Thomas M. Leonard, "Hitt, Robert Roberts," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00348.html.
Because of Hitt's shorthand skills, Abraham Lincoln selected him to record the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. Hitt favored Lincoln's position against federal interference with slavery in the southern states and against slavery's extension westward. From 1857 until 1860 Hitt worked as the official stenographer of the Illinois state legislature. During the U.S. Civil War, Hitt was a reporter on several Federal government investigatory commissions. The most notable was the inquiry into General John C. Frémont's military activities in Missouri in the first year of the war, when the general was at odds with Washington over the need for supplies and men and the objectives of his command, particularly with regard to emancipation policy. In 1872 Hitt served as a reporter for congressional committees looking into the activities of the Ku Klux Klan against the civil rights of freed blacks.