Archibald Robertson was a successful
City Island shipbuilder in the Town of Pelham during the late 19th
century. He continued his business from
the time of the annexation of City Island by the City of New York in 1895 until about 1909, followed by the financial dissolution of the yard the following year. I have written about Archibald
Robertson before. See Wed., Jan. 28, 2009: Biography of Archibald Robertson, Another Resident of City Island When it Was Part of the Town of Pelham.
Archibald Robertson was a grandson of
Nicholas F. Robertson, a native of Scotland.
Nicholas F. Robertson came to America in 1812 and settled in Canada. His son, Henry R. Robertson, was born in 1815
on Prince Edward Island. Henry married
Martha Munn who was born in 1817 at Pictou, Canada.
Henry Robertson and Martha Munn
Robertson had their son, Archibald Robertson, on May 24, 1842 at Charlottetown
in the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada.
As a youngster Archibald received his education in the schools of
Charlottetown and, later, after his family moved, in the schools of Calais,
Maine in the United States. As a young
man in Calais, Robertson learned the ship carpenter’s trade which he practiced
there for a number of years.
On October 4, 1870, Archibald
Robertson married Mary Agnes Martin, a daughter of Alexander and Jane (Wilson)
Martin, both natives of Calais, Maine.
Mary Agnes Martin was nineteen years old at the time of their
marriage. (She was born in Calais on May
It appears that shortly the couple
married, they moved to Hartford, Connecticut where Archibald continued his work
as a ship carpenter. While living in
Hartford, the couple had several children:
1. Jessie May Robertson, born July 19, 1872 (who
later married John Spencer, and had a son they named Archibald Spencer).
2. Florence Robertson (who died in infancy).
4. Annie Grace Robertson, born at Hartford,
Connecticut July 20, 1875.
5. Jennie Bell Robertson (who died
aged nine years).
6. Archibald Robertson, Jr. (who died
in his second year).
Although the couple was not yet
finished having children, in 1877 they moved their
growing family to City Island in the Town of Pelham. While there, the couple had four more
7. Edith Louise Robertson, born August 24, 1882.
8. Alice Martin Robertson, born March 4, 1884.
9. Martha Robertson, born February 6, 1888 (who
died September 26, 1904, aged sixteen).
10. Alexander Robertson, born February
5, 1891 (who died in his second year).
It appears that for several years
Archibald Robertson worked informally as a shipwright with Orin Waterhouse of
City Island (or, perhaps, the pair worked in some form of affiliation with one
of the shipyards then located on City Island).
In any event, there is evidence that at least as early as 1880 Robertson
was working with a member of the Waterhouse family of City Island to build an
oyster sloop several years before Robertson established a City Island shipyard of
In 1882, Archibald Robertson joined
with a member of the Waterhouse family of City Island (likely Orin Waterhouse,
although at least one source suggests it was with Orin’s brother, Ezra
Waterhouse) to lease property adjoining that of the Hawkins Shipyard run by John
P. Hawkins of City Island. By the time
the pair leased the property, they already had contracts to rebuild two sloops,
the Westchester and the Katy Wood. They also had “several small repair jobs”
when they began.
At some time during the 1880s, Robertson bought the property and continued the
shipyard business as the “A. Robertson Shipyard and Marine Railways.” The Robertson shipyard adjoined the John P.
Hawkins Shipyard along the eastern shore of City Island at the foot of Fordham
Street, south of the Hawkins Shipyard.
Though the Robertson Shipyard and the Hawkings
Shipyard were competitors, they were neighbors.
According to one source: “Both
yards dealt in similar work repairing, servicing, and storing of local and
transient vessels, both pleasure and commercial, power and sail. In addition both yards were geared to build
in wood and produced vessels ranging in size from small tenders to moderate
sized schooners.” Robertson’s shipyard
maintained a set of large marine railways capable of hauling large commercial
schooners and steamers over one hundred feet in length.
Image of Archibald Robertson Shipyard, on the Left, Adjacent
to John P. Hawkins Shipyard to the Rear on the Right. Image
Used with Permission, Courtesy of the City Island Nautical
Museum, 190 Fordham Street, City Island, NY 10464. NOTE:
Click on Image to Enlarge.
Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, the A. Robertson
Shipyard was busy with outfitting and commissioning of local vessels and with
the repairing, servicing, and storage of local and transient vessels, both
pleasure and commercial. The shipyard
also built a variety of craft including small tenders, launches, oyster sloops,
pilot schooners, steam screw craft, and the like. According to research by the City Island
Nautical Museum, During the 1880s and 1890s, the A. Robertson Shipyard
built such craft as:
The William H. Lockwood, a wooden keel
oyster sloop, waterline length of 29.00 feet, designed by Archibald Robertson
and built by Robertson & Waterhouse for Captain John Price in
Complete rebuilds of the oyster sloops
Westchester and Katy Wood in 1882.
A wooden steam screw launch pleasure
yacht, overall length 26’4” designed by Archibald Robertson and built by
Robertson & Waterhouse in 1884.
The Waneta, a wooden oyster sloop,
overall length 46.00 feet and waterline length 38’2”, designed and built by
Archibald Robertson for an owner based out of Bridgeport, Connecticut in
The Elbridge T. Gerry (rebuilt later as the
wooden keel Sandy Hook Pilot Schooner, overall length 86.00 feet and waterline
length 79.00 feet, designed and built by Archibald Robertson for Sandy Hook
Pilots Syndicate, Captain Ben J. Guiness in 1889.
The Rambler, a wooden centerboard oyster
sloop, overall length 42.00 feet and waterline length 30.00 feet, designed and
built by Archibald Robertson for J. Ross Collins of New York in
The W. E. Peck, a wooden “non self
propelling barge – Tonnage 176 / 185,” overall length 100.00 feet, designed and
built by Archibald Robertson for Ferris & Studwell
of Port Chester, NY in 1891.
Bird's-Eye View of Archibald Robertson Shipyard, on Left,
and John P. Hawkins Shipyard, on Right. Image
Used with Permission, Courtesy of the City Island Nautical
Museum, 190 Fordham Street, City Island, NY 10464. NOTE:
Click on Image to Enlarge.
Archibald Robertson seems to have
leased part of his shipyard to Poucher Boats and
Launches Company in 1903. That lease
seems to have ended in 1905 when a firm known as Purdy & Collison, run by
Reginald Fairns Purdy and Charles H. Collison, seems
to have leased that portion of the shipyard that had been leased to Poucher Boats and Launches.
During the period of these leases, Archibald Robertson continued to
operate the remainder of the property as his own shipyard.
Detail from 1893 Sanborn Map Showing Archibald Robertson
Shipyard Adjacent to John P. Hawkins Shipyard. Source:
Historical Perspectives, Inc., Phase IA Documentary Study City
NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.
At about this time, Robertson's life began to crumble. On September 26, 1904, the couple's sixteen-year-old daughter, Martha Robertson (born February 6, 1888) died. Barely five months later, on March 8, 1905, Archibald Robertson's wife, Mary Agnes Martin Robertson, died.
Robertson continued his work at his boatyard despite the deaths of his wife and child. In about 1907, he received contracts from the City of New York to construct two boats: a 77-foot-long steel passenger steamboat and a 169-foot-long twin screw passenger and freight steamer, both to serve the needs of the New York City Commissioner of Charities. The two boats originally were estimated to cost about $110,000.
If any of a number of news reports at the time are to be believed, Robertson soon found himself in a bureaucratic nightmare in dealings with the Office of the Commissioner of Charities. The Commission had arranged for a naval architect to design the two boats and to provide the plans to Archibald Robertson. After the plans were completed, it was discovered that design provided for yacht engines on both boats that were simply not up to the task since the boats might have to ply ice on the East River, among other things.
The boats were redesigned to accommodate heavier and more powerful engines. Since this would make the boats too heavy and lower their water lines, they would not be able to dock at various city docks as would be required. The naval architect then redesigned the steel hulls of the two boats to use lighter steel, but it was feared that the change might render them useless for plying the East River during times of ice. Nevertheless, a decision was made to continue and Archibald Robertson began building the two boats.
Through all of this, the New York City Commissioner of Charities approved all the design changes crafted by the naval architect. Soon, however, there was a change in the administration and a new Commissioner took over.
When Robertson had completed half the work on the two boats, he called on New York City to pay half the price of the contracts as required. Before paying the required half payment, the New York City Comptroller sent a city engineer with the naval plans on file with the city to inspect the two partially-completed boats. When the engineer arrived, he had only the original plans that had been filed with the city. Apparently none of the subsequent redesign plans that had been approved by the original Commissioner of Charities (who since had left that position) had been properly filed with the city. The engineer refused to certify the boats as built in accordance with the plans on file. Consequently, the New York City Comptroller refused to pay Robertson for the work done so far.
