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Robinson family account books, 1813-1879.

Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 344:1-2  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 
Vermont Historical Society Library  XMSC 7:1-11  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Title : Robinson family account books, 1813-1879.
Physical Description : 13 volumes.
General Note : Continued in MSA 344:1-2.
Summary :

The collection contains thirteen ledgers, primarily relating to the Robinson family. Six ledgers belonged to David Robinson, Jr., including one ledger (XMSC 7:1), dating from 1813 to 1829, and three daybooks (XMSC 7:2-4) covering the years 1817 to 1837. Two other small account books (MSA 344:1-2) cover the years 1827-1832.

Two ledgers (XMSC 7:5-6) contain accounts from the law firm Merrill & Robinson, the partnership formed by Orsamus C. Merrill and David Robinson, Jr. The first ledger, a daybook, covers the years 1820 to 1825. The accounts begin in the middle of the book. The first half of the ledger contains the accounts of John Davis of Bennington, Vermont for the years 1803 to 1804. The second ledger, an account book, covers the years 1820 to 1827. Halfway through the ledger, on page 129 is an accounting of the dissolution of the partnership of Merrill & Robinson, with the assignment of assets to Uel M. Robinson. No date is given. On the next pages are short diary entries made by Charles H. Robinson, the son of Uel M. Robinson, from January 1 to April 4, 1870. He notes that on March 16 that a "Terrible wind blew down the Observatory." Later in the book there are three pages titled "C. H. Robinson's Day Book #1" which show a few transactions, including the sale of the Mount Anthony Observatory to Charles H. Robinson on April 22, 1874.

Three ledgers contain accounts relating to the finances of Heman F. and George W. Robinson. The first ledger (XMSC 7:7) is a cashbook kept by Heman F. Robinson for the years 1848 through 1850, while the second ledger (XMSC:8) is an account book kept by George W. Robinson for the years 1849 to 1850. This ledger is heavily overwritten by the children of George W. Robinson, including examples of lettering, and drawings and cartoons. The third ledger (XMSC 7:9) is an account book kept by both George W. and Heman F. Robinson covering the years 1848 to 1858.

The collection also contains two registers kept at the Mount Anthony Observatory. The registers contain the names and residences of visitors to the observatory, as well as occasional anecdotes describing their visit and the view. The first register (XMSC 7:10) covers the years 1865 to 1869, during the operation of the first observatory building. Beginning on July 18 through October 9, 1869, the register contains frequent temperature listings as well as occasional comments on the weather. The second register (XMSC 7:11) covers the years 1875 through 1879, during the operation of the third observatory.

Biographical or historical data :

David Robinson, Jr., the son of General David and Sarah (Fay) Robinson, was born in Bennington, Vermont on July 12, 1777. He was educated at Williams College and graduated in 1797. He studied law with Nathan Robinson and was admitted to the bar in Bennington County in 1800. He married Elizabeth Baker on March 8, 1802 and they had one son, David Baker Robinson, born March 4, 1803. Elizabeth (Baker) Robinson died May 10, 1803. David Robinson, Jr. died in March, 1858.

George Wadsworth Robinson, the son of Heman and Betsey (Wadsworth) Robinson, was born in Bennington, Vermont on January 14, 1819. He was the nephew of David Robinson, Jr. He moved to New York City and was employed as a clerk but returned to Bennington in 1843 to take charge of General David Robinson's estate. Later he became the proprietor of the Walloomsac House, an inn, and was also employed as an auctioneer. In 1865 he sold the Walloomsac House and invested his money in the Mount Anthony Observatory. He married Jane E. Hinsdill, the daughter of Joseph N. Hinsdill, on April 8, 1840. They had nine children. George W. Robinson died May 18, 1867.

Heman Fay Robinson, the son of Heman and Betsey (Wadsworth) Robinson, was born in Bennington, Vermont on September 30, 1826. In the 1850 Vermont census, Heman's occupation is listed as engineer. He also shows up in the New York census, taken 3 months earlier, as a surveyor. His household shows a wife, Mary J. and a daughter, Maria F. Robinson.

Uel Merrill Robinson, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Harwood) Robinson, was born in Bennington, Vermont on April 1, 1797. He was admitted to the Bennington County bar in 1819. He married Betsey Hicks on September 13, 1821. They had five children, including Charles H. Robinson, born August 31, 1831. Uel M. Robinson died on November 19, 1873.

Orsamus Cook Merrill, the son of James and Jerusha (Seymour) Merrill, was born in Farmington, Connecticut on June 16, 1775. He came to Bennington, Vermont in 1791 and apprenticed as a printer with Anthony Haswell. He then studied law and was admitted to the Bennington County bar in 1804. At some point he formed a partnership with David Robinson, Jr. He was elected to the United States Congress in 1817 and served one term. He married Mary Robinson, daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Fassett) Robinson, on August 18, 1805. Mary was the cousin of David Robinson Jr. Orsamus and Mary Merrill had three children. Orsamus C. Merrill died on April 12, 1865.

Personal Subject : Robinson family.
Corporate Subject : Mount Anthony Observatory Bennington, Vt.
Geographic Term : Bennington (Vt.) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Account books.
Occupation : Lawyers
Added Author : Merrill, O. C. (Orsamus Cook), 1775-1865.
Robinson, David, Jr., 1777-1858.
Robinson, George W. (George Wadsworth), 1819-1867.
Robinson, Heman F. (Heman Fay), b. 1826.
Robinson, Charles H., b. 1831.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.