Item #55721 Correspondence of attorney Thomas Drew Robinson, primarily to the Brown Family, 1855-1861, with some letters in response. Thomas Drew Robinson.
Correspondence of attorney Thomas Drew Robinson, primarily to the Brown Family, 1855-1861, with some letters in response.

Correspondence of attorney Thomas Drew Robinson, primarily to the Brown Family, 1855-1861, with some letters in response.

Twenty-two (22) autograph letters, various sizes, totaling 71 pages, 9 with envelopes; folds, overall very good to fine. Bright ink and legible. Thomas Drew Robinson was born in 1828 in Middleborough, Mass. of Dr. Morrill and Mary (Shaw) Robinson. He graduated with a law degree from Brown University in 1849 and set up practice in New Bedford, Mass. He later moved to New York City to set up a new practice there. It is likely that the Browns knew Robinson through the University. The collection includes drafts of seven personal letters written by Robinson to relatives and friends: Caroline Colby (2), Averick Colby Kielblock (2), Mrs Coffin (1), Mrs C or H. (1), Rush Hawkins (1). The remaining letters were written to him by General Rush C. Hawkins (1) (Ann Mary Brown's husband), John Carter Brown (1), Ann Mary Brown (1) "C.M. Brown", very likely Caroline Mathilde Brown (6), and A.B. Hawkins, likely Albert B. Hawkins b. 1815 (1), and Caroline Colby (5). These letters were written when Robinson was about 28 years old and a bachelor. Caroline Mathilde Clements (ca. 1809-1879) of Dover, New Hampshire, married Nicholas Brown III (1792-1859). Five letters in this correspondence were written to Robinson while she was summering at their home called "Choppequonsett"--affectionately "Choppi"- which was set on Gaspee Point in Narragansett Bay, and one letter was written from Florence, Italy. Robinson was sending gifts and there are other indications that she was purchasing items to add to his various collections--he was a known orchid collector and perhaps of antiques. Caroline was in her late 40s when she sent these rather flirtatious letters to Robinson. In August of 1856, Robinson has apparently sent Caroline some sea shells and she thanks him: "Is it not strange these little delicate forms, preserve their rich tints, after being torn from their beds, and buried in sand, earth's most unstable foothold--and appear unsullied to deck a ladies cabinet?...many thanks for this precious gift..." "Chappi Sept 15, 1856. My Dear Sir: The prints you sent me were very beautiful, thousand thanks--I have transferred them to the -ov [?] tho' as yet, I have not ventured to paint it, for fear it will turn out like the other, that you saw. I was in hopes to have seen you yesterday. I don't believe that you were in better company--Don't wound myself love by saying, with that meaning smile--'yes, but I was!'. I know full well the charms of N-Bedford ladies yet I am not inclined to yield one iota even to 'sweet sixteen'--this question puzzles you I also know, but then remember Dame Nature has not made you an amateur of the fair sex, as I told you, with other faults of your cranium!....Lord of heaven! don't think me mad, I assure you I have as much sense now, as I ever had, that you will say is 'precious little'! I have just thought of it--do you ever read your letters to your friends? if so, pray tell me and I will be more dignified in future, as I am a little to be called a - no - no- not a blue! yet for the life of me, I cannot find another word to replace that--To be serious one moment- AM [her daughter Ann Mary] says 'Mama don't forget to send my regards... Carter enters College tomorrow--therefore will not go to N York with us--Did not you tell me you disliked long letters? then I will tell you...I am your very best friend CM Brown." Two other letters to Robinson describe her travels to Quebec and then to Rome. The last letter is from 1860, addressed to Robinson in New York and asks him to call on her at the Newgate Hotel "about dinner time". Robinson married Mary Loomis Brooks sometime after 1863. Caroline's daughter, Ann Mary Brown, married Rush Christopher Hawkins (1831-1920) in 1860. In 1861, General Rush C. Hawkins writes a rather amusing letter to Robinson from Camp Butler, Newport News, Virginia July 4, 1861, in the midst of the Civil War: "Dear Robinson How are you and how are you getting along? Tell me do the days of thinning still continue is the bank account low and my old friend mokeiferous [?] and frisky? ... I