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Louis N. Robinson and Caroline Hadley Robinson Correspondence

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-345

Scope and Contents

Louis N. Robinson, Swarthmore College Class of 1905, was a prominent Quaker economist and penologist. On June 17, 1908, he married Caroline Hadley (1885-1946) under the care of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. She was the daughter of Walter Hadley and Alice Paxson Hadley and a graduate of Swarthmore College, Class of 1906. The collection contains Louis Robinson's letters 1901-1907, Caroline Hadley's letters 1895-1907, and transcripts with annotations by their granddaughter, Christine Erb. The letter vividly describe student life at Swarthmore College and during Louis's graduate study in Germany as well as family, Quaker, and social concerns. Also included are photographs of the Paxson branch of the family.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1895 - 1907
  • 1885 - 2021

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/.

Biographical / Historical

Louis N. Robinson (1880-1952), prominent economist and penologist, was born in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, a borough in Wyoming County, 31 miles northwest of Wilkes Barre. He was the son of John Marklin Robinson and Annie Elizabeth Thacher. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1905, studied at the Universities of Halle and Berlin, Germany, in 1907-1908, and was awarded a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1911. He taught economics and criminology at Swarthmore College from 1908-1917 and continued to lecture on criminology until 1934. Louis Robinson chaired the Pennsylvania Parole Commission, served as a trustee of Eastern Penitentiary, Swarthmore National Bank, and the State Parole Board and president of the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons (later the Stephen Smith Home), Philadelphia. He was an expert on small business loans.

Louis Robinson joined the Society of Friends in 1905 and married Caroline Hadley under the care of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting on June 17, 1908. She was the daughter of Alice Paxson Hadley and Walter Hadley. Alice C. Paxson (1857-1919) was the daughter of Frederick Paxson and Lydia Betts Paxson, Philadelphia Hicksite Quakers. In 1883 she married Walter Hadley (1857-1896), an Indiana Quaker, and they lived in New Mexico where Walter managed a mining operation. He died in 1896 of tuberculosis, and his widow returned to Pennsylvania. Her older brother, Charles Paxson, lived with his wife, Alice Hall Paxson, and her parents, Thomas Heston Hall and Lydia Cox Hall in their home just off the Swarthmore College campus. The Paxson siblings lived in adjacent homes: Abigail Hall, sister of Alice Hall Paxson, married Chester Roberts, superintendent of the College, and they lived at 409 College Avenue. In 1899, Alice Hall and Charles Paxson built an attached house, 311 Cedar Lane. In 1905 Alice Paxson Hadley purchased the home next-door at 411 College Avenue. Alice Hadley was increasingly deaf, and the close-knit family provided fellowship and support.

Caroline Hadley Robinson graduated from Swarthmore College in 1906 and earned an M.A. in economics from Columbia University in 1907. She was a leader in supporting maternal health, serving as an officer for Planned Parenthood, Pennsylvania, and on the board of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In later years, she was active in politics.

Following their marriage in 1908, Louis and Caroline Robinson lived with her mother in the Swarthmore home. After Alice Hadley's death in 1919, Louis and Caroline maintained their residence in Swarthmore for the rest of their lives. Caroline died in 1946, and Louis married second to Marylyn Wyse. He died suddenly in 1952 and bequeathed the residence which he had inherited to Swarthmore College under the provision that it be named in honor of his first wife, Caroline Hadley Robinson. In 1970 it was established as the Black Cultural Center.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

Louis N. Robinson, Swarthmore College Class of 1905, was a prominent Quaker economist and penologist. On June 17, 1908, he married Caroline Hadley (1885-1946) under the care of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. She was the daughter of Walter Hadley and Alice Paxson Hadley and a graduate of Swarthmore College, Class of 1906. The collection contains Louis Robinson's letters 1901-1908, Caroline Hadley's letters 1895-1908, and transcripts with annotations by their granddaughter, Christine Erb. The letter vividly describe student life at Swarthmore College and during Louis's graduate study in Germany as well as family, Quaker, and social concerns. Also included are photographs of the Paxson branch of the family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Christine Erb, grandaughter of Louis and Caroline Hadley Robinson. Acc. 2021.013, 2021.036

Related Materials

Collected papers of Alice P. Hadley and the Thread and Needle Society, RG5/302

Separated Materials

Swarthmore College diploma, Caroline Hadley, B.A., 1906. Transferred to Swarthmore College diplomas.

General

The donor, Christine Erb, Swarthmore Class of 1969, transcribed the latters of her grandparents for her mother, Alice Robinson Erb, Swarthmore 1936. Originally intended to share with the family, she annotated and included photographs.

Processing Information

Sorted and transcribed by the donor.

Title
Louis N. Robinson and Caroline Hadley Robinson correspondence
Status
Completed
Author
Susanna Morikawa
Date
November 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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