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Robinson Family Papers

Call Number

MS 520, MS 2309


1822-1966 (Bulk 1860-1940), inclusive



7 Linear feet (17 boxes and 4 volumes)

Language of Materials

The documents in the collection are in English.


The Robinson Family Papers document the immediate family of Dr. Beverley Robinson, his wife Anna Foster Robinson, their children Beverley R., Herman, Pauline, and Anna Robinson, and some extended family members. The collection includes correspondence, scrapbooks, dairies, photographs, and volumes related to the relations and travels of the Robinson family.

Historical Note

Missing Title

1844 Beverley Robinson born in Philadelphia to Moncure Robinson and Charlotte Randall Taylor Robinson.
1845 Anna E. Foster born in New York City to Herman Ten Eyck Foster and Mary Pauline Lentilhon Foster.
1862 Beverley Robinson graduates from the University of Pennsylvania.
1863 Beverley Robinson enlists as a private in the State Militia and fights in the Gettsburg campaign. After his campaign is over, he moves to Paris.
1864 Beverley Robinson begins his study of medicine in Paris. He is later the first American to receive a French medical degree.
1872 Anna E. Foster helps establish the Monday Sewing Class, a group of women who sew clothes for charity. She becomes the group's first President.
1875 Dr. Beverley Robinson and Anna E. Foster are married.
1876 Beverley R. Robinson is born.
1878 Herman Foster Robinson is born.
1882 Pauline Lentilhon Robinson is born.
[18??] Anna Foster Robinson is born.
1898 Beverley R. and Herman Robinson graduate from Harvard University.
[1900] Herman Robinson receives his law degree and passes the bar. It is unclear where he studied law.
1901 Beverley R. Robinson receives his law degree from Columbia Law School.
June 1903 Herman Robinson dies of suicide at the age of 25 of a gun shot wound in the head. The body is found after his brother, Beverley R., receives a letter from Herman instructing him where to find it. His death is reported in The New York Times and on the front page of The New York Tribune and The Sun.
November 1903 Beverley R. Robinson is elected Alderman of the New York City 27th District on the Citizen's Union and Republican Party ticket.
1904-1906 Beverley R. Robinson serves on the Board of Alderman.
1907-1909 Beverley R. Robinson represents the New York City 27th District as Republican Assemblyman.
[1910-1921] Beverley R. Robinson marries Gladys Endicott. Anna F. Robinson marries Arthur W. Butler. Pauline Robinson never marries.
1921 Anna E. Foster Robinson dies.
[1922] Pauline Robinson becomes President of the Monday Sewing Class.


The collection is organized by family member, family, or type of material.

The Robinson Family Papers have been organized into the following series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Pauline Lentilhon Robinson (1885-1959)
  2. Series II: Anna Foster Robinson (1852-1921)
  3. Series III: Dr. Beverley Robinson (1862-1922)
  4. Series IV: Beverley R. Robinson (1880-1926)
  5. Series V: Herman Foster Robinson (1893-1903)
  6. Series VI: Anna Robinson Butler (1896-1920)
  7. Series VII: Extended Robinson Family Members (1881-1949)
  8. Series VIII: Robinson Family Documents (1901-1921)
  9. Series IX: Foster Family (1843-1908)
  10. Series X: Lentilhon Family (1824-1897)
  11. Series XI: Smith Family (1822-1903)
  12. Series XII: Ten Eyck Family (1854)
  13. Series XIII: Family Genealogies (1875-1896)
  14. Series XIV: Charities (1872-1952)
  15. Series XV: Visual Materials [1864-1966]
  16. Series XVI: Printed Material (1868-1941)
  17. Series XVII: Unidentified Writings (1863-1949)
  18. Series XVIII: Clippings (1870-1956)

Scope and Content Note

The Robinson Family Papers mainly document the immediate family of Dr. Beverley Robinson, his wife Anna Foster Robinson, and their children Beverley R., Herman, Pauline, and Anna Robinson. Although members of the extended family are represented, most of the correspondence, scrapbooks, dairies, photographs, and volumes in the collection relate to the work and travels of this immediate family. The collection is organized by family member, related family members, and charities. Unidentified items are grouped according to type of material. Some of the letters are in French.

The family member who is most represented in the collection is Pauline Robinson. The letters received by Pauline Robinson, daughter of Dr. Beverley Robinson and Anna Foster Robinson, as well as her scrapbooks and memorabilia, constitute a large amount of the collection. Her scrapbooks include documentation from society and charity functions such as invitations, pictures, programs, and lists of guests. Most of the other family members are represented in the collection only through their correspondence and memorabilia.

Other notable items include the elder Beverley Robinson's letters home while he was studying medicine in France and letters from Herman and Beverley R. to their mother Anna describing time spent with Teddy Roosevelt when President McKinley was assassinated. The collection also contains scrapbooks of letters to Beverley R. and the Robinson family expressing sympathy over the suicide of Herman. Almost all of the information on the suicide of Herman is located within these scrapbooks.

The collection supports research on upper class society, particularly women, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Pauline Robinson's scrapbooks document the social life of a young debutante and the society parties, trips, and amusements she attended. The collection also has a significant amount of material on upper class women's charity work. The correspondence and scrapbooks explain the social problems addressed by the various forms of community work and the expectations of the programs. Some of the materials also document the attitudes of the women involved in the charities towards the immigrant or lower class beneficiaries of the charities, and the women's troubles dealing with bureaucratic city agencies. Since most of the letters are among immediate and extended family members, the collection also documents general family relationships. This is best shown in the letters to the family after the death of Herman.

The collection contains little material on Dr. Beverley Robinson's life as a doctor and Beverley R Robinson's work as an attorney. There is also no information on the elder Beverley Robinson's time on the Gettysburg campaign. Women, if married, are included under their last married surname.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Robinson Family Papers, MS 520 and MS 2309, the New-York Historical Society.

Location of Materials

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit


Donation by Estate of Pauline L. Robinson, 1968.

Separated Material

There are four bound volumes in this collection that are kept separately from the papers. If an item is listed as a volume, please request it under BV Robinson Papers.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

Two school notebooks for Anna Robinson Butler, one entitled "Geography" and another one entitled "Current Events, 1905" can be found under Misc. Mss. Robinson, Anna.

Collection processed by

Maurita Baldock

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:49:36 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Robinson04mb.xml


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