Skip to main content

Boston College collection of Chandler Robbins cased photographs

Collection BC-2021-022: Boston College collection of Chandler Robbins cased photographs


  • Creation: approximately 1861

Scope and Contents

Three cased photographs of Chandler Robbins, a Union soldier in the American Civil War. These include including a formal portrait and two photographs of Robbins with others in camp. The photographs were likely taken near Williamsport or Harper's Ferry, Maryland.

Language of Materials

Graphic materials, no linguistic content.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Chandler Robbins was a wheelwright, gold miner, Union soldier in the American Civil War, furniture merchant, and undertaker from Westborough, Massachusetts. He was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1819, and his family moved to Westborough shortly thereafter. In 1842, he married Frances Mellen. They had five children, though only two survived to adulthood. Robbins left for the California gold fields in 1849, participating in the Fremont surveying party led by John C. Fremont and guided by Kit Carson, but was robbed on his return trip through Panama. He enlisted in the 13th Massachusetts Volunteers, Company K, at the outset of the Civil War, in 1861. He was detailed as company cook and as a hospital nurse, including as personal nurse to John C. Robinson when he was wounded at the Spindle Farm. Robbins was taken prisoner three times, and spent a short time in Libby Prison. After the war, he returned to Westborough, where he worked as a furniture merchant and repairman, as well as the town's undertaker, until his death in 1880.


“Death of Chandler Robbins”, Westborough Chronotype, April 17, 1880.

Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War. Compiled and published by the Adjutant General. Norwood: Norwood Press, 1931. Vol 2, p. 128.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)


Three cased photographs of Chandler Robbins, Union soldier in the American Civil War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were purchased from Cowan's Auctions, November 2020.

Related Materials

Additional examples of this style of photography can be found in the Boston College collection of cased photographs, MS.2019.002, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Additional photographs of Robbins and the 13th Massachusetts can be found in the Civil War Photography Collection, Medford Historical Society and Museum.

Boston College collection of Chandler Robbins cased photographs
Elizabeth Peters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States