Dr. Robert ..... the Beatles sang his praises on their 1967 album Yesterday & Today. Although it might not be the same Dr. Robert as the guy pictured above, ..... Mastic's Dr. Robert was probably no less colorful and considerably more important to this story. He is the good doctor often referred to in the deed on the previous page and the first legal owner of the Richard Floyd estate that was confiscated by William Tangier Smith of the Manor of St. George. Big Will headed the Committee Of Forfeited Lands on Long Island after the revolutionary war ended. (It's great to get on those committees .... ask any congressman)
What does Stephen Bishop's tune from the '70's have to do with all this? Probably no more than the Beatles Doctor Robert ditty from the '60's, except it was in Jamaica, Long Island where the good doctor studied medicine in 1760's and it was way down in Jamaica. West Indies where the good doctor went to seek his fortune and a fortune he did make.....according to his son Christopher, he was raking in around $25,000.00 a year down there, while the rebels were fighting the British up here. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he could not be making that kind of bread healing the natives of the islands does it? And even the letters he left behind. don't really reveal how he made that kind of money, but the fact is he did. Even though his family members raised their eyebrows at the fees he charged them it still would not add up to that kind of money. For more on that stuff you can read the reprint of Chester G. Osborne's 1957 article in the Long Island Forums on the Long Island Genealogies website here
Dan married Elizabeth Hinchman down there but her ill health forced the Roberts to return to the colonies. She died in NY at the age of 29 in 1775 and then Doctor Dan got out of town and went back to the islands before the hostilities started. He returned after the smoke cleared and in 1788 got wind that his future father in law, Will Smith was having a "Fire Sale" out in Mastic. He picked up 3000 acres of Richard Floyds place for a song and a dance. By this time he was remarried to William Smith's daughter Mary, whom he met through Henry Nicoll another very influential Mastic landowner and politician. Dan's mother in law by the way was Ruth Woodhull , sister of General Nathaniel Woodhull. To say the doctor was well connected to Mastic was an understatement and he did spend some time out there before resetting up practice back in New York City. His second wife outlived him by a quarter of a century and both are buried at the Manor of St. George
The Robert's son Christopher was only two when his father died. He too went on to great financial success as a New York city importer of sugar, cotton and tea. He became a philanthropist (he was a millionaire) and provided the seed money to set up Robert College in Constantinople, Turkey in 1863. It is still going strong today. This is from their website
Robert College, was born in 1863 in the village of Bebek by the Bosphorus, when Christopher Robert approached Cyrus Hamlin *with his desires and found a receptive audience. Hamlin, an American schoolmaster, had been running a school, a bakery and a laundry in Bebek at the time. Robert was a wealthy American industrialist desiring to establish in Turkey a modern university along American lines with instruction in English. These two men, an educator and a philanthropist, successfully collaborated to found Robert College.
*I BELIEVE IT WAS HAMLIN WHO APPROACHED ROBERT FOR THE MONEY (K.S)
In 1864, the Board of Regents of the State of New York granted a charter to Robert College enabling it to confer the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Also, in 1864, a Board of Trustees was formed with Robert as its first Chairman. It is this very same Board of Trustees which has continued governing and supporting the school since then. Robert's initial personal contribution of $30.000 has since been augmented by the generosity of countless individuals.
What use he made of his Mastic estate is not known (he had several estates in NY, traveled the world extensively and died in Paris ) but the "Brookhaven Town property" was left in his will to his two sons and a daughter. Brothers Frederick & Christopher Jr. got in a fight over the will. It was with Christopher Jr. where our story as it applies to the Mastic property gets cloudy but very interesting. Christopher Rhinelander Robert Jr. 1835-1898 was a very successful builder and supposedly quite an eccentric. When his father died he issued a "friendly suit" to contest the will.
The other name that figures prominently in the original deed and most maps of the property is William S. Robert. b1795 I'm reasonably assuming that William S. was Doctor Dans other son with Mary Smith (C.R Sr's brother) that would explain the W. S(mith?) nicely. William S. Robert and his son William S. Jr. were listed as farmers in the 1850 & 1860 census.
Maps show the William S. Robert families occupied the western portion of the property. William's son Charles S. b 1839 became a physician and married Adelma Trudeau. They occupied the Richard Floyd homestead and the 219 acres that became known as Robert's or Doctor's Point. Adelma who came from a long line of doctors, may of been the one who named it Doctors Point. Her brother Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau was also an avid sportsman and opened a hunting camp in the Adirondacks along with the Trudeau Institute that searched for a cure to TB. There is a very nice website about him here