Biography of Henry C. Robinson
Connecticut Biographies





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 Before these wholesome laws could become fairly operative, under partisan influences they were repealed and others substituted which were of no practical use, as has been proved, in preventing or arresting the destruction of the shad fishery in these waters, in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 the city.

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.

From:
Illustrated Popular Biography
Of Connecticut
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891


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