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Robbins, Zenas C.

Born: 1810-10-18 New Hampshire

Died: 1907-01-30 Washington, D.C.

Flourished: Washington, D.C.

Zenas C. Robbins was an attorney, patent agent, police commissioner, and register of wills. Raised in Grafton, New Hampshire, Robbins read law and earned admission to the bar. In January 1837, he married Mary Jane Tilden in St. Louis, Missouri. Robbins moved to Washington, DC, in 1844, where he opened a patent law practice. Among his clients was Congressman Abraham Lincoln, for whom he secured a patent in May 1849. In 1850, Robbins was living in Washington's Second Ward and working as a patent agent and attorney from an office on the south side of F Street North, between Seventh and Eight streets West. In 1860, he was living in Washington's Fourth Ward and owned real property valued at $10,000 and a personal estate of $2,000. In 1861, President Lincoln appointed Robbins as a police commissioner for the District of Columbia, and in 1862, Lincoln appointed him register of wills for the District.

Obituary, The Granite Monthly 39 (February 1907), 63; St. Louis Genealogical Society, comp., St. Louis Marriage Index, 1804-76 (St. Louis: St. Louis Genealogical Society, 1999); U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 2, Washington County, DC, 81; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 4, Washington County, DC, 264; Edward Waite, comp., The Washington Directory, and Congressional, and Executive Register, for 1850 (Washington: Columbus Alexander, 1850), 75; Caleb B. Smith to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Edward Bates; Gravestone, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC.