Thanks to Clayton Rawson (grandson
of Mabel Robinson Stone) for sending
RETYPED IN AUGUST, 2004
BY JOANNA RAWSON HAMMOND
FROM COPY MADE BY HER
GRANDMOTHER MABLE MARION ROBINSON STONE IN 1920
FOR HER FATHER MARQUIS D. ROBINSON
FROM A MANUSCRIPT
WRITTEN BY JULIA ROBINSON WARNER
AND GIVEN TO THOMAS ROBINSON IN 1858
T H E
R O B I N S O N
F A M I L Y H I S T O R Y
PREFACE TO PART I.
The original manuscript of which the following
is a copy, came into the possession of Thomas Robinson about 1858. It was
given him by Julia Warner, sister of Daniel Robinson, who was grandfather
of Marquis D. Robinson.
The children of Marquis D. Robinson often
heard of the manuscript in their youth, but naturally, paid little
attention to it, which they regretted as they grew older, thinking then it
had been lost.
In 1909 Merritt Burtus Robinson wrote
Ellsworth D. Robinson (JH Typist Note: son of Marquis) asking for some
information along the Marquis D. Robinson branch of the tree, and saying
that he had the manuscript. Upon request, he furnished a copy of it, from
which the following is made.
Note: The construction of some of the
sentences may seem odd indeed, to readers of the present day, but in
setting down this record of our history, we have not desired to make many
changes in construction, which so easily might bring about contrary
impression. We have not even eliminated a few passages which are
repeated. The first three paragraphs in PART I., as is plainly recognized
at first thought, belong in this preface. None of these changes have been
made, however, in our endeavor to record the true transcript furnished us
by Merritt Burtus Robinson, of which Julia Robinson is author.
T H E
R O B I N S O N
F A M I L Y H I S T O R Y
The first pages of this manuscript are
missing, and the edges broken so that many words are missing. Where such
words are missing, they are indicated as follows: - - - - - - - - - .
*References to page numbers occurring in
margin of this book indicate the pages of the original manuscript from
which this history is written.
Events have long since been recorded in
history; therefore, it is useless for me to dwell on these events. I
will endeavor to relate events that never were published, only retained in
private manuscripts - - - .
(JH typist note: Since my computer will not
put page numbers in the margins of this manuscript, I will insert page
numbers in the line nearest the previous margin note.)
(Page 1 of Remaining Portion) “ - - - the
Irish Protestants, and was repulsed by Prince William - - -
A descendant of one of the Kings of
Scotland, by the name of James Robinson, resided in a beautiful town in
Scotland called at the time, Blarefatte, but after the rebellion, it was
called by another name. (JH typist note: Blarefatte still exists and was
visited by both my mother and her brother, grandchildren of Marquis D.
The King of England allowed Sir James, as
he was called, to enjoy his inheritance without being molested, though he
had to give to kings of England, a small sum annually to acknowledge them
as his legal sovereigns.
Sir James was the sole owner of the
township of Blarefatte
His eldest son’s name was called Donald,
which was the Scotch name of Daniel.
Young Donald was born sole heir to his
father’s inheritance, but could not come into possession until after his
father’s death, unless his father had a mind to give it to him.
Donald was a very complacent young man.
Nature had lavished on him an abundance of gifts. He was elegant in his
manners. There were but few equalled (JH: sic) him in beauty, and none
surpassed him in beauty and eloquence in Scotland.
His parents greatly doted on him and
omitted nothing in his education. At the age of fifteen, his father
placed him in a university of Edinburg, to complete his education.
At the same time, an English Lord placed
his son at the same university.
The two young men soon because acquainted
with each (Page 2.) other and became fond of each other’s company. They
became so intimate that they thought they could not live when they were
not in each other’s society.
They made equal proficiency in their
studies. At the age of one and twenty, they were instructed in all the
learning at Edinburg.
When it was vacation, those two lovers
would visit the antiquities of Scotland. They visited the Cave - Kara
Linn, where William Wallace concealed himself. They likewise visited the
glens of Elerslir, where Lady Marion Wallace was murdered; continued to
the ancient castles and mansions that had been laid in ruins by the
English. Though they were principally rebuilt, yet many of the ruins were
then to be seen.
“Come,” said Sir Donald to the young Earl
of D, “we will leave so unfavorable a place, and take a walk in some of
the flowery vales.”
The young Earl gave him no answer.
Donald looked around and saw tears streaming down the young Englishman’s
“Why do you weep?” Asked Sir Donald. The
young Earl made him this reply. He heaved a sign and said, “It is your
kindness to me and goodness I have received since I have been in Scotland,
but when I think of the barbarity of my country toward the Scots, I can’t
forbear weeping - - you foster an Englishman as you do me.”
“Never mind,” said Sir Donald, “you are
not accountable for the barbarity of your country
I hope our friendship will ever exist.:
“I hope,” said the young Earl of D. “That
our friendship will ever exist in this world, and when we leave the shores
of time, we may go to the region of glory where parting will be no more.”
Whenever Sir Donald went home to visit
his father, he ever took the young Earl of D with him. Sir James would
receive him in his family as if they were both his sons.
* The mansion of Blarefatte stood on a rising
eminence a little retired from the main road and not far from the bank of
the Don. (JH typist note: In the margin is written: *Tradition says
When the young Earl first came to the
mansion and beheld the walls hanging with golden ornaments and the floor
covered with silken carpets, ‘here,’ thought the young Earl, ‘is the seat
Whenever their visit was completed, Sir
James would order his carriage to be made ready. He would ascend to his
carriage and convey the two young lovers back to Edinburg.
The Earl of D stated to Donald that he
wished he could ever live in Scotland, for it was painful to him to think
of returning to England again to live, and was so sorry his study was so
Sir Donald stated to the Earl of D that
he had better never return to England again to live, but come and live
with him in Scotland.
“Also,” said the Earl of D, “I wish my
inheritance lay in Scotland as your does. If it did, I would never return
to England again!”
One day the two young Lords went into a
jewelry shop and purchased each of them a gold ring. They had their names
inscribed on their rings, and were going to depart when they heard the
sound of the college bell.
“Our intermission has been short,” said
“And I think so too,” said the Earl, but
hastened to the college.
But what was their surprise when they saw
a genteel coach standing at the door of the college, and a servant sitting
in the coach arrayed in livery. On their near approach the young Earl
perceived it was his father’s coach and servants.
The Earl asked the servant if they were
all well in England.
“Perfectly well,” said the servant, “but
your father thinks that if you have made good in your studies, your
education is completed. Your father is now in the college, awaiting your
The young Earl cast a wistful look at Sir
Donald and said, “The time of our separation unexpectedly has come.”
So saying, he entered the college and
congratulated his father’s arrival.
His father saw in the countenance of the
young Earl that he was not well pleased at the prospect o returning home -
- - - - he would.
“Why are you so down cast?” Asked his
father. “Do you not feel pleased at the thoughts of returning home?”
“If my home were in Scotland,” said the
young Earl, “I should feel pleased to return.”
“What is there here?” Asked his father,
“that is so fascinating?”
“The Scottish Nation,” replied the young
“Come, come,” said his father, “there is
no time for ceremonies. Make yourself ready as quickly as possible, for I
am in haste to return to England.”
“I will accompany you as far as my
father’s mansion,” said Sir Donald, “and if he is willing, I will go with
you to England.”
They all ascended the coach and reached
Sir James’ mansion before sunset. There were cordially received at the
mansion by Sir James. The old Earl of D and his son tarried all night at
The next mornng after partaking of a
bounteous repast, Sir James ordered his carriage to be made ready. He and
his son Donald accompanied the two earls as far as the River Tween that
divides Scotland from England.
“Now,” said Sir James to his son, “we
The young lords were very loath to part.
“Come,” said Sir James, “none of your
babyish actions. The distance is not so far but what you can visit and
visit each other.”
So the two young lords parted on
condition that they would visit each other every year. - - - - - - - - - -
(Page 6) those two fast friends received an extensive vacation. They
never were - - into the cabinet or futurity. They little thought in what
a manner the young Earl of D would visit Sir Donald in about two years
from that time.
Before they parted, they exchanged rings,
saying their names would be a great consolation. They would remind them
of departed joys. They then took an affectionate leave of each other and
Sir James conveyed Donald back to his
mansion again. He never returned to Edinburg again. He was then over
twenty-one years o age. He and the young Earl of D had passed six happy
years in Edinburg together.
Soon after his arrival home, Sir Donald
cast his eyes on one, Mary McNeal, eldest daughter of Sir Andrew McNeal.
She was a lady of noble extractions.(JH:
Her father had omitted nothing in her
education to make her one of the most accomplished ladies in Scotland.
She was by no means beautiful. Mary was
more noble than fair, yet her rare accomplishments and the beauty of her
mind so captured the mind of Sir Donald that he chose her for his partner
All of the nobility of the town was
invited to attend the wedding.
He did not forget his old friend, the
young Earl of D. He wrote to him that he must not fail to come to
Scotland on the 15th of June, 1743, for his company was very much wanted.
If he did not attend, he would send an officer after him, for he must
When the young Earl of D received the
letter from Donald, he fancied Donald was agoing to be married. He
ordered his carriage to be made ready, took an English lady with him, and
set out for Scotland.
He arrived at the mansion three days
before the time. There was great rejoicing at their meeting.
“You are punctual to obey my orders,”
said Sir Donald.
“Punctuality is an angel’s virute,” (JH:
sic) replied the Earl.
He had the pleasure of seeing Sir Donald
Robinson united to an amiable lady. The marriage ceremony was performed
at the Grand Chapel of the parish by a Presbyterian clergyman.
They held a celebration of the wedding
for several days. They had six minstrels that played on harps, six
musicians that played on bag-pipes, and twenty-four singers that played
and sang such pleasing airs, the young Earl was enraptured with such sweet
and sentimental music.
He fancied the mansion was the seat of
happiness, and discontent or sorrow would never enter there.
After the celebration, the young Earl of
D took an effectionate (JH-sic) leave of Donald and Mary, wishing them all
the happiness this world could afford. After giving them a friendly
invitation to visit him, he set out for England.
Donald, the young Earl of Blarefatte, and
Mary lived together in complete harmony, with the least umbrage of sorrow
or any cloud that had yet intervened to divert their happiness.
On the 20th of June, 1744, Mary brought
forth a son that greatly pleased Sir Donald. When the infant was four
weeks old, Donald and Mary went with the nurse and infant to the Grand
Chapel. They had the infant christened and call his name John. Donald
returned home and fancied himself the happiest of men.
His father called to him one day.