The financial consequences were devastating. Though it appears from sympathetic news reports at the time that Robertson was not at fault, within a short time in November, 1909, Robertson filed a petition in bankruptcy. According to one account, Robertson:
"filed a petition in bankruptcy, with liabilities $26,394 and nominal assets $74,900, consisting of a claim against the city of New York for $65,000 for the amounts due under two contracts to construct a steel passenger steamboat and a steel passenger and freight steamer for the Commissioner of Charities, which contracts were broken by the city; steel hull and ship frame, $7,500; stock $2,000; machinery and tools, $400."
As Robertson struggled to deal with the devastating financial consequences of New York City refusing to pay, on June 19, 1909 his daughter, Alice Martin Robertson, died. Within a few months, in 1910, the Archibald Robertson Shipyard dissolved financially.
The strain seems to have been overwhelming for Robertson. On Tuesday, April 1, 1913, Archibald Robertson died of "congestion of the lungs" at his home on the upper west side of Manhattan (133 West 111th Street). He was 69 years old and had built ships on City Island for more than thirty years.
* * * * *
Below is the text of a number of items that relate to the Archibald Robertson Shipyard and Marine Railways. Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.
Messrs. Archibald Robertson and E. A.
Waterhouse have leased the property adjoining that of Mr. John P. Hawkins for a
shipyard. The new firm have already made
contracts for rebuilding the sloops Westchester and Katy Wood, besides several
small repair jobs. . . .”
Source: CITY ISLAND, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Oct.
13, 1882, Vol. XIV, No. 682, p. 3, col. 3.
Three Men Injured in W. K. Vanderbilt,
Jr.’s, Turbine Tarantula.
NOW LYING OFF CITY
Acid Thrown on the Victims Who Were
Hurled Overboard by the Concussion.
AMBULANCES CALLED TO
Accident Resulted From a Defect in the
Boat’s Electric Batteries.
Three sailors were badly hurt to-day
and blown overboard by an explosion on the turbine yacht Tarantula, owned by
William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., and lying off City Island, at Archibald Robertson’s
The injured me were taken to the Forhams [sic] Hospital.
The batteries on the yacht blew up
because of some fault in the acid. It
was scattered in all directions, and the three men near were burned and hit by
pieces of glass, which flew in all directions.
As soon as the Police Department was
notified ambulances were hurried out to City Island.
The Tarantula is a turbine yacht,
driven by two powerful turbine engines, and is capable of remarkable speed. On her trial trip it was claimed that she
made twenty-six knots an hour. When
built, three engines were installed, but the third engine was found to be a
fifth wheel in her machinery, and was taken out this season. This is the yacht’s second season in the
water. She is about 160 feet long and 16
feet deep. She was built by Cox &
King, the English firm.”
ROBERTSON. – At City Island, N. Y., on March 8,
1905. MARY A., wife of Archibald
Robertson. Funeral service at her late
residence, Lafayette st., City Island, on Saturday, at
half-past two P.M.”
Source: DIED. . . ROBERTSON, N.Y. Herald, Mar. 10, 1905, No. 25036,
p. 1, cols. 1-2.
“CITY WON’T TAKE HIS
CITY ISLAND BUILDER LEFT WITH THEM ON
Had Contract With the City, but
Commissioner Coggey Authorized Him to Alter the
Specifications – Now the City Says the Boats Won’t Do At All.
Commissioner Barry of the Department
of Correction will in a short time ask for bids for the construction of two new
passenger and freight boats to ply between Manhattan and Blackwell’s
Island. Archibald Robertson has been
hoping that the city would take off his hands two similar boats for which he got
the contract from the city two years ago.
One of these boats, a steel passenger steamboat 77 feet long, lies at the
Robertson shipyard at City Island practically completed, while near it on the
ways is the frame of a twin screw passenger and freight steamer 169 feet over
all which was to be the queen of the department’s fleet.
For nearly a year now Robertson has
tried to get the city to accept these boats, which were to cost $110,000. The Comptroller, acting on the report of his
engineer, Chandler Withington, that the boats were not
built according to specification has refused not only to take the boats when
completed but to advance any of the money already expended by the builder in
their construction. The alterations in
the plans were approved by Commissioner Coggey, then
at the head of the Department of Correction, but it is contended by the Finance
Department that he acted without authority and that the builder must take the
It was in the spring of 1907 that
Commissioner Coggey got an appropriation for the two
boats. He had plans for them drawn by a
naval architect named Lowrey. The smaller boat, the steel passenger
steamboat, was to cost $17,389. The
other boat was to cost $92,378. It was
to be for passengers and freight and to do the work now done by the Massasoit
and Minnehannock, plying between Twenty-sixth street
and the islands in the East River.
