search terms in context | full text File Size: 164 K bytes | Add this to my bookbag

Series IX. Family Papers, 1831-1965

Scope and Content Notes:

The Family Papers series includes papers, correspondence, financial documents, genealogical information, photographs, scrapbooks, journals, and ephemeral material associated with the Allens, the Gills, and the Myers (maternal families).

The Allen family lineage can be traced back to the immigrating generation of Edward Allen (1794-1874) and Millicent (Amelia) Bindley Allen (1797-1890) who immigrated from England. The series features a variety of personal family mementos from multi-generational members of the Allen family. Among the highlights of the series are scrapbooks and journals of Hervey Allen’s great uncle, William Hervey Allen, a steamboat captain who survived a horrific accident on board the New Hampshire during which Allen’s younger brother, George T. Allen, was killed. The series also features a separate subseries for the personal papers of Hervey Allen’s grandfather, Colonel Edward Jay Allen.

Hervey Allen’s own photographs, scrapbooks, journals, and ephemera are included in this series. Since the majority of all photographs feature family members, all photographs are featured in this series.

See Also: Oversized materials are located in Box 193. Family obituaries and other newspaper articles (collected or written by family members) can be found in Box 194.

Subseries 1. Edward Jay Allen, 1848-1918

Scope and Content Notes:

Edward Jay Allen, Hervey Allen's paternal grandfather, was a Civil War colonel whose travels on the Oregon Trail made him a well-known and highly honored early pioneer of the Pacific Northwest territory. In 1852 at the age 22, he traveled west to Puget Sound via the Oregon Trail, documenting his experiences via correspondence and later recounting them in his manuscript, "Letters from the Oregon Trail." He settled in Olympia and remained in the Pacific Northwest for three years, surveying the land and acquainting himself with the native culture and language, the Chinook Jargon. In 1859, he became one of the signers of the Monticello Memorial, a resolution to Congress in favor of splitting the Oregon and Washington Territories.

He returned east in 1855, and continued a successful career as an civil engineer, building roads, bridges, and railroads. He married Elizabeth Wilson Robinson on July 16th, 1857 in Pittsburgh. They had five children: William Hervey (Hervey Allen's father), Edna A. Rickmers, May L., Edward H., and Harold Allen.

At the onset of the Civil War, Allen was working as a railroad contractor for the Virginia Central Railroad. During Virginia's secession from the Union, Allen narrowly escaped Confederate capture as he attempted to smuggle back to Pittsburgh. He volunteered on the Union side for some time in Washington DC and Virginia, repairing roads and bridges destroyed by the Confederates before returning to Pittsburgh and recruiting the 155th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry in 1862. For three years, he headed the Infantry at the rank of Colonel. The Infantry fought at various battles including the Battle of Antietam and Fredericksburg.

After the war, Colonel Allen dedicated himself to local work in Pittsburgh. He worked for the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph Co. as a secretary and also became active in real estate. Allen became a larger than life figure, often writing about his life stories in local papers. He became an early supporter and patron of John W. Alexander, adopting the orphaned Alexander while he worked at the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph Co. as a young man. Allen brought Alexander to the Allen home at "Edgehill" and painted various members of the Allen family, including Colonel Allen (see [Edward Jay Allen, Three-Quarter-Length Portrait, Standing, Face Right]). Colonel Allen died at the age of 85, on December 28, 1915; Mrs. Allen, his widow, died just five days after him.

Featured in this subseries are Allen's typescript manuscript (re-told, original lost) of "The Oregon Trail," personal correspondence, Civil War memorabilia, journals, obituaries, notebooks, photographs, will and last testament, and other creative works, including his poem, "The Veteran."

See Also: Oversized Material, Family, Box 193; Newspapers, Box 194. Oversized Material, Artwork Collection, Artwork on Display, [Edward Jay Allen, Three-Quarter-Length Portrait, Standing, Face Right].

