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Allen family of Middlebury and Rutland, Vermont papers, 1804-1910.
Allen family.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSC 187  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Allen family.
Title : Allen family of Middlebury and Rutland, Vermont papers, 1804-1910.
Physical Description : 2 linear feet.
General Note : Continued in MSA 456 and MS 22.
Summary :

This collection is comprised of a variety of notebooks, accounting books, medical notes, letters and miscellaneous papers spanning most of the 19th century. The bulk of the collection reflects the studies and work of two doctors, Jonathan A. Allen and Charles L. Allen, who lived in Middlebury and Rutland, Vermont from 1804 to 1890. The collection is organized by generation.

Jonathan A. Allen's papers consist mainly of lectures, essays and speeches reflecting the latest in 19th century medical and scientific thought. There is early material from his schooldays and from when he was a teacher in Townshend, Vermont. Other items reflect Dr. Allen's commitment to social causes later in his life, including temperance and abolition. Of special significance is a journal used to keep minutes for the Executive Committee of the Vermont Anti-Slavery Society for the years 1836 to 1842.

Charles L. Allen's papers include medical records relating to Civil War soldiers that he collected in his capacity as a surgeon during the Civil War, as well as many veterans' medical records following the war. Dr. Charles Allen also kept detailed medical records of his patients in Middlebury and Rutland, Vermont in the years preceding and following the Civil War. As well, the papers contain correspondence with various teachers at Mount Carroll Seminary in Mount Carroll, Illinois regarding Dr. Allen's "milk cure", dating from 1885 to 1888.

While most of the collection is from the first and second generations of this family, there are some business letters and personal items from the third generation as well. Though not as well represented, Edwin L. Allen did keep all the records, including telegrams, pertaining to his father's death. As well, there is an interesting golf tournaments journal/record from 1902-1907.

Biographical or historical data :

Jonathan A. Allen was born November 17, 1787 in Holliston, Massachusetts, the son of Amos and Abigail Allen. Amos and Abigail Allen moved their family to Newfane, Vermont in 1788, where Jonathan worked on his father's farm until age 21. In November 1808, he took a position as a schoolteacher in Townshend, Vermont. Between 1810 and 1812, Jonathan Allen studied medicine under Dr. Paul Wheeler of Wardsboro, Vermont. In the fall of 1812, he began attending lectures at Dartmouth, studying medicine under Dr. Nathan Smith. He graduated with a medical degree from Dartmouth August 24, 1814. Dr. Allen married Betsey Cheney of Jamaica, Vermont on January 1, 1815 and practiced medicine with his mentor, Dr. Wheeler, in Wardsboro from 1814 to 1816. In 1816, he and Betsey moved to Brattleboro, Vermont to set up practice, and conduct summer school lectures for medical students. During his time in Brattleboro, Dr. Allen was invited to teach chemistry at Middlebury College during the 1820 term. He continued teaching at Middlebury as the unofficial chemistry professor from 1820 to 1826. In 1822, Dr. Allen was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy at the Vermont Academy of Medicine, holding this office until 1829. He also became a member of the Castleton Medical College during this time. The family moved to Middlebury, Vermont in 1822.

During the entirety of his career, Dr. Allen collected herbs and minerals, writing essays and delivering lectures on their properties and uses. Dr. Allen was also heavily involved with the temperance movement, the Vermont Peace Society and was the secretary for the Executive Committee of the Vermont Anti-Slavery Society. He died, after being thrown from a horse, on February 2, 1848, age 60.

Charles L. Allen, the son of Dr. Jonathan A and Betsey Cheney Allen, was born on June 21, 1820 in Brattleboro, Vermont. After a brief time in Herkimer, N.Y., Charles Allen and his siblings spent most of their childhood with their mother's family in Jamaica, Vermont, while their father, Dr. Jonathan Allen was practicing medicine in Middlebury. Charles Allen graduated from Middlebury College in 1842. Following graduation, he traveled to North Carolina, where he spent two years teaching school in Williamsboro, N.C. In 1844, he returned to Vermont and entered Castleton Medical College where he graduated with a M.D. in 1846. Following his father's death in 1848, Charles Allen inherited his father's practice and patients, remaining in Middlebury as a physician until 1862.

