Click the images below for bigger versions:
Robins, Thomas (1797-1882)
Autograph Letter Signed, Philadelphia, June 16, 1848 to Rev. William Bacon Stevens, Athens, Georgia

Quarto, two pages, neatly and legibly inscribed in ink, very good.

$ 45.00 | Contact Us >

Robins writes to William Bacon Stevens2, who later became Bishop of Pennsylvania, in 1848, the year he moved from Georgia to Philadelphia.


“I beg to acknowledge receipt of yr. esteemed favor of 5 inst, and to fully reciprocate the kind and fraternal feeling expressed in it. I had written you a few days before its receipt, more particularly at the request of the Bishop who wished to know definitely the time you had fixed for your institution that he might arrange his appointments so as to be present on the occasion. I have not seen him since the receipt of yr last letter but I am induced to believe that he will commence a western visitation about the 1 Sept. and yet that month will be more suitable for your institution than an earlier date for the reason stated in your letter, many of the Congregation are absent during the months of July and August but resume their places about the beginning of September, I suppose it is not important that yr institution take place at the time you enter yr duties.

I have submitted yr letter to the Wardens and Mr. Stevenson will write you soon (if he has not already done it) authorizing your dft on the accounting warden for a quarter’s salary and also for a sum to pay yr traveling expenses, the vestry have placed at the disposal of the wardens $ 1500. Which they assume as a sum adequate for the traveling charges and to furnish your house and this amount will be paid to you for these objects, -  in reference to the other money arrangements I am happy to say I will be able to meet your wishes provided you can negotiate your dft on me at 60 or 90 days from about the middle of July, this you may draw, for the whole amount say $ 1200, or for such part as you have need for at that time, it may save you trouble however and enable you to close the matter up in Georgia by drawing for the whole, and I presume you will have no difficulty in getting your draft negotiated by a bank in yr place or vicinity.

It may require a little time to find a house to suit in all respects, but should such as one offer before you reach here we will secure the refusal of it until you can see it, there will I think be no difficulty in procuring servants, tho’ it is part of the domestic arrangements which is sometimes a source of trouble but it will be time enough to get them after you come and when you can see exactly what will be needful.

I hope Mrs. Stevens’ health will improve as she moves north, our climate as you are aware is healthful and I trust both yourself and Mrs. S. will find it agreeable and pleasant…”


Thomas Robins, banker, was born at South Point, his father’s plantation in Worcester County, Maryland, January 1, 1797; he died in Philadelphia on April 13, 1882. He received an academic education in Maryland, and in 1815 moved to Philadelphia where he engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1852. Mr. Robins was then called to the presidency of the Philadelphia bank, resigning in 1879, having extricated it almost from bankruptcy, and carried it safely through two panics, and leaving it the most prosperous in the city. He held many positions of trust, and was at one time president of the common council of Philadelphia. Robins was the author of “Notes of Travel,” printed privately in Philadelphia in 1873.1

1. Appletons’ Cyclopedia of American Biography, volume V, p. 282


William Bacon Stevens (1815-1887), Episcopal bishop and historian, was born July 13, 1815 in Bath, Maine. Stevens was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover and later studied medicine at Dartmouth College and the Medical College of South Carolina. After practicing medicine in Savannah, Georgia for five years, he served as state historian of Georgia and at that time he began to study for the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon on February 28, 1843 and later to the priesthood on January 7, 1844. He briefly served as professor of moral philosophy at the University of Georgia prior to being called as the rector of St. Andrew’s Church of Philadelphia in 1848. He received the Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was later elected assistant bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. He was consecrated on January 2, 1862 at St. Andrew’s Church. Upon the death of the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter in 1865, he became Bishop of Pennsylvania. He served in that office and as bishop of the American Episcopal churches in Europe until his death in 1887. He was the author of A History of Georgia from its First Discovery by Europeans to the Adoption of the Present Constitution …, the first volume appeared in 1847, the second in 1859. He also edited the first two volumes of the Collections of the Georgia Historical Society (1840, 1842).

2. Dictionary of American Biography vol. IX, pp. 628-629