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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 2

Robert Treat Paine v. Daniel Robinson
Feb. 14, 1772

Attach DR1 to answer RTP. in a plea of the Case for that whereas one MC2 an Indented Servant for the Term four years from the 1st. day of Augt. AD 1771. at Taunton aforsaid in Consideration of 12£ paid by the said RTP on the 10th. day of Feby. 1772 was lawfully & rightfully retained in the Service of the sd. RTP during the remainder of the said Term at the time last mentioned, & the sd. MC on the said 10th. day of Feby. at sd. Taunton ran away from the said RTP & absented himself from his service in Co. with one Patrick Hickey an indented Servant of the said DR & one EP.3 for a term not yet expired who at the same time ran away from his said Masters DR & EP of all which the said DR was then & there knowing & the said DR then on the 11th. day of sd. Feby. at sd. Taunton in Consideration the sd. RTP would supply him with a horse Saddle & bridle & some money to bear his Expences & would be at the Cost of one half his Expences on the persuit promised the Plt. to persue after the said Runnaways & do his best endeavour to overtake same & bring the Plt. his sd. Servant MC. Now the Plt. in fact avers that he placing Confidence in the fidelity of the sd. DR neglected to & was diverted from sending any other person after his said Servant MC, & then & there provided for & delivered to the sd. DR his the Plts. Horse Saddle & Bridle & advanced to him 6/ towards defraying his Expence, & promised to the sd. DR, to pay him half his travelling expences on sd. business, & the Plt. further avers that the sd. Danl. Robinson then & there sat out on the Plt's sd. horse according to the agreement498aforsaid & that on the blank day of blank at New London vizt. at sd. Taunton he overtook & seized into his Possession the two said Runnaway Servants & kept them in his Possession by the space of one day yet the sd. DR negligently deceitfully & unfaithfully kept the MC & executed the Trust he had undertaken that & permitted the sd. MC to go away out of his keeping & never returned or endeavoured to return him to his said Master whereby the Plt. hath lost the service of the said MC during the time aforsd. besides his Expences of Cloathing him & of sending after him.

Dft .


Daniel Robinson was a small landowner in Taunton with half a tanhouse and real estate with an annual worth of 15 shillings in 1771. This compared with RTP's estate worth £2 per year and which also included two horses, four acres of pasture, and £400 lent out at interest (Pruitt, ed., Massachusetts Tax Valuations, 610–611, 620).


RTP in his diary entry of Aug. 7, 1771, notes: "This day I bought of Mr. Robert Caldwel an Irish Servant lad named Michael Croake for 4 years from the first day of August Instant." The indenture of Croake to Nathan Simmons, mariner, was signed May 27, 1771; he transferred it to Robert Caldwell on Aug. 3; and Caldwell then in turn sold the indenture to RTP for £12 (Miscellaneous Manuscripts, MHS). On Oct. 6 RTP wrote in his diary: "Last night my Servant Boy Michael Croake ran away with Cato a Negro of Thos. Cobb Esq." A further entry of Oct. 12: "This P M my Boy Michael and Cato were brought from Pomfret by Ephraim Cady where they were taken up by him, and we committed them to Goal." RTP took Croake out of jail on Oct. 14, probably needing his help in raising "my new House." Croake remained quiescent until Feb. 9, 1772. The next day RTP's diary entry reports: "Last night my Boy Michael Croake ran away with Patrick Hickey. This morning Danl. Robinson owner of Hickey went to Providence after them on my little Horse"; on Feb. 17: "PM Danl. Robinson returned and said he had taken Hickey but that my Boy ran from him"; on Feb. 18: "David Carver sett out on my Great Horse in quest of Michael." RTP's final diary entry on the subject states simply on Feb. 22: "Carver return'd without him."


Not identified.

From John Singleton Copley
Copley, John Singleton RTP
Boston Feby. 21. 1772 Sir,

Coll: Putnam has been in Boston several Days & very desireous of seeing you that some plan may be laid for a regular & effectual Defence of my Cause. I doubt not but you intend being here but the Cause will in all probility come on sooner than you might have expected when you left Boston indeed it is not quite certain that it may not tomorrow or even this afternoon. However I Dont think it will till Tuesday or Wednesday But I fear that will not allow you time anough to consult with the Collo: I must therefore request your attendance as soon as possable if any un-499foreseen unexpected Accident should prevent your coming I beg you will write a letter & send it to Judge Olivers on Sunday as he will leave home on monday he will take care that I receive it safely. I am Sir your Most Obt. Humble Servt.


RC ; addressed: "For Robt: T. Paine Esqr. in Tanton"; endorsed.