Name and location of repository
Level of description
Warrington Penn Portraits
- 1848-1876 (Creation)
Name of creator
William Robinson (1818-1876) made his name as a journalist, writing for and editing many New England newspapers during a long career, especially known for his strong views in various reform movements and as a radical anti-slavery voice. "Charles Sumner, John A. Andrew, Henry Wilson, John G. Whittier, and other Massachusetts radicals" were among his friends (see DAB). The editor, Harriet Hanson Robinson (1825-1911), worked in the Lowell, Massachusetts, mills as a young woman and was also involved in various 19th-century reform movements, especially suffrage, helping organize the National Woman Suffrage Association of Massachusetts as an ally of Susan B. Anthony and publishing Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement (1881). "Her life was perhaps more valuable for what she experienced than for what she achieved" (NAW). Bird, Webb, Warland, Pitman, Russell, and Griffin were all journalists who worked with Robinson on mid-19th century New England newspapers or periodicals and of whom he writes in his reminiscences.
Four of the letters were written to Harriet Robinson, including the one from Lucy Larcom (12mo, 4-pages, declining an invitation to a wedding and discussing other personal matters: two others were written to third parties among the correspondents and forwarded with other letters to the Robinsons. The balance were addressed to Mr. Robinson and cover a broad range of personal and business issues, notes on meetings and current events, and musings on life, journalism, and the various reform movements all were involved with to one degree or another.
The portraits and views, representing a wide range of 19th-century American historic events and sites and public figures, include engravings, some hand-colored, eight photographs (including ones of Charles Sumner, John Wilkes Booth, Charles A. Dana, General Butler, and Benjamin Shillaber), woodcuts, chromolithographs, cartoons, a gilt silhouette of Elijah Lovejoy, a small broadside advocating the election of General McClellan to the presidency in 1864, an engraved illustrated invitation to Horace Greeley's 61st birthday, and other plates, some inlaid to size.
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Scope and content
These two volumes documents feature the personal and political reminiscences of journalist William S. Robinson and were edited and published by his wife in 1877. In the first edition, the first volume was expanded to two with extra illustrations (142 portraits and 53 autograph letters from prominent Americans of the time). Writing as “Warrington,” the journalist was especially noted for his reform positions and radical anti-slavery voice. The portraits and views represent a wide range of 19th-century American historic events, sites, and public figures.
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Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
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Immediate source of acquisition
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Existence and location of originals
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Related archival materials
2 Volumes in a clam shell.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding Aid Authors: Harriet Hanson Robinson.
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