“Donald,” said he, “I have long admired your great wisdom. You have ever
obeyed my mandates from the earliest period of your childhood. You have
greatly pleased me in the choice you have made in selecting your wife. It
is now my intention to recompense you for all your obedience to me. You
may come into all my inheritance while I am yet alive. It is my wish to
withdraw myself from the noise of the busy world, retire to the glens of
Blarefatte, take a few domestics with me, and spend the residue of my days
in solitude. As your mother has long been dead, your sisters all well
settled in life, I wish now to live a retired life.”
Donald was so affected he could not give
his father an answer for some time.
At length he replied, “My dear father, it
is not my wish to have your inheritance while you are alive. It is time
enough for me to receive it after you - in case I outlive you.”
His father stated to him that a dutiful
son should not go unrewarded. So Donald and Mary became sole owners of
the Lordship and mansion of Blarefatte.
They were visited by all the nobility of
the parish, and likewise the peasants never went away from the mansion
There came a stranger to Scotland, and
often visited the mansion, but ever refused to tell his name, or who he
was, which caused great excitement in Scotland. He appeared more like a
young prince than any other young man. Some thought one thing, some
another about him, but they concluded he must be a son to some king or
He remained a disguised spectator for the
space of several months.
On revealing his origin, they found he
was a descendane (JH-sic) of King James, who had abdicated the throne of
England. His name was Charles. He claimed the right to the Scottish
Now the thoughts of once more becoming a
nation so animated the minds of those Scottish heroes, that there was a
proclamation issued for all the leading men of Scotland to resort of the
Citadel in Edinburg, and there to hold Council respecting their new King.
All the Lords and nobles attended.
Sir James Robinson and Donald attended
with the rest - - - “counsel” whether it were best to crown young Charles
Sir James arose and after making a
lengthy address, reminded them that England was invincible. They had
better bear their claims of peace rather than see their city wrapped in
fire and the transparent streams changed into torrents of blood. He
reminded them of the sufferings of Scotland, and how often Scotland had
been laid waste by the English. He further stated that the English forces
were so far superior to the Scottish forces. He thought it vain to
contend with England.
Lord Frazier arose and after a lengthy
address, reminded them that the sword of England was unsheathed against
them. He addressed them with such eloquence and in such moving terms,
that it was concluded to “Make young Charles King.”
Though Sir James and Donald opposed it,
yet they had to agree with the rest. So they agreed as one, and declared
the young prince, King of Scotland, but refused to place a crown on his
head until they heard the news from George II. Who was King of England at
When he heard of all that had transpired,
in Scotland, he gave orders to the Duke of Cumberland, his brother, to
raise an army, go to Scotland, and subdue the proud rebels.
“If they indulge, rebel, and stray away
from my precepts, lay their towns in ruins, pardon not a man that has
received a commission from that abjured pretender who would fain cut his
way to my throne.”
The Duke instantly obeyed the King’s
orders and marched at the head of the English army toward Scotland.
Among the rest of the Duke’s men was the
young Earl of D. Nothing could have been so painful to him as to go
against Scotland in such a manner. It - - (line missing) father and
brother, but he was forced to obey superior orders.
He recalled to mind the happy hours that
he had passed with Donald at Edinburg. He thought of all Scotland, but
Sir James Robinson and his son Donald, and Mary lay nearest to his heart.
He felt almost willing to die in their defense, but he concealed his
emotions and marched on cheerfully in the rear of the Duke of Cumberland’s
The Duke was repulsed by the young
pretender, as they called him, on the English side of the River Tweed, and
so bravely did those Scottish heroes fight that they twice proved
victorious, and twice the Duke’s army was forced retreat.
The Duke was reenforced again and the
young pretender saw by the aid of a telescope that a superior force was
acoming against him.
He withdrew from the lowlands of
Scotland, but the Duke pursued him and entered the borders of Scotland.
Three hours after the pretender had left,
the Duke came into the village, I think called Berwick, but the
inhabitants had all deserted it except a poor cottager and his family that
dwelt a little out of the village. At the meeting of the roads, the Duke
saw the curling smoke ascend from the cottage chimney. Believing the
cottage to be inhabited, the duke gave a loud rap at the door. The
cottager bade him enter. (Page 12) The Duke looked at him with a stern
“Tell,” said he, “tell me at the peril of
your life, by which of these roads has the Scottish army gone?”
The cottager stood for a while silent and
motionless. At length, by the waving of his hand, he directed him the
reverse from which they had gone.
The Duke marched along and soon found the
cottager had deceived him.
He returned again and entered the cottage
with his drawn sword in his hand.
He seized the cottager and said, “Now,
villain, you must die.”
When the victim’s wife saw the glittering
steel pointing at the bosom of her husband, she fell prostrate at the feet
of the Duke and begged for mercy pointing to her tender offspring.
“Alas,” said she, “what will become of
those helpless orphans when their protector is gone?”
She said her husband had never taken up
arms against England, and did not deserve death.
But the heart of the duke was as hard as
adamant. He saw the heart-rending sighs that heaved her throbbing
breasts, but all her tears and entreaties did not soften the heart of the
Duke. He unsheathed his sword and tore the harmless cottager from the
embraces of his wife and children, and hung him on a tree that grew by the
“So,” said he, “it shall be - - - - - - -
- - , of England,” and pursued his march the right way.
(Page 13) The news of his deed soon
spread through the kingdom and excited Scotland so that every man who was
able to bear arms, was called on in the defense of his country.
Sir James Robinson and Donald were called
along with the rest.
The Duke wrote to the four leading lords
of Scotland that if they would deliver him the pretender, and the Scottish
crown, and likewise submit the kingdom again to England, he would withdraw
his forces from Scotland, and they should receive gifts of reward and
great honor form the King of England, who had already offered thirty
thousand pounds for the head of the man they called the pretender.
Those lords wrote a very warm answer to
the Duke of Cumberland, telling him they would not comply with his
request, for they would die in the defense of their country, before they
would yield to a treacherous invader. They further stated that the man
they called the pretender was the legal heir to both crowns, and the
Scottish crown would never - - - - - - English King after a short
suspension of hostilities.
Sir Donald received orders from the new
King that he must march at the head of a regiment to the plains of
Culloden, and stand an engagement with the Duke of Cumberland and a mighty
host of English.
The thoughts of leaving a tender wife
and a blooming infant greatly excited the mind of the young Duke of
Blarefatte, as he was called at that time.
He knew not to what extremity they might
be drawn if he should fall in the field of battle.
He knew very well what would be the fate
of his wife and child if they should fall into the hands of those
His grief was so great, he was almost
bereft of his reason.
The thoughts of Mary were no less
afflicted, for she had ever been unaccustomed to any disturbance or tumult
of any kind. She had ever been caressed in the lap of fortune. But alas,
what was her grief to see the husband of her affections repair to the
field of Carnage. At length the morning came that Donald was to march to
the Plains of Culloden. When he took his parting leave of Mary, his wife,
he tried to console her, but grief forbade his utterance. He departed
without speaking a word.
(Page 15) The morning was pleasant, it
being the morning of the 16th of April, 1745, (JH: note in margin:
“Encyclopedia gives April 27th, 1746”) and the whole feathered race was
awakened in music. Sir Donald's ears had often been delighted and his
heart cheered by the songs of these melodious songsters, but their notes
then sounded to him like a funeral dirge.
When he departed, the sun had not climbed
far in the horizon.
“Thou glorious orb,” said he, “thy
setting rays may witness me a breathless corpse.”
He very soon reached the plains of
Culloden which were surrounded by hills, so it was often called the moor
of Culloden. But on the side next to the sea there was no hill, so it
could be called the bleak moor of Culloden, for the sea-breezes would
sometimes blow with great fury.
Donald found the Scottish King, otherwise
called the pretender, awaiting the Duke of Cumberland. The pretender,
being at the head of thousands, stepped a few paces in advance of his men,
turned and said to them, “Remember it is not for me alone you are going to
engage in this fearful struggle, but it is for all you hold dear to your
lives, your liberties, your wives, and the tender offsprings (JH: sic) of
your bosoms who may fall a prey to British cruelties.” He then waved his
sword, glittering in the glare of the sunshine.
“Arm yourselves with courage, noble
Scots, and let the sufferings of your country sharpen your revenge.”
He could say no more, for the Duke of
Cumberland was already on the moor, and the conflict began at one o’clock
in the afternoon.
Victory remained in doubt for the space
of half an hour.
The Scots had no other implements of war
than small broadswords, while the English poured on heavy grape shot and
One hundred of the Scots fell upon the
left wing of the Duke’s army, and five hundred fell by their swords.
But the English poured on such vollies
(JH: sic) of grape shot and cannon that the Scots were unable to withstand
the English any longer to their mortification.
Scotland was forced to yield.
Some marched off in tolerable order, some
fled to the mountains, and others signed the bonds of submission.
Sir James McDonald (JH: sic) and Sir
Andrew McNeal made their escape to the mountains.
But young Donald fell with the wounded
The mansion of Blarefatte was not more
than three or four miles from the plains of Culloden. Mary had heard the
roaring of the cannon during the conflict, and was so alarmed at the sound
- it was so terrible, that she became wholly bereft of reason. (Page 17)
When the cannon ceased, her senses returned. She viewed the moors from
window to window and from door to door, eager to inform her which way the
victory was decided, but she saw none that could end her anxious wish.
She was in hopes of seeing the husband of her affections returning from
the field of Carnage crowned with the laurels of victory, but her fond
hopes were blasted. She waited till the clock struck four, that numbered
the prolonging hours after the British had departed to their garrison.
She could hear nothing from the moor.
She clasped her hands in mental agony and
exclaimed, “O, my Donald, art thou numbered with the dead, have Culloden
plains received your precious blood?”
“I will,” said she, “go this moment to the
moor and visit the remains of my departed husband.:
She was often impeded in her way by the
rills that (Page 18) descend from the mountains and intersect the don.
She soon gained the summit of the hill that descended to the battle
The whole plains of Culloden were
presented to her view.
The whole plains were strewn with dead
bodies. Thousands lay dead on the plains.
The side next the sea was a gradual
descent, so the blood was streaming in torrents toward the sea.
Mary say a multitude of females wandering
among the dead bodies, looking for fathers, husbands and sons.
The reader must imagine what a shock such
a scene must give to a tender hearted female who never had till these
events, any rough blast blown on her tender form, or any harshness to
ruffle the peace and serenity of her gentle mind.
She was so powerfully excited on
beholding such an awful scene, she fainted away and fell as dead on the
When she recovered her sense, and the
females had gone, she went then in search of Donald.
After she had wandered awhile among the
dead bodies, and was almost ready to give up the search, a distant sound
of a groan struck her ear. She fancied it was the voice of Donald.
