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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 4

From Seth Padelford
Padelford, Seth RTP
Taunton Augt. 8, 1786 Dear Sir,

As far as I am able I will answer yours of the 3d instant,1 first then as to names, Nathl. Leonard Chairman, James Tisdale Secy. & Capt. Ichabod Leonard, Norton; Coll. Silas Cobb Capt. Trow & Nathan Babbit Easton Capt Tisdale, Mansfield John Pratt, & one Briggs, Attleboro, Capt. Foster, Rehoboth John Bishop & Penuel or Nat Bishop—Swansey I forget, Dartmouth Jireh Willis, Wilcox, & —— the three with marked were moderate good men—the rest high flying, Swilling people. A Motion was made 2 or 3 times to have it Voted that part of the Constitution being bad, that the whole was Void & that Consequently, no Laws were to be put in force till a new Constin. was made (which they thought a Convention cou’d make in two days, so not verry expensive). You Saw by this Petition to the Genl. Court that they wished all the Course of Law might be Stopd. 9 months, they try’d for a Note to have it a year. The first time they met, the chief greivance they seem’d to talk of was the Salary of the Governor & the Courts of Law but there was considerable Said about Salarymen but who farther they had particular refference to I know not. It appeared to me that their chief design was to make such a rumpas in the State that & throw it into such Confusion that a Revolution might take place so that Some of them might get into office & have influence enough to pay their Debts with one Stroke of the pen or by a Note. For the whole of the dificulty at Last Seems to be that they are obliged to pay their Debts & Taxes—& are not in office. Nine tenths of the Interest in the County are for Peace order & good Government, tis the Lower order of the people, (save a few people who are verry much in Debt, Such as Leonard, James Perry, Thos. Willis &c) who make the Noise—& nothing but Clearg. them from all Debts & Taxes, & to b will any way Satisfy them. Tho I believe if it was not for such as is last mentd. who stir them up there wou’d be peace. I fear there will be a serious attempt to Stop our Septr. Court from Setting.2 They think no one dare’s to prosecute for Such an attempt if they do not succeed. There are but few now (that are able) who try to pay any Debt—save by Saying tis hard times, which is pay.

Peleg Padelford Says you Shall have his money by Court week. Esqr. Luscombe will renew his note to you this week. I hope to get you Jo Wms. 368 money by Septr. I have not seen Winslow or Briggs, but do not find their notes where I put those that are yours, please look & see whether you left them with me or & write me word. I hope Mrs. Paine & Children are well & make my Complts. acceptable—& believe me to be your sincere friend & Humble Servant.

Seth Padelford

RC ; addressed: “The Honbl. Robert T. Paine Esqr. Atty. Genl. Boston.”


Not located.


See note below, Commonwealth v. Job Shattuck and Oliver Parker (Oct. 1786).

From Zephaniah Leonard
Leonard, Zephaniah RTP
Rainham Sepr. 1st. 1786 Dear Sr.,

It was my Design to have seen you in Town Imediately after you wrote me on the Subject of the Tumult at June Court, which was the Reason I did not write you before this time, But as Mr. Spooner was then going to Boston & as Mr. Paddleford told me he wrote you on the matter I Supposed you would be acquainted with every needfull Information Relative to the late Commotion. My Brother who will wait on you with this fully knows the Charecters & Conduct of the late Rioters, & of the present Evils we are at present still labouring under, which may God of his Infinite Mercy Deliver us from, as I Expect to se you very soon & hope I shall be able to settle the other matter you mentiond in your Letter, & am your with sentaments of Esteem your Real freind

Zeph Leonard

RC ; addressed: “Honble. Robt. T. Paine Esqr. Boston Favd. by a Freind”; endorsed: “Zephaniah Leonard Esq. Septr. 1786 Rioters—Rainham.”