), kept a tavern in Newton. He had been major in an expedition to Canada and by 1777 was a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army (Ritter and Fleishman, Newton, Massachusetts, 1679–1779: A Biographical Directory, 38–39).


John Leverett (1726/7–1777), a Boston merchant, was married to Joseph Greenleaf ’s sister Mary.