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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

From Sally Cobb Paine
Paine, Sally Cobb RTP
My Dear, Taunton Novr. 3 1776

I rec’d yours of Oct. 9 but not one word about coming home. Mr. J. Adams is at home though he has not been from home half So Long as you. One would think you’d want to See the Children if nobody els. I want to know if you have any desire to Come home. If you have tis very Strange indeed that you Cant Come as well as mr. adams. You Said in one of your Letters you Long:d to be at home. I hope it tis So but other Gentlemens Coming home Give me reason to think what I have no desire to. I Should be Glad if you would Send me Some money by Mr. hollowell who is the Bearer of this. The persons you desired me to Call upon for money Some are in the army & others cant pay this month yet I Can’t wait till then. I want to Lay in my winter Stores. Every thing is So dear here one had need to have a waggon Load of money—wood is 15 Cord but I found wood was rising So I ingaged ten Cord Last Summer for 12 Shillings. Seth has rid this two days & Cant get but ten Bushels of rye it is So scarce here & no flower but what is Sower.


Our family are well. Miss nabby is go to Boston. Miss Polly is hear & Sends duty all friends Send Love & Complyments & Longs for your return. Richards friends wants to hear from him. I have got a violent head ake to day So I am not able to go to meeting. Our Little folks are gone. Bobe & Sally Send their duty & are often asking me to Send for papa home. Tommy expects to have the dog. My head akes So I Cant think nor write but I wish you were Safe at home So da—da—your ever mindfull & affectionate,

Sally Paine

RC ; addressed: “To The Honble. Robert Treat Paine Esqr. a Member of the Congress at Philadelphia favd. by Mr. Wm. Hollaway”; endorsed.

Extract from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
Thursday, November 7, 1776

An appeal being on the first of this month lodged with the Secretary against the sentence passed in the court of Admiralty, for the port of Philadelphia, in the state of Pensylvania, in the libel “John Barry, qui tam &c. vs. the sloop Betsy, &c.”1

Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of five, and that the said committee be empowered to hear and determine upon the said appeal:

The members chosen, Mr. Wythe, Mr. Paine, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Hooper, and Mr. Rutledge.2

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress, 6:931–932.


Capt. John Barry (1745?-1803) of the Continental Navy brig Lexington, captured Lord Dunmore’s Fleet Sloops Betsy (Samuel Kerr, master) and Lady Susan (William Goodrich, master) off the coast of Virginia. The Betsy was condemned as a prize ship at a Pennsylvania Admiralty Court on Sept. 26, 1776. This condemnation was appealed on Sept. 28, and the verdict upheld on Nov. 23, 1776 (Naval Documents of the American Revolution, 6:716, 1011–1015). Barry was rewarded with the command of the new frigate Effingham. He remained in naval service and died as head of the navy ( ANB ).

A qui tam action is one in which the plaintiff states that he sues as well for the state as for himself (Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., 1126).


Samuel Chase replaced Edward Rutledge on the committee, Nov. 19, 1776 (Journals of the Continental Congress, 6:964).