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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Allen family papers MSS.0064

ASSET VIEWER
Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

May 2009

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2012-11-19T16:19-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Allen family papers

Unit ID:

MSS.0064

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

1.9 Linear feet

Dates:

1848-1906

Abstract:

The business and personal papers of John G. Allen (1810- 1891) and his son Charles Edward (1860-1943), planters of Marengo County, Alabama, including Civil War letters, tenant farmer contracts, mortgages and indentures, bills and receipts, personal letters, insurance policies, and miscellaneous items relating to the family.

creator

Allen Family

creator

Allen, Charles Edward, 1860-1943

creator

Allen, John Grey, 1810-1891

Scope and Contents note

The Allen family papers span the period 1848-1906. They fall into two major divisions: those relating to the affairs of John Gray Allen (1810-1891) and those relating to the affairs of Charles Edward Allen (1860-1943). The papers are in both instance fairly well distributed between business and personal matters. The collection contains a variety of materials, including Civil War letters, tenant farmer contracts, mortgages and indentures, bills and receipts, personal letters, insurance policies, and miscellaneous items relating to the family. All the papers are originals.

Preferred Citation:

Allen family papers, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Elizabeth Allen, 1978

Processing Information:

Processed by

S. Braden, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2012

Usage Restrictions:

None

Access Restrictions:

None

Biographical/Historical note

In 1841, the Allen family moved to Old Spring Hill, Marengo County, Alabama, from Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina. The founder of the family in Alabama was John Gray Allen who was born June 10, 1810, in North Carolina and died September 7, 1891, in Alabama. He was the son of Richard Allen, Jr., and Mary Gray, the daughter of John Gray. The other children of Richard and Mary Gray were George W. Allen, Richard Proctor Allen, Thetis Allen, and Sarah Allen.

John Gray Allen married three times. His first wife Anne Allen (unrelated) died in 1835 before he came to Alabama. By this marriage he had three children: William Caldwess Allen, Mary Jane Allen (1838-1909), and Richard Proctor Allen (1841-1909).

On August 4, 1842, John Gray Allen married Nancy Roe Kennon Curtis (March 9, 1816-October 5, 1849), the widow of Hiram Boatright and the daughter of Samuel Curtis. Four children were born of this marriage: Elizabeth Gray Allen, John Curtis Allen (1848-1914), Leroy Jones Allen (1847-?), and Thomas Roe Allen (1848-1865).

Ann Curtis (June 13, 1817-November 17, 1897), whom John Gray Allen married in 1858, was the daughter of William Curtis, the granddaughter of Samuel Curtis, and the niece of Nancy Roe Kennon Curtis--the second wife of John Gray Allen. They had one son, Charles Edward Allen (August 30, 1860-May 23, 1943).

In 1857, John Gray Allen built a handsome two-story house in Old Spring Hill, which is still occupied by his descendants (1978). He was an extensive cotton planter as well as a merchant, and he frequently financed other planters by accepting mortgages on their property and crops.

John Gray Allen was a trustee of the Old Spring Hill Academy and served as a Justice of the Peace in 1850. Although he was too old to fight in the Civil War, he furnished supplies and materials in support of the Southern cause. Due to his activities during the Civil War, he was stripped of his citizenship following the conflict, but had it restored by Andrew Johnson's 1868 Presidential Pardon.

William Caldwell Allen, the oldest son of John Gray Allen by his first marriage, was born August 28, 1836, in North Carolina and died April 22, 1881, in Alabama. He married Julia Anne Finch (October 15, 1845-December 13, 1909) on April 11, 1866, and had one son Weldon Gray Allen.

At the beginning of the Civil War, William Caldwell Allen joined the Jefferson Davis Company of Cavalry which was engaged in many conflicts in Virginia and Tennessee. Although seriously wounded during the war, he recovered and returned to Marengo County where he farmed and led and active part in county affairs.

Charles Edward Allen, the only child of John Gray Allen by this third wife Anne Curtis, was born August 30, 1860, and died May 23, 1943. He attended the Spring Hill Academy and remained a life-long resident of Old Spring Hill where he was a successful farmer. He was active in county affairs and was a member of the Marengo County Board of Education. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias. The Allen papers show that John Gray Allen was a successful cotton planter with extensive holdings, who financed other planters by accepting mortgages on their lands and crops. Charles Allen seems to have taken over his father's business of financing during the 1880s and ran it until at least 1900.

