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Profile of William Robeson

Princeton, New Jersey

c. 1810


Attributed to Francis de Haes Janvier (1774-1824)


4 1/2 in x 3 3/8 in


Graphite and watercolor on paper board

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of Francis Hort Sharp

Accession Number



In ink on the back: “William Robeson / grand Father of John Lewden / Robeson, and great great / grand Father of Mary R. / Pennington, and of Martha / Robeson Janvier Hort,” the last name in a different hand and ink color. The handwriting appears to be that of Margaret Janvier Hort.

Condition Notes

The outer margins of the Robeson profile are darker where the drawing was probably stained by prolonged contact with a mat having an oval window. The upper corners have been cut away.


Ex coll. Miss Margaret Janvier Hort


This profile portrait of William Robeson accompanied another profile of George W. Janvier (acc. no. 1981.263), long identified as the work of his brother Francis de Haes Janvier.  The Robeson image is an older man.  He appears to have been Capt. William Robeson (1743–1815), a Revolutionary War veteran and shopkeeper in Newport, Delaware, about five miles northwest of New Castle.  His relationship to the younger Janviers lay in the marriage of his grandson John Lewden Robeson (1804-1867) to Mary Gaw Janvier (1811–1834).  Mary's father was Thomas Janvier, the furniture-making cousin of George and Francis Janvier.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 252-253.