Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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John Trumbull Robinson, son of Henry C. and Eliza Trumbull Robinson, was born April 25th, 1871, and died November 27th, 1937. He was graduated from the Hartford Public High School in 1889 and from Yale University in 1893; studied law in his father's office and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1896. His whole life was spent in Hartford and it was filled with professional work, civic activities, and a variety of social interests, all of which by nature he entered into with zest and enjoyment.
He was chairman of the Republican town committee from 1903 to 1906; executive secretary to Governor George P. McLean from 1901 to 1903; a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1904; from 1908 to 1912 he was United States attorney for the District of Connecticut; and was president of the Hartford County Bar Association from 1930 to 1932. Higher political honors he undoubtedly might have had if he had been willing and able to make the sacrifice of time and energy which political life in his day demanded. All through his life he was an adviser in the councils of the Republican party and a staunch upholder of constitutional government.
Few young men have begun the practice of law in Hartford with the inspiration of such a family tradition as had Mr. Robinson. His father, who died in 1900, was a leader of the Connecticut bar and an uncle, Lucius F. Robinson, was a brilliant lawyer and scholar. At the time of his admission to the bar his father and his oldest brother, Lucius F. Robinson, were in partnership under the firm name of Robinson and Robinson, and after his father's death he and his brother Lucius F. Robinson continued the firm under the same name until January 1st, 1913, when Francis W. Cole became a member and the name of the firm was changed to Robinson, Robinson and Cole.
His career at the bar was long, happy and successful. He had the opportunity of early activity in the trial of cases and to this branch of the law he turned by natural inclination. At the same time he was a most conscientious and sound adviser. One often attempts to ascertain the source of one's professional success. There was no sham in Mr. Robinson's nature and it always seemed to me that his frankness in admitting every adverse feature of his case and his boldness in driving home his argument, with all the facts before the court, made for the success he attained. He once said to me that any judge or jury was quick to detect any attempt at unfairness. During his busy life he had tried many important cases and frequently was called upon by other lawyers for help. One lawyer, in a public address, used these words: "His Grecian head, his tall and graceful figure, his ringing voice. and his flow of natural eloquence made him a forceful advocate." He fulfilled the true function of an advocate - fidelity to his client and to the court as well - with the result that he won the confidence of both.
One of his outstanding characteristics was his fondness for out-of door life. He loved the woods, fields and streams. He was a devoted follower of Isaac Walton and the happiest days of his life were those when he could indulge in the gentle art of angling.
His religion was a vital part of his life. He was a devout follower of the Master, and a loyal member of his church.
Manly and handsome, with a sound mind in a sound body, given a personality full of charm and sentiment, he was a friend among many friends and a true Christian gentleman.
On April 25th, 1905, he married Gertrude Doolittle Coxe of Utica, New York, who, together with two children, Mrs. John Pierson of New Haven and John T. Robinson, Jr., of Hartford, survive him.