Robert Treat Paine

Son and grandson of Congregational ministers, the Treats and the Paines, gave this signer of the Declaration of Independence a theological bent which he pursued early in life. Born in 1731 and educated at both Boston Latin and Harvard, Paine’s uncertainty of his calling in life resulted in pursuing a position as a teacher, then as a pastor, in which capacity he served as a military chaplain in the French and Indian War. Still uncertain, Robert took to the sea, traveling to a number of foreign ports and even serving on a whaling vessel near Greenland. Upon his return home, Paine unexpectedly married his friend Sally Cobb who eventually bore him eight children. He finally settled on law as his life’s work. As providence would have it, in 1770 Robert Treat Paine found himself the prosecuting attorney in the “Boston Massacre” case.