Person:Joseph Robinson (66)

Rev. Joseph Robinson
b.Abt 1748 Virginia
  • HRev. Joseph RobinsonAbt 1748 - 1807
  • WLilly WhitleyEst 1757 - 1823
m. Abt 1775
  1. Matilda Robinson1777 - 1842
  2. Rebecca Robinson1783 - 1825
  3. Elizabeth Robinson1788 -
Facts and Events
Name Rev. Joseph Robinson
Gender Male
Birth[2] Abt 1748 Virginia
Marriage Abt 1775 to Lilly Whitley
Death[1] 24 Aug 1807 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
  1. Public Member Trees: (Note: not considered a reliable primary source).
  2. .

    Biographical Sketch of Joseph Robinson (1748-1807)

    by Phil Norfleet

    Joseph Robinson (also spelled Robertson in some documents) supported the Tory Cause throughout the Revolutionary War. Joseph was apparently was born in Virginia in about 1748; however, his parents names are unknown. He removed to the South Carolina (SC) Backcountry in about 1769. Whig sources have asserted that in Virginia, Robinson had been studying for the Presbyterian Ministry but became involved in a scandal and was forced to flee to South Carolina.

    At the beginning of the Revolution, in 1775, Robinson was a justice of the peace, a deputy surveyor for the SC Colony and held the rank of Major in the Royal SC Militia. He resided on the east bank of Broad River in the Camden Judicial District (now Chester County). His main plantation was located near the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Fish Dam Ford. In fact, Robinson owned the so-called "Fish Dam," which was a stone fishery originally constructed by the Cherokee Indians, located at the point where the modern road SC 72 crosses the Broad River.

    In July 1775, at the request of Colonel Thomas Fletchall, he wrote the "Counter Association" - a document setting forth the Loyalists opposition to the "Continental Association" legislation that had recently been adopted by the Whig Provincial Congress in Charleston. Subsequently, Robinson commanded the Loyalist force which successfully besieged and, on 22 November 1775, obtained the surrender of the Whig Militia holding the fort at Ninety Six; Robinson drafted and was a signatory to the surrender document entitled "Agreement for a Cessation of Arms."

    Unfortunately for the Loyalists, the Whigs failed to adhere to the Agreement. In December 1775, after having been reinforced by militia from North Carolina, a large Whig force commanded by Colonel Richard Richardson surprised and defeated a Tory force commanded by Patrick Cunningham at a place called the Great Cane Break. During the month of December, Richardson was able to capture a total of 136 Loyalists including Thomas Fletchall, John Mayfield and many other Loyalist leaders. Major Robinson, Patrick Cunningham and a few others were able to elude capture, but many of their homes and plantations, including Robinson's, were plundered and burnt by the Rebels.

    Robinson fled to East Florida where he was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the South Carolina Royalist Regiment. He subsequently fought in several battles with the Whigs in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. In December 1782, he and his family were among those Tories evacuated by the British from Charlestown, South Carolina. He first went to East Florida and then to Jamaica. In 1786, he and his family removed to New Brunswick, Canada and finally, three years later, removed to St. Johns, now called Prince Edward Island, Canada. Robinson continued to reside in Prince Edward Island until his death in 1807; his wife, Lilley Robinson, died in 1823.

    Although I have not seen his name on any of the published lists of confiscated estates, Robinson's real property was seized by the SC State Government and sold at public auction. The following Charleston, South Carolina deed abstracts document these sales:

    01 Nov 1786: Isaac DaCosta to Peter Bocquet & James Mitchell, Commissioners of the Treasury of South Carolina, by bond dated 01 Nov 1786 in the penal sum of £51 s6 d10 sterling, mortgage of tract, late the property of Joseph Robertson, 101 acres on a branch of Broad River near Smiths ford, adjacent land of John Moore, Samuel Denton. Isaac DaCosta (LS), Wit: Robert Dewar, Joseph Salvador. Proved by the oath of Robert Dewar, 19 Jan 1787 before Wm Scott, Junior, J.P., Recorded 7 Feb 1787. [See Charleston SC Deed Book T-5, pages 455-457.]

    01 Nov 1786: John Vanderhorst to Peter Bocquet & James Mitchell, Commissioners of the Treasury of South Carolina, by bond in the penal sum of £473 s3 d9 sterling, mortgage of tract, late the property of Joseph Robertson in Camden District, 125 acres on Broad River, also tract of 242 acres late the property of Moses Kirkland in Ninety Six District on Turkey and Little Stephens Creek adj. Heters line, Freemans line. John Vanderhorst (LS), Wit: Robert Dewar, David Snetgar. Proved by the oath of Robert Dewar, 8 Feb 1787 before Dl. Mazyck,. J.P., Recorded 16 Feb 1787. [See Charleston SC Deed Book W-5, pages 369-371.]

    The above deeds account for about 226 acres of land; however, in his official claim, Robinson indicates that he possessed two tracts of land, one tract of 300 acres in Camden District and one tract of 100 acres in Ninety-Six District, for a total of 400 acres in all. I am unable to account for this discrepancy.

    In 1786, Robinson submitted a claim to the British Government for losses sustained during the Revolution in the amount of £1618 (see below); he was ultimately allowed an amount of £521 on his claim.