(Page 19) She cast her swift glancing
eyes in every direction, and at length she saw Donald endeavoring to rise
from among the dead bodies.
She hastened to him, seized him by the
hand, and exclaimed, “My Donald, my Donald, art thou still alive, art thou
“Father or mercies,” exclaimed Donald,
“is this Mary, the wife of my bosom, or is it her departed shade that has
come to console me in this gloomy region?”
“Alas,” said she, “I am Mary, your wife.
Tell me if you are mortally wounded..”
“No, my guardian angel,” said he, “I am
not. There was only a grape shot passed through my left arm and I fainted
through the loss of blood..”
She took him by the hand and led him to a
rivulet and washed the blood from his wounds with her girdle that was a
custom for the Scottish ladies to wear.
Then they set out for their once peaceful
For fear of being detected, they left the
main road and walked silently across the fields.
(Page 20) All was hushed in silence.
They could hear nothing but the roaring torrent from the distant hill and
the soft gales of wind that murmured through the lawn.
By this time the full moon was rising and
shining in all brightness.
“Alas,” said Donald, “how oft have we
adored you, rising moon, when we have taken our moonlight walks, but I
fear your mild rays will be the means of the enemy discovering me.”
“If I can’t find a means to leave the
kingdom, I must die an ignominious death in Scotland - die or leave the
Said Mary, “Can’t you conceal yourself
among those,” pointing to the rocks, “while I go to the Kingdom of England
and beg for a life that I esteem a thousand times more than my own?”
“It will avail you nothing,” said he,
“for you to go to England. Their laws are unalterable. I have received a
commission from the hand of the Scottish King, so I must go to some port
of safety, or be brought to the scaffold, but I will first make a visit to
our once peaceful home.”
(Page 21) “Alas,” said Mary, “must we be
“Yes, said Donald, “we are cheet (JH:
sic) in the career of glory. All we have to do now is be resigned to our
fate and consider a few more fleeting moments will land us beyond the
limits of this world, - I hope where parting will be no more.”
By this time they had reached a winding
path that led to the mansion, and the glittering windows showed through
the tops of the impending trees.
They had to pass under a mingling
thicket, that hung over a pathway, and here they met a man. They knew by
his dress that he was an Englishman.
“Alas,” said Donald, “that man was a spy,
and he will carry tidings to the Duke where he has seen me this evening.
My flight must be in haste, or it will be prevented.”
But what of their servants when they saw
their beloved lord enter the hall with his lady by her hand.
The lamps were brilliantly burning as
Donald and Mary ascended a flight of
stairs that led into an upper apartment, where she poured balsam into his
would, and bound up his wound with the purest linen.
He laid aside his apparel, and arrayed
himself in a black tartan.
He then took Mary by her hand and said,
“Most beloved of my soul, I fear I must now take my leave of the best
woman. But since our fond hopes are vanished, and our peace expired,
there is no more for us to do than to trust in the all wise dispenser of
(Page 22) I expect every moment there
will be a guard set around our mansion to intercept my flight.”
He then called the nurse to bring him his
tender infant, that he could once more caress the offspring of his bosom,
which was the joy and pride of his heart. His mandates were obeyed. He
took the infant in his arms, while it gaized (JH: sic) on him with a
“Alas, my sweet babe,” said he, “how
ignorant you are of my grief.” He pressed it to his bosom while the tears
ran down his manly cheeks.
Now to leave those who were dearest to
him in life, the contentions of his fond love were too powerful to
resist. His spirits gave way. He, with his infant in his arms, sank down
by Mary, and was determined to await his fate, and silence prevailed.
Neither or them was able to speak.
There was a window that had been opened
on the previous day. The night air blew in rather chilly. Mary arose to
close the window. Her eyes were arrested by a glittering appearance on
the opposite hill. Donald and Mary listened attentively and could hear
human voices. They soon discovered it was a party of English with
unsheathed swords in their hands, that (Page 23) were glittering in the
bright beams of the moon.
“Now,” said Donald, “my fate is decreed.”
“Fly,” said Mary.
“Impossible,” said Donald, “for the
English are already within our gates.”
A sycamore tree that grew before the
window was then waving toward the window. Sir Donald sprung from the
window and concealed himself among the branches of the tree.
Mary closed the window, drew the curtain,
and seated herself alone.
The nurse had taken charge of her infant
Mary sat pensive, listening to hear the
English who were then in the hall threatening the servants with instant
death if they would not tell where their lord was concealed. They all
At length she heard them ascending the
stairs, and soon the Duke of Cumberland entered her apartment, followed by
Mary trembled and turned pale at seeing
them with all their drawn swords in their hands, expecting every moment to
The Duke saw her emotions. “Noble
lady,” said he, “I suppose you are the wife of Sir Donald Robinson. I
think you are by your splendid appearance. It is not you (Page 24) we are
after, but your husband we want.: The Duke looked at his men and said,
“We do not suppose this lade will tell us where her husband is concealed,
but we believe him to be concealed somewhere within the verge of this
“Madam,” you may retire, while we explore
the upper apartments.”
Mary descended the stairs and seated
herself in the hall, while they explored the upper apartments.
But he could not be found.
She heard them descending and the Duke
say, “Now we will explore the lower apartments.”
There seemed to be one Englishman more
furious than all the rest. He came at Mary with great fury, aiming his
sword at her bosom.
“Now,” said he, “tell me on the peril of
your life where your husband is concealed, or this sword shall soon reach
When Mary saw the glittering steel
pointing at her bosom, she gave a low shriek, and fell down as dead at the
infuriated Englishman’s feet. He instantly clasped her in his arms, while
she remained senseless.
“Where are you going with that senseless
burthen?” (JH: sic) asked the Duke of Cumberland.
“I am going to take her to a lane,”
replied the Englishman. “When her senses return, I will make her tell
where her husband is concealed or she shall share the fate of Lady Marion
(Page 25) “It is not just to stain our
swords with the blood of innocent women and children,” said the Duke.
The Englishman made no reply but carried
her through the door and conveyed the senseless form of Mary into a garden
and closed the gate after him, where he was not seen by the Duke or his
The branches of the tree hung over the
garden, where Sir Donald was concealed.
He fancied his wife was murdered when he
saw the man bring the body of his wife in his arms, but he was astonished
at the sight when he saw the man lay her down with the greatest care and
tenderness on a bank of violets and sprinkle her face with the dew that
arrayed the primrose. He seemed to watch over her with the greatest care
and pity, and often seemed to wipe away the tears that seemed to rain down
Donald could see all that transpired, yet
At length life returned. Mary opened her
eyes and looked earnestly at the stranger.
“Fear not, madam,” said he, “I am your
friend, but in safety to you and myself, I am forced to act thus cruel.
When I pointed my sword at your bosom, it seemed I must die of grief.
Please, madam, tell me where your husband is concealed.”
Mary rather doubted his fidelity.
He took a ring from his finger and told
her to read the inscription.
She took the ring in her hand. By the
light of the moon she could read the name of Donald Robinson inscribed in
the ring. She knew the young Englishman who had conveyed her to the
garden must be the young Earl of D. She then fancied that Donald would
make his escape through his means.
Donald then descended from the tree.
They soon were locked in each other’s
I will not attempt to portray the meeting
of these two friends, for were I to relate every particular, my brief
narrative would swell to a large volume. But let it suffice to say
that Donald was soon disguised in genteel suit of English apparel.
"Now," said the Earl, "you are now
disguised in English apparel. Now I will advise you to make your escape
as soon as possible, on the peril of your life and also of my own life.
Let not the sun rise on you again in Scotland, for this very night I
ventured my life for your safety, and left the English garrison with no
other view than to free you from an ignominious death."
"One of the Duke's men was passing by the
mansion, and came and told the Duke he was confident he saw you in the
winding pathway leading to the mansion, with your lady by her hand. It
was there agreed that you should be beheaded this evening, but your wife
and child might live a while longer."
"The Duke of Cumberland then asked his
men who would volunteer to go with him to the manison of Blarefatte. He
likewise stated that you were a brave man, and perhaps would sell your
life very dear. He cautioned his men not to consume the mansion with
fire, for he saw that stately edifice was lofty enough for the noblest
lords of England to reside in."
'I soon volunteered,' said the Earl, 'to
come and (Page 28) take you a prisoner, but if it were known by the Duke
that I came to liberate you, I must die the same death that was destined
for you.' Now you must keep this stratagem forever concealed. Let you go
to whatever part of the world you will, forbear ever revealing it,
although you feel very grateful to me. Yet I will grant you the liberty
that you may hand this down in private manuscripts, but ever conceal my
"But what do I mean by detaining you so
All this time Donald was leaning on the
arm of the Earl, while the tears of gratitude were streaming from his
"My dear friend," said Donald, "if you
can enjoy my inheritance in Scotland, I could leave the kingdom in peace,
but I beg of you to see there is no harm befalls my wife and child."
"I will assure you," said the Earl,
"there shall be no harm befall them while in my power."
"But," said the Earl, "we must not linger
here, for the Duke will soon rush in. If you do not make your escape,
your flight will be prevented."
"Here," said he, "take my bugle
and repair to the water, take shipping and sail to some port of safety."
"Where shall I find a port of safety?"
"In the north of Ireland," said the Earl,
for you (Page 29) can speak good English."
"And dressed in English apparel, go to
the north of Ireland, and every one of them will take you to be an
Donald then took leave of Mary and the
Earl of D and was passing through the gate that opened on the opposite
side of the garden.
The Earl caught up his tartan and sword
and followed Donald through the gate and closed it after him.
When the Duke of Cumberland, at the head
of his men, rushed into the garden, he saw Mary sitting under the tree.
Whispering, the Duke asked Mary where the Earl was. Mary burst into
tears, and replied, "He has gone after my husband."
"Very well," said the Duke, "we will
withdraw again to the garrison, for the Earl will find him."
So the Duke departed, taking with him all
of the servants, and left Mary and her infant alone as a disappointed
widow, and mourned the uncertainty of all earthly bliss, where we will
leave her and follow Donald to the rugged borders of Ireland.
(Page 30) It is a well known fact that
Ireland is an Island that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean. It is about
twenty-five miles across the Irish Sea from Scotland. It was but a few
hours from the time Donald took his leave of the Earl, he was set ashore
on Irish soil by an Irish captain who really supposed him to be a true
Englishman that had been engaged in the Culloden conflict.
He soon found he was in a strange land,
forlorn and distressed. He wandered through the wilds, not knowing
whither to direct his steps.
The whole horizon was overcast with
clouds and the rain began to fall in torrents from the clouds.
He wandered through the rain without a
refuge to shelter him from the beating storm.
At length the shower abated, and the moon
rolled through a train of clouds, and had once more leave to shine, but it
had declined so far to the west, it yielded but a glimmering light.
