Asher Robbins papers  1794-1813
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Asher Robbins papers consist of 22 letters from Asher Robbins, primarily to Benjamin Bourne, written between 1794 and 1813. The letters are concentrated in the period 1794-1800 and deal in particular with Robbins' and Bourne's mutual interests in land and currency speculation, and legislation regarding these matters. In a letter of January 20, 1795, Robbins revealed his suspicions of "some schemes" concerning a debt owed by the state of Rhode Island, about which he was "in the dark." He also shared his thoughts regarding the actions of the Governor, Arthur Fenner, on the matter. In a letter of January 28, 1796, Robbins praised Bourne's acquisition of 100,000 acres of land in an unspecified state as a "great purchase," and discussed the terms of the sale. A series of letters from 1800 concerns Robbins' lobbying efforts in Washington to effect changes in congressional redistricting. Letters also discuss business matters, mutual friends and acquaintances, and political matters. On December 25, 1795, Robbins wrote to Bourne concerning his client, Dirk Rhodes, an African American man who claimed that the United States owed him money for military services. In this letter and a subsequent one on January 28, 1796, Robbins provided some details of the case.

Correspondence between Robbins and Bourne ended in 1808, when Bourne died. The four items postdating this include letters of introduction and correspondence concerning sale of livestock (November 2, 1812).

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