  3.   Ohio State University Bulletin
    Volume XXVI, Number 4, pgs. 74-76.

    The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, Edited by E. Alfred Jones of London England, with an Introduction by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert.

    Sketch of Joseph Robinson

    Joseph Robinson, a Virginian by birth, was settled on a plantation on Broad river in South Carolina, where he was deputy surveyor.

    In 1775 he was appointed major of militia and, 18 November of that year, he was in command of 2400 loyalists at Ninety-Six when he surrounded an American force under Majors Andrew William-son and James Mayson. This inglorious affair ended by the offer by Robinson of a cessation of hostilities for twenty days--an offer which was joyfully accepted by Williamson and Mayson, whose force had nearly expended their ammunition. A party to this treaty was Lieutenant-Colonel Evan McLaurin.

    Colonel Robinson's men were afterwards allowed to return home, while he himself went among the friendly Cherokee Indians. In his absence his plantation was plundered, his house and buildings burnt, and his family driven from home by the Americans. Among his possessions destroyed was his valuable library, which included 60 books on law, the destruction being witnessed by Moses Whealley, a loyalist.

    In her petition of October 1, 1816, to Viscount Palmerston, secretary of state for war, his wife, Lilley Robinson (whom he had married in 1760 in Virginia) states that while a prisoner in the hands of the Americans in 1776, she was promised restoration to her husband on condition that he consented to be neutral in the war. Her answer is not recorded, but she was released in a few days. Lilley Robinson proceeded, not to join her husband, but to start on a painful journey of 800 miles, accompanied by her two small children, to her father's family in Virginia, traveling mostly by night to escape the vigilance of American scouting parties and enduring indescribable sufferings. ( W. O. 42/R8).

    In May, 1778, Colonel Robinson was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the South Carolina Royalists, and in July it was decided that this corps should consist of eight companies of 50 rank and file each. With this regiment he was present at the battle of Stono, 12 June, 1779.

    Mrs. Lilley Robinson, who had returned to South Carolina from Virginia, accompanied her husband on the evacuation of Charleston by the British, to East Florida, where they intended to settle, only to find shortly after their arrival that the Colony had been ceded to Spain and that they would be included in the 10,000 loyalists in that Province who suffered privations in consequence of its cession. (Hist. MSS. Comm., Report on the American MSS. in the Royal Institution, Vol. IV, p. 848.) The harassed Robinson family, in common with many others from the Southern Colonies, now sought refugee in the West Indies, but once again they were dogged by misfortune, their ship having been wrecked off the coast of Florida. Eventually, however, Colonel Joseph Robinson and his family reached Jamaica, but after a year's sojourn there, they were compelled by the unhealthiness of the climate to seek a home in a northern clime. With this object in view, they now set sail for that asylum of so many American loyalists, New Brunswick, where they lived for three years until 1789, when Colonel Robinson was invited to settle at Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island by his friend, Colonel Edmund Fanning, lieutenant-governor of that island and formerly commanding officer of the loyalist corps, the King's American regiment.

    Meanwhile, Colonel Robinson had been put on the list of seconded Provincial officers and received the half-pay of a lieutenant-colonel. He was also relieved of anxiety by the grant of £521 from his claim of £1,618. 10s for the loss of his property in South Carolina and by his appointment as surrogate and judge of probate at Charlottetown. This South Carolina loyalist died in that city, 24 August, 1807, leaving a will (dated 19, July 1807, and proved 10 November 1807) by which he bequeathed property to his widow, Lilley, and his three daughters. Lilley Robinson, widow of Colonel Joseph Robinson, died at Charlottetown, 11 July, 1823. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter born in New Brunswick in 1788, died unmarried. One daughter, Rebecca, married Robert Hodgson, lieutenant in the Prince Edward Island Fencibles (reduced in 1802), member of the Legislature and speaker until his death, 5 January, 1811, when he left four sons and one daughter. Rebecca Hodgson died, 12 May, 1825, aged 54. Robert Hodgson, the eldest son of Robert and Rebecca Hodgson, became judge of probate, chief justice, and lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island, and died a knight at the age of 82, on 16 September, 1880. The names of the other children of Robert and Rebecca Hodgson were: Joseph, Daniel, Christopher, and Jane Deborah.

    Matilda, third daughter of Colonel and Lilley Robinson, married Ralph Brecken in Prince Edward Island. A daughter of Ralph and Matilda Brecken married Donald Macdonald, president of the Legislative Council of Prince Edward Island, and a son of this marriage was Sir William Christopher Macdonald of Montreal, whose munificent gifts to McGill University and Macdonald College remain as monuments to his memory. (A. O. 18/92; A. O. 13/188; A. O. 12/109; Ind. 5605; Hist. MSS. Comm., Report on the American MSS. in the Royal Institution, Vol. II, pp. 274, 276, 871; Second Report of the Bureau of Archives, Province of Ontario, 1905, pp. 791-801; The Royal Commission on Loyalist Claims, 1785-1785, ed. by H. E. Egerton; Roxburghe Club, 1915, pp. 272-3; notes from Judge Aeneas Macdonald of Charlottetown.)