Optional Catch-up Assignment- Joe Robinson


For this assignment, I used ancestry.com to find a picture of Walter Raymond Robinson, my great grandfather on my dad’s side.  Walter was born on December 17, 1891 in Gloucester, MA.  The above picture was taken in 1908 when he was 17 years old, making him ineligible to vote in that year’s presidential election.  I believe that in the following two elections we’ve covered in class (1912 and  1920), my great grandfather would have probably voted for the Republican candidates.

Both Walter and his wife, my great grandmother Ruth Warren Tarr, were descendants of English immigrants who first arrived in America around 1700.  One of their ancestors, Richard Tarr, founded the town of Rockport, MA in 1690.  Like other Americans of early European descent, I think Walter would have been more conservative in his views.  Although his family wasn’t rich, they did own a successful grocery store during his childhood.  After graduating school, Walter went to work for the Gloucester National Bank, where he remained for most of his professional career.

Walter’s upbringing, along with his career in the financial world, leads me to believe that he would have voted for Taft and Harding in the 1912 and 1920 elections, respectively.  Although Wilson won in Massachusetts in 1912, I think his supporters would have come from the more industrial areas such as Boston, Lawrence/Lowell, and Springfield where there were larger immigrant populations.  I don’t think the people of Gloucester necessarily fit his supporter base.  As for the landslide 1920 election, I think Walter would have joined the rest of the nation in its desire to “return to normalcy” and would have voted for Harding.

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