Donald, who was then so overcome with
fatigue, that he seated himself on a stone, shook the water from his hair
that hung in tresses upon his shoulders. Thus he sat lamenting and
rolling his eyes around in the dark gloom of night.
At length the dawn began to tinge the
East with its crimson dyes, and the darkness had decayed so that the lark
left her nest and soared on high to hail the opening day. She seemed to
call the husbandmen to their labor, and the tuneful tribe to their notes.
Shortly the whole theater of Nature appeared in one universal blaze of
(Page 31) Donald rose form his stone
seat, stood on a high hill whither he had wandered the preceding night,
and was greatly astonished at the beauties that were then offered to his
view. He cast his eyes to the West and beheld the village of Eneshone, a
little town in the north of Ireland.
It stood on the bank of the river Rush,
one of the purest rivers of the known world. It gently flowed among the
trees. Its bottom and margin were composed of purest white marble.
The village windows were then burnished
by the rising sun which yielded a glittering aspect to the eyes of
The hill whereon he stood was shaded with
cypress and sycamore trees. The branches were mingling, which formed a
verdant canopy over his head.
Under his feet was a carpet of sweet
The prospect of this hill was so
commanding and extensive, nature and art had displayed their charms in
such a degree, that all the Irish nobles would resort there at certain
seasons of the year for recreation.
Many years before, the English had
erected a high glass edifice in order to study the influence of the stars.
(Page 32) After he had surveyed the
romantic country, he turned his eyes toward the northeast and looked
towards Scotland on the Irish Sea, or it was called the North Channel,
but he could see nothing but blue waves dashing upon rocks, and now and
then, some shipping braving the waves.
As he looked towards his native kingdom,
"Oh, Scotland, Scotland! Thou once fairest of kingdoms, but now our
houses ransacked, our villages plundered our fenced cities encompassed
with armies, and our fruitful fields clothed with desolation! Where is my
tender wife and the offspring of my bosom, do they bleed and welter on the
shores of Scotland, or do they live to deplore my sad fate?"
Fatigue and grief had so overcome the
spirits of Donald that he fainted, where we will leave him fainting on the
brow of a hill in Ireland, and return to Mary whom we left lamenting in
her bed chamber in Scotland.
The Earl of D did not return again to the
mansion, but returned at the hour of midnight to the garrison with his
sword, and with Donald's tartan cut into pieces. Donald's arm had been
bleeding upon his tartan, which he showed to the Duke of Cumberland,
telling him the job was done, that he had given the young Earl of
Blarefatte's carcass to the fowls of the air, which was believed by (Page
33) the Duke, who informed the Earl he was a brave man, for he thought it
would take a number of brave men to do that deed.
That night, Mary never closed her
eyelids. Sleep had become a stranger to her eyes.
She arose in the morning and could hear
the shouts of victory in every direction. She could see the movements of
She knew well that but little or no mercy
would be shown; the English were seen to refuse quarters to the unarmed
She expected every hour to see a party
coming to the mansion to assassinate her and her child. She did not
expect to live to see the going down of the sun.
The cruelties that the English inflicted
on the Scots, I shall refer to other history, but suffice it to say the
conquerors spread terror wherever they came, and after a short suspension
of time, the country was one dreadful scene of plunder, slaughter and
desolation. Justice was forgotten, and vengeance assumed the name. The
English acknowledged that those events ended in English disgrace.
But Mary was composed, and endeavored to
submit to her fate without a murmur or a frown.
The young Earl of D was so sickened to see
such cruelties inflicted by the Duke of Cumberland, and it was entirely
out of his power to prevent any, for the soldiers were seen to anticipate
the base employment of the executioner. The Earl could not bear to stay
in Scotland and see the barbarity of his countrymen. So he requested the
Duke of Cumberland to give him a dismissal from the army, and let him
return to England. The Duke granted him his request, so he took leave of
Scotland and the English garrison, telling his fellow soldiers to be
merciful, and set out for England.
The sun had gone down once more, and Mary
was undisturbed, but expected that night would seal her fate
The proceeding day after the Earl had
left the garrison, a man by the name of James Hilliker requested the Duke
to grant him the privilege to go that night and assassinate the wife and
child of the young Duke of Blarefatte.
"Why do you want to do so?" asked the
"Why," said he, "her husband is murdered,
and her grief (Page 35) is great. I think it would be a deed of charity
to dispatch her and her child."
"Do as you please," said the Duke, "but
if you do, you must go alone, for I will not assist nor send some one to
"I want no help," said Hilliker, "I can
dispatch one female and her child."
Likewise when the dusk of evening had
come, Hilliker took his sword in his hand, and stated to the Duke that his
sword should never be sheathed till he had put an end to lade Mary
The Duke, void of all feelings, wished
him good luck in his enterprise.
Hilliker was gone five hours from the
He returned with a robe of azure silk
that Mary used to wear. There was blood dripping form the bosom of the
robe. It was likewise cut into pieces by the sword.
"Now," said Hilliker, "we can have free
admission to the mansion, as the lord and his lady are both laid low by
the sword of England, but I have done better by the lady and her child. I
murdered them in the hall, and buried them under a sycamore tree, and
tomorrow we will go up to the mansion and rob it of all its treasure."
(Page 36) The Duke, the preceding day,
had been preparing the scaffold and gibbets for the followers of the
pretender. Some were drawn in quarters, others were beheaded.
Early the next morning the Duke of
Cumberland and Hilliker repaired to the mansion of Blarefatte where they
found the hall floor covered with blood, and Mary's clothing and her
child's were - - - - after the same manner. All the furniture was there
and undisturbed, but it seemed to be robbed of all its gold and silver
"Some one," said the Duke, "has been here
"It must have been some of our own
countrymen," said Hilliker.
"Come," said he, "we will go and see Lady
And the Duke said, "The grave will do
well for the wife of a rebel."
There we will leave them and return to
Donald whom we left fainting in Ireland.
After his senses returned, he arose,
descended the hill, and entered the village of Eneshone.
They were astonished to see such a fine
looking Englishman, as they took him to be. They asked him his name.
The name of Robinson was peculiar to the
English, Scotch and Irish, so all the change Donald had to make in his
name was to call his name "Daniel" Robinson, which was the English of
Donald. He then informed them that he had been engaged in the Culloden
They asked him if England had gained the
victory. He answered in the affirmative, but not one of them suspected
that he was a Scot.
It would have been very pleasing to the
Irish if Scotland had gained the day, but they durst not speak their mind
to the young Englishman. - - - - - - - - -
Mary renewed his afflictions in so much
that a raging fever ensued. He would be wild and incoherent at times.
"Where is Mary? O, see the crimson dye
stream from her bosom!"
He reflected greatly upon himself because
he did not stay in Scotland and die in the defense of Mary and his tender
infant, yet he was entertained between hope and despair. He hoped that
Mary would, through the help of the Earl of D, make her escape.
The people of Eneshone began to hear news
from Scotland. Every day after Donald's fever abated, he inquired if any
of them had heard what had become of the young Earl of Blarefatte and his
His answer was that they were both
murdered by the English.
Yet Donald had a secret hope that Mary
was safe, concealed somewhere by the Earl of d.
He waited many days, but could hear
nothing authentic from Scotland.
At length he walked out of the village,
much farther than usual, meditating upon the unexpected calamities that
had of late befallen him.
He fell into soliloquy.
"Alas," said he, "is there any sorrow
compared to my sorrow, is there any affliction to exceed my affliction, is
there any lamentation more lamentable than mine? Woe is me that I did not
die in the defense of - - - - - - of my bosom."
(Page 38) When of a sudden he was
awakened by a carriage that had stopped in the road beside him. He raised
his eyes to see who had obstructed his passage, but what was his surprise
when he saw the Earl of D seated in the carriage with an English lady
seated by his side, with an infant in her arms.
Donald durst not ask the Earl before the
lady, what was the news from Scotland, but stood almost speechless and
At length he had power to speak, and
requested the Earl of D to step aside with him for a few minutes.
The Earl of D informed him that the lady
was going to the village of Eneshone, and was tired of riding, and wanted
to walk a short distance. "You may," continued he, "help the lady out of
the carriage, and you can ascent the carriage and carry her child while
she walks. Then I will tell you all you wish to hear."
The Earl took the infant from the arms of
its mother, and Donald readily took her by the hand and helped her out of
She had no sooner reached the ground than
she threw the vale (sic-JH) from her face, and Donald discovered that the
female before him was Mary.
But the joy was too sudden for Donald.
All he was able to exclaim was, "Wife of my bosom still living," and
swooned away and fell as dead on the ground.
(Page 39) The Earl and Mary greatly
regretted that they had not first prepared Donald's mind to receive such
tidings of joy. They greatly feared that Donald was dead, for he lay
senseless so long.
At length life returned, and I will leave
the reader to imagine what a joyful meeting it was between husband and
Donald asked the Earl how Mary made her
escape from Scotland.
The Earl replied, "Through my means."
"The next day after we parted, I did not
visit Mary for rear of being mistrusted. I singled out one of the Duke of
Cumberland's men for my confident. I told him how to proceed, and I
believe he did according to my orders. He was a man of fidelity, for I
had long known him in England.
I told him to go and purchase a suit of
female English apparel of Lady McDonald, who was an English lady, but who
resided in Scotland. She was very kind to the rebel party. She once
concealed the pretender.
I told him to do so in the course of the
day, and when the dusk of evening came, he must beg leave of the Duke to
go to the mansion and assassinate your wife and child, and well I knew
that the Duke would grant that request."
I further told him he must secure all the
gold and silver and place it in a trunk, but take nothing else form the
mansion leave every garment that Mary ever wore.
Then I told him where to convey Mary and
her child and the trunk of treasure.
He did all according to my orders, and
then I took them and set out for England, but the man said he must return
to the mansion and kill your old gray horse, and he would dye Mary's robe
in the blood and would show it to the Duke. 'He will certainly think,'
said he, 'I have murdered her and her child.'
When I arrived in England, my stay was
No one knew who Mary was, but everyone
thought her to be an English lady whose husband had fallen in the
conflict, and that I was going to convey her to friends in Ireland.
'So ow,' said the Earl,
I now deliver to you your wife and child both
in good health.'
'And here,' said he, ' is a trunk of
treasure that have likewise brought to you.' "
The Earl of D conveyed Donald and Mary to
the village of Eneshone, where Donald hired a house, and was enabled by
the help of the trunk of treasure to engage in merchandise.
He was known as Daniel Robinson, the
English merchant, and none knew the contrary.
