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John Erigena Robinson diary

Identifier: Mss 0125

Scope and Contents

The diary covers the years 1867 and 1873 to 1878, with some large gaps in entries during those years. The 1867 entries were transcribed from an older diary, and appear in this volume between the last entry of 1874 and the first of 1876.

The diary provides a look at everyday student life at Seton Hall College in the 19th century. Robinson’s entries discuss lectures, exams, recreation, and visits home. Robinson was a member of the College’s baseball team, the Alerts, and recorded team meetings and game scores in his diary. After graduation, he returned to Brooklyn and the diary focuses on his family, social life, and baseball activities. Later he writes about his career as a journalist for the New York Herald, discussing assignments and interview subjects and recording payments received for his stories.


  • Creation: 1867, 1873-1878
  • Creation: 1867 January 1 - December 31 (transcribed from an older volume)
  • Creation: 1873 January 1 - 1873 February 28
  • Creation: 1874 March 1 - 1874 May 24
  • Creation: 1874 August 1 - 1874 December 31
  • Creation: 1876 May 18 - 1878 June 13

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

John Erigena Robinson was born October 26, 1855. He was the son of William Erigena Robinson, a politician and a journalist under the pen name “Richelieu.” William E. Robinson was appointed assessor of internal revenue of the third district of New York in 1862, and was first elected to Congress in 1867. He served in Congress from 1867 to 1869, and was later re-elected from 1881 to 1885.

John Erigena Robinson graduated from Seton Hall College in 1874. The earlier 1867 diary that he transcribed into this volume indicates that he was at Seton Hall in 1867 as well, meaning he was likely a student at Seton Hall Prep before entering the College. During his time at Seton Hall he participated in the “Junior Exhibition” in which he gave a speech, and he also played on the College’s baseball team, The Alerts.

After graduating Seton Hall, he returned home to Brooklyn where he spent much of his time playing baseball in Prospect Park and visiting with friends and family. He was a member of several club teams including the Nameless Base Ball Club and the Union Base Ball Club. In 1876, he got a job writing for the New York Herald. His first story appeared on December 17, 1876. He continued writing for the Herald and assisting his father with political matters until the diary’s end in 1878.


"Robinson, William Erigena (1812-1892)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed December 21, 2018.

Yale University. Class of 1841. Semi-Centennial Historical and Biographical Record of the Class of 1841 in Yale University: Printed for the Class. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, Printers, 1892. Accessed December 21, 2018.


1 Volumes

Language of Materials



This collection consists of a single bound diary which belonged to John Erigena Robinson. It covers the years 1867 and 1873 to 1878, although there are some large gaps between entries. Robinson was a student at Seton Hall College, graduating in the class of 1874. He was the son of congressman William Erigena Robinson, and a native of Brooklyn. An avid baseball player, he played on Seton Hall’s baseball team (then named The Alerts) and on several club teams in Brooklyn. After graduating Seton Hall he returned to Brooklyn and eventually found work as a reporter for the New York Herald.

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Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased by the Archives & Special Collections Center in 2018.

John Erigena Robinson diary, 1867, 1873-1878
Brianna LoSardo
2019 January 3
Language of description
Script of description
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  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US