A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Apollos Leonard

22 August 1775

From Elbridge Gerry

1 October 1775
From Sally Cobb Paine
Paine, Sally Cobb RTP
Taunton Sept 17 1775 Dear Husband,

Being able to Set up a Little while I thought it my duty to write to you. I Suppose you want to hear from home. Charles has been very Sick but is Geting better.1 The rest of our family are well. I Long to hear how you got through your Journey but I hope Safe.2 We have Seven of Gages men in our Goal that was taken at the Light house Some time a goe. I Should have Let the Docter know of this opportunity if I could have Seen or heard of him but tis very Sickly time with us So the Docter has now rest Day nor night. I hope to hear from you Soon & would have wrote more but not being able must Subscribe my Self your Loving wife

Sally Paine

RC ; addressed: “To The honble. Robert Treat Paine Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed.


Charles Paine (1775–1810), the Paines’ fourth child, was born on Aug. 30 during RTP’s brief stay at home. Charles graduated from Harvard in 1793 and became a lawyer in Boston. In 1799 he married Sarah Sumner Cushing (1777–1859), the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Sumner) Cushing and niece of both William Cushing and Increase Sumner. Charles became known in Boston as a orator and was chosen to give the town’s Fourth of July lecture in 1801 as well as the annual lecture for the Charitable Fire Society in 1808. However, he developed consumption and died in his 35th year leaving a widow and four children.


RTP had returned to Taunton on Aug. 10 for a visit of a few days before going to Roxbury to view the lines of the Continental Army at Dorchester. On Aug. 15 he went to Cambridge, where he lunched with Steward Hastings at the college before going to the encampment on Prospect Hill, where he visited General Washington, and then proceeded to Watertown, where the House of Representatives was sitting. On the Aug. 26, he “Rode to Cambridge & Mystick round the lines there, din’d wth. Comsry. Trumbal & QuarterMaster Mifflin in co. wth. Genrll. Washington Lee &c.” The next day he returned to Taunton, where he remained until Sept. 5 when he left again for Philadelphia. Accompanied by “Richd: Dean as my Waiter,” RTP progressed via Providence, Hartford, and New York City, arriving on Sept. 14 at Philadelphia, where he again boarded with Mrs. Sarah Yard (RTP diary).