The Earl tarried with them until he saw
them again returned to prosperity. Donald found himself bound in the
strong obligation of gratitude to the young Earl of D, and wanted to
recompense him for his kindness, but the Earl refused to take a penny of
him, saying it was compensation enough to see them once more restored to
peace and happiness.
So the Earl took an affectionate leave of
them, telling them to keep a record of it.
"When your little son John arrives at
manhood, you may disclose the same to him."
He then wished them all the happiness
this world could afford, and departed.
Donald and Mary would have been perfectly
happy had it not been for the sufferings of Scotland.
They expected both of their fathers would
be assassinated, for they would hear daily the cruelties the Duke of
Cumberland committed on the Scots. it was reported the Duke never took
his boots off in seven long weeks, and during that time was inflicting
every cruelty that could be done by human hands, upon the Scots.
At length the King of England called the
Duke home, but there were others left to supply his place, but there was a
considerable mitigation of the cruelties, but the persecution continued
for several years.
The King saw it would be of no benefit
for him to wholly depopulate Scotland, and as it had already been greatly
depopulated, he sen
--- Thomas Robinson---
invested with full power to make peace and
cede Scotland to England, and once more the olive branch was held by both
This Thomas Robinson was a brother of Sir
James, though he lived in England.
He pardoned every surviving Scot, and Sir
James was one of the ones who received pardon, and I believe a small part
of his inheritance was granted to him again.
But Sir Andrew McNeal made his escape and
sailed to the Island of Bermuda, and died there.
Lady McNeal left Scotland and went to
"Doubeleinn" and dwelt there, and she found out where her daughter Mary
resided, and often visited her.
How the pretender made his escape, I
shall refer to other history.
Now Donald was restored to complete
happiness. (Page 42) He was in a few years able to build a very elegant
mansion, though by no means equal to the one he had left in Scotland. It
was built of hewn stone, a little out of the village of Eneshone, where he
decorated it with a beautiful flower garden and likewise decorated it with
a row of shade trees.
Donald and Mary would often wander along
the margin of the River Rush and fancy it more beautiful than any river
they had ever seen in Scotland.
Each morn they were awakened by the
singing of birds, that were perching on the trees, or sporting in the
For all their situation was prosperous,
yet they never forgot to offer their morning and evening devotion and
return thanks to the Most High for their preservation through life.
They had an addition to their family of
one son by the name of James, and a daughter by the name of Martha, but
John, when he arrived at manhood, seemed given more to travel in strange
countries than to live a quiet life in his own.
At the age of twenty-one he engaged in
merchandise, and in a few years, he gained an ample fortune to himself.
One day his father called to him.
"John," said he "Come-go with me."
John instantly obeyed his father who had
a telescope in his hand.
They went along silently, while John was
a wondering where his father was agoing to lead him to, but at length they
came to the summit of the hill.
"Now, John," said his father, "I am going
to disclose a great secret to you, but you must not reveal it-not until
you are an old man."
Then he placed the telescope before the
eyes of John. "Now," said his father, "take a look across the Irish
Sea." (Or as it was called the North Channel).
(Page 43) After John had looked through
the telescope for a while- "Tell me what you see," said his father.
"I see," said John, "the shores of
"The land you see before you was once the
land of my nativity," said his father.
"In that very kingdom, did I receive my
birth and pass the scenes of my childhood, and likewise my youthful days
were spent there."
"And you, my son," continued he,
"received your birth in that land that you see before you. You were but
ten months old when we made our escape."
John laid aside the telescope and stood
for a while greatly astonished at his father's recital. He almost fancied
his father insane.
"How can all this be when I ever fancied
you and my mother were English people?"
"I know it my son, but we made our escape
from bloodthirsty men, and that is the cause of our concealing our
They then seated themselves under a shade
tree while his father related the whole story. They sat there till it was
On their return they saw the English news
lying on the table. John picked up the paper, and as it was brought in my
mail during the absence, he had not seen it before.
He soon discovered by the paper, that the
English colonies in America were agoing to revolt from their mother
country, and the English Parliament knew not what to do with the
rebellious country, America.
John thought within himself, that
rebellious country he would see before many years.
He soon made known his intentions to his
But his father had omitted nothing in the
education of his children, but John's education was rather superior to
that of the other two children's, for he understood six different
languages. His father could not think of parting with him.
(Page 45) John's mother called to him
one day and said to him, "My dear son, you are the child I brought with me
from the scenes of slaughter, and how often have I nursed you in the lap
of affection and caressed you in the bosom of fondness! How can you be so
ungrateful now as to leave us in our declining years?"
Her words had such an impression in the
mind of John, he then concluded to spend the remainder of his days in
Ireland. But almost six months later, he thought so much of America that
he would be forever unhappy if he would be denied the privilege of going
to the country he esteemed so highly. Then John called to both his
parents and said, "My dear and beloved parents, I have ever obeyed your
mandates. Now I beseech of you to let me go to America. I shall ever be
unhappy if you deny me of that favor."
"I shall not leave you without children.
You have a son and a daughter that will be left who can console you in the
evening of your lives."
He continued his importunes by telling
them he had no wife nor children to leave behind.
"I am," said he, "in the mercantile
business here, and I can follow the same there, and if I do not like
America, I can speedily return."
"Now," said he, "I beg of you to consent
cheerfully and let me go."
His parents saw that entreaties would
avail nothing, so they consented to let him go.
His father answered, "Yes, my son, go
try your fortune in a far distant land, and were it in my power, I would
accompany you there, but my business is such that it is impossible for me
to leave Ireland. Now, my son, you may depart with my good wishes, and
may the blessing of heaven rest upon you now."
(Page 46) "You are in the
twenty-seventh year of your age, and you have, for these six years, been
in business for yourself, and you have done very well, I think. You have
accumulated more of a financial substance than you will in six years to
come in America."
"Now," continued he, "I will double the
sum so you will not go to America poor and penniless, but you must bear in
mind that I am agoing to give you all you may ever expect to receive of
my inheritance while you live, for your brother and sister are not of so
romantic a nature as you are, and are contented to live quietly at home
with me, so I intend that shall receive all we leave, when your mother and
myself are laid under the clods of the valley."
John listened attentively, bowed and went
out of his father's presence.
He went to a harbor where he saw a
beautiful looking ship just entered the harbor from America, laden with
John went on board and asked the captain
how long he was agoing to stay in the harbor.
The captain informed him that he would
stay no longer than to dispose of his cargo, and perhaps it would be two
or three weeks before he would be ready to embark for America.
John then bargained for his passage to
America, whenever the captain was ready to sail.
John went home and made ready by turning
all his effects into gold, and when three weeks were expired, the ship was
ready to sail.
John then took an affectionate leave of
his father, mother, brother and sister, and embarked for America.
Though his mother was almost inconsolable
when she parted with him, yet he sailed with good spirits, thinking that
time would alleviate her grief.
He stood on the deck as the ship left the
harbor in order to take his leave of the land of his nativity. He kept
his eyes fixed on Ireland till the most majestic castles, the lowering
steeples of Londonderry, and the lofty mountains of Ireland were all
vanished from his sight, but the last glimpse of Ireland gave him a very
He turned around, looked upon the ocean,
but could see nothing but the foaming billows yawning before him.
He had not been long at sea when there
arose a tremendous storm. The waves rolled like mountains dashing over
the ships. Sometimes John thought the ship was agoing to the bottom, and
then it would rise again and sometimes the ship would soar aloft on the
roaring waves, and fall again on a sudden, but they had plenty of sea
room. They received no damage, but the tossing of the ship made almost
every person seasick.
There were one hundred and fifty
passengers besides John Robinson. There were some whole families amoving
John was so sick that he took his berth
one evening thinking he should never live to see the light of another
morn, but the storm abated, and the next morning, John, with the other
passengers, was greatly relieved, except for one aged female who was
amoving with her family to America. She died and was consigned to a
When John embarked, he took with him a
large chest of provisions besides the ship's allowance, which he
distributed among some of the ship's hungry passengers, whom he saw
weeping from hunger.
John then greatly regretted leaving home.
(Page 47) He then recalled the happy
scenes of his childhood, but then it was too late to retract.
The rest of the voyage was very pleasant.
He embarked on the 9th of April, 1771,
and landed in Philadelphia on the 19th of May, the same year.
It was just at the dawn of the
John took up his lodging the first night
in this city.
He arose in the morning, went to his
captain, and asked him if he was agoing to make another voyage to
Ireland. "If you are," said he, "I will be a passenger back with you
"Mr. Robinson," said the captain, "I
should be very happy to have you on board with me again, but my next
voyage is to Portugal, and since you have defrayed the expense of your
voyage so honorably, and likewise were so kind to the poor suffering
passengers, all I will ask of you now is your company, if you will
accompany me to Portugal."
John thanked the captain, but declined
They took an affectionate leave of each
He took passage and soon found himself
landed in the City of New York, where he found the people humane and
friendly to strangers.
Though John had not the solidity, neither
was he so sedate a person, nor quite so graceful in his manners, yet he
was so jovial, gay and active. His talents were brilliant and his
He very soon gained the respect of the
citizens, so he was soon employed in an apothecary store to serve as
clerk. he discharged his duty well, so that the man who employed him was
very pleased with his new clerk, so that he gave him good wage.
(Page 48) John kept his reserve in
gold continually concealed, thinking he would not engage in business till
he had formed a more extensive acquaintance.
John obeyed his father. he did not
reveal his origin, neither did he tell who his ancestors were. He
likewise concealed the nation to which he belonged. He called himself a
young Irishman who came America to try his fortune. They thought he must
be of a high rank in Ireland, for he wore a different aspect from any
Irishman they ever saw in New York.
John had not been in New York six months,
when he wrote back a very pleasing letter to his father informing him how
well he was received in American and that his prospects were very good,
and that his purse remained entire.
His father received the letter with great
joy. John did not receive an answer from his father till one year had
expired. his father wrote him then with what great joy they received his
letter and that his mother's grief was wholly subsided since she had heard
that he had crossed the Atlantic in safety, and his health and
circumstances were good.
He likewise informed him that his brother
James was then at College, and his sister was then agoing to school at
Eneshone. "And we are now," continued he, "one of the happiest of
"You wrote to me that you thought of
staying in New York till you went into mercantile business yourself. But
I think it best to remain in New York much longer, for I receive news
from the English Parliament that war is certainly inevitable. In less
than one year the British troops will be landed on the American Continent,
and as New York is the greatest commercial town in America, therefore, I
will advise you to retire to some more remote place. But, my son, if you
take any part in the struggle, take a part with the oppressed, not with
the oppressor, and if you fall in the field of battle, you will die in a
glorious cause, but I firmly trust that there is union and strength enough
in America to gain a signal victory over the forces of Great Britain,, a
victory, which if once obtained, will pour joy throughout the present age,
and will transmit its influence to generations yet unborn."
