Robert Treat Paine - Former Massachusetts Attorney General, Life Achievements and Life

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Robert Treat Paine's Personal Details

Robert Treat Paine was a lawyer cum politician and one of the Founding fathers of America

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 11, 1731
Died onMay 11, 1814
NationalityAmerican
FamousFormer Massachusetts Attorney General, Harvard University, Leaders, Political Leaders
SpousesSally Cobb
Known asRobert Treat Paine
Childrens Robert Treat Paine
Universities
  • Harvard University
  • Boston Latin School
  • Harvard College
  • Harvard University
Notable Alumnis
  • Harvard University
Birth PlaceBoston
GenderMale
FatherThomas Paine
MotherEunice Paine
Sun SignPisces
Born inBoston
Famous asFormer Massachusetts Attorney General
Died at Age83

// Famous Former Massachusetts Attorney General

Robert Treat Paine's photo

Who is Robert Treat Paine?

Robert Treat Paine was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America who signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Massachusetts. A patriotic judge and politician, Paine was raised by highly religious and respectable parents who imbibed in their children a high regard for moral values and principles. A brilliant student, he finished school with top honours and enrolled at Harvard College where he actively participated in debates and discussions on scientific issues. He traveled widely as a young man and met many influential people who helped shape his personality. He was profoundly interested in politics and was one of the earliest Americans to oppose the British policies and raise his voice for the cause of freedom. When he got elected as a delegate to the provincial convention, he used this opportunity to work for the causes he believed in. He played a major role in American politics in the aftermath of the Boston massacre. In the trial following the massacre, Paine led the counsel for the prosecution of the British soldiers. He gained much prominence after this incident even though his side did not win the trial. He signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 as a representative of Massachusetts at the Continental Congress.

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

Childhood & Early Life

Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston to Rev. Thomas Paine and Eunice Paine. His father was a pastor who became a merchant later on. He had four siblings.

He attended the Boston Latin School and completed his schooling by topping his class. Then he enrolled at Harvard College when he was only 14 and graduated in 1749 at the age of 18. While in college he formed a literary club and developed a scientific bent of mind.

Career

By the time he graduated from college, his father had suffered huge business losses, and Paine had to take up jobs to make ends meet. The first job he took was a teaching position at his alma mater Boston Latin School.

In 1751, he tried his hands at business by making voyages to North Carolina, Spain, and the Azores. While he was in Philadelphia, he got the chance of getting acquainted with various prominent personalities which proved to be a great learning experience.

He led a whaling expedition from Cape Cod to Greenland in 1754 as the Captain of the ship Seaflower. During this voyage, he maintained an illustrated log of the whaling adventure.

Not finding much success in his voyages, he returned to Massachusetts and in 1755 began to study law with Judge Samuel Willard who was his mother’s cousin.

He served as a chaplain in the Crown Point expedition during the French and Indian War in late 1755.

He went to Boston in 1756 to continue his legal education under Benjamin Prat who later became the chief justice in New York.

He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1757. At about the same time, his father died and Paine was saddled with significant family responsibilities.

He settled in Boston and traveled frequently to Cambridge, Plymouth, and Worcester in order to attend court sessions. By 1758, he was qualified for practicing before the Superior Court.

In 1761, he shifted to Massachusetts where he was made the justice of peace in 1763, and barrister in 1764. A dedicated lawyer with high principles, he became a prominent and highly respected citizen.

He became very successful in his law practice and his clientele included the wealthiest and most influential people of the city.

He was chosen to represent Taunton at the provincial convention held in Boston in 1768. The purpose of holding this convention was to discuss the landing of the British Troops in Boston which greatly disturbed those believing in colonial rights.

On 5 March 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in which the British soldiers stationed at Boston killed five civilians and injured many others. In the resulting trial, Paine led the prosecution of Captain Thomas Preston and his British soldiers while John Adams led the defence team.

Paine’s fame reached greater heights after this incident even though he had lost the trial. His involvement in patriotic activities increased after this.

He was elected to the Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775 where he represented Taunton.

In 1774, he was elected to represent Massachusetts at the first Continental Congress in place of an absent loyalist committee member.

A peace lover, he signed the Olive Branch Petition that was sent to King George III in July 1775. The King rejected the petition for negotiation which convinced the colonists that they would have to take some action to bring about the desired change.

On 2 July 1776, the vote for Adoption of the Declaration of Independence was taken, and the Declaration was signed by 56 delegates over the next few months. Paine signed the Declaration on behalf of Massachusetts.

He was appointed Massachusetts Attorney General in 1777, a post he held till 1790.

Both his political and legal career continued for long after the independence. In 1779, he served as a member of the Executive council and in 1780 he was made a member of the committee that drafted the first state constitution to be adopted.

From 1790 till his retirement in 1804, he served as a justice of the state supreme court.

Major Works

An illustrious lawyer, he reached the highest point in his career when he led the prosecution against British Captain Preston and his soldiers after the Boston massacre in 1770. He became very well known after the incident in spite of not winning the trial.

He was one of the five delegates who had signed the U.S. declaration of Independence on behalf of Massachusetts in 1776.

Personal Life & Legacy

He met Sally Cobb in 1766 when he was 35 and she only 22. Still the age difference did not deter their romance and the couple married in 1770 after four years of courtship. The couple had eight children.

