Robert Treat Paine, signer of the "Declaration of Independence"

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Robert Treat Paine

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States of America
Place of Burial: Granary Burying Ground, Park Street Church, 1 Park St, Boston, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Reverend Thomas Paine and Eunice Paine
Husband of Sarah "Sally" Cobb Paine and Anne Paine
Father of Thomas Robert Treat Paine Jr.; Robert Paine (do not combine with other Robert); Charles Paine; Mary Antoinette Paine; Sally Paine and 3 others
Brother of Thomas Paine, Jr.; Abigail Paine and Eunice Greenleaf

Occupation: Politician; judge
Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:

About Robert Treat Paine

Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and later served in the House of Representatives for his state.

  • DAR Ancestor #: A086142 "Revolutionary War" Prosecuted the British Soldiers Involved in the "Boston Massacure".

Paine was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a descendant of Richard Treat (or Trott) (1584 - 1669) who was an early New England settler and a Patentee of the Royal Charter of Connecticut, 1662. Paine attended the Boston Latin School, graduated from Harvard College in 1749, and then taught school and studied theology. He became a merchant and traveled to the southern colonies, Spain, the Azores and England. He returned home and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in 1757 or 1759, practicing in Portland (then part of Massachusetts but now in Maine), and later in Taunton, Massachusetts.

In 1768 he was a delegate to the provincial convention which was called to meet in Boston and conducted the prosecution of Captain Thomas Preston and his British soldiers following the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770; John Adams was opposing counsel. Although Paine was a great orator, Adam's "appeal for justice" won the judge's sway, and all the troops were let off, save for two who were branded on their right thumbs for manslaughter.

He served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1773 to 1774, in the Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1775, and represented Massachusetts at the Continental Congress from 1774 through 1778. In Congress, he signed the final appeal to the king (the Olive Branch Petition of 1775), and helped frame the rules of debate and acquire gunpowder for the coming war.

He was speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1777, a member of the executive council in 1779, a member of the committee that drafted the constitution of 1780, Massachusetts Attorney General from 1777 to 1790 and a justice of the state supreme court from 1790 to 1804 when he retired. When he died at the age of 83 in 1814 he was buried in the Granary Burying Ground in Boston. A statue to commemorate him was erected in the Church Green area of Taunton.

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Massachusetts Representative

Robert Treat Paine represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence and later served in the House of Representatives for his state.

Robert Treat Paine was William Philo Hibbard's 4th Cousin

Robert Treat Paine's great grandfather, Robert Treat, was a founder of New Jersey.

-------------------- Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts.

Paine was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a descendant of Gov. "Richard Treat" (or Trott) (1584 - 1669) "Samuel Treat" who was an early New England settler and a Patentee of the Royal Charter of Connecticut, 1662. Paine attended the Boston Latin School, graduated from Harvard College in 1749, and then taught school and studied theology. He became a merchant and traveled to the southern colonies, Spain, the Azores and England. He returned home and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in 1757 or 1759, practicing in Portland (then part of Massachusetts but now in Maine), and later in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Paine graduated from Harvard University in 1749 at the age of 18, and taught school in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Discovering he lacked the patience to teach, after one year, he began to sail about the Atlantic, going to Spain, the Azores, and Greenland. Returning home in 1754, he began to study law, and became a lawyer in 1757 in Taunton, Massachusetts. There he married Sally Cobb, who was already pregnant with their first child, and eventually they would have eight children. In the 1760s and early 1770s, he was active in the resistance movement to the hated Stamp Act and Townshend Acts, and quickly became a patriot for the cause of independence. In 1770, Boston hired him to prosecute the British soldiers involved with the "Boston Massacre," and although he only convicted two of the eight soldiers (who were dismissed from the Army), he became popular among the patriots. In 1775, he was elected to the Second Continental Congress as a delegate from Massachusetts, and supported the move for independence. Following the war, he returned to his Massachusetts legal profession, and in 1779-80, he helped to write the Massachusetts constitution. In 1790, he because a justice of the state court, where he served until retiring in 1804 when he became too deaf to hear the cases. He was considered a conservative justice and very judgmental. When one of his sons, Robert Jr, married a stage actress, he disavowed his son (in those days, many people considered actors and actresses as morally corrupt people), reconciling just before his son died in 1811.Added by Elwin Nickerson II about my Ancestor: He died at his home in 1814 and is Buried Besides Other American Patriots **His Life Long Friend and Cousin John Hancock**In The Granary Burial Grounds- Boston, Massachusetts.

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Robert Treat Paine, signer of the "Declaration of Independence"'s Timeline

1731
March 11, 1731
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
1760
1760
Age 28
VA, USA
1770
March 15, 1770
Age 39
Boston, MA, USA
May 14, 1770
Age 39
1772
1772
Age 40
1773
December 9, 1773
Age 42
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1775
August 10, 1775
Age 44
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1777
1777
Age 45
1780
1780
Age 48
1785
1785
Age 53