Robert Treat



Robert Treat (February 23, 1622 – July 12, 1710), was a colonial leader and governor of Connecticut between 1683 and 1698. Treat was born in Pitminster, Somerset, England, but was brought to Massachusetts as a child. His father was Richard Treat and his mother was Alice Gaylord. His family were early settlers at Wethersfield, Connecticut. He settled in Milford, Connecticut in 1639 and became one of the leaders of the New Haven Colony, serving in the General Court as its assembly was known.

On Christmas day, December 25, 1647 he married Jane Tapp in Milford, with whom he had eight children. Their great-grandson, Robert Treat Paine, signed the Declaration of Independence.

When the Connecticut Charter of 1662 forced the New Haven Colony to merge with Connecticut in 1665, Treat led a group of dissidents who left the colony. They moved to New Jersey in 1666 where they were joined by other dissidents from Branford, Connecticut, another part of the former New Haven Colony. The dissidents from Branford were led by the Rev. Abraham Pierson, Sr. Robert Treat wanted the new community to be named Milford, New Jersey. Pierson, a devout Puritan, preferred the name New Ark, and this place is now known as Newark Robert himself returned to Milford, Connecticut in 1672 and lived there the rest of his life.

Treat headed the colony's militia for several years, principally against the Narragansett Indians. This included participating in King Philip's War in 1676. He served on the Governor's Council continuously from 1676 to 1708. He was first elected Governor in 1683.

Sir Edmund Andros supplanted him in 1687, and attempted to make Connecticut part of the Dominion of New England. Treat is credited with having a role in concealing the state's Charter in the Charter Oak, and resumed his job as governor when the dominion scheme fell apart in 1689. He was re-elected annually until being defeated by Fitz-John Winthrop in 1698. Robert died in Milford.

Notable descendants
His descendants include:
Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), signer of the Declaration of Independence
Stephen Crane (1871-1900), author (The Red Badge of Courage)
Thomas Edison (1847-1931), inventor
Charles H. Treat (1842-1910), Treasurer of the United States from 1905-1909
Charles W. Woodworth (1865-1940), entomologist
Treat Williams (b. 1951), actor