George Maxwell Robeson
GEORGE MAXWELL ROBESON
In 1855 Governor Newell appointed Mr. Robeson Prosecutor of the Pleas of Camden county, and he became a resident of Camden, holding his office of public prosecutor until 1860.
Retiring from that office he became a law partner of Alden C. Scovel, Esq., but in the year 1865, when Mr. Theodore F. Frelinghuysen, then Attorney General of New Jersey, was elected Senator, he recommended Mr. Robeson to the vacant Attorney. Generalship, to which position Governor Ward appointed him.
Mr. Robeson has always taken an active part in polities, and was one of the most ardent and able supporters of the war policy of the Government through all our late troubles.
He was a member of the Sanitary Commission, and was from the first associated with the Union League of Philadelphia. In 1862 he was appointed by Governor Olden a Brigadier-General,
and commanded a camp of volunteers at Woodbury, New Jersey for the organization of troops. Mr. Robeson is in the prime of life, and is universally esteemed for his abilities and his agreeable social character.
His administration of the Department has been, in general, very creditable to him. Charges were brought against him by a New York editor of corruption, fraud and malfeasance in office; but on a careful and thorough investigation by a committee of the House of Representatives, they were proved to have been unfounded, and the only instance in which there was ground for any semblance of blame was in his payment of the Secor (Jersey City) claim, after it had been once decided adversely by Congress and by an official Board of Examination. The claim was not, perhaps, unjust, and it was reasonable that the contractors, if wronged, should have some means of redress; but it was a somewhat dangerous stretch of official authority for the head of a department to order a large payment made to them on his own motion, after it had been adjudicated by the only competent authority that they had been paid in full. It is due to him to say, however, that in this case there was no just imputation in regard to his honesty and integrity, but that his action was only an error of judgment in regard to the scope of his official powers.
Mr. Robeson unquestionably possesses a high order of talent, and may be regarded as one of the ablest administrative officers of the Government.
His genial temper, graceful address and fascinating manners, render him deservedly popular in private life.
Source: Source: Men of Our Day; or Biographical Sketches of Patriots, Orators, Statesmen, Generals, Reformers, Financiers and Merchants, Now on the state of Action: Including Those Who in Military, Political, Business and Social Life, are the Prominent Leaders of the Time in This Country, by L. P. Brockett, M. D., Published by Ziegler and McCurdy, Philadelphia Penna; Springfield, Mass; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo., 1872
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