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Yankee Robinson

Circus Owner Yankee Robinson

May 2, 1818 - September 4, 1884



Yankee Robinson born Fayette Ludowick Robinson on May 2, 1818 in Avon, New York, the son of Abel Robinson a shoemaker and Sophia Robinson. In his early years Robinson worked with his father at his shop and then at age 19 opened his own shoemaker shop in Medina, Michigan.

In 1845 he moved to Chicago and in 1846 opened a "minstrel Show" titled the Olympic Serenaders. In the fall of 1846 he joined with June and Turner's Circus where he remained for two seasons and gained much of his knowledge of the circus business.

For the next few years Robinson operated "rep shows" under canvas which were quite successful. In 1857 he moved his operation to Charleston, South Carolina where he remained until John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Va. on October of 1859. Having the name of "Yankee" Robinson emblazoned on his wagons, he feared for his life. Robinson immediately fled the south leaving behind all of his wagons, horses, props and equipment.

Not giving up on show business Robinson moved to DeRuyter, New York, where he purchased horses an began building his new show which he titled Yankee Robinson's Double Show.

In the years ahead the "Yankee Robinson Shows" became a huge success and one of the largest circuses on the road.

In 1884 while traveling on by rail, Robinson became seriously ill. He was taken off the train at Jefferson, Iowa, and placed in a hotel where he was cared for by fellow members of the Masonic lodge.

Fayette Ludovic "Yankee" Robinson died on September 4, 1884 and was buried by members of the masonic lodge. A monument was erected at the grave site jointly by the Ringling Brothers and the Sells Bros. circuses in 1890.

In 1884 the remaining circus equipment and title was purchased by the Ringling Brothers. In the 1920s and 1930s the Yankee Robinson title was again used by showman Fred Buchanan as The Yankee Robinson Circus.

Yankee Robinson Shows


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