Dr. William Paine, loyalist, was the first signatory of the Petition of 1785 requesting the establishment of a school to teach the liberal arts and sciences in the "neighbourhood of Frederickburg." Legend has it that his wife, Lois Paine (née Lois Orne) was dissatisfied with her family's situation after their move from Massachusetts to New Brunswick. Dr. Paine noted in a letter: "My lands are certainly well located, and if Mrs. Paine could content herself, I should be very well pleased. Her objection is that the children cannot be properly educated."
Although the petition was clearly aimed at the education of boys - "Many of (the loyal adventurers) upon removing had Sons, whose Time of life, and former Hopes, call for an immediate attention to their Education..." - it may well have been due to a woman's promptings that caused Paine, along with six others, to petition Governor Thomas Carleton for an institution of higher learning, one which would later become the University of New Brunswick.
- Bailey, Alfred G. "A History of the University" in Up the Hill, 1939.
- "The petition of 1785." Pamphlet prepared by Archives & Special Collections, Harriet Irving Library, March 1986.
- Lloyd, Hugh and Wade, Scott. "Behind Every College." In Behind the Hill. Fredericton: Students' Representative Council, the Associated Alumni and the Senate of the University of New Brunswick, 1967, p. 11-12
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