Harriet Jane Hanson

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
Seth Ingersoll Browne to Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Edward Warrington Robinson
King Edward I to Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Sir William de Huntingfield to Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
George Washington - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
John Adams & John Quncy Adams - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Millard Fillmore - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
William Howard Taft - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
(John) Calvin Coolidge Jr. - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Richard Milhous Nixon - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Gerald R. Ford - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
George H. W. & George W. Bush - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Harriet Jane Hanson, daughter of William Hanson and Harriet Browne, was born at Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, 8 February 1825.1,2,3,4,5,6,7 She died at Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 22 December 1911,8,9 and was buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, 24 December 1911.8,10,11

Harriet married William Stevens Robinson, son of William Robinson and Martha Cogswell, 30 November 1848.12

Harriet Jane Hanson documented her life in a series of manuscripts, scrapbooks, correspondence, publications and diaries. Most of these found their way to the Schlesinger Library of Women at Radcliff College. Her life and that of her family are the subject of a book by Claudia L. Bushman in 1981. Dr. Bushman was unaware of the descendants of Warrington when she wrote the book, which I discovered on my first research trip to the Family History Library in 1984.

A review of the book included the short synopsis of Harriet’s life that follows. Bushman’s account is 276 pages, and space (not to mention copyright) preclude a full complete recounting here.

“The saga revolves around Harriet Jane (Hanson) Robinson (1825-1911), her lifelong “search for significance,” and the tensions her compelling need for recognition created within herself and with her family, friends, and colleagues. Harriet’s drive for honor was partly an effort to overcome her ignoble ancestry of New England farmers and artisans, and partly the result of living in an era of prevalent malcontent and of inordinate value placed on success. A lifetime resident of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Harriet experienced early the influences that would shape her adult years. She learned the virtues of family unity from her untiring mother, widowed when Harriet was six years old. She acquired an independence of thought and action as the daughter of a Quaker and her participation in a strike sensitized her to injustice. Hard work and education, she discovered, could help compensate for humble beginnings. In school, she plunged into the literary arts, especially poetry. Her locally published efforts, Bushman suggests, reflect more ambition than talent.

“After her marriage to William S. Robinson in 1848, she dutifully and not unhappily evolved into a competent homemaker, principally in a supervisory capacity over a succession of domestics. The marriage role thwarted her designs for public esteem, but she gained a measure of fulfillment in managing the household and through her husband’s journalistic and political activities. Robinson shared his spouse’s lowly heritage but not her appetite for social distinction. Nevertheless, he made good as a crusading columnist, legislator, clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and parliamentary expert. His political endeavors were enhanced by his “Warrington” letters in the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, and his membership in the Bird Club, a chummy group of influential Radical Republicans. Bushman details Robinson’s long intra-party fight with Benjamin Butler, who in 1872 engineered Robinson’s defeat as clerk after ten years in the post. During William’s clerkship the family lived comfortably. Harriet gave splendid parties, visited widely, and shopped frequently in Boston. The family vacationed annually at the Ocean House at Manomet near Plymouth.

“With William’s death in 1876, Harriet set about building a career within a veritable whirlwind of writing, publishing, suffrage and club work, kin-sitting, card parties, church work, and household duties. She wrote four books, including Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement (1881) and Loom and Spindle, Or Life Among the Early Mill Girls (1898). She edited Warrington Pen Portraits (1877), a collection of her late husband’s columns, produced several dramas, and contributed articles to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

“Harriet “played out her public ambitions” in the suffrage movement. She held national office, organized a state suffrage association in partnership with her daughter Hattie, and fought with leaders of the women’s groups. Bushman suggests that Harriet campaigned more against Lucy Stone, from whom Harriet felt disrespect, than for women’s rights. Dissatisfied also in the New England Women’s Club, Harriet and Hattie launched their own club in Malden. Subsequently, Harriet held several positions in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

“Despite intense efforts and a modicum of success, Harriet was not accepted into elite circles, because she laced financial support and social graces. Though rebuffed during her life, Harriet took great prided in having kept her family together.”

