HENRY C. ROBINSON, HARTFORD: Attorney at Law.
Among the members of the legal profession in the city and county of Hartford, there is; perhaps, none who occupies
a position nearer the head of the list, in point of personal attainment or the esteem of his contemporaries, than
Henry C. Robinson, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Robinson is a native of Hartford, born August 28, 1832, descended
on the paternal side from Thomas Robinson, who emigrated from England and settled in Guilford in 1667, and tracing
his maternal ancestry in a direct line to William Brewster, the devout elder of the Pilgrim colony which landed
at Plymouth in 1620. Mr. Robinson's early education was obtained at the Hartford Grammar School, and in the High
School after its union with the Grammar School. From the preparatory course here he entered Yale College in 1849,
graduating with honors in the distinguished class of 1853. He at once commenced the study of law in the office
of his brother, Lucius F. Robinson, with whom, after his admission to the bar in 1855, he became associated in
practice and maintained the relation of partner until the death of L. F. Robinson in 1561. From that time he practiced
alone until recently, though taking care of a volume of business scarcely exceeded by any law firm in the state,
and maintaining connections as leading counsel for corporations with such vast interests as the Connecticut Mutual
Life Insurance Company, the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, and others. His son is now in
partnership with him, the firm being H. C. & L. F. Robinson. He has also, in the midst of his exacting professional
duties, found time to serve his city and the state in various capacities. For two years, 1872-74, he was mayor
of Hartford, in 1878 he represented the town of Hartford in the general assembly, and has twice been the candidate
of the republican party for gubernatorial honours. In 1866 he accepted from Governor Hawley an appointment as fish
commissioner, and through his instrumentality laws were placed on the statute book providing for the Condemnation
of the pound fishery at the mouth of the Connecticut River, and the discontinuance of that horrible style of fishing.
Before these wholesome laws could become fairly operative, under partisan influences they were repealed and others
substituted which were of no practical use, as has been proved, in preventing or arresting the destruction of the
shad fishery in these waters, in spite of artificial propagation. The first artificial hatch of American shad was
made under Mr. Robinson's direction as commissioner, before the Connecticut Legislature, and in presence of the
late Professor Agassiz, who was a deeply interested spectator in the experiments and in the legislative contest
upon the subject, then in progress. Mr. Robinson also was the commissioner for Connecticut in the Constitutional
centennial celebration at Philadelphia in 1889.
Mr. Robinson's connections with the various institutions of his native city are numerous and honorable. Beside
being a director in the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad and the Hartford & Connecticut Valley Railroad,
he sustgins the same relation to the Pratt & Whitney Company, the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company, and the
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, is a trustee of the Connecticut Trust and Safe Deposit
Company, and of the Wadsworth Atheneum, a member of the Hartford Tract Society, vice president of the Connecticut
and the Hartford County Bar Associations, has been president of the Yale Alumni Association of Hartford, is a member
of the Hartford Board of Trade, Sons of the Revolution, and of various social organizations. He is an active member
of the Second Congregational Church of Hartford, and an officer of the corporation. He is esteemed an important
factor in the management of all business, educational, and charitable enterprises, and his counsel is widely sought
in affairs thus beyond the range of professional practice. He is a trustee of the Hartford Public High School,
for which institution he feels the tender regard of an alumnus and the common pride shared by every resident of
Mr. Robinson has been a republican since the formation of that party. The political offices which he has held have
been conferred by the Republicans, though his support has always come in greater or less degree from the best element
of all political parties. He was a member of the Chicago convention of 1880. But he is more a patriot than a politician;
and his eloquent addresses, whether in the heat of a political campaign or over the graves of the nation's dead
at the celebration of "Memorial Day," savor most of loyalty and devotion to country, subordinating always
persons and parties to the commonwealth, and the eternal principles on which the Republic was founded. His admirable
oration, delivered in Brooklyn on the occasion of the unveiling of the Putnam equestrian statue in 1887, excited
universal commendation as worthy to be classed with the best efforts of Stuart and Deming. Mr. Robinson is an accomplished
orator and scholar, and worthily ears the honors successively conferred upon him by his Alma Mater.
In 1862 he married Miss Eliza Niles Trumbull, daugter of John F. Trumbull of Stonington. They have five children:
Lucius F., the oldest son, and now his professional associate; Lucy T. (Mrs. Sidney Trowbridge Miller of Detroit).
Henry S., John T., and Mary S. It may be mentioned that no less than three matrimonial alliances have connected
the Robinson and Trumbull families; H. C. Robinson s brother, the late Lucius F., having married a daughter of
Governor Joseph Trumbull, while Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's wife is a sister of the subject of this sketch.
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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