Monday, February 9, 2015


Dobbins Family


Excerpt from a letter to me dated September 27, 1997 from Carl H. Peterson, Ph.D. - a friend, a cousin, a descendant in-law of Robert B. Dobbins and a retired college History Professor:

"…I learned something yesterday that may be of interest to you.  I was lecturing on New England church history and had prepared an overhead of the 1670s woodcut by John Foster of the Rev. John Davenport of New Haven.  I asked my colleague Larry Bryant what it was that Davenport was holding between his fingers.  As I had guessed, Larry identified them as spectacles, but he added that they were a "signature gesture," an iconographical convention intended to identify the subject as a studious clergyman.  He showed me a painting by Van Eyck which is supposed to have been the first painting of eyeglasses ever done and which was the origin of this convention.  It seems that when the Rev. Robert B. Dobbins had his picture taken he knew exactly how it should be done."

Rev. Dobbins (whose middle name was Boyd, as shown on a deed he executed in Fulton County, Illinois) was active in the ministry from his Ordination in 1804 until his death in 1854.  He will be given a blog write-up soon.  He was my 4th great grandfather.

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