Robert Treat Paine

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Robert Treat Paine
BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts
EducationHarvard College
Known for Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Paine, Robert Treat,

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.
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, 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.
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, 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.
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. 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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bristol County's voice in the Continental Congress was the Taunton-based barrister Robert Treat Paine. Paine backed John and Samuel Adams in the move toward independence, despite a personal animosity and rivalry that had existed between himself and John Adams for nearly 20 years.
Robert Treat Paine's family arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1622, and his namesake great-grandfather, Robert Treat, had been a longtime governor of Connecticut colony.
("Thomas Paine" would legally change his name as an adult to "Robert Treat Paine," arguing that he wanted a "Christian" name instead of having the same name as the famous but unrelated Thomas Paine who wrote Common Sense and The American Crisis and rejected organized religion.