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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

From Abigail Greenleaf
Greenlead, Abigail RTP
My dear Uncle, Taunton July 14th. 1776.

Once more, I date a letter to you from hence, in your office. I thought on, this time to have been in the enjoyment of my Parents & Brothers & Sisters, at my own home, but the small Pox has been hanging about Town ever since we have had it in Possession. As Sister Polly & I were not in very good health twas thought best by all our Freinds for us to tarry in the Country a little while. But now the small Pox is spread; the time for innoculation was limitted to twelve days, they began last thursday was seven’t. and tomorrow is the last day. My two youngest Sisters have gone thro’ the opperation the second day, I beleive it was, & I hope before now my Brother has. But last friday he could not get an officer to release him. I dont know whether any body has informed you that he has been in the army this two months. He is first Leiutenant 246in the Boston artilery, which has been stationed at Nantasket this some time. Tis a good birth, & the heigth of his ambition. I hear with Pleasure that he is in fine health & spirits. My full heart wishes him well thro’ the task he has undertaken, since it is his Choice. I rejoice that I have a Brother that is capable of doing such service to his country, but yet I feel a secret reluctance at Parting with him, to go into so dangerous a post, but I hope kind heaven will gaurd his unexperiencd. youth from the dangers & fatigues; & what is worse than these, the vices of a camp Life, & when the war is ended will Crown him with the Laurels of victory; & return him to his dear friends; in Safety. Several accidents happened, which Prevented Sister & I from going to Town the first week, to be innoculated & since that Pappa & Mamma with the Docters advise think it best for us not to go, at Present, there is vast numbers of Peoples gone from the Country. The Town is very much crowded indeed, & dog days will soon be here. Mamma says she will go with us to the hospital when tis Cooler weather, when she hopes to have the care of your little ones, as no doubt, you will think it best for them to have it in early youth. Their Mamma I beleive will Consent, & Cousin Bob & Sally are Pleased with the thoughts of going with us. I think there is 12 gone from this Green into town all went in one day, under the care of Doctor Cobb.

We are waiting Sir, with great impatience for a letter from you. Tis a long time you forget (when you chide my Aunt for not remembering you oftener,) how seldom you write, & how short your letters are; not that I think it an excuse for our negligance, as your hours of Leasure are very few. We know but we should be very glad to hear of your health much oftener; in half your letters you dont say any thing of it, so we take it for granted you are not sick. Mr. Procter was here a week ago. He said ten days before, you was well.

You ask about our Courts sitting. It adjourned untill September by reason of the great disturbance we had last march; & the great threatnings what was to be done in case they should attempt it again. I beleive my Aunt wrote you this; since which our Court house has been open’d for the reception of a hundred foreign Gentlemen. They sat there four days; the fifth, they dispersed to their destined abodes; all in this County. They are highlanders, Prisoners of war, one Sergeant & a Corporal the others privates. The Committees of the several towns came & divided them, twenty were Put in Prison, because they would not work for the rebels, but after being there 24 hours they came out & were also divided. They went to 247meeting while altogather, guarded by a number of our men, behaved very well. Parson Turner1 Preached. They liked him very much, thought he was a scotch man. I Pittied the Poor fellows at being Parted, without eithers; knowing where the other went in a strange land. One of them had a wife & child. Mr. Adam,2 has them. I think they were the ugliest looking men I ever saw. Their dress is very unbecomeing indeed.

I have sir one story to tell you that I am afraid you will not believe, but I can bring several evidencs of the truth of it, if you desire it. This is the story, My Aunt took Charly & left the house last monday & did not return untill friday noon! She went to swanzy by water & to Freetown. I tarried with my little Cousins the while; I dont know, but I shall be whip’d for letting it, so will leave the Particulars for her letter.

Sister & I thank you Sir for your kind enquirys & rememberance of us. I have wrote a long letter, & hope it will afford you some entertainment. I wish my Pen was better, but my knife is so dull I cant mend it so must beg your excuse for every fault & Subscribe myself dear Uncle yr. obliged & very dutifull Neice,

Abigail Greenleaf

Sister sends her duty.

RC .


Possibly Charles Turner (1732–1818), who had resigned in 1775 after a 20–year pastorate in Duxbury, Mass. ( Sibley’s Harvard Graduates , 13:293–299).


John Adam (1714–1808) of Taunton.