A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

From Richard Gridley
Gridley, Richard RTP
Sir, Boston March 13. 1777

I receiv’d your Favour of the 10th. Instt. I have not heard from the Furnace this week past, but expect to hear she is in Blast. I had some Conversation with Col. Knox & he was willing to give 105 Dollars for Each Howitzer, but if the Chamber is enlarg’d, the Fortification must be increas’d in proportion which will Occasion a new mould & the weight will be so much more. I cant at present say what they will be per Ton as Mr. Guild & Atherton are at Stoughtonham,1 but I can Assure you they 359shall be made as cheap, & as good, as can be made in America. I will advise with Mr. Guild as soon as possible upon the price per Ton and let you know it. I wish you woud let me know the number you woud have, & they shall be made with the greatest dispatch. I am Sir yr. Most Obedt. humb Servt.,

Richd. Gridley

RC ; addressed: “To The Honourable Robt. Treat Paine Esqr. at Taunton per favr. Capt. Avery”; endorsed.


Nathaniel Guild of Walpole (1712–1796) and Uriah Atherton, Jr., of Stoughtonham (1740–ca. 1783) leased the Stoughtonham Furnace from the owners, Col. Richard Gridley and Edmund Quincy, Jr. Guild was the clerk/superintendent and Atherton was the founder.

From John Wilcocks
Wilcocks, John RTP
Sir, Philada. 13th March 1777

I1 have a Cause depending before the Superior Court of Massachusetts Government on a rehearing order’d by the General Assembly respecting the Condemnation of the Ship Alfred. The Honble. Mr. Derby2 & Mr. Russell3 conduct this matter on my behalf & are possess’d of all the Evidence & Vouchers to assert my claim to the Ship & her freight. If you are so far disengag’d that you will undertake my Cause in conjunction with Mr. Whetmore4 who is already retain’d I Shall think myself happy in having your Services. The above mention’d Gentlemen will wait upon you with the Papers & do every thing proper on the Occasion. I am Sir Your most humble Servt.

John Wilcocks

RC ; internal address: “Honble. Robert-Treat Payne Esqr.”


John Wilcocks of Philadelphia, merchant, through his attorney, petitioned the Massachusetts General Court, Jan. 2, 1777, for a trial “at the next Superior Court, &c. in the middle-district, of the justice of the capture of the ship Alfred, and her appurtenances (lately taken by the private armed vessel called the Retaliation) which were at the last Maratime Court for the said district, decreed to be forfeited to the captors, &c.” The General Court ordered Wilcocks to notify Nathan Leach of Beverly, one of the owners of the brigantine Retaliation, and require him to show cause why the petition should not be granted (Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 52 pt. 2:210).


Richard Derby, Jr. (1736–1781), see above.

360 3.

Probably Thomas Russell (1740–1796), a prominent Boston merchant who represented his native Charlestown in the state legislature and also served on the council (Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 834).


William Wetmore (1749–1830), a 1770 graduate of Harvard, was admitted to the bar in 1774. He was representing Salem in the General Court at this time, but after the war divided his time between Boston, where he practiced law and later sat on the bench, and Maine, where his second wife’s family, the Waldos, controlled much real estate ( Sibley’s Harvard Graduates , 17:447–451).