Alexander Robinson papers  1809-1843 (bulk 1814-1815)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Alexander Robinson papers contain 257 documents and records related to Fort Greene, 103 business papers and documents, and 38 pieces of correspondence. The items span 1807-1843, with the bulk centered around 1814-1815.

The Correspondence series comprises primarily personal correspondence, including letters from family members and friends, both incoming and outgoing. Alexander Robinson wrote many of the early letters to his wife Hetty, during his sea voyages, expressing his affection, providing news, and speculating on when he would return. Between 1818 and 1841, William Hicks, a native of Cork, Ireland, wrote approximately 15 letters to Robinson, requesting information about a brother in New York, and providing increasingly grim descriptions of the political and financial situation in Ireland. His letter of November 15, 1821, gives an account of murders and floggings occurring in Cork. Two of the Robinsons' children, Maria Louisa and George, wrote several additional letters, dating from the 1830s and concerning family news.

The Business Papers series spans 1807-1821 and concerns ships that Robinson commanded during those years. Documents are organized by ship, with a few miscellaneous business papers at the end. The series contains records for the Alexander (1809-1813), the Clarendon (1815), the Catherine Ray (1812), the Fulley (1807-1808), the Independence (1815), the Isabella (1813), the Moses Brown (1812-1821), the Nichola (1809-1810), the Quebec (1812-1813), and the Urbana (1812). The items document such information as rolls of crews and their salaries, trading partners and items traded, financial transactions, and repairs made to ships.

The Fort Greene series contains items relating to Fort Greene, 1814-1815. The gunners' reports and morning and evening reports consist of information about which men were present, absent, sick, and at liberty in October and November of 1814. Provision returns, a requisition log, and a receipt book track the purchase and transfer of ordnance and goods. Also present are orders for Fort Greene and Fort Gansevoort, an orderly book for October 19, 1814, to January 11, 1815, and a 26-page journal kept at Fort Greene by Peter H. Schuyler, which described weather conditions, visitors to the fort, general happenings, and how its residents were employed. On December 10, 1814, he recounted a controversy surrounding the smoking of cigars and pipes inside the fort, and several days later reported a dispute between Alexander Robinson and William Cranston and Cranston's subsequent arrest.

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