Source(s)

Alabama (localbroad)

Alabama Business and Industry (Local)

Alabama--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

Banks and banking (lcsh)

Bonds (negotiable instruments) (aat)

Business and Labor (localbroad)

Business records (aat)

Cartography and Maps (localbroad)

Civic Organizations (Local)

Commercial correspondence (aat)

Confederate States of America--History (lcsh)

Cotton (lcsh)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Estate administration records (aat)

Family papers (aat)

Farmers--Correspondence (lcsh)

Insurance policies (aat)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Marengo County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Personal correspondence (aat)

Real Estate (Local)

Receipts (financial records) (aat)

Tax records (aat)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate (lcsh)

|v Records and correspondence (lcsh)

John Gray Allen I.

Components in Detail

Business A.

Tenant Farmer Contracts 1. Allen, John Grey, 1810-1891 4 items. Box 249 Folder 1

Scope and Contents

Agreements between landowner, John G. Allen, and tenant farmers establishing responsibilities of each. Chronologically arranged.

Commission Merchants Correspondence, Edward Kenworthy Carlisle; Carlisle & Smith Co. of Mobile Alabama a. Carlisle, Edward Kenworthy, unknown 15 items. Box 249 Folder 2

Scope and Contents

Letters from Carlisle concerning the market value of cotton and subsequent sales. Chronologically arranged.

Commission Merchants Correspondence, Rodgers and Pope of Mobile, Alabama b. 8 items. Box 249 Folder 3

Scope and Contents

Letters from Rodgers and Pope concerning the market value of cotton and subsequent sales. Also letters concerning household and farm supplies. Chronologically arranged.

Commission Merchants Correspondence, Rush Tuller of Mobile, Alabama c. 33 items. Box 249 Folder 4

Scope and Contents

Letters concerning the market value of cotton and subsequent sales. Also letters concerning household and farm supplies. Including papers relating to Tuller serving as a collection agent for John G. Allen. Chronologically arranged.

Commission Merchants Correspondence, Charles Hopkins and Co. of Mobile, Alabama d. 16 items. Box 249 Folder 5

Scope and Contents

Letters from Hopkins concerning the market value of cotton and subsequent sales. Chronologically arranged.

Mortgages, Indentures, Crop Liens 23 items. Box 249 Folder 6-A

Scope and Contents

Loans secured by mortgages on crops, farms, houses, livestock, and slaves. Chronologically arranged.

Mortgages, Indentures, Crop Liens 19 items. Box 249 Folder 6-B

Scope and Contents

Loans secured by mortgages on crops, farms, houses, livestock, and slaves. Chronologically arranged.

Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes 4. 22 items. Box 249 Folder 7

Scope and Contents

Federal, state, and county taxes levied on real estate and personal property owned by John G. Allen and wife Ann Curtis Allen. Chrono-logically arranged.

Legal Papers 5. 28 items. Box 249 Folder 8

Scope and Contents

Promissory notes, court judgements, land title opinions, summons for jury duty, estate administration and settlement papers. Chrono-logically arranged.

Incoming Legal Correspondence 6. 10 items. Box 249 Folder 9

Scope and Contents

Letters from attorneys relating to various legal matters. Chrono-logically arranged.

Insurance Policies 7. 23 items. Box 249 Folder 10

Scope and Contents

Fire insurance policies on buildings, home, and cotton. Life insurance policies on John G. Allen and wife Ann Curtis Allen. Chronologically arranged.

Farm Operations 8. 33 items. Box 250 Folder 11

Scope and Contents

Reports from overseer, letters concerning the purchase of lumber and fence posts, letters concerning farm machinery (i.e. Dixie Press patent and operation, thrasher, gleaner, reaper), black - smith tools, well repair, purchase of sheep, cattle, and grain. Chronologically arranged.

Cotton Sales 9. 16 items. Box 250 Folder 12

Scope and Contents

Letters from several commission merchants in Mobile, Selma, and Demopolis. Chronologically arranged.

Creditor Papers 10. 32 items. Box 250 Folder 13

Scope and Contents

Letters requesting loans, extension of notes, and letters re-lating to debts. Chronologically arranged.

Askew Brothers 11. 12 items. Box 250 Folder 14

Scope and Contents

General merchants; letters from Askews concerning notes held by John G. Allen. Chronologically arranged.

Miscellaneous Papers 12. 10 items. Box 250 Folder 15

Scope and Contents

Purchase of railroad bonds, leasing of farm property, Southern Express Money order, offers to purchase property, printed pro-spectus for bank stock. Chronologically arranged.

Personal B.

Civil War Letters 1. 6 items. Box 250 Folder 16

Scope and Contents

Letters to John G. Allen from his son, William Caldwell Allen, while a soldier in the Confederate Cavalry. Chronologically arranged.

