BALTIMORE CITY ARCHIVES
(Joseph Robinson Book Auction Record)
The collection consists of a one volume listing of books owned by Robinson and sold in 1842 during bankruptcy proceedings. There is no record of when or how the Baltimore City Archives acquired the volume.
Robinson was born in Frederick, Maryland in 1787. He learned the printer's craft and moved to Baltimore around 1807. After running a printing business for several years, Robinson expanded his activities to include bookselling and operation of a circulating library. He also published a number of books for the Catholic Church and put out at least two serials: Robinson's Magazine in 1818 and The Monitor newspaper in 1857.
Judging from the nature of the bankruptcy auction record, Robinson apparently had some difficult financial times around 1842 and was compelled to liquidate his book stock. But he managed to continue earning money through printing, and by the later 1840s was again listed in the city directory as a bookseller as well.
During the War of 1812, Robinson held the rank of general in the local militia. He was also very active in the Maryland Masonic organization and served as Grand Master from 1842 until his death in 1863.
The auction record consists of an item listing of 386 book titles sold on or about January 12, 1842. Entries for each title include sequence of sale, title of book, number of volumes, person buying, and price paid. A summary of incidental expenses, such as newspaper advertising, transportation of books, and auctioneer's commission, are also provided.