Section: Oregon Trail


Box 156
Folder 3 Description on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Steilacoom, by George H. Himes [1844-1859]

In early 1852, the introduction of a bill to construct a military road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Steilacoom reached Congress by way of Joseph Lane, delegate to Congress from the Oregon Territory. The bill was met with opposition from Congress due to the lack of a topographical survey and approximate estimate cost. By December of that year, House Bill No. 187 passed, allotting $20,000 to the construction of this road. George H. Himes (1844-1940), historian at the Oregon Historical Society, wrote this document as he traced the construction of this road through newspaper articles of the The Columbian. He writes that on May 28, 1853 Edward Jay Allen joined a committee to “view out a route and report therson as follows”; Allen headed east to begin construction on the side of Steilacoom (page 2). The road was hoped to be constructed by the end of 1853 "to accommodate incoming immigrants” (page 2). This document also details some of the first settlements made from crossing the Columbia river to Puget Sound pre-1853.


Box 159
Folder 1 Original Journal from the Oregon Trail, 1852 (

This is Edward Jay Allen's journal as he traversed the Oregon Trail. The journal is not written in chronological order. A flag has been set at the beginning of the journal, in the middle of the journal, on the June 2nd entry. The journal continues through and back the beginning of the book, and finally back to the adjacent page of the June 2nd entry, dated at October 4th. Writing includes calculations, lists of itemized expenses, and individuals' names on wagon trains.


Box 156
Folder 1 Letters From the Oregon Trail: Carbon Copy, Part I (2 copies), [1852-1855]; 1908; 1913

Edward Jay Allen kept in extensive correspondence with his loved ones in Pittsburgh while on the Oregon Trail. After his return from the Northwest Territories, his letters were amalgamated into a narrative entitled, "Letters from the Oregon Trail." In this narrative, Allen details his quotidian adventures on the trail, starting at Council Bluffs (then Kanesville, Iowa): "[w]e knew but little of the country we should traverse, it was terra incognita. All the region that lay to the westward was marked on the map as the "Great American Desert" (page 3). Throughout his accounts, Allen encounters other pioneers venturing West, Native Americans, and details the strenuous labor and setbacks that he endured during his trip.

The narrative is re-told and typewritten in 1913, with a preface from the author. External sources argue that the typewritten manuscript was actually written around 1908 (Larsen and Johnson).

Folder 1 contains pages 1-112 and folder 2 contains pages 200-358.

Please note: pages 113-199 are missing.

Folder 2 Letters From the Oregon Trail: Carbon Copy, Part 2, [1852-1855]; 1908; 1913
Folder 4 Chinook Jargon:Carbon Copy and Photocopy, [1852-1855]

Section: Civil War


Box 156
Folder 5 Civil War Prose on Slavery,

Box 157
Folder 1 Certificate Of Permission For Entry into Virginia, 1862

Box 157
Folder 2 Membership Card For The Military Order Loyal Legion United States,

Box 157
Folder 3 Program For The Dedication Of Monument In Memorial Of The 155th Regiment Of Pennsylvania, 1886

Box 157
Folder 4 Letter Of Recommendation For Rank Of Colonel, 1863

Box 157
Folder 5 Badges Of Reunions Held For The 155th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers,

Box 157
Folder 18 The Veteran, 1853-1904

Box 157
Folder 12 The Walls of Sand: A True Fairy Story, 1885

Box 157
Folder 13 Matter of Petition For Awarding Medal of Honor to Allen From 155th Regiment of Pennsylvania, 1862

Box 157
Folder 14 Memorial Day Address Given At Homewood Cemetary, 1901

Box 157
Folder 15 Fall In! Comrades, Written For The 155th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1894

Box 160
Folder 2 Uniform Regalia, 1867

Box 158a
Folder 4 Photographs of the 155th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War, 1908

Section: Personal


Box 159
Folder 3 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings of Poems and Handwritten Poems, 1848-1849

Box 158a
Folder 5 Journal Accounting Daily Life in Pittsburgh, 1849-1850

Box 159
Folder 4 Small Notebook of Poetry, 1850-1914

Box 158
Folder 6 Journal Accounting Daily Life in Pittsburgh, 1851

Box 158
Folder 8 Journal Accounting Daily Life in Pittsburgh, a Christmas present from William, 1852

Box 159
Folder 5 Scrapbook Album Including Photos and Miscellaneous Allen Family Items, 1855

Box 158a
Folder 1 Framed Portrait Upon Return From Washington Territory, 1855

Box 158a
Folder 2 Photographs and Portraits, Circa 1880s

Box 158a
Folder 3 Photographs of Allen and Wife, Circa 1880s

Box 159
Folder 2 Mountain Department Map of Virginia, 1859

Box 157
Folder 17 Pamphlets, 1863-1900

Box 157
Folder 6-11 Correspondence, 1877-1914

Box 158
Folder 7 Framed Letter From Theodore Roosevelt, 1898

Framed letter addressed to Edward Jay Allen from then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, dated April 24, 1898.