"I do not think that the war is going to
obstruct my business in the least."
"I do not think it prudent for us to hold
any further correspondence, for the seas are already infested British
ships of war, and I am fearful that this letter will be opened before it
reaches you, therefore, I omit subscribing my name. so, my dear son, do
the best you can for yourself, and accept my best wishes."
He related that he expected the English
would first land their troops in New York.
"Now," my son, remember what I have told
you of the plains of Culloden, and keep all things a secret, though in a
The letter came safely to John. He saw
that it was mailed in the south of Ireland, - he knew that his father
lived in the north of Ireland. he could not imagine where it was from.
he soon opened the letter, and by the contents he soon found that the
letter was written by his father's own hand.
(Page 49) He received it with great joy,
it being the first news he had received from Ireland, since he had left
Then John thought he would take his
father's advice. He soon informed the apothecary merchant that he could
stay no longer with him.
"Why," said the merchant, "have you ever
received any ill usage from me?"
"Not in the least," said John, "but there
is such strong talk of war, I think it prudent not to stay any longer in
The merchant then rewarded John for all
his faithful services.
Then John took his leave of the merchant,
and went eighty miles north of the city, to the county of Dutchess. It
was called Oblong or Paullingtown, where he saw a sect of people he had
never seen before. They called themselves Friends, but to the others,
there were Quakers.
He thought they were rightly called
Friends, for he never saw so friendly a people before. They were
neutrals. They took no part on either side.
It was likewise a very pleasant country,
and he thought he would take up his abode there.
The people were by no means illiterate,
and they saw something in the young Irishman, as he called himself, that
was very ingenious, though he was not of their order.
They employed him as their preceptor,
where he remained a number years.
They would pay him every quarter in
silver currency, which he did not wish to take. He would much rather they
would have kept their silver, and received his gold with usury, but their
being so independent, there was not one of those unoffending needed it,
but kindly offered to take care of his treasure for him if he wished them
John thought he was very fortunate to
find such a race (Page 50) of people, so whenever he took his lodging, he
would commit his treasure to the care of the venerable matrons, and
whenever he called for it, it would be handed to him undisturbed.
By this time the war had broken out. The
British had landed their forces in many harbors in America. New York was
then in possession of the English, but John Robinson fancied he could
remain there in safety, for he thought there was no being on earth that
would be base enough to molest or disturb such a heaven born race of
people as those Friends were.
But he was soon convinced of his error,
for he found the land pirates had no respector (JH: sic) of persons, for
they came there by night, and robbed a house of all its gold and silver
treasure. The Quakers were very rich. Not being satisfied with that
booty, they came again at noonday, and robbed another family after the
The Quakers could be compared to lambs
that were driven to the slaughter. They parted with their effects without
speaking a word, or showing the least opposition.
There were no Continental soldiers
within five miles from there. John thought it full time for him to bestir
himself in their behalf.
He dismissed his school one day, and went
where the continental soldiers were stationed.
There happened to be a number of officers
there at that time. John informed that that he thought such a harmless,
inoffensive people as the Quakers ought to be guarded by the military
strength among the rest.
John saw a very fine looking Irishman.
He was a great merchant who long resided there. The merchant saw John and
understood that John was Irishman. He went to John and spoke to him very
politely, and gave him an invitation (Page 51) to go home and tarry with
him all night. John accepted the invitation and went home with the
merchant. He introduced him to his wife and children. He had two sons
that were men, grown. They all received John with great cordiality.
The merchant ordered a splendid supper to
be made ready. After supper he showed John all his grandeur, likewise he
showed John what trust General Washington had placed in him by trusting
him with such great stores of salt and provisions for the Continental
A little before bedtime, there came a rap
at the door. The merchant bid him enter. General Washington entered.
They accosted each other with "Good Evening!"
The general informed the merchant that he
had got to leave them for a while. "I want you," said he, "to see that
the beef is all salted, and I want you to see that four loads of it are
carried to West Point, for I understand the soldiers are almost out of
"Your orders shall be obeyed," said the
merchant, "but if you go from here, you must return and take winter
quarters with me."
The general informed him that it was
uncertain where he should take winter quarters. He then told them, "Good
Night!" and returned to the garrison.
John had the pleasure of seeing the
He likewise noticed that the Commander
placed great confidence in the merchant, and he thought he could do the
same. So John thought his treasure would be more safe with the merchant
than it would be with those harmless Friends who could not keep their own
affects from the banditti, and of course, they could not keep his from
going the same way.
He placed that confidence in the
merchant, and told him his fears and intentions, if times after - - - - -
- (Page 52) to me. I can assure you it will be safe here, for there are
no banditti who durst enter our dwellings. And when times after, you can
come with me in the mercantile business."
John retired to rest and was much pleased
with the picture that was drawn before him.
But he arose early in the morning, did
not stay to breakfast, and returned to his school again.
But it was not long before he had an
opportunity of conveying his treasure to the merchant who received it with
great politeness. Then John's mind was at ease.
The place where John resided was called
Quaker Hill. When the Continental officers heard that the land pirates
had committed such bold depredations on the harmless Quakers, they
repaired immediately to the hill. A French General, Major Walker, with a
company of brave, intrepid soldiers, took up their abode on that hill.
The Friends' dwelling houses were all
very large, and the officer and soldiers resided in the same house with
the Friends. They likewise took the Friends' meeting house for a
The hill was so strongly guarded that the
banditti durst not be seen again on the hill, but turned their course
There was a man who resided in their
town, but not on the hill. His name was Nathan Pierce. He was a very
respectable and a true liberty man.
He sat by the fireside one evening with
his family, the - - -
At this point the manuscript stops, the
balance having been lost or destroyed. Copy completed, September 2, 1909.
M. B. ROBINSON
T H E
R O B I N S O N
F A M I L Y H I S T O R Y
P A R T II.
After a lapse of many years, The Robinson
Family History is again taken up by those no less interested, and of the
same blood as those who have gone before. Because of these intervening
years bringing about untold changes in national, as well as family
history, we find ourselves in a very different age, and the history
related hereinafter is of a people perhaps more practical than those who
have gone before, but who doubtless retain some of the same traits.
We greatly treasure the beautiful stories
we have just read, of which Julia Robinson is the author, and regret so
much that the first and last pages of the original have been lost or
destroyed. We are now endeavoring to establish a permanent record of
those facts upon which our history is built, and to bring the manuscript
up to date.
When we were children, and even before we
knew that such a manuscipt had been written, we heard our grandfather,
Daniel B. Robinson speak of Sir James Robinson, Lord of Blarefatte,
descendant of a King James of Scotland who is our direct ancestor.
for the history of Sir James Robinson,
and his son Donald, who in safety to himself, changed his name to Daniel
which was the English of Donald, when he escaped to Ireland after the
Battle Culloden (1746); early history of John Robinson, son of Donald,
the first to come to America (1771), - we would make reference to the
preceding manuscript, or PART I. of this book.
NOTE:- In re. Change of DONALD to DANIEL.
We are inclined to think that the name was
always DONALD, but gradually changed to DANIEL by the pronunciation. In
Ireland, DANIEL was not pronounced DANIEL as we speak it. One of our
genealogists has told us that the surname DANIEL is confused with that of
DONNELL in certain county records, which was probably DAN'L-----A
very broad. Our grandfather, whose name was Daniel, and who was also the
son of another Daniel, was always called DAN'L, with the short A,
which might very easily be the Irish pronunciation of Donald.
* * * * * * *
Tradition says that during John
Robinson's residence in Ireland, he made several voyages between Ireland
and America, with shiploads of merchandise, before he finally settled in
America. The reader may recall the words of Julia - "But when John
arrived at manhood, he seemed to be given more to travel in strange
countries than to live a quiet life in his own." After a long and
tiresome voyage of forty-one days, John Robinson landed in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, May 19th, 1771, and settled in new York in the same year.
He probably lived in what is known as
Washington Heights, now about 180th Street, New York. He was much
interested in the growth of the place and was instrumental in establishing
what was then known as Washington Academy where his son Daniel was
educated. Some of our data has been lost and so we do not know why he
left New York and took up his residence in Dutchess county. But times
were exceedingly unsettled.
We have a tradition that John served as
an aide to Washington , during the early period of the Revolutionary War,
and the following story is handed down to us: One day as John sat on a
stump, writing a message for Washington, a bullet whizzed so closely over
the written sheet that the writing dried at once. In those days, fine
sand was sprinkled from a contained to dry the ink. Not noticing the
bullet, Washington said " "Be sure to sand the sheet, John." "It's
already sanded, Sir," answered John. We have often seen the sand
container supposed to have been used by John. At any rate, in New York
State records, there is a John Robinson of Dutchess County who served in
the war , but up to the present (1920), we have not established proofs
that he is our John, but we have been told by our grandfather Danile, that
Our grandfather Daniel used to tell the
following story concerning Eunice, wife of John:
One day during the Revolutionary War,
some French troops were seen marching past the house. Eunice was very
anxious to see Lafayette, but up to this time, she had not been able to
pick him out. Finally, a number of young officers stopped at the pump to
get a drink of water. She walked out to where they stood and asked, "Has
General Lafayette passed here today?" One fine looking young officer
stepped back, made an elaborate bow and said, "I have the honor of being
the French Grenadier, madam."
So she had the privilege of meeting Major
John Robinson married Eunice Wilcox of
New York state, who was born, March 20th, 1750, and died, October 22nd,
1829, at the age of seventy-nine year, just three years before the death
of John. Julia, Daniel, Martha, Hanna and Mary were their children.
Little is known of them, more than that Julia was a writer. We have seen
and read innumerable letters, poems and manuscripts written by her and
vouched for by our grandfather. Many of these are written in blue ink,
and many of the poems are melancholy in the extreme. One we remember in
particular is an "Ode Upon the Death of my Brother," which would be
Daniel, our great grandfather.
We have record that Julia married a man
named John Warner, in 1808. Their children were ten: Mary Anne, Emeline,
Harriet M. who married Leander Benson, and Elizabeth who married Darius
Benson, his brother. There were also, Daniel, Mariah, Julia, Amanda,
Almira and Mary Jane. We hope they grew up possessing the sentimental and
poetical characteristics of their mother, who is though to have brought
this history up to the point preceding this one. But we trust their
father, John Warner, endued them with enough of the practical, that they
were well balanced, and a credit to the Robinson Family.
Martha Robinson married a man whose name
was Benedict. Mary's husband's name was Hate, and Hanna's married name
was Vail. This is all our records show concerning this family.
