Sara Tappan Doolittle Robinson was born at Belchertown, Mass., July 12, 1827, the eldest daughter of Myron and Clarissa (Dwight) Lawrence. Her father was born at Middlebury, Mass., May 8, 1799, and in 1820 graduated at the college in his native town. He studied law under Hon. William Mark Doolittle, a graduate of Yale College and an able lawyer of Middlebury. He became a member of the family of his preceptor in the law, remaining such until his marriage, March 25, 1824, to Miss Clarissa Dwight, a daughter of Capt. Henry Dwight and Ruth Rich. The Dwights have been prominent in the records for many years in this country, their name always recognized as a symbol of earnest appreciation of all that is highest and best in education, religion and personal worth and industry. The mother of Mrs. Robinson was possessed of personal charm, intellectual strength, great independence of character and marked individuality. Mrs. Robinson was given the full name of the wife of her father's preceptor in the lawSara Tappan Doolittle. Myron Lawrence became an eminent lawyer and citizen. At the age of twenty-seven he served as a representative in the Massachusetts legislature, and afterward several years in the state senate, over which body he presided as president. In June, before his death on Nov. 7, 1852, he was honored with the nomination for governor of Massachusetts on the temperance ticket, but failing health prevented his acceptance. At his home the distinguished people of the times visited him. Among the most noted, Daniel Webster, Miss Harriet Martineau, Stephen Olin, Robert Rantoul, George Ashman and W. B. Calhoun never passed him by. When Louis Kossuth, the great Hungarian patriot, visited Boston in 1850, Myron Lawrence presided at the immense meeting in Faneuil Hall, which welcomed Kossuth to that city.
Mrs. Robinson received an excellent education in the classical school at Belchertown and at the Salem Academy. While attending school she met with a severe accident by falling upon some stone steps with such violence as to injure her spine. Her natural vigor declined, and a sympathetic blindness set in. At this time Dr. Charles Robinson, afterward the first governor of the State of Kansas, was practicing medicine at Belchertown, and one evening he was introduced in the home of Miss Lawrence by Dr. Gridley, his preceptor in medicine. From that time on Dr. Robinson treated Miss Lawrence, who regained her health under his treatment, and in after years became the wife of her successful physician, to whom she was married on Oct. 30, 1851. She came with him to Kansas in 1854, and was of great aid to him in his work as agent for the Emigrant Aid society of New England. She was admirably qualified for the responsible position as a support to her husband in that early day of conflict against the pro-slavery faction in Kansas. She had a keen insight into affairs, a quick perception and ready judgment, as well as a fearless and active nature, which brought her services more than once into demand in times of critical moment. Like her husband, she was entirely devoted to the cause of freedom. She was a source of inspiration to other women of those trying pioneer days. In 1856 she published a book of peculiar charm and value"Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life"in which she graphically sets forth the scenes, actors and events of the struggle between the anti-slavery and the pro-slavery factions of Kansas in that early day. This work had a wide circulation and is today reckoned among the most valuable productions touching that period of Kansas history with which it deals. Mrs. Robinson was a pleasing writer and a generous contributor to periodical literature. To the cause of freedom, liberty, education and church she was always an ardent friend and generous supporter.
In 1856 Mrs. Robinson and her distinguished husband established "Oakridge," a beautiful rural estate near Lawrence, and from that time on Mrs. Robinson resided there, where many prominent people of the times visited. Here she and her husband shared the comforts and delights of many years. Her husband died on Aug. 17, 1894. After his death Mrs. Robinson lived in quiet retirement at "Oakridge" until her death on Nov. 15, 1911.Pages 24-25 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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