Box 158
Folder 9 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings of Poetry by Edward, William and Other Authors and Articles Written by Edward About Numerous Travels, Published in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, 1853-1889

Box 156
Folder 6 Will and Last Testament, 1914; 1919

Box 157
Folder 19 Obituaries and Tributes, 1915-1918

Box 159
Folder 6 Portrait of John L. Burns

Box 160
Folder 3 Newspaper Clippings Saved by Edward Jay Allen About the Civil War, Northwest History, and Family

Box 157
Folder 16 Personal Ephemera

Box 159
Folder 7 Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant

Box 160
Folder 1 Woodcut Portrait Engraving

Subseries 2. Immediate Family Correspondence, 1926-1954

Scope and Content Notes:

Correspondence between Hervey Allen and his wife and children.


Box 161
Folder 1-12 Ann Andrews Allen, 1926-1930

Box 162
Folder 1-12 Ann Andrews Allen, 1931-1939

Box 163
Folder 1-13 Ann Andrews Allen, 1940-1949
Folder 14-16 Marcia Allen (daughter), 1931-1954

Box 164
Folder 1-3 Mary Ann Allen (daughter), 1935-1953
Folder 4-12 Richard Francis Allen (son), 1942-1949

Subseries 3. Extended Family Correspondence, 1838-1950

Scope and Content Notes:

Correspondence between Hervey Allen and his extended family. Some correspondence includes familial matters with non-relatives.


Box 165
Folder 1 Andrews, Charles (father-in-law), 1927-1942
Folder 2-4 Andrews, Mrs. Charles (mother-in-law), 1927-1949
Folder 5 Andrews, Charles (brother-in-law), 1928-1949
Folder 6 Andrews, Paul Shipman, 1934-1949
Folder 7 Gill, Mrs. Ida B. (cousin), 1923-1949
Folder 8 Harrowing, Mamie (cousin), 1933-1939
Folder 9 Moore, Marie (cousin), 1921-1949
Folder 10 Myers, Mrs. Helen M. (maternal grandmother)
Folder 11 Myers, Joseph S. (cousin), 1934-1949
Folder 12 Smith, Percy (family maid), 1944

Box 166
Folder 1 Elizabeth Robinson Allen (Mrs. Edward Jay Allen, grandmother), 1838-1914
Folder 2-8 William H. Allen (father), 1870-1926
Folder 9-10 Helen Myers Allen (mother), 1886-1918
Folder 11 Ethel Allen (2nd wife of father), 1925-1926
Folder 12-15 Edna Allen Rickmers (aunt), 1918-1929

Box 167
Folder 1-5 Edna Allen Rickmers (aunt), 1931-1949
Folder 6 Edward Halkett Allen, Jr. (uncle), 1924-1926
Folder 7-15 Harold Allen (uncle), 1898-1929

Box 168
Folder 1-8 Harold Allen (uncle), 1926-1939
Folder 9-12 May L. Allen (aunt), 1916-1923

Box 169
Folder 1-11 May L. Allen (aunt), 1924-1938

Box 170
Folder 1-3 May L. Allen (aunt), 1939-1945
Folder 4-8 Edward Allen (brother), 1920-1941
Folder 9-15 Elizabeth Allen (sister), 1918-1949

Box 171
Folder 1-4 Helen Allen (sister), 1921-1949
Folder 5-10 Winthrop Allen (brother), 1918-1937

Box 172
Folder 1-9 Winthrop Allen (brother), 1938-1950
Folder 10 Edward H. Allen (cousin), 1926-1949
Folder 11 Edward J. Allen III (nephew), 1944
Folder 12 Sylvia Allen (niece), 1944-1947
Folder 13-14 General Family Correspondence, 1901-1949
Folder 15 Family Matters, 1925-1934

Subseries 4. Genealogy, Financial, and Official Documents, 1831-1930

Scope and Content Notes:

Included in this subseries are genealogical and official documents of Hervey Allen's families. In this subseries is the oldest document in the papers, a marriage certificate between John Gill and Anna Caldwell dated at February 24, 1831. Also included are the Golden Wedding invitations and mementos of both Hervey Allen's great-grandparents, Edward Allen Sr. and Amelia Bindley Allen in 1866, and his grandparents, Colonel Edward Jay Allen and Elizabeth Robinson Allen in 1907. Other documents include estate and financial documents.