Our particular branch is interested in
the son Daniel, who was born in Dutchess Country, May 26th, 1790. He was
sent to Washington Academy, or College, as it was called later, near New
York, and which is now a part of New York City. He was one of the
earliest instructors at what is now known as Syracuse University. He
taught for six years. Greek, Latin, Algebra, and Civil Engineering were
some of the subjects taught. He was also county surveyor and commissioner
of deeds for several years.
He was married to Elizabeth Benedict,
daughter of Huldah Seely, who was born, March 12th 1793. Her father was
Johnathan Benedict, son of Nathaniel Benedict, a native of England. To
them were born, James, who died in Nebraska, 1891; Daniel B., John, who
also died in Nebraska, and Thomas, who died in Florence, Colorado.
In the year 1832, Daniel and Elizabeth,
with their family, moved to Erie County in Pennsylvania, taking up several
hundred acres of land, and setting up their home on what is now known as
the Crane Road, about fifteen miles from the City of Erie, and seven from
Edinboro. This home was soon known far and wide as one where
intellectual, as well as, kindly people dwelt. Not only would Daniel, but
Elizabeth, his wife, rather read a new book on psychology, solve a knotty
problem in mathematics, or study deeply into the Bible to satisfy
themselves as to the meaning of a certain passage, than do anything else.
We know also that Elizabeth not only made medicines for themselves, but
for neighbors far and near. She understood the medicinal value of many
roots and herbs, and how to combine them to advantage. We still have the
mortar and pestle she used in those by-gone days. We have often heard our
grandmother heartily denounce great grandmother Elizabeth for her manner
of house-keeping. This mattered very little to Elizabeth, if she could
engage in a debate with professors or teachers upon a subject in which she
was interested. Or if a new book came to hand, housekeeping was a small
matter, indeed. The book must be read.
But Daniel's career was cut short, by a
tree falling upon him, as he went out to look after his cattle one April
morning - April 2nd, 1852. His body was taken to Wellsburg, Pennsylvania,
where the tombstone to his memory may be seen. also that of his wife
Elizabeth, who died March 11th, 1870.
James, the eldest son, married Electa
Crosby. Their children were Huldah, George and Alice. Huldah married
Charles Kent. her children were Harry and Carrie. Carrie married and is
probably living in Colorado now. Had children. Nothing known of Harry.
George married Mary ______________. Their children were Nellie, Minnie,
Earl and Belle. Living now in Nebraska. Alice married late in life,
after the family had moved to Nebraska. She gave birth to twins and died
as did also the children.
George was thrown from an automobile, as
it turned a sharp corner, and was killed instantly. He was a fine big
specimen of a man with red hair.
John, the next son, never married. Bu he
was greatly beloved by one, Sarah Woodruff, who was faithful to him till
death. She was a great student and teacher for may years. We have some
of her sweet, modest letters to him. And we met and heard her converse
once, long ago, when her hair was white as snow, and she seemed very old
Thomas, the youngest, was born, August
16th, 1857. Died, February 2nd, 1907. He was a teacher, and married,
Dorcas Purvis of Marion, Indiana. Their children were Ida, Merrit Burtus,
Frank, and Harry. They also adopted a daughter, Emma Wilkinson. Burtus
and Harry live in California, and Emma in Brooklyn, New York.
Thomas married again, Harriet J. McCombs,
of Titusville, Pennsylvania, who gave birth to two daughters - Laura, who
married Donald Brynor (gave birth to twins and died), and Jane, who lives
in Montana, unmarried (1920). This wife died about 1897.
Thomas married the third time - late in
life, but this woman's name we do not know. She was of Colorado.
Ida died at three years of age, from
drinking an alkali, which was being used for cleaning purposes.
M. Burtus married Carrie Lobach of
Florence, Colorado. Their children are Frank C., born February 25th,
1893, Edwin L., August 9th, 1894, Gertrude, August 8th 1896, Florence
Dorcas, January 30th, 1899.
Frank, second son of Thomas, died in
California. Harry is married to Laura _______________, and has one child,
Rebecca. They live at Crockett, California.
Daniel Burgess Robinson, the third son of
Daniel Robinson, and Elizabeth Benedict, was born on the shores of Otisco
Lake, Onondaga County, New York, July 22nd, 1823. We have often heard him
speak of the reddish rocks across the lake from his home, and of the
wonderful echo. For some reason, which we do not know, the family seems
to have resided in several small towns in this vicinity. Moving to Tully,
when Daniel was six years old is mentioned. The towns of Spafford and
Soland are also named. His grandfather John is buried at Pompey. In his
eleventh year at his home in Soland, he fell from a tree, upon a scythe,
cutting ligaments of the knee, which made him lame for the rest of his
life. He attended the village school, and at the age of fifteen, entered
the Fabins Township Academy. Here he attended for three years, graduating
in Belles-Lettres, elements of elocution, also having studied penmanship
under Spencer. Upon leaving this school, a professorship was conferred
upon him. He at once took up work for the American Tract Society, which
he continued until moving with his parents to Erie County, in 1844. Here
he began school teaching, which he continued until 1873. In the year 1859
he met and married Mary Crosby. Of her birth and childhood we know little
more than she was of New York State, and that she was born in Wales
Township, Erie County, New York. She was one of three children, John and
Electa being the others. This father and mother died leaving these
children without a relative to care for them, so they were taken into the
home of a family named Engle. They must have been kind, indeed, for we
have heard their praises over and over, and never a word of criticism.
Mary taught school a number of years in
New York State. When she was past twenty-one years of age, she undertook
what was then a great trip - to visit her sister Electa, who had married
James, brother of Daniel. Their home was on a part of James' father's
One day as Mary came into the house, she
beheld what she afterwards said, was the most handsome young man she had
ever seen, with such back curly hair, and the appearance of a scholar.
This was Daniel. It must have been love at first sight, for many a time
he told of the beautiful brown-eyed, rosy-cheeked girl who came tripping
into the room.
He was so attracted that from that day,
he paid her every attention, writing poetry and making love, till she
"could not be rid of him," so she said.
During this time she was teaching school
in and about the neighborhood (certificates from school directors in
After Daniel had persuaded her to marry
him, she decided to make a trip home, while he built a house. Daniel
accompanied her to Erie, where she must take the canal for Buffalo, and
thence home by stage. On their way, they stopped at Wellsburg and were
married. The little house still stands (1920) across the road from the
cemetery where they lie side by side, as they ever walked through their
married life of nearly sixty years.
Mary reached Holland Village where she
taught for a time, while Daniel busied himself about building a suitable
home for his bride. he bought a small portion of land on the Crane Road ,
which is now known as the North Road. When completed, the house was
thought to be the most comfortable and convenient in the whole
neighborhood. Soon Mary returned and often have we heard her tell of her
wedding clothes - the nicest ever seen in that vicinity. her bonnet was
her especial pride - made of brown silk, in scoop shape, with flowers and
ribbons on it. Her beautiful shawl was finally worn out by her baby and
grandchildren being wrapped in it.
The household linens were all hand-spun
and woven; the blankets made from wool of the family sheep - sheared,
carded, spun and woven by members of the family. The house was modestly
furnished - the four poster bed, the hand-made table, the few chairs, the
spinning and flax wheels, the churn and only those things which were
necessary. Bur always a book-case and books, books, books. So they began
their little home, and in due time their baby was born, October 21st,
1851. The night of his birth, the doctor came many miles, the baby was
born and the tired physician laid himself down to rest, but never opened
his eyes again to the things of earth, for in the morning he was found in
that sleep from which one wakes no more.
The baby grew and thrived, however, and
such nursing, coddling, and love as was lavished upon the child! He was
the first and last thought of each day through the rest of her life. How
she craved the best for him!
She firmly believed that cleanliness was
next to Godliness, and how beautifully spotless everything was kept! She
was fond of the beauty of cleanliness and order, and of good clothing,
good manners and breeding. She was always very particular about good
breeding, and if there ever was a real aristocrat, it was she. If she
heard of evil-doing or hypocrisy of any kind to her thinking, it was all
due to being ill-bred. "Bad blood in the family" was her comment. She
was very careful of her personal appearance - skin and hair receiving
special attention every day.
Her love for her family was her ruling
passion, and her thought of them and doing for them was her chief end and
aim in life. Was the weel (JH: sic) of the sheep better or finer than
usual -- it was not the price it would bring, but the beautiful stockings
it would make for the grandchildren. Was the fruit fine, - how good
would be the jelly or preserves, or how well it could be dried for the
family. Was the cream heavier than last month - the fine, sweet butter
for the children.
She may not have had many of the luxuries
of life, but her home was always one where the neighbors loved to gather,
where they could always obtain help, where discussion of the topics of the
day, religion, politics, and education took place, daily. She was Aunt
Mary to every one in the neighborhood.
The gentle-spoken, loving, beautiful
brown-eyed little mother and grandmother! She left her earthly home,
October 1906, at the age of eighty-three.
In the year 1859, month of November,
Daniel departed for Wellington, Desha County, Arkansas, where he taught
and worked among the Arapaho Indians. He had obtained a license and had
preached to the poor whites of the South. not liking the absence from his
family, he returned in about a year and again took up teaching. At this
time he was given his share of his father's estate, and he built a new
home, larger and better equipped than the old one. A saw and grist mill
and store were built near, and enough houses were built, that the place
was worthy of a name, so Daniel called it "Mohawk Mills." He helped about
building a church one mile from here (Baptist). He was the Sabbath School
Superintendent for forty years. he also served as town clerk, treasurer
and collector. He was for ten years, school inspector of Franklin
Township, and school director many terms.
It was due, partially to his efforts,
that the Edinboro State Normal School was built upon the site of Edinboro.
In politics he was a Republican, and
wrote many songs and verses which were used during presidential
campaigns. He wrote for papers and magazines, and was the author of the
Robinson Lightning Calculator, an arithmetic considerably used at one
time. He lived to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest citizen of the
After the death of Mary, he came to
Coraopolis, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he spent his remaining
days with his son and family, retaining his faculties wonderfully well to
the last. He read, studied and meditated much. His Bible was his daily
companion. His physical condition was always good, and his last days were
spent in peace and quiet. No aches nor pains, no indigestion nor
rheumatism. His eyesight became so good during the last years of his
life, he needed no glasses for reading. Only one week was he confined to
his bed, and he suffered not at all. He spoke often of his beloved Mary,
and shortly before leaving his earthly body, said, "Mary, Oh Mary, I'm
coming, Mary." Early Easter Monday morning April ___, he passed gently
and peacefully out to meet his loved one. He was eighty-seven years of
age. While he had never been anxious about this world's wealth, and while
he may not have accomplished any very great deeds, as the world judges, if
it were not for pioneers such as he, in church and school building, in
teaching the young, and inculcating nothing but good, the world would not
have progressed to its present state of culture.
