Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ROBINSON, Samuel, soldier, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 4 April, 1707; died in London, England, 27 October, 1767. His father, of the same name, was the third son of William Robinson, one of the early Cambridge colonists, and who, it is said, was a kinsman of Reverend John Robinson, of Leyden, pastor to the pilgrims that came in the "Mayflower." In 1736 Samuel settled in Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he was selectman ten years, assessor three years, and town-clerk four years, and a deacon of the church. From 1755 till 1759 he commanded a company in the French war. On his return to Massachusetts from one of his campaigns, mistaking his route, he passed by accident through what is now Bennington, Vermont, and, impressed by the attractiveness of the country, determined to settle there. He formed a company at Hardwick, purchased the rights of the original grantees of lands, and, taking a colony with him in 1761, settled Bennington, this being the first town in what is now Vermont. He "was the acknowledged leader in the band of pioneers in the settlement of the town, and continued to exercise a controlling influence in its affairs during the remainder of his life." Governor Wentworth commissioned him, 8 February, 1762, a justice of the peace, and he was then the first person that was appointed to a judicial office within the limits of that territory. He was chosen to present a petition to the king for relief during the controversy between New York and New Hampshire regarding jurisdiction, and reached London in February, 1767. His mission was partially successful, but it was left incomplete by his sudden death from small-pox. He was buried in the cemetery connected with the church of his favorite preacher, Reverend George Whitefield, and a monument with an elaborate inscription was erected to his memory in the cemetery at Bennington Centre.--His son, Samuel, soldier, born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 9 August, 1738; died in Bennington, Vermont, 3 May, 1813, at the age of seventeen was a member of his father's company, and the next year was adjutant of Colonel Ruggles's regiment. He accompanied his father to Bennington, and was active in the New York controversy and in the affairs of the town. He commanded a company in the battle of Bennington, performed other military services during the Revolution, and rose to the rank of colonel. In 1777-'8 he had charge, as overseer, of the Tory prisoners, in 1779-'80 he represented the town in the assembly, and he was for three years a member of the board of war. He was the first justice of the peace appointed in town under the authority of Vermont in 1778, and was also during the same year one of the judges of a special court. Colonel Robinson was one of the few persons who managed a correspondence with the British general Haldimand during the Revolutionary war, securing Vermont from invasion.--Another son, Moses, governor of Vermont, born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 15 March. 1741; died in Bennington, Vermont, 26 May, 1818, removed to Bennington with his father, and became one 6f the foremost citizens of Vermont. He was chosen town-clerk at the first meeting of the town, and served for nineteen years; was colonel of the militia, and at the head of his regiment at Mount Independence on its evacuation by Gem St. Clair, and was a member of the council of safety at the time of the battle of Bennington and during the campaign of that year. He was appointed the first chief justice of the supreme court of Vermont, which office he held for ten years. In 1789 he became the second governor of the state. In 1782 he was one of the agents of Vermont to the Continental congress, and on the admission of Vermont into the Union he became in 1791 the first, United States senator, serving until 1796. He was a warm friend of Madison and Jefferson, and bitterly opposed Jay's treaty. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Yale in 1789, and by Dartmouth in 1790.--Another son, David, soldier, born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 4 November, 1754; died in Vermont, 11 December, 1843, removed to Bennington with his father in 1761. While his brother Moses was on duty at the Catamount tavern as one of the committee of safety, David and his brothers Leonard and Silas were in the Bennington battle, as members of the company that was commanded by their brother Samuel. Afterward, by regular promotion, David attained to the rank of major-general of Vermont militia, which post he held from 1812 till 1817. He was sheriff of the county for twenty-two years, ending in 1811, after which he was United States marshal for Vermont for eight years. He was a member of the Constitutional convention in 1828. -Another son, Jonathan, senator, born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 24 August, 1756, died in Bennington, Vermont, 3 November, 1819, received a classical education, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practised in Bennington. He was town-clerk six years, in the legislature thirteen years, chief justice of the state from 1801 till 1807, and, when his predecessor on the bench, Israel Smith, resigned his seat in the United States senate, was elected to serve through the unexpired term, and on its conclusion was reelected, serving from 26 October, 1807, till 2 March, 1815. In the latter year he became judge of probate and held the office for four years, and in 1818 again represented Bennington in the legislature. The honorary degree of A. B. was conferred on him by Dartmouth in 1790, and that of A. M. in 1803.--The grandson of Moses, John Stamford, governor of Vermont, born in Bennington, Vermont, 10 November, 1804; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 24 April, 1860, was graduated at Williams in 1824, studied law in Bennington, was admitted to the bar in 1827, and took a high position among the lawyers of the state. He was a member of the legislature for many terms, and was elected governor in 1853 as a Democrat on joint ballot of the two houses, there being no choice by the people. His party had not elected a candidate before for forty years. He was frequently a Democratic candidate for congress. He was a delegate to the National Democratic convention in 1860, and died during its sessions.
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