Founding Fathers Black Hills

A signer with three names


His March 13 birth date had us thinking about signer Robert Treat Paine this week.

Mostly, we were thinking about his name, that it would make a good moniker for a rock star or a Hollywood actor today. Not many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence went by three names, and the few that did tended to hail from the South, not the North.

Born in 1731, the man from Boston, Massachusetts, was 45 when he signed the Declaration of Independence¬†back in 1776, and he’d already had a colorful life of fighting in the French and Indian War and going to sea as the captain of a whaling expedition by the time he did that.

He shared a last name with Thomas Paine, of course, the author of “Common Sense,” but the two men were, at best, only distantly related. His middle name, Treat, comes from his mother’s side of the family. And, yes, she was Southern.

Come learn about the rest of Robert Treat Paine’s history at Independence Hall: Home of Founding Fathers Black Hills.