After retirement, he led a peaceful life till he died of old age related health problems in 1814 at the age of 83.

Trivia

He was nicknamed ‘Objection Maker’ due to his outspoken and frank nature.

His statue was erected in the Church Green area of Taunton to honour his memory.

// Famous Political Leaders

Robert Treat Paine biography timelines

  • // 11th Mar 1731
    Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston to Rev. Thomas Paine and Eunice Paine. His father was a pastor who became a merchant later on. He had four siblings.
  • // 1749
    He attended the Boston Latin School and completed his schooling by topping his class. Then he enrolled at Harvard College when he was only 14 and graduated in 1749 at the age of 18. While in college he formed a literary club and developed a scientific bent of mind.
  • // 1751
    In 1751, he tried his hands at business by making voyages to North Carolina, Spain, and the Azores. While he was in Philadelphia, he got the chance of getting acquainted with various prominent personalities which proved to be a great learning experience.
  • // 1754
    He led a whaling expedition from Cape Cod to Greenland in 1754 as the Captain of the ship Seaflower. During this voyage, he maintained an illustrated log of the whaling adventure.
  • // 1755
    Not finding much success in his voyages, he returned to Massachusetts and in 1755 began to study law with Judge Samuel Willard who was his mother’s cousin.
  • // 1755
    He served as a chaplain in the Crown Point expedition during the French and Indian War in late 1755.
  • // 1756
    He went to Boston in 1756 to continue his legal education under Benjamin Prat who later became the chief justice in New York.
  • // 1757
    He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1757. At about the same time, his father died and Paine was saddled with significant family responsibilities.
  • // 1758
    He settled in Boston and traveled frequently to Cambridge, Plymouth, and Worcester in order to attend court sessions. By 1758, he was qualified for practicing before the Superior Court.
  • // 1761
    In 1761, he shifted to Massachusetts where he was made the justice of peace in 1763, and barrister in 1764. A dedicated lawyer with high principles, he became a prominent and highly respected citizen.
  • // 1768
    He was chosen to represent Taunton at the provincial convention held in Boston in 1768. The purpose of holding this convention was to discuss the landing of the British Troops in Boston which greatly disturbed those believing in colonial rights.
  • // 1770
    On 5 March 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in which the British soldiers stationed at Boston killed five civilians and injured many others. In the resulting trial, Paine led the prosecution of Captain Thomas Preston and his British soldiers while John Adams led the defence team.
  • // 1770
    He met Sally Cobb in 1766 when he was 35 and she only 22. Still the age difference did not deter their romance and the couple married in 1770 after four years of courtship. The couple had eight children.
  • // 1774
    He was elected to the Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775 where he represented Taunton.
  • // 1774
    In 1774, he was elected to represent Massachusetts at the first Continental Congress in place of an absent loyalist committee member.
  • // 1775
    A peace lover, he signed the Olive Branch Petition that was sent to King George III in July 1775. The King rejected the petition for negotiation which convinced the colonists that they would have to take some action to bring about the desired change.
  • // 1776
    On 2 July 1776, the vote for Adoption of the Declaration of Independence was taken, and the Declaration was signed by 56 delegates over the next few months. Paine signed the Declaration on behalf of Massachusetts.
  • // 1777 To 1790
    He was appointed Massachusetts Attorney General in 1777, a post he held till 1790.
  • // 1779
    Both his political and legal career continued for long after the independence. In 1779, he served as a member of the Executive council and in 1780 he was made a member of the committee that drafted the first state constitution to be adopted.
  • // 1790 To 1804
    From 1790 till his retirement in 1804, he served as a justice of the state supreme court.
  • // 11th May 1814
    After retirement, he led a peaceful life till he died of old age related health problems in 1814 at the age of 83.

// Famous Leaders

Robert Treat Paine's FAQ

  • What is Robert Treat Paine birthday?

    Robert Treat Paine was born at 1731-03-11

  • When was Robert Treat Paine died?

    Robert Treat Paine was died at 1814-05-11

  • Where was Robert Treat Paine died?

    Robert Treat Paine was died in Boston

  • Which age was Robert Treat Paine died?

    Robert Treat Paine was died at age 83

  • Where is Robert Treat Paine's birth place?

    Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston

  • What is Robert Treat Paine nationalities?

    Robert Treat Paine's nationalities is American

  • Who is Robert Treat Paine spouses?

    Robert Treat Paine's spouses is Sally Cobb

  • Who is Robert Treat Paine childrens?

    Robert Treat Paine's childrens is Robert Treat Paine

  • What was Robert Treat Paine universities?

    Robert Treat Paine studied at Harvard University, Boston Latin School, Harvard College, Harvard University

  • What was Robert Treat Paine notable alumnis?

    Robert Treat Paine's notable alumnis is Harvard University

  • Who is Robert Treat Paine's father?

    Robert Treat Paine's father is Thomas Paine

  • Who is Robert Treat Paine's mother?

    Robert Treat Paine's mother is Eunice Paine

  • What is Robert Treat Paine's sun sign?

    Robert Treat Paine is Pisces

  • How famous is Robert Treat Paine?

    Robert Treat Paine is famouse as Former Massachusetts Attorney General