Woman of the Century/Abbie C. B. Robinson
ROBINSON. Mrs. Abbie C. B., editor and political writer, born in Woonsocket, R. I., 18th September, 1828. Her father was George C. Ballou, a cousin of Rev. Hosea Ballou and of President Garfield's mother. Her mother's maiden name was Ruth Eliza Aldrich. She was a woman of ideas quite in advance of her time, brought up, as her ancestors had been, under the Quaker system of repression. The daughter inherited from both parents most desirable qualities of devotion, courage and mental strength. She was educated in her native town and in New England boarding-schools. She studied music in Boston and spent three years in Warren Seminary, R. I. She took the regular course in the institute in Pittsfield. Mass. In 1854 she became the wife of Charles D. Robinson, of Green Bay, Wis. He was the editor of the Green Bay "Advocate" and for many years one of the controlling minds of Wisconsin in all matters of public polity. He was at one time Secretary of State. Mrs. Robinson was as famous for political wisdom as her husband. Of her newspaper career ABBIE C. B. ROBINSON. it is somewhat difficult to write, since her public work was so closely interwoven with her private experiences during the very sorrowful and troublous period of her connection with the "Advocate." She went into the office of that paper by the usual route, the desire to help her husband, in the early part of 1882, as Colonel Robinson's health was failing rapidly. Gradually the sick man's duties fell to his devoted wife, and before long she assumed charge of them all, taking the place in the office while she performed her own duties at home, doubly increased by the care of a dying husband. Her lot was rendered infinitely harder by other troubles, which harassed and hampered her almost beyond endurance. After three years of editorial management of the "Advocate, she was placed in a position to assume control of the whole establishment connected with the paper, including not only the business management, but also a job department, a bindery and store. That position she held for four years, during which time Colonel Robinson died. Then came the inevitable result, nervous prostration, an attempt again to take up the work, then her final retirement from the paper in 1888. Under all these trying conditions she won for herself an enviable reputation as a woman of much force and ability, always animated by the highest, purest motives, and as an easy, graceful, cultured writer. She was also a good deal of a politician, with original Republican tendencies, though the "Advocate" was and is a Democratic paper. The story of her having brought out a Republican issue of the paper, when it was once put under her charge during Colonel Robinson's editorship, is a standard joke, and is periodically repeated in the State papers. The stand taken by the "Advocate" during the labor strikes and riots in Milwaukee, in 1881, is said to have saved the Democratic party in Wisconsin from making a serious mistake.