Robinson, John M.

Born: 1794-04-10 Scott County, Kentucky

Died: 1843-04-25 Ottawa, Illinois

Robinson attended common schools in Kentucky and graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington. He studied law and gained admission to the Illinois bar in 1818. He practiced in Carmi and served as prosecuting attorney and state's attorney from 1819 into the 1830s. In 1829, he married Mary B. D. Ratcliff, and they had two children. In January 1830, the Illinois General Assembly elected him as a Jacksonian to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of John McLean. Reelected in December 1834, Robinson served in the Senate until March 1841, when he was not a candidate for reelection. In January 1843, the General Assembly elected him as an associate justice of the Illinois Supreme Court to replace Thomas Ford, who had resigned. Robinson died three months later of pleurisy.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, White County, 29 January 1829, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Daniel Berry, "Forgotten Statesmen of Illinois: Hon. John M. Robinson," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 7 (April 1914): 77-81; Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1996 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1997), 1743; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 119; Illinois Senate Journal. 1842. 13th G. A., reg. sess., 201; Gravestone, Old Graveyard, Carmi, IL; Illinois Free Trader and LaSalle County Commercial Advertiser (Ottawa, IL), 28 April 1843, 2:1. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.