These boats are supposed to run in any
kind of weather and to poke their way through the ice if necessary. For some reason, however, both the new boats
were originally designed for yacht engines of the Seabury type. After the contract had been awarded to
Robertson Mr. Coggey decided that yacht engines
wouldn’t do at all and that a bad mistake had been made. In fact it is said that the Seabury company
itself demurred at putting its type of engines in such
ordered heavier engines for the boats.
Then it was found that these engines would weigh the boats as designed
down so much that the water line originally established would be at least five
feet under water, and that even if the larger boat could sail in that fashion
she wouldn’t be able to get very near Blackwell’s Island because there wouldn’t
be enough water for her.
Architect Lowrey and Commissioner Coggey put
their heads together again and it was then that Mr. Coggey approved a change in plans. While the boats were to have the same lines
the material in them, particularly the steel was to be very much lighter in
order to allow for the heavier engines and allow the boats to sail on their
proper water line.
After he had had orders for these
alterations signed and approved by the Commissioner, Robertson went ahead and
began to build the boats.
The little boat was about 60 per cent. completed last July and Robertson then asked for part of the contract price as
the contract had provided. Mr. Coggey indorsed his demand, but before paying the money the
Comptroller sent Engineer Withington up to City Island
to look at the boats. Mr. Withington was surprised to find that they weren’t at all
like the boats called for in the plans on file with the contract in the
Comptroller’s office. He reported to Mr.
Metz, it is said, that they might do for yachts but not for city ferryboats, and
that as they were not the kind of boats contracted for the city was under no
obligation to take them.
Practically all the steel for the two
boats had been delivered when this occurred and Robertson pointed out that it
would mean practically a dead loss to him.
Lawyers representing the boat builder and his sureties have had frequent
conferences at the Comptroller’s office trying to adjust matters but without any
result. The boat builder offered to
compromise on the price, it is said, but this the city
In the meantime the city wanted new
ferryboats. Commissioner Barry, who
succeeded Coggey three months ago, refused to get into
the row, and he has now decided to have new plans drawn. That leaves it up to Mr. Robertson either to
take his loss or sue the city. It is
said that he has about decided on the latter course.”
ROBERTSON. – On June 19, 1909, at 133
West 111th st.., N. Y. city, ALICE M.,
daughter of Archibald Robertson. Funeral
services at her late home Monday at eight P. M. and Methodist Church, City
Island, N. Y., on Tuesday, three P. M. . . .”
Source: DEATHS. . . ROBERTSON, N.Y. Herald, Jun. 20, 1909, No. 26599,
p. 1, cols. 6-7.
Archibald Robertson, residing at No.
133 West 111th street, who was a shipbuilder at City Island, has
filed a petition in bankruptcy, with liabilities $26,394 and nominal assets
$74,900, consisting of a claim against the city of New York for $65,000 for the
amounts due under two contracts to construct a steel passenger steamboat and a
steel passenger and freight steamer for the Commissioner of Charities, which
contracts were broken by the city; steel hull and ship frame, $7,500; stock
$2,000; machinery and tools, $400. . . .”
Source: Bankruptcy Matters, N.Y. Herald, Nov. 20, 1909, p. 17, col. 2.
Archibald Robertson, residing at 133 West 111th street, who was a shipbuilder at City Island, has filed a petition in bankruptcy, with liabilities $26,394 and nominal assets $74,900. He has a claim against the city for $65,000 under two contracts to construct a steel passenger steamboat and steel passenger and freight steamer for the Commission of Charities, which contracts were cancelled by the city. . . ."
Source: Business Troubles, The Sun [NY, NY], Nov. 20, 1909, p. 12, col. 7.
Mr. Archibald Robertson, for thirty
years a well known shipbuilder of City Island, died
Tuesday of congestion of the lungs at his home, No. 133 West 111th
street. He was sixty-nine years
old. As senior member of the firm of
Robertson & Waterhouse he supervised the construction of many yachts and
schooners. He had many municipal and
government contracts. Mr. Robertson was
long active in the civic life of City Island and Pelham before annexation, and
was a member of Pelham Lodge of Masons.
