Robert Barber


Robert Barber was born in Ireland about 1760. With his older brother, John, he emigrated to America and arrived in Albany during the 1780s.

He learned the printing trade as an apprentice of Charles R. Webster. While still a minor, he bought out of his apprenticeship to start his own paper. In May 1788, he began the Albany Register - a new partisan newspaper that sustained an Antifederal point of view. This venture of "Robert Barber & Co." was said to have been sponsored by "influential Republicans.

In 1788, the personal property of the Barber brothers was valued on the second ward assessment roll within another home. In 1790 and 1800, bachelor Robert probably was accounted for on the census under the houshold of his brother. By that time, John Barber was living in the first ward.

Probably during the 1790s, Robert is said to have become "dissipated" (not well in some unspecified way), left Albany, and went into the country (perhaps to Johnstown).

Although not a printer by training, John Barber took over operation of The Register, became the official State printer, and ran the business until his death from consumption in 1808. At that time, the Barber's brother-in-law, Solomon Southwick, assumed control of the printing.

Robert Barber died in May 1812 at the age of forty-two. He was buried in the Episcopal burial plot.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Robert Barber is CAP biography number 7203. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 2/5/09