A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 4

From Sally Cobb Paine
Paine, Sally Cobb RTP
Taunton feb. 27 1780 My Dear,

after three weaks Looking in vain I have by Dr. Williams you dont want to Come home—if their is nothing in me that deserve your affection one would think your Children would have a Share I did think you would have a desire to See the new daughter1 But it Seems as if you had forgotten al Behind you—but if publick matters are to be attended to before your family you have an undoubted rite So to doe—I hope you feal happy & injoy your helth—much Better then I doe though I am very Spry considering the ill turn I have had Since I have been confind. I thank you for your kind Letter2 inquiring of my welfare—Becca complains you have not fulfild your promise to her if you dont Come home very Soon I dont know what wont be done to you. I have not had the Butter of Capt. Smith he ask 7 dollars a bll. must I Give it or Can you get it Cheaper in Boston doe you expect to get Sugar in Boston or must I get it of Capt. Hall. I Can have a hundred of him. The flour you Sent by Macumber is not come the team was Left at milton on account of the Badness of traveling if you Should Come home before the team can come you Can put the wine into the Same Cart & Bring the tea from Mr. Crockers they ask 43 dollars all for it here. I have not got any maid nor no prospect of any your horse is almost well we have had him to tend ever Sence he came from Boston he was road very hard—our family are well—my kind Love attend Mr. Greeleafs family am very Sorry hear of the Illness Becca Send complyments—

your affectinate Sally Paine

RC ; addressed: “The Hon: Robt: T. Paine Esqr. Boston hond. by Docr. Williams”; endorsed.


Mary Paine, the sixth child and second daughter of RTP and Sally Cobb Paine, was born at Taunton, Feb. 9, and baptized there by Mr. Thacher on Mar. 26. In 1825, when she was forty-five years old, she married Rev. Elisha Clap (1776–1830). Mary survived her husband for more than a decade and died on Feb. 27, 1842. Both are buried in RTP’s tomb in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston.


Not located. According to RTP’s diary, he had left Taunton on Jan. 31 and traveled to Boston, where he attended “the Convention,” the inferior court, Superiour Court, the “Oration on the Massacre” on Mar. 6, and the General Court before returning to Taunton on Mar. 13.

The Superiour Court session included a murder trial following the death of one John Reyner. Anthony Barber, Joseph Gasket, Joseph Figonier, and John Bowen, all laborers of Boston, were charged with assault 114 and murder. The latter two were found not guilty, while Barber and Gasket were convicted of manslaughter. RTP, as attorney general, moved for the sentence of death, but they pleaded benefit of clergy, which was granted (benefit of clergy was abolished for any capital crime by Act of Congress in 1790). Barber and Gasket were sentenced to “forfeit their Goods & Chattels” and “be burned in the Hand with the Letter T” (Superiour Court of Judicature Minute Books, Suffolk County, Feb. 1780. Massachusetts Judicial Archives, Boston, Mass.).