In spring 1862, Dr. Allen lectured at the medical department of the University of Vermont, while at the same time serving as one of three doctors on the State Board of Medical Examiners. In June, 1862 Lincoln appointed him surgeon of the volunteers of the U.S. Army with the rank of major and he was assigned to duty as one of three surgeons on the Board for Examining Candidates for Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons of Volunteer of the United States Army, at Washington D.C. He remained on this board until January 1864. Serving in Washington from 1862 to 1864, Dr. Allen attended sick and wounded officers in various hotels and boarding houses around the city. On January 15, 1864, Dr. Allen was ordered to the Department of the South, headquartered at Beaufort, S.C. There he took charge of General Hospital, No. 2, serving at the Department's second ranking medical surgeon. In April 1864, he was appointed Purveyor of the Department of the South and sent to Hilton Head, S.C., where he remained until his resignation in September 1864.

Upon his return to Vermont, Dr. Allen set up his practice in Rutland Vermont and was appointed Examining Surgeon of Pensions in November 1864. In the spring of 1865, UVM requested he chair the Civil and Military Hygiene lectures for their medical department. From 1865 to his death in 1890, Dr. Allen conducted a robust medical practice in Rutland, amid various appointments, such as Consulting Physician of the Mary Fletcher Hospital (Burlington, 1873), Secretary of the Vermont State Board of Health (1886-1890) and President of the U.S. Board of Pension Surgeons (1880). Dr. Charles Allen died, age 70, on July 2, 1890 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Edwin L. Allen, the oldest son of Dr. Charles and Gertrude Lyon Allen, was born in Rutland, Vermont on March 5, 1867. He attended public schools in Rutland and entered Middlebury College in 1884. He was expelled in 1887, and returned to Rutland to read law in the offices of Peleg, Redfield Kendall and the Honorable John Prout. On August 14, 1889, Edwin married Anne Elizabeth Hopkins in Blackinton, Massachusetts. The couple lived with his father, Dr. Charles Allen, in Rutland until his father's death in July 1890. After administering his father's estate, Edwin Lyon took a job with the Virginia Mining Company and moved his family to Pulaski, Virginia. In 1891, he resigned from the Virginia Mining Company and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taking a position as a stenographer with the law offices of Lyon, McKee and Sanderson. In 1895, Edwin was appointed Court Stenographer of Common Pleas Court, No. 2 in Pittsburgh. Edwin Lyon Allen died on May 1, 1927 in Rochester, Pennsylvania.

The collection also contains genealogical information relating to Charles Linnaeus Allen and his descendants.

Personal Subject : Allen family.
Allen, Jonathan A., 1787-1848.
Allen, Charles L., 1820-1890.
Allen, Edwin L., 1867-1927.
Corporate Subject : Middlebury College.
Vermont Anti-Slavery Society.
Subject Term : Lectures and lecturing Vermont Middlebury.
Medicine Practice Vermont.
Autopsy Vermont.
Temperance Vermont.
Decedents' estates Vermont Rutland.
Golf Tournaments Pennsylvania.
Veterans Medical care Vermont.
Geographic Term : United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Medical care.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Casualties.
Middlebury (Vt.) Archival resources.
Rutland (Vt.) Archival resources.
Vermont Genealogy.
Mount Carroll (Ill.) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Lecture notes.
Letters correspondence.
Vital statistic records.
Occupation : College teachers
Added Author : Allen, Jonathan A., 1787-1848.
Allen, Charles L., 1820-1890.
Allen, Edwin L., 1867-1927.
Shimer, Frances Wood, 1827-1901.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.