Confederate States of American Item 2. Box 250 Folder 17

Scope and Contents

Confederate States bond receipts and impressment receipts. Chronologically arranged.

Post-Civil War Items 3. 10 items. Box 250 Folder 18

Scope and Contents

U. S. Oaths of Allegiance, Application for removal of dis-abilities, U. S. Presidential Pardon, receipt for preparation of pardon application. Chronologically arranged.

Family Letters 4. 23 items. Box 250 Folder 19

Scope and Contents

Letters to John G. Allen from his son, William C. Allen; nephew, B. O. Watkins; brother, G. W. Allen; nephew, W.A. Lee; brother, R. P. Allen; daughter, Julia Finch Allen; niece, Lou Watkins, niece, Laura Gray Allen; nephew, W. L. Agee; niece, M. Quinney; daughter, Hattie Allen; and Silas Allen. Also letter from Elizabeth Gray Allen to cousin Jane Allen. Chronologically arranged.

Miscellaneous Letters 5. 25 items. Box 250 Folder 20

Scope and Contents

Letters concerning the administration of the academy at Old Spring Hill, letters concerning employment of overseers; note concerning the Old Spring Hill Grange; letters offering to purchase land from John G. Allen; letters concerning line disputes; and letters from various acquaintances. Chronologically arranged.

Charles Edward Allen II.

Components in Detail

Business A.

Convict Labor Contracts 1. 23 items. Box 251 Folder 21

Scope and Contents

Contracts between State of Alabama and Charles E. Allen for the purpose of hiring convicts as farm laborers. Chronologically arranged.

Tenant Farmer Contracts 2. 7 items. Box 251 Folder 22

Scope and Contents

Legal contracts between Charles E. Allan and tenant farmers. Chronologically arranged.

Mortgages, Indentures, Crop Liens 3. 12 items. Box 251 Folder 23

Scope and Contents

Mortgages on Farms to enable farmers to plant crops. Chronologically arranged.

Financial Papers 4. Box 251 Folder 24

Scope and Contents

Cancelled checks and bank statements from First National Bank of Demopolis, Alabama, and accounts of cotton sales handles by First National Bank for Charles E. Allen. Items are unarranged.

Personal B.

Miscellaneous Papers 1. 35 items. Box 251 Folder 25

Scope and Contents

School performance evaluations, letters to Charles E. Allen, property tax forms, Knights of Pythias (notices of meetings, dues, and receipts of dues), appointment as trustee to Marengo Board of Education. Chronologically arranged.

Envelopes Envelopes 297 items

Scope and Contents

Envelopes removed from correspondence in Allen Family Papers. Some still retain stamps. Several are highly decorated with advertisements. Items are unarranged.

Components in Detail

Envelopes Box 251 Folder 26/A

Envelopes Box 251 Folder 26/B

Miscellaneous Papers 9 items. Box 251 Folder 27

Scope and Contents

Undated land maps, soap receipes, tax forms, and letters unrelated to the Allen Family. Chronologically arranged.

Components in Detail

Bills and Receipts V.

Scope and Contents

Chronologically arranged by folder, unarranged within folder.

Components in Detail

Bills and Receipts 17 items. Box 253 Folder 28.1

Bills and Receipts 102 items. Box 253 Folder 28.2

Bills and Receipts 41 items. Box 253 Folder 28.3

Bills and Receipts 93 items. Box 253 Folder 28.4

Bills and Receipts 133 items. Box 253 Folder 28.5

Bills and Receipts 95 items. Box 253 Folder 28.6

Bills and Receipts 78 items. Box 253 Folder 28.7

Bills and Receipts 86 items. Box 253 Folder 28.8

Bills and Receipts 59 items. Box 253 Folder 28.9

Bills and Receipts 100 items Box 253 Folder 28.1

Bills and Receipts 53 items. Box 253 Folder 28.11

Bills and Receipts 127 items Box 253 Folder 28.12

Bills and Receipts 78 items Box 252 Folder 28.13

Bills and Receipts 84 items. Box 252 Folder 28.14

Bills and Receipts 48 items Box 252 Folder 28.15

Bills and Receipts 101 items. Box 252 Folder 28.16

Bills and Receipts 61 items. Box 252 Folder 28.17

Bills and Receipts 78 items. Box 252 Folder 28.18

Bills and Receipts 43 items. Box 252 Folder 28.19

Components in Detail

Bills and Receipts 93 items. Box 252 Folder 28.2

Prout and Robertson Bankers VI. 267 items. Box 252 Folder 29

Scope and Contents

Cancelled checks, bank statements, and bank books. Unarranged.

Components in Detail