A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Elbridge Gerry

1 October 1775

From Elbridge Gerry

3 October 1775
From Sally Cobb Paine
Paine, Sally Cobb RTP
Taunton oct. 1 1775 Dear Husband,

I Recived your Letter dat. 15 Sept. & am very Glad to hear of your Safe arrivel at Philada. for I have Long:d to hear how you got through your Journey. I had the pleasure of Mr. Breck & Ladys1 Company to Drink Coffee with me Last week. They told me they met you this Side new york. They ware very agreeble & are come to Board at Mrs. McWhorters for this winter. I hope we Shall be good neighbours. Sammy is often here to play with Bob. Seth has made the place for Salt petre where you directed him & is very Carefull to collect material for that purpose. He has taken care of the thorns.

Oct. 8. Since you Left home poor Charles has been almost to the Gates of Death but is much Better. He begins to grow. I hope he’ll be a fine boy. The rest of our family are well. Col. Bowers had a vessel coming in that was take by our enemy & is Since retaken by our men & five of the Sailors which are gone to head quarters. I Suppose before this Reaches you you’ll hear of that traitor that D—l Curch. They had a very Brisk fireing at newport all Last night which frighted us very much for Such Cannon was never heard in Taunton before. We have not heard what was done but we Suppose the town is distroyed for wallis told them that if they would not Deliver up their Live Stock he would distroy the town. The familys were moving out Last week. They had fifteen hundred men under arms. I hope they ware able to defend themselves.2 I wish I was with you where I Should be out of the noyse of Cannon for it is a dredfull Sound. I hope to hear from you Soon & when you will come home I hope before winter. Hoping your welfare in all things I am your affectinate wife

Sally Paine

PS, I have Just heard where the firing was Last night. It was at Bristol. With their Great firing they kill’d 2 Gees & Shot Some holes through the houses. They Shot in at one end of a hogshead of Rum, & out the other. So much for their Great noise. Miss Eunice Give her Love to you & your neices also. Bob & Sally are Longing for there Little Dog. I would write better if I had a pen but I hope you can read it.

RC ; endorsed.

90 1.

Samuel Breck, a Boston merchant, his wife, the former Hannah Andrews, and their young son Samuel (“Sammy”) were among the many Boston refugees who sought asylum in the countryside.


On Capt. James Wallace’s demand of “a supply of 200 sheep and 30 fat cattle” from Bristol and the subsequent punitive shelling of the town, see Naval Documents of the American Revolution, 2:420–421, 451–452.