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Volume 3 of this series traces the national phase of Robert Treat Paine's public career as well as the start of his state service in Massachusetts. One of the prosecutors in the Boston Massacre trials of 1770, Paine was already well known in the province. His selection as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774, where he served steadily for more than two years, consequently came as no surprise. The highlight of this period was the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, of which Paine was a signer. The documents in this volume, however, are more important for the insights they provide into the workings of the Continental Congress. Paine devoted most of his efforts to munitions, and his correspondence provides an especially detailed account of the Continental Congress's efforts to supply the American army with cannon and gunpowder. Long periods away from his family produced marital tensions, which his correspondence with his wife reveals. By the end of 1776 he was home; the following year, he began his extended tenure as the first selected attorney general of Massachusetts.
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