Robert Treat Paine – I Have Been In Great Anxiety For You
Robert Treat Paine, is another signer of the Declaration of Independence for whom it is difficult to find writings.
The letter below is from Mr. Paine to John Adams. Mr. Paine expresses his concerns for the health of Mr. Adams. Apparently, he had recently seen Adams with a “settled fit of sickness & a faultering constitution.”
The letter gives us a glimpse into the relationship of the two men. At the very least, there was respect and enough admiration for Mr. Paine to be concerned with the welfare of Mr. Adams.
Taunton, Septr. 22 1769.
I have been in great anxiety for you ever since I left you. The appearance of a settled fit of sickness & a faultering constitution have filled me with very disagreeable apprehensions. I rely upon it therefore you will by the first opportunity let me hear of your Welfare, That if your Disorder was as slight as your Friend hoped it was I may enjoy the Satisfaction of knowing it, or whatever your situation may be, that I may exercise that Sympathy which closely attends you in all your Circumstances. Mr. McWhorter the Bearer hereof keeps at Brackett and will return this week With complements to your Dear Spouse & all Friends, I am your
humble servant,R.T. Paine
To John Adams, Esq.
Living in Cole Lane
Boston.George Clifford Thomas. Autograph letters and autographs of the signers of the Declaration of independence in the possession of George C. Thomas. Philadelphia. 1908
Robert Treat Paine, a Delegate from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Mass., March 11, 1731; attended the Boston Latin School and was graduated from Harvard College in 1749; studied theology; was chaplain of troops on the northern frontier in 1755; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1757 and commenced practice in Boston; moved to Taunton in 1761; delegate to the state convention at Boston in 1768; member of the colonial house of representatives in 1773; delegate to the Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1776; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; member of the state house of representatives in 1777; attorney general of Massachusetts 1777-1790; member of the governor’s council in 1779 and 1780; delegate to the constitutional convention in 1779; moved to Boston in 1781; judge of the Massachusetts supreme court 1790-1804; died in Boston, Mass., May 11, 1814.