1731–1814, political figure in the American RevolutionAmerican Revolution, 1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence. .....Click the link for more information., signer of the Declaration of IndependenceDeclaration of Independence, full and formal declaration adopted July 4, 1776, by representatives of the Thirteen Colonies in North America announcing the separation of those colonies from Great Britain and making them into the United States. .....Click the link for more information., b. Boston, Mass. He served briefly as a chaplain in the French and Indian War but gave up the ministry for law. In 1770 he conducted the prosecution of the British troops indicted for murder in the Boston MassacreBoston Massacre, 1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the resentment against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. The troops, constantly tormented by irresponsible gangs, finally (Mar. .....Click the link for more information.. Paine was a member of the Continental Congress (1774–78) and in 1775 was sent (with John Langdon and Robert R. Livingston) on an unsuccessful mission to win Canada to the Revolutionary cause. Paine later served as attorney general of Massachusetts and then (1790–1804) as state supreme court justice.