Henderson B. Robinson

Henderson B. Robinson

He was born in October 1834 near Knoxville in Eastern Tennessee. Not much is known about H.B. Robinson’s early life, but his mother, Delphia Hendry, successfully sued for her freedom in Tennessee in 1839.

Henderson Robinson eventually married and began a family in Tennessee where his first two children were born. Shortly after the Civil War Robinson and his family moved south to Arkansas.

Mr. Robinson was Assessor of Phillips County from 1868 to 1872 and superintendent of the penitentiary. In fact his family were living there in 1870 when the census was taken. H.B. Robison then served as sheriff of Phillips county from 1874 to 1878. On the 1870 U.S. Census his family included his wife Adeline and children Samuel, Ida, Zinkla and Adeline. In 1879 H.B. Robinson served as vice-president of the Mississippi Valley Labor Convention at Vicksburg. By 1880 he had added another son named Harry. In addition to political office his family owned a five hundred acre plantation. That same year he was one of twelve Arkansas delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Allin House

The Allin House can be found at 515 Columbia Street in Helena and was built in 1856. The home was added to U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Henderson Robinson and his family lived here from 1868 to 1881.

Henderson B. Robinson passed away on August 10, 1881 and is buried at Magnolia Cemetery near his friend and colleague William Henry Grey.

Although the Robinson family had become successful in Phillips County, they soon realized that times were changing. As Reconstruction came to an end and African American voters were disfranchised the family soon left. Their house and land were sold.

Magnolia Cemetery

References:

Journeys: An American Story: 72 Essays about Immigration and American Greatness by Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas in 2018.

Riley, Rochelle. “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” 2018.

‘Delphia: The Price of Freedom | A’Lelia Bundles

“NRHP nomination for Allin House” Arkansas Preservation.

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