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George Dexter Robinson

In office
January 3, 1884 – January 6, 1887
Lieutenant Oliver Ames
Preceded by Benjamin F. Butler
Succeeded by Oliver Ames

In office
1877 – 1883 (11th)
1883 – 1884 (12th)
Preceded by Chester W. Chapin (1877)
Succeeded by William Whiting (1883)
Francis W. Rockwell (1884)

Born January 20, 1834(1834-01-20)
Lexington, Massachusetts
Died February 22, 1896 (aged 62)
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Alma mater Harvard College

George Dexter Robinson (born George Washington Robinson) (January 20, 1834–February 22, 1896) was born in Lexington, Massachusetts. He attended Lexington Academy and Hopkins Classical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1856. While at Harvard he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity.[1] He was the principal of Chicopee High School from 1856 to 1865. Robinson studied law for nine years with his brother, and earned a masters degree from Harvard. He was admitted to the bar in Cambridge in 1866 and commenced practice in Chicopee. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1874 and served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1876, both times representing Chicopee. He was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1877, to January 7, 1884, when he resigned, having been elected Governor of Massachusetts. He held this position from 1884 to 1887.

As governor, Robinson's accomplishments included fiscal restraint. Nevertheless, he also proposed successful legislation to extend free public education to every student by requiring that textbooks be provided to each student free of charge. He also created a requirement that corporations pay workers weekly and established the Commonwealth's first State Board of Arbitration to resolve disputes between workers and employers.

Upon leaving office, Robinson resumed the practice of law in Springfield, Massachusetts, at what is now Robinson Dononan PC. It was in this period that he achieved, in 1892, the distinction of serving as Lizzie Borden's defense counsel; for a retainer of $25,000 he was able to secure her acquittal. He remained a prominent lawyer until his death in Chicopee; he is buried in Fairview Cemetery.


  1. ^ Baird, William Raymond (1915). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, pp.349-355

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chester W. Chapin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th congressional district

1877 – 1883
Succeeded by
William Whiting II
Preceded by
district reissued
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 12th congressional district

1883 – January 7, 1884
Succeeded by
Francis W. Rockwell
Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Butler
Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Oliver Ames


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