Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Robinson, Charles
ROBINSON, Charles, governor of Kansas, b. in Hardwick, Mass., 21 July, 1818; d. in Lawrence, Kansas, 17 Aug., 1894. He was educated at Amherst college, but was compelled by illness to leave in his second year. He studied medicine at Woodstock, Vt., and at Pittsfield, Mass., where he received his degree in 1843, and practised at Belchertown, Springfield, and Fitchburg, Mass., till 1849, when he went to California by the overland route. He edited a daily paper in Sacramento called the “Settler's and Miner's Tribune” in 1850, took an active part in the riots of 1850 as an upholder of squatter sovereignty, was seriously wounded, and, while under indictment for conspiracy and murder, was elected to the legislature. He was subsequently discharged by the court without trial. On his return to Massachusetts in 1852 he conducted in Fitchburg a weekly paper called the “News” till June, 1854, when he went to Kansas as confidential agent of the New England emigrants' aid society, and settled in Lawrence. He became the leader of the Free-state party, and was made chairman of its executive committee and commander-in-chief of the Kansas volunteers. He was a member of the Topeka convention that adopted a free-state constitution in 1855, and under it was elected governor in 1856. He was arrested for treason and usurpation of office, and on his trial on the latter charge was acquitted by the jury. He was elected again by the Free-state party in 1858, and for the third time in 1859, under the Wyandotte constitution, and entered on his term of two years on the admission of Kansas to the Union in January, 1861. He organized most of the Kansas regiments for the civil war. He afterward served one term as representative and two terms as senator in the legislature, and in 1882 was again a candidate for governor. In 1887 he became superintendent of Haskell institute in Lawrence.—His wife, Sarah Tappan Doolittle, author, b. in Belchertown, Mass., 12 July, 1827, was educated at the New Salem academy, and married Dr. Robinson at Belchertown on 30 Oct., 1851. Her maiden name was Lawrence. She has published “Kansas, its Exterior and Interior Life” (Boston, 1856), in which she describes the scenes, actors, and events of the struggle between the friends and foes of slavery in Kansas, during which her house was plundered and burned, and her husband was imprisoned for four months.