Marquis Darius, son of Daniel and Mary,
early learned the privations of a son of a poor school teacher. The
father seemed to think hard knocks good for a boy, and although his mother
shielded him in every way she could, many a sound thrashing he received.
No doubt, Marquis or Mark as he was called, was as many another boy, fond
of adventure, and it was next to impossible to keep him in school, for he
ran away day after day to ride to town on a load of lumber, or grain. He
was severely punished, to the great sorrow of his mother. But it seems
his pleasures would have been few if he had not gotten them himself.
He had for his closest companion, George,
whose mother was his mother's sister, and whose father was his father's
brother. George was a fine big red-headed fellow, full of life and fun,
and whatever he did, seemed right and good to Mark, who was younger.
With George, returning from town one day,
he beheld the first locomotive and train of cars he had ever seen. This
was near Albion, Pennsylvania. They were driving a yoke of oxen. When
they came to the tracks, they lashed the team over the crossing, feeling
as if they were taking their very lives in their hands, to even dare such
a fearful deed. As soon as they were across, they paid no more attention
to the team, but just waited for the train. Elijah and his chariot of
fire in the heavens would have seemed mild to this fearful, puffing,
snorting, red-wheeled monster as it came dashing through at such a speed
as those boys had never dreamed possible. After the last sound of it had
died away, they looked for the oxen, but no team was to be found, and the
poor, tired little boys must walk all the six miles home!
At the age of twelve, much against the
wishes of his mother, the boy started out in the world, by way of the
canal running from Erie to Pittsburgh. Here he engaged as driver of the
horses on the tow-path. He worked at first, mostly at night. Imagine, if
you can, the dark night, and the wee boy astride the last horse, keeping
him well in the path, and going at a steady pace. Though perhaps small of
stature and tender of years, a manly heart beat in the young breast. In
spite of rough treatment and hard knocks, the wisdom beyond his years and
the gentle breeding of his mother kept him cheerful and good, and always
ready for whatever came next. During summers, till about eighteen years
of age, he worked on the canal. At one time he and his cousin George,
being joint owners of a boat, and making good their investment. In this
way, he was able to bring to his mother, many luxuries she had never
before possessed. These homecomings were ever her source of delight.
Winters, he worked for neighboring farmers, or cut and sawed logs for the
mill, his father only farming in a small way, letting his farm and
orchards out in shares, as he was always teaching or holding public
office. At the age of nineteen, he went to Titusville, Pennsylvania,
where Thomas, his father's brother, taught him the process of refining
The first oil well had been drilled in
this vicinity by Colonel Drake in 1859, and the oil industry was now a
growing one. The oil business interested Mark, intensely, and he rapidly
went forward in this field. He always found a guide or helper in his
Uncle Thomas, whose home was always open to the young man and whose wife,
Dorcas, took a motherly interest in him.
In the refinery (Bennett & Warner) there
was a man by the name of Hugh Gillis, who took him to his home, where he
met Catherine Flora MacQuarrie, and in a short time, February 18th, 1875,
Flora and Mark went to house-keeping in a
modest way, but a panic came, and they went to Mark's boyhood home to live
for a while. Here, on May the 8th, 1876 (with snow on the ground) their
first child was born. Mabel Marion, she was named by her grandfather
Daniel. When the child was three months old, they returned to Titusville,
where Mark again took up the oil business. His salary was good and he was
steadily advanced. They moved to a house on the north side of Spruce
Street, between Martin and Drake, where Church Run crosses Spruce Street,
next to the well known Coombs property. Here in 1878, their son and heir,
Ellsworth Darius was born. Though perhaps slowly, Mark was always
progressing. About 1882, he was sent to Cuba of the West Indies, where he
was superintendent of a Standard Oil refinery at a place called Cherero,
about three miles from Havana.
The crude oil was shipped from the United
States (thus avoiding high duty) in five gallon cans, unloaded by the
natives, and refined. A year on the Island satisfied Mark, so in May of
the following year, he returned to the United States.
For many years, he was Superintendent of
the Rice, Robinson & Withrop refinery and the Climax.
On March 2nd, 1885, on Pine Street, now
known as Central Avenue, just east of its intersection with Spring Street,
Ovid Daniel, his second son was born.
In the spring of 1990, the family moved
to #172 W. Walnut Street, a home of their own, bought from one Robert
In 1893 a partnership was taken in the
Western Refining Company, but this proved disastrous, as a terrible fire
and flood came upon the town, which completely destroyed the refinery.
There was a sharp struggle for a time, but soon he became settled as
Superintendent of the Climax Gasoline Refinery and later found he could
better himself by coming to Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, which he did in July
1900. Here he built the Lake Carrier Oil Works, later known as the
Vulcan. He also built a refinery in Kansas about 1902, and the first
independent refinery west of the Mississippi River.
After the business of his sons became
established, he associated with them, as Director of the Robinson Oil
Company, also assisting in the plans of the Riverside Oil Company. His
long and varied experiences were invaluable to "the boys", both in the
construction of the plants, and in the operation of the companies.
During this period, he became somewhat
interested in the producing of oil, and promoted several small drilling
Companies, drilling in different parts of Butler County. He was
successful in these ventures, selling out his interest at profit about
1918. After this time, he partially retired, doing only such things as
particularly interest him. He has the joy of looking over a life well
spent, and deserves the peace and comfort such a life gives.
His home is at the corner of Seventh
Avenue and Main Street, Coraopolis, Pa.
Catherine Flora Robinson, nee MacQuarrie,
was born at Cape Breton, a small Island just off the coast of Nova
Scotia. Her father's farm was near the village of Port Hastings. She was
one of six children, five daughters and one son - Sarah, Annie B., Mary,
Catherine, Flora, Rosy Annabel, and Neil.
Sarah married Hugh Gillis. Their
children were seven: Effie, May, Lina, Alice, Edna, Myrtle and Hugh.
Annie B. married John Woodbury of
Massachusetts. Three children were their: Mary Anne, Etta and Stearns.
(JH note: Mary Anne was mother of Helen Sears who was mother of Marianna
Moody, our Manchester cousin-I think Marianna once referred to her
grandmother as Marianna, not Mary Anne.)
Mary's husband was Samuel Chase. One
child only, was born to them. Her name was Sarah. (JH note: My mother
has indicated in the margin that she was mother of Dorothy Yerg of Warren,
Samuel Turner was Annabel's husband.
They had Claud, Willard and Harold
Neil, the son, was father of six
children: Ethel, Flora, Myrtle, Sarah, Neil and Allan.
Catherine Flora has amused her children
and grandchildren with the many stories of her early life on Cape Breton
Island, where with the large family of girls, they necessarily did a great
deal of out-door work. Their father, Allan, worked at his shipbuilding
trade the greater part of the time, but he was bothered much with
rheumatism, and on account of his health the family finally left the
Island and came to the State of Massachusetts, removing at once to
Pennsylvania, as related hereinafter.
Conditions on the Island were primitive
indeed. The schools were poor, and the children did about as they pleased
when they attended. The only text books they had were the Bible and the
Psalm Book, and our mother, Flora, first learned to read from the Bible.
The people were Puritanical in their religion and the Sabbath was strictly
observed. No wood or water could be carried. Everything for the meals
must be made as nearly ready as possible on the day before. The children
must sit with their hands folded, and read only the Bible. Each child had
its work to do during the week, and it must be done perfectly, for Allan,
their father, was a strict task master, and only the best was expected or
accepted. There was wood to chop, water to bring, stock to be cared for,
and cooking, mending, spinning and knitting, and each must do a part. No
doubt this regular, busy, and so much out-of-door life gave this family
their splendid physique. There was no sign of disease or ailment among
The people of the Island were very
clannish, like their Scottish ancestors, always helping each other. They
gathered together for all kinds of celebrations - barn raisings, corn
husking, etc. and great fun they had! In nearly every instance, there
were from eight to ten children in the family, and as the children in the
different families had the same names, confusion was avoided by
associating with their names, that of their father or mother, as,
John-Uncle Allan, or Mary-Auntie Belle.
Their farm being on the coast, the
children played a good deal on the shore. One of the most interesting
stunts of the older children was to entice the lobsters out from under the
rocks with their bare toes, and then capture them in the shallow water.
Most of the boys followed the sea, either
on the large sailing vessels or on small fishing boats. They brought in
large catches of herring and mackerel, so of course, every family had
plenty of fish salted down for winter.
When the family came to the United
States, they sailed on a vessel belonging to one of their friends, and the
trip for the family with their baggage cost them nothing. It must have
been a long, long trip to them, as it took them ten days in going from
Port Hastings to Boston, Massachusetts. From Boston, they continued to
Titusville, Pennsylvania, where they made their home on what is now known
as the South Side, and did much toward developing that part of the town.
We do not have any recollection of
grandfather, but we do remember the kindly ways of Sarah, our
grandmother. We recall how she used to sing Gaelic songs, and clap her
hands together for us to dance.
He died in 1880 (?) and Sarah in 1882
(?). They were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Good parents and good citizens! They bought up their children, and were
faithful in all things, and their memory is a pleasant one.
Catherine Flora, or "Florrie," as she has
been called ever since Mark began to do so, is like her father and mother
- tall, with brown hair and eyes.
Primarily, she has always been a home
maker, looking carefully after her house and family. She has always been
a great manager, very capably looking after the household finances, making
the money go just as far as it could possibly reach, and at the same time,
not being too saving. These things, she taught her children in their
youth, and whatever success they may attain is, to a great extent, owing
to her lessons in thrift and economy.
She has always loved company, and her
children were encouraged to bring their friends home with them. She was
anxious to meet their new companions, and she was quick to discern those
whom she wished her children to associate with. When they were old enough
to go out to spend the evening, the first thing to be done, upon their
return home (She was invariably awakened at the turn of the door knob) was
to tiptoe into her bedroom, sit down on the edge of the bed, and tell of
the events of the evening. This was always part of an evening's pleasure
- to tell it all over again to mother.
"Mark and Florrie" have ever been home
and church-loving people, and their influence, both over their children
and friends, will continue on and on. Their children rise up with one
accord and call them "Blessed."
Mabel Robinson Stone, Ellsworth D.
Robinson and Ovid D. Robinson, the children of Marquis D. and Catherine
Flora Robinson, are living happily with their families, close to their
parents. In the interest of preserving the family history, we have begun
theirs, but ordinarily it does not seem proper to write histories of those
still in their prime, so we are omitting it here, leaving it to be written
a little later in their lives. May the history be taken up by each
generation, while facts are easier to obtain.
May we ever be a worthy and kindly
people, and our family forever proud of the good old name of "Robinson!"
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