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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

From Sally Cobb Paine
Paine, Sally Cobb RTP
Taunton June 4th. 1776 My dear,

I have receivd yours of may 11th. & 141 & am Glad to hear you think of home. I hope youll See home before Long. It will be a Joyfull Sight to me. The List of parsons that you Sent Came in good time though I hant wanted for Brother has assisted me. I have received 816 of one Coll. of Swansey & gave up his note for he was moving up Country that I did before I received your Last Letter. I hope I have not done a miss. You wanted to know if we had Courts. I thought the docter wrote you about it. We had a kind of a Court in march. They Set at Mr. Crockers. Their was a Crew gather’d about the Court house with their Sticks & Clubs & declared they Should not Set. The Court went out but the Sticks & Clubs flew so that they return:d to Mr. Crockers & did their business. I was affraid their would have been murder done the white wighs flew merryly. Tis thought that June Court will be a Journed. Mr. Paddleford is returnd to Taunton & does business in Leonard office.

I wrote you the 8th. May which I hope you have receivd before this time. Our family are well at present. Charles is a fine boy. I have Some thoughts of Sending him to philada. that you might see what a fine boy he is. Taunton are determin’d that world Should know they Sombody this year & have Chose Coll. Leonard & majr. Godfrey to Represent them in Generall Court & norton has Choes the market woman husband2 for theirs a Sweet figure they cut. We have had one of our dreadfull trainings to day & my head is almost drum’d of So I bid you a good night. I am your every mindfull & affectinate,

Sally Paine 218

your Effects are all safe I believe the Maps I am sure are.

RC ; addressed: “To The honble. Robt. T. Paine Esqr. Philedelphia”; endorsed.


Not located.


Noah Woodward (1737–1835) represented the town of Norton in the session of the House of Representatives that began on May 29. He was re-elected the following year (Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 52, pt. 1:5; 53, pt .1:4).

From Anthony Mosengeil
Mosengeil, Anthony RTP
Sir, Rariton Smelting House, 6 June 1776

The Copperworks I1 am concerned in, require so much of my Presence this Time, that it is out of my Power to errect a Sulphur Work myself for the respectable, the Committee of Congress; and it is difficult to instruct a Person in the Method of extracting Sulphur from its ore, without shewing him the manual Operations in Course of the Practice. I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble Servant,

Anthony Mosengeil

RC ; addressed: “Robert Treat Paine, Esquire, Philadelphia”; endorsed.


On June 28, 1776, Congress appointed Henry Wisner, RTP, and William Floyd as a committee to confer with Anthony Mosengeil on the manufacture of sulphur (Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:502).

Extract from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
Thomson, Charles
In Congress June 7. 1776

Information being given that complaint is made with respect to the powder manufactured at Mr. Oswald Eve’s mill1

Resolved, that Mr. Wisner, Mr. Paine, & Mr. R. R. Livingston be a committee to inquire into the defect and take measures to have it remedied.2 Extract from the minutes,

Chas. Thomson3 Secy.


219 1.

RTP had already taken an interest in Mr. Eve’s powder mill at Frankfort. According to his diary he visited it on Feb. 3, and then on Feb. 24: “I rode wth. Mr. Ward & al to Eves Powder Mill at Frankfort. He says he has made 20 C of Powder this week.” Then on Apr. 20: “Rode with Mr. Webster to the Paper mills at Schuylkill & Gristmill & Powder Mills at German Town & Frankfort.”


Robert R. Livingston reported to his brother John on June 15 that “Mr. Eves’s powder is in very bad repute,” but no official report to Congress seems to have been made by this committee. Congress did, however, pass resolutions on Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 concerning the inspection of domestic and imported powder (Letters of Delegates to Congress, 4:222–223).


Charles Thomson (1729–1824) was the first and only secretary of the Continental and Confederation congresses (1774–1789). A native of Ireland, Thomson came to America young and prospered in trade and in Pennsylvania provincial politics. Disappointed not to receive an office under the new federal government, he retired to his estate in 1789 and devoted the rest of his life to Biblical scholarship and translation ( DAB ).