JAMES F. ROBINSON was born in Scott County, Kentucky on October 4, 1800. His education was attained at the Forest Hill Academy and at Transylvania University, where he graduated from in 1818. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and established a successful legal career in Georgetown, Kentucky. Robinson entered politics in 1851, serving as a member of the Kentucky State Senate, a position he was reelected to in 1861. He served as senate president for a short time in 1861, and was reelected to the same position on August 16, 1862. Two days later, Governor Beriah Magoffin resigned from office, and because there was no lieutenant governor at the time, Robinson, who was senate president, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, he worked to institute the state as a supporter of the Union. However, Kentucky was soon occupied by Confederate troops, and the federal government’s policies on troop conscriptions and military detainments were imposed on the state. After leaving office, Robinson returned to his Scott County farm, and retired from political life. He stayed active practicing law, and serving as the chairman on the board of trustees for Georgetown College. He also served as president of the Farmers’ Bank of Georgetown. Governor James F. Robinson passed away on October 31, 1882, and was buried at the Georgetown Cemetery in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Governors' Papers, Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives, Public Records Division
The Political Graveyard
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.