He is survived by two daughters.”
Source: MR. ARCHIBALD ROBERTSON, N.Y. Herald, Apr. 3, 1913, p. 7, col. 5.
Archibald Robertson, a shipbuilder, of
City Island, died Tuesday at his home, No. 133 West One Hundred and Eleventh
Street. He was sixty-nine years
old. As senior member of the firm of
Robertson & Waterhouse, he supervised the construction of many yachts and
schooners. He had been active in the
civic life of City Island and Pelham before annexation, and was a member of the
Pelham Lodge of Masons.”
Source: Archibald Robertson, The Evening Post [NY, NY], Apr. 3, 1913,
p. 4, col. 2.
“The 1870 New York State Business
Directory and Gazetteer lists the Waterhouse Brothers, groceries, as one of ten
businesses for all of City Island. A
deed from 1876 shows that E. W. Waterhouse obtained property from John O. and
Angelina A. Fordham (Liber 200:182) and that he or his son (Ethan W. Waterhouse)
bought property from them in 1891 (Liber 236:28). Ezra L. Waterhouse had also sold a parcel to
Gustav Hillman in 1877 (Liber 202:483).
E. W. Waterhouse, born in 1836, had
two brothers, E. L., born in 1834, and Orin F., born c. 1844. The 1870 federal census for City Island lists
E. L. Waterhouse as an oysterman, and Orin F. as Ref.? Grocery. E. W. Waterhouse is not listed on the 1870
federal census, but he and his family are listed on the 1880 federal census for
City Island, along with E. L. Waterhouse.
E. W. Waterhouse is listed as a grocer, while his eldest son William is
an oysterman. Orin Waterhouse is not
listed in the 1880 federal census. E. L.
Waterhouse is still listed as an oysterman in 1880.
E. W. Waterhouse, a grocer, and his
family, are listed next to Hawkins family on the 1880 census list. Further down the same page is Archibald
Robertson, a shipwright, and his family.
Robertson owned the shipyard immediately south of the Hillman / Hawkins
shipyard, on the southern half of the APE, on Lot 225 (Figure
Archibald Robertson moved to City
Island around 1877, and with Orin Waterhouse leased the area south of the
Hillman yard and established a shipyard (Nye n.d.). A deed from
1876 shows that E. W. Waterhouse, Orin’s brother, bought land from John O. and
Angelina Fordham, although it is not clear if this is the shipyard property
(Liber 200:182). Robertson is known to
have bought the yard in the 1880s (Nye 2005). An estate map filed in 1889 (Map No. 699,
Westchester County Register’s Office, 1889), showing the estate of Orrin F.
Fordham, indicated the north half of the APE belonged to G. Hillman and the
south half to L. Waterhouse, with the exception of the strip of land bordering
Banta Lane (including Lot 295), which did not have a named
Lot 225 is depicted on the 1893
Sanborn map as the ‘Archibald Robertson Ship Yard’ (Figure 7). Robertson’s shipyard engaged in similar
activities to that of Hawkins’: repair
and outfitting of all types of vessels, including yachts. Robertson’s also maintained a marine railway
that could handle large commercial schooners and steamers over 100 feet in
length (Nye n.d.).
Boat building, particularly of smaller sloops and schooners, also took
place. By issuance of the 1893 Sanborn
map, the shipyard had a number of structures depicted on it. Closest to the water were two two-story frame
buildings, both used for wood work.
Along the western edge of the APE, in the northwest corner of the lot,
was a one and one-half story frame dwelling, at 213 Fordham Street. This structure will be referred to as
Structure B in the discussion. There was
also a two-story frame building in the southwest corner of the lot, used as a
blacksmith shop. This building is also labeled ‘Old’; this may indicate that the
building was not in use at that time.
There were also three sheds located on the lot, as well as a narrow
rectangular structure labeled ‘Steam Box.’
The 1893 Sanborn map indicates that
south of the Robertson shipyard on former Lot 295 was a one and two-story frame
structure, a store, which faced Banta Lane.
