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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 1

From Abigail Paine
Paine, Abigail RTP
Boston May 10. 1746 Dear Brother,

I1 have Sent the bearrer to bring your Coat to you for Father is Concern'd Lest your having Nothing to wear but your Thin Coat: I have indusstreously Spent one whole day & half in Mending it and have done it to the best of My Skill because I Remember'd it was for a Gentleman whose deserts were Great. I Got well home2 (as I Suppose you have been inform'd) but found Mother3 very ill, worse than when I Left her and she was not pleas'd with our tarrying. She wants very Much to see you but knows nothing of Catos4 Coming nor of the fate of your Coat. We are all well at present, allmost all the family have Sent you a token of their Love. Grandmother5 sends her Love to you and wants very Much to see you. Pray Give My humble Service to the Ladys6: and pray send me word how Mrs: Betty doe's for I was affraid she 4wou'd be sick: I Conclude with requesting some of your Company assoon as you Can Leave your buisness. Dear Brother in haste I Subcribe your Loving Sisster,


PS I have Sent your Cloth ---hs7 and pray you to Send me your Leather ones


I have Sent your Servant Watch8 to wait on you and pray you to keep him if it Suits you for he makes so many quarrels for Cato that we Cant keep him.

RC ; addressed: "To Robert Treat Paine att Cambridge"; endorsed.


Abigail Paine (1725–1809), elder sister and faithful correspondent of RTP, whose letters to him reveal much about New England family life. She married Joseph Greenleaf (1720–1810) on Oct. 17, 1749. The family, which eventually included 7 children, moved first to Germantown in Braintree and then to Abington but returned to live in Boston in 1771.


RTP Diary for May 6 notes: "My Sisters came to see me" and the next day records “Sisters went away about 5 oclock with Mrs Peggy Appleton."


Eunice (Treat) Paine (1707–1747), daughter of Samuel Treat (1648–1717), minister at Eastham on Cape Cod, and of Abigail Willard (1665–1746). She was the granddaughter of Gov. Robert Treat of Connecticut and of Rev. Samuel Willard. Both these connections were important to RTP in later years.


Cato, black slave of Thomas Paine. Paine deeded Cato to his three children on Mar. 9, 1748/9 in repayment of a legacy from their maternal grandmother. He rewrote this on Nov. 28 in favor of Abigail and Eunice alone although "reserving Cato to me my life time." Cato was still with the family as late as 1754 when he was hired out as a laborer and was perhaps sold to a Ralph Morgan of Boston in that year (see RTP to Thomas Paine, Dec. 10, 1754). His later history is unknown.


Abigail Willard Treat (1665–1746), RTP's grandmother, was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Willard, pastor of the Old South Church, Boston, vice-president of Harvard College, and author of A Compleat Body of Divinity, and of Abigail (Sherman) Willard. She married first in 1694 Rev. Benjamin Estabrook of Lexington, Mass. (1670/1–1697) and had 2 children. She married second in 1700, as his second wife, Rev. Samuel Treat of Eastham (1648–1717) and had 2 more children. She lived with the Paine family in Boston until her death in 1746 (Paine, Paine Genealogy, 86).


The daughters of Rev. Nathaniel Appleton, minister at Cambridge, with whom RTP boarded. "Peggy," mentioned above, was the eldest daughter, Margaret (1720–1768), who later married Rev. Joshua Prentice as his second wife. "Betty" was his second daughter, Elizabeth (1726–1756), who married Dr. Isaac Rand, Jan. 10, 1754 (Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630–1877 [Boston, 1877], 482).


Possibly "shoes," for RTP records in his diary on May 10: "had Pair single sol’d shoes."


RTP's dog.