ROBINSON, ALFRED SEYMOUR

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III




Alfred Seymour Robinson (1836-1878), was born on April 6, 1836, at Hartford, Connecticut, son of David Franklin Robinson (1801-1862), a bank president and commercial real estate owner, and Anne Seymour Robinson  (1801-1892).

Following in his father's footsteps Alfred S. Robinson became a banker in the Banking House of George P. Bissell & Company, 309 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut from May 1, 1857 to July 1, 1861. Afterwards he continued as a banker on his own account as a Banker, Broker, Notary Public, Dealer in Stocks, Bonds, Notes, Land Warrants, Uncurrent Money, and All Kinds of American and Foreign Specie. 

Fig. 1. Robinson's Store Card. The aforesaid was the inscription he had issued on his store card in July 1861 with the Higley threepence obverse with the deer on the other side minted in copper, brass, white metal and copper-nickel (Rulau Ct-Ha 11-16). He had hired George H. Lovett to make the George Washington 1789; Higley Store Card; Non Dependens Status 1778. He issued his Fixed Price Lists selling many of these issues indicating the number struck.

He was active in local politics and was secretary of the Citizens' Caucus, and served on the Third Ward Committee.

Fig. 2. Robinson bought a Higley Copper for $50 from a gentleman from Suffield in May 1860. Hartford Courant, Friday, May 11, 1860, page 2

Robinson made several copies of colonial coins. The Essex Institute, Historical Collections,  page 141, nos. 4 - 7, published a list of four of these replicas and the metal in which they were struck and their sizes. Also, Sylvester Sage Crosby in Early Coins of America sites the Sommer Island shilling which he had made, in Plate 1, No. 18. 

Fig. 3. Robinson exhibited his Japanese coins in May 1860. Hartford Courant, Monday, May 21, 1860, page 2

Robinson held twelve coin sales from January 9, 1861, Leonard & Co. to January 5, 1872, Bangs, Merwin & Co.

Fig. 4. Robinson's collection at auction by Bangs, Merwin & Co., Monday, January 28-29, 1861. Hartford Courant, Monday, January 28, 1861, page 2.

Fig. 5. Robinson's correspondence with J. N. T. Levick postmarked April 4, 1861, Hartford, Connecticut. Robinson's second coin auction sale was held by Leonard & Co. of Boston on April 16, 1861. Note : Levick, the well-known numismatist was a broker at Freeman & Simpson, Whiskey Distillers at 96 Wall Street, New York. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 6. Prices realized on some of the coins atRobinson's second coin sale held at Leonard & Company sale, 
April 16, 1861. Hartford Courant, Saturday, April 20, 1861, page 2. 

Fig. 7. The Game Cock Secession, After the Fight. Weiss C-B-8. There were two versions of this one with smaller captions listed as Weiss C-B-5. During the Civil War he like Ed Cogan published various patriotic covers. Robinson issued over two dozen different designs. 
[01] Weiss FP-GW-27
[02] Weiss C-A-O-21
[03] Weiss C-B-5
[04] Weiss C-B-6
[05] Weiss  C-B-8
[06] Weiss  C-B-13
[07] Weiss  C-P-F-1
[08] Weiss  C-P-I-1
[09] Weiss  C-P-M-1
[10] Weiss  C-P-O-2
[11] Weiss  E-L-2
[12] Weiss  E-L-218
[13] Weiss  F-T-100
[14] Weiss  F-L-69
[15] Weiss  F-R-13
[16] Weiss  F-R-41
[17] Weiss  F-R-41A
[18] Weiss  F-R-41B
[19] Weiss  F-R-41C
[20] Weiss  F-R-221
[21] Weiss  M-T-23
[22] Weiss  F-SI-19
[23] Weiss O-W-5
[24] Weiss O-US-18
[25] Weiss O-US-19
[26] Weiss O-US-46
[27] Weiss O-M-34
Robinson was not in favor of the Civil War and his patriotic envelopes make his position quite clear.

Fig. 8. The Anthony Wayne Medal issued by Robinson.

In the 1860's he issued a series of tokens including the "Alfred S. Robinson's Historical Series", the unique Day, Griswold & Co. store card, and copies of colonial coins including a Brasher doubloon.

Fig. 9. Robinson buys 1795 Eagle, Pine Tree shillings and other rare coins.  
Hartford Courant, Thursday, June 20, 1861, page 2

Fig. 10. Robinson began to appear weekly in the local newspaper with reports on new acquisitions to his collection. This one a rare bank note of 1802. 
Hartford Courant, Monday, June 24, 1861, page 2

Fig. 11. Robinson on his own account dealing in Connecticut State Bonds. Hartford Courant, Monday, August 19, 1861, page 3.

Fig. 12. Robinson filed Bankruptcy eleven days prior to his death. Hartford Courant, Thursday, September 12, 1878, page 3.

He died on September 23, 1878, at Hartford, Connecticut. He is buried at Old North Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut. 


Auctions :

[01] January 9, 1861, Leonard & Co.
[02] January 28, 1861, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[03] April 16, 1861, Leonard & Co.
[04] April 30, 1861, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[05] May 29, 1861, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[06] March 26, 1862, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[07] May 14, 1862, Leonard & Co.
[08] May 1, 1863, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[08] December 22, 1865, Leavitt, Strebeigh & Co.
[09] October 22, 1867, Leavitt, Strebeigh & Co.
[10] October 15, 1869, Bangs, Merwin & Co.
[11] April 27, 1870, Leavitt, Strebeigh & Co.
[12] January 5, 1872, Bangs, Merwin & Co.


Bibliography :

Hartford Courant, Friday, May 1, 1857, page 3 advertisement
Hartford Courant, Saturday, April 9, 1859, page 2
E. J. Attinelli, Numismgraphics
The Numismatist
John Doyle DeWitt, Alfred S. Robinson, Hartford Numismatist, (Hartford Connecticut Historical Society, 1968), 28 pages, illustrated.
The Numismatist, August (1969) : 1088 review of DeWitt's bio of Robinson
Russ Rulau, Standard Catalogue of United States Tokens 1700-1900. (Krause, 1997) : 462
Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions.



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