suppose at any rate my friend R is still oleaginous and still kind to his friends. With me all things are changed...I have laid down the crook and pruning fork for the sword. I have banished from my mind all thoughts of good dinners and I'm on salt horse and pork and beans, with E. Pluibus Unum written on all my baggage. From a poor miserable son of Themis I have become a willing follower of Mars; the last is more the name than the occupation at present, we do no fighting...On the opposite side of the river from us the Rebels have any number of batteries and today while we were firing the national salute, they were firing their salute of nine guns, we included their nine in our thirty three, so you see that although we are ready and willing to cut each other's throats, we still remember the day [July 4], and so do they." Robinson's response to Rush is dated N.Y. July 10, 1861: "My dear Rush, hail most renowned & unapproachable warrior--I have smoked my pipe anew and by leave to report the pipe & the rest of the family in an E pluribus unum state. I should like to take one look at ye great unterrified so warlike in the melting heat, in fact I now see you through the waving curls of smoke of my new huge meerschaum...the great pulse [of the] beating heart of the North is with you. To your brave hands we betrust the Star Spangled banner & the 4th of July--let the vision of 160 acres of land in the perspective beyond Chicago rekindle your patriotism. Brothers in arms great deeds wait for you. Hurry your grub consume your whiskey & make the Palmetto state & any other man sing Hail good fellow take care of yourself--remember Ellsworth & also that bravery which is worth anything in a general must consort with prudence--recklessness is no adjunct of courage & too often imperils it." Ann Mary and Caroline (Carrie) Brown (1841-1892) were granddaughters of Nicholas Brown, Jr., who had given Brown University $5,000 and his name in 1804, and were the daughters of Nicholas Brown III (1792-1859) of Providence and Caroline Mathilde Clements (ca. 1809-1879) of Dover, New Hampshire. This family lived in Tappan, New York, but in 1845, when Ann Mary was eight and Carrie four, President Polk appointed their father as US Consul-General in Rome, and the family moved abroad. Ann Mary and Carrie were first educated in convents in Rome and Geneva. After Ann Mary graduated from Madame Arlaud's School in Geneva in 1854, the family moved back to Rhode Island, where they kept a city home in Providence, Horace Mann Hall at George and Prospect Streets, now a part of the Brown University Campus. "General Christopher Rush Hawkins often blamed these childhood sojourns in Europe for the continued respiratory ailments from which his beloved wife, Ann Mary Brown Hawkins, and also his sister-in-law, Carrie, of whom he was very fond, suffered during their lives. Carrie Brown married the Italian Count Bajnotti, a Foreign Affairs officer, and moved to Europe, living in St. Petersburg, Rome and Paris. She died in Palermo in 1892." [] A letter from John Carter Brown II addressed to Robinson who was at the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York in 1856: "I shall not describe the pleasure your letter occasioned and the news of your (may be so called) miraculous escape from injury on board the E.S. and by which accident had the weather been favorable might have caused a frightful loss of life. Mother & Ann Mary are anxious that you should not misunderstand me so I shall repeat that I shall be at the City Hotel Sunday morning (while the good people are at church) in my own buggy & my new hoss. So drive you down here so we shall have the whole day before us to enjoy lawyer style..." Other letters are apparent drafts to Caroline Colby (1831-1879) and her sister Averick (1835-1865). They were daughters of Hon. Harrison Gray Otis Colby and Jane Standish Parker. Harrison Colby was also a graduate of Brown University and became Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Massachusetts. The family lived in New Bedford. Averick later married Franz Kielblock, a professor of music who lived in Newport and New Bedford. Mrs. Coffin is likely a relative of the Colbys. One of the letters from Robinson states that he is not engaged to Caroline Colby and remaining letters seem to refer to similar emotional entanglements and misunderstandings. Item #55721

Price: $1,800.00

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