Harriet was one of the earliest woman members of the New England Genealogical Society. But in spite of her diligence in searching out her and her husband’s forebears, she missed what she was looking for: her husband is descended from Thomas Bradbury whose ancestry from European royalty was documented in the 1980’s and further extended in 2007. Also, Harriet herself is very probably descended from Rose Stoughton, whose ancestors include Magna Carta Surety Sir William de Huntingfield.13,14

She was the census enumerator in Malden in 1880 and her signature appears on that record.15

Family

William Stevens Robinson b. 7 Dec 1818, d. 11 Mar 1876
Children
  • Harriet Lucy Robinson16,17 b. 4 Dec 1850, d. 21 Mar 1937
  • Elizabeth Osborne Robinson16 b. 11 Sep 1852, d. 27 Sep 1926
  • William Elbridge Robinson16 b. 6 Oct 1854, d. 14 Dec 1859
  • Edward Warrington Robinson+16 b. 4 May 1859, d. 8 Jan 1904

Citations

  1. [S76] Harriet H. Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter, and Some of His Descendants," The Robinsons and Their Kin Folk Third Series (July 1906): 99-123, at 121. Hereafter cited as Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter."
  2. [S462] United States Census for 1910 [Thirteenth Census of the United States], Malden, Ward 4, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 895, sheet 204/13A, dwelling 53, family 75, Harriet H. Robinson household, age 85, born in Massachusetts. A widowed mother of 4 with two still living, she owned her home at 35 Lincoln Street, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1784, roll 601.
  3. [S461] United States Census for 1900 [Twelfth Census of the United States], Malden City, Precinct 1, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 839, sheet 11B, dwelling 211, family 250, Sidney D. Shattuck household, age 75, born Feb 1825 in Massachusetts, and an "authores". Living at 35 Lincoln Street and widowed mother of four, three still living, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1854, roll 662.
  4. [S460] United States Census for 1880 [Tenth Census of the United States], Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet 344/23, dwelling 198, family 257, Harriet H. Robinson household, age 55, born in Massachusetts, living at 9 Lincoln Street, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1454, roll 540.
  5. [S459] United States Census for 1870 [Ninth Census of the United States], Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet 393/66, dwelling 387, family 540, W. S. Robinson household, age 45, born in Massachusetts., digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1748, roll 629.
  6. [S458] United States Census for 1860 [Eighth Census of the United States], Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet 153/29, dwelling 200, family 234, William S. Robinson household, age 35, born in Massachusetts, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1438, roll 506.
  7. [S457] United States Census for 1850 [Seventh Census of the United States], Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet 380, dwelling 1138, family 2333, Wm. S. Robinson household, age 24, born in Massachusetts, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication 1009, roll 327.
  8. [S1758] Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911-1915, on line database, AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008, accessed 1911/65 Death:245), 10 Oct 2011. Hereafter cited as Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911-1915.
  9. [S78] Claudia L. Bushman, "A Good Poor Man's Wife": Being a Chronicle of Harriet Hanson Robinson and Her Family in Nineteenth Century New England (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1981), 209. Hereafter cited as Bushman, A Good Poor Man's Wife.
  10. [S721] Harriet H. Robinson, "William S. Robinson ("Warrington")," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 39 (Oct 1885): 313-324. Hereafter cited as Robinson, "William S. Robinson."
  11. [S1546] Rebekahpaw, Find A Grave memorial #53251356, added 4 Jun 2010, online http://www.findagrave.com, accessed 10 Oct 2011. Hereafter cited as Find A Grave.
  12. [S78] Bushman, A Good Poor Man's Wife, 79.
  13. [S78] Bushman, A Good Poor Man's Wife.
  14. [S146] Robert M. Taylor Jr., review of "A Good Poor Man's Wife" Being a Chronicle of Harriet Hanson Robinson and Her Family in Nineteenth Century New England, by Claudia L. Bushman, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 136 (January 1982): 63-65. Hereafter cited as Taylor, "A Good Poor Man's Wife."
  15. [S460] US Census for 1880, Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, pop. sch., sheet 344/23, dwelling 198, family 257, Harriet H. Robinson hshld.
  16. [S76] Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter," 122.
  17. [S451] Five Generations of Harriets, The Little Girl's Own Book (Boston, Massachusetts: American Stationers Company, 1837); Dorothy H. Cooke, Irvine, California, Inside front cover.