This building is also labeled ‘Old,’ and this was the former Billar/Waterhouse post office and store. This buiding is
shown on historic maps up to 1905 (Bromley 1897, Sanborn 1897, New York
Commissioner of Street Improvements 1905), but appears to have been replaced by
a contiguous row of three frame structures sometime in 1905 (Bromley 1905). In 1910, the Bromley map did not indicate the
function of these buildings, although by issuance of the 1913 Bromley map they
were marked as storage (Figure 8). It is
possible that the store was altered to form dwellings, but there are no records
to support this. Records from the
Department of Buildings for Lot 295 show that Peter and Jessie Curren applied for an alteration permit for their wooden
dwelling at 211 Banta Lane in 1911. The
Currens are listed in the 1910 federal census as
living at 211 Banta Lane. However, this
address may actually refer to Lot 296, which is not within the APE. By publication of the 1918 Sanborn map, these
structures were no longer present, and sometime between 1927 and 1935 the
shipyard on Lot 225 made use of Lot 295 (Bromley 1927, Sanborn 1935). Lot 295 remained a separate lot until
sometime after 1969, when it was bought by International Underwater Contractors
(Liber 111:73 1969); the same occurred for Lot 225 (Liber 111:77 1969) and they
were eventually consolidated into Lot 235.
Robertson leased part of his property
to the Poucher Launch Company in 1905, and in 1906
leased it to Charles H. Collison and Reginald Fairns
Purdy, who operated as City Island Shipbuilders (Nye n.d., DCP 2001b). Robertson
had retired, but maintained a presence in the shipyard. Collison and Purdy built two new marine
railways and built and repaired various types of vessels. Around the turn of the century, a revampment of the street grid was proposed surrounding the
APE; this would have entailed eliminating Banta Lane, and running a new street
from City Island Avenue through to the Sound that would have bisected the
southern shipyard in the APE (Mack 1902, New York Commissioner of Street
Improvements 1905). This plan was never
In 1910, the shipyard dissolved for
financial reasons, and Purdy reorganized with Thomas A. Kyle as Kyle &
Purdy, Inc. . . .”
Archibald Robertson, a progressive and enterprising citizen of City Island, where he is engaged in the ship, yacht and launch building trade, is a grandson of Nicholas F. Robertson, who was a native of Scotland, came to America in 1812 and settled in one of the Canadian provinces. His son, Henry R., father of Archibald Robertson, was born at Prince Edward Island, 1815, and he married Martha Munn, who was born at Pictou, Canada, 1817.
Archibald Robertson was born at Charlottetown, province of Nova Scotia. Canada, May 24, 1842. and was there educated in the schools of his native town and at Calais, Maine. Upon attaining to manhood years he learned the ship carpenter's trade at Calais, where he followed the trade for a number of years and later removed to Hartford, Connecticut, where he again took up his profession, continuing there until 1877, when he came to City Island and here purchased lands, formerly a part of the Fordham estate, and shore rights, upon which he established his ship building plant, and by his industry and enterprise built up a successful trade in building yachts and pleasure craft. Among his patrons were some of New York's leading representative men. In addition to his commercial interests, Mr. Robertson takes an active interest in all enterprises that have for their objects the material good and welfare of the community in which he resides. He is an active member of Pelham Lodge, No. 712, F. and A. M., and also Huguenot Council, and New Rochelle Lodge, Royal Arcanum. Mr. Robertson is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church at City Island and has served as a member of the board of trustees of the same for over fifteen years. He retired from active business pursuits in 1906, and resides in a pleasant cottage on King avenue, overlooking Long Island sound.
Archibald Robertson married, at Calais, Maine, October 4, 1870, Mary Agnes Martin, born May 4, 1851, daughter of Alexander and Jane (Wilson) Martin, both natives of Calais, Maine. Of this marriage Mr. Robertson had born to him the following children: 1. Jessie May, born July 19, 1872, married John Spencer, and has one son, Archibald Spencer. 2. Florence, died in infancy. 3. Lawrence. 4. Annie Grace, born at Hartford, Connecticut, July 20, 1875. 5. Jennie Bell, died aged nine years. 6. Archibald, Jr., died in his second year. 7. Edith Louise, born August 24, 1882. 8. Alice Martin, born March 4, 1884. 9. Martha, born February 6, 1888, died September 26, 1904. 10. Alexander, born February 5, 1891, died in his second year. The faithful wife and mother of the aforementioned children passed away March 8. 1905. She was a consistent Christian [Page 244 / Page 245] lady, possessed of many excellencies of character and contributed much of her time in assisting those in want, in time of sickness, and in many other ways."
Source: Pelletreau, William S., Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York, Vol. IV, pp. 243-45 (NY and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1907).