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Reuben Robinson (1821-26 November 1901)

Quilt square of burgundy and white fabric representing a windmill.
Reuben Robinson, "The Windmill"

According to a deed in the Brazoria County Clerk’s office, 12 January 1847, Tod Robinson, resident of Brazoria County, sold to J. H. Polley “the following described negro slaves to wit: Jack a dark mulatto man aged about twenty-five years, Bill a negro man about twenty years of age and Reuben a dark mulatto man aged about twenty years.”

Joseph B. Polley mentioned in his “Historical Reminiscences” that Ruben was “a grown slave” in 1858. According to Josephine Golson in Bailey’s Light, Reuben was among the enslaved people Polley freed after the Emancipation Proclamation.

J. H. Polley made a legal agreement with James Bailey, Reuben Robinson, Cato Morgan, Burrell Montgomery, Theodore Henderson, and Albert Nious to employ them as servants until December 1865.

Reuben Robinson bought 406 acres on the west bank of the Cibolo Creek from the Delgado grant, about 1½ miles below La Vernia, from John James for $1200 on 26 April 1870. This was the land belonging to the estate of enslaver Ross Houston, who died in 1862. On 6 February 1880, Reuben Robinson, James Reese, A. H. Reese, and J. S. Craighead were appointed to appraise the property of Harriet Stevenson upon the death of her husband Charles Stevenson.

Rube Robertson is listed in the 1870 Census. No wife is listed. Harrison, Munroe, Doctor, Russell, and Emma Robertson are living in the household. They are neighbors to Cato and Melinda Morgan.

Rueben Robinson appears on the 1880 Census in Wilson County. No wife is listed.

In the 1900 Census he is living in Precinct 6 with his wife, Louisa. Reuben and Louisa had been married for 18 years. They were married in 1882.

Reuben’s first wife, Mariah, must have died prior to 1882. Also on the record are daughter, Emma Britton, son-in-law, Joe Britton, grandchildren, John, Lillie, Lula, Joe E., Gertie, Wiley, Eliza Ann, and June. His older son, Dock, is living next door with his wife, Lizzie, and their children, Horace, Wesley, Maggie, Gus, William, Elva, Albertie, Jesse, Dock, and Maurie. According to Meyr, Irma M. Cemeteries of Wilson County, Texas, Ruben Robinson is buried in the Britton-Robinson Cemetery, but there is no marker for his grave.

Death certificates for Emma Britton and Dock Robinson indicate that Reuben and Mariah Robinson were their parents.

His quilt square is “The Windmill.”


This biographical selection is from The Enslaved People of J. H. Polley Plantation, Whitehall, Sutherland Springs, Texas 1836-1865. The collection is the work of independent scholar, Dr. Melinda Creech. Dr. Creech compiled and presents a biographical sketch of each of the enslaved along with a unique historic Texas quilt for each individual since photos of the 28 enslaved are not available. The collection is available to view in person at the Sutherland Springs Historical Museum.

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