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Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Related to a Philosopher! Edwin Proctor Robins (1872-1899)

I'm been filing and organizing my mother's genealogical data and I came across a list of people buried in various Prince Edward Island (Canada) cemeteries. One of the tombstones in the Lower Bedeque United Church Cemetery says, "In Memory Of / Edwin Proctor Robins, / Born At / Central Bedeque / July 2, 1872. / Died at / Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. / April 19 1899. / Mors Janua Vitae [Death is the gate of [everlasting] life]" [Edwin Proctor Robins].

This was intriguing. I know I am related to all the Robins (Robbins) descendents from Prince Edward Island but I'd never heard of Edwin Proctor Robins. His great-grandfather, Robert Robbins, is a United Empire Loyalist who came to PEI from New Jersey when the American Revolution ended. Edwin Proctor Robins and I are fourth cousins, three times removed. Why did he die at Cornell University?

I still don't know how he died and why he was so young (26 years old) but I did find a book he published on Some Problems of Lotze's Theory of Knowledge. I think the book was first published in 1900—a year after he died. Sounds like Edwin Proctor Robins might have been an epistemologist. Does anyone know anything about my relative or about Lotz's Theory of Knowledge?


SRM said...


Death of Edwin P. Robbins, due to Acute Brlght's Disease.

Edwin Proctor Robbins of Central Bedeque, P. E. 1., Canada, a candidate for the degree of Ph. D. in June, died early yesterday morning ot' acute Bright's disease at the infirmary.

I will email you the link

SRM said...

actually, wouldn't be surprised if he died from some sort of infection given that he had just been operated on for appendicitis.

Larry Moran said...

Thank-you very much. I agree that Bright's Disease sounds suspicious.

Piotr Gąsiorowski said...

It seems the book has been reprinted recently:

Lotze is this man:
(there was also another German philosopher called Johannes Baptist Lotz, so it's important not to confuse their surnames).

Unknown said...

In the list of famous people who also suffered from Bright's Disease are Gregor Mendel and Linus Pauling.
Also Karl Jansky and Bram Stoker.