Robert P. Sinclair (b. October 17, 1814, d. Abt. 1886)
Robert P. Sinclair (son of John Sinclair and Catherine Allen) was born October 17, 1814 in Romulus, Seneca Co., NY, and died Abt. 1886 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Notes for Robert P. Sinclair: News Clipping from Eliza Glover's scrapbook Waterloo Observer August 26, 1885 -Yesterday morning we had a pleasant call at our office from an old resident of Waterloo, who now holds the responsible position of Mayor of Grand Rapids, Mich.Col. Robert P. Sinclair, youngest son of John Sinclair, who was in early days one of the principal business men of Waterloo arrived in town Monday evening with his wife, his sister, Mrs. A. G. Williams, and her son and daughter, put up at the Towsley House, and yesterday started out to look up old familiar land marks.After a pleasant visit with is former friends here, he, with his party, left for Willard, Ovid, Romulus and other places of interest to them in the south jury district.Mr. Sinclair has been county judge of Kent county, Mich., U.S. collector for his district and commanded the 14th regiment of Michigan Vol. Inf., during the rebellion.He is hale, hearty and good for many years yet and his many friends in this locality trust he may have enjoyed his visit sufficiently here to induce him to try it again next year. News Clipping from Eliza Glover's scrapbook "THINKING MEN." --- Col. R. P. Sinclair's Opinions of the Free Trade Convention which He Attended at Chicago ----- "How did you enjoy the free trade convention at Chicago?" a DEMOCRAT reporter of Col. R. P. Sinclair, as he leisurely took a seat in the Morton house office last evening."I was very favorably impressed with it," he replied."It was made up of a very fine body of men.They were not politicians there to see what they might gain through some political move, but were thinking men who desired to learn something by exchanging ideas on the question of tariff and protection.The chairman, Mr. J. Sterling Morton, is an excellent man and made a fine address.A young speaker, Mr. Vinton, I believe, impressed me very forcibly.He said that in his business he was convinced that he could do a greater amount of business, employ more labor and make more money, if he was not hampered by protection and was free to purchase his raw material where he could buy the cheapest and sell his goods where he could sell them the best.He could then compete with the world and pay his employes living wages.The next speaker was the Hartford, Conn, boot and shoe man.He took very much the same ground as the gentleman who preceded him and was in favor of discarding the protection given him by the government.Mr. Holter, a large agricultural implement manufacturer of Mansfield, O., made the address that pleased me most of all.He is a man of as fine physique as I ever saw and a good clear speaker.I should say he was not over 40 years of age but thoroughly understood what he was talking about, although apparently extemporaneous he had undoubtedly digested his ideas and studied his subject.He had been in the business which heat present follows from boyhood.He said that all he would ask for was a free country in which to sell his manufactures and be allowed to get his raw material without paying to the government a revenue tax and protection fee added.In preference to the revenue tax he said that he should prefer to pay to the government an annual stipend.He could then do more business, employ a great many more men and make a great deal more money.He also took the ground in the course of his address that the principle of business in this country is all wrong.The stimulation given to certain branches by protection is all wrong, and before business can become settled and on a proper foundation the government must do away with protection and tax imports for the fare expenses of the government.He did not advocate a radical and immediate change to that, but just as soon as it can be done without injury to those engaged in manufacturing and other business.I believe that it is unconstitutional to tax one business to put money into the hands of those engaged in another just as much as it would be to tax me to pay you for nothing.I am not a free trader, but am for tariff for revenue only." There are a number of young men in this city who are anxious to form a free trade club in this city for the purpose of supplying themselves with free trade literature and works by the best authors on the subject of trade and traffic, free trade and protection.It is quite likely that a meeting will be called at an early date.