Box 173
Folder 1 Certificate of Marriage of John Gill and Anna Caldwell, 1831
Folder 2 Estate of Helen M. Allen Documents, 1890-1922
Folder 3 Estate of Helen M. Allen Trustee Documents, 1926-1930
Folder 4 Genealogy

Contains "Notes for Family History" which traces Allen history from England to Pittsburgh. Also contains detailed biography of Edward Jay Allen, a handwritten family tree, and history of "Edgehill."

Folder 5-6 General Financial Documents, 1897-1925
Folder 7 Golden Wedding: Edward Allen and Millicent (Amelia Bindley) Allen (great-grandparents), 1866
Folder 8 Golden Wedding: Edward Jay Allen and Elizabeth Robinson Allen and General Messages (grandparents), 1907; 1899-1915
Folder 9 Insurance, 1896-1918
Folder 10 Tax Forms, 1891-1918
Folder 11 Wills, Testaments, and Memoirs

Subseries 5. Creative Works, 1855-1965

Scope and Content Notes:

Various members of the Allen family were also writers, including his grandfather who wrote the Civil War inspired poem, "The Veteran." His father, William Hervey Allen Sr., wrote amateur poetry as well. Colonel Edward Jay Allen's works can all be found in his own subseries, Boxes 156-160. In this subseries are numerous creative endeavors written by other members of the Allen family including his wife Ann Andrews Allen, and his great-uncle, William Hervey Allen.

Section: Ann Allen

Folder 12 Certain Letters of Hervey Allen with Notes by Ann Andrews Allen ’28, in Vassar Alumnae Magazine, December 1965
Folder 13 Sarah Simon: Character Atlantean, in The Bermudian, March 1956

Section: William Hervey Allen (father)

Folder 14 Australia
Folder 15 [ To Miss Anna Garrison Bennett], 1887

Section: William Hervey Allen (uncle)

Folder 16 The Last Trip, in The Knickerbocker, December 1855

Subseries 6. Photographs, 1857-1949

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries contains the bulk of all photographs in the papers. When possible, folders are listed by identified individuals and date. If there is no discernable name and/or date associated, photographs were grouped as unidentified individuals, groups, or places. Other materials found here are photographic negatives, photographic reproductions, and associated materials found with photographs. Please note: folders are fastened with plastic clips, please use precaution upon perusal. Place folders flat on a stable surface upon removal of clips.

See Also: Oversized photographs of Hervey Allen and the Allen family exist in Boxes 189-194.

Section: Individuals


Box 174
Folder 1 Amelia Bindley (Mrs. Edward Allen, great grandmother)
Folder 2 Ann Allen (wife)
Folder 3 Annette Allen (niece), 1921
Folder 4 Bishop Carleton Hunt (brother-in-law)
Folder 5 Doris Appel (secretary)
Folder 6 Edna Allen Rickmers (aunt)
Folder 7 Edward Allen (paternal great grandfather)
Folder 8 Edward Jay Allen (paternal grandfather)
Folder 9 Edward Allen (uncle)
Folder 10 Edward Jay Allen III (brother), 1911-1913
Folder 11 Elizabeth Allen (sister)
Folder 12 Elizabeth R. Allen (paternal grandmother)
Folder 13 Friends: DuBose Heyward
File-cabinet 14 Friends: General
Folder 15 Friends: Robert Frost, 1947
Folder 16 Gill Family, 1865
Folder 17 Helen Allen (sister-in-law)

Box 175
Folder 1-3 Helen Eby Myers Allen (mother), 1865-1918
Folder 4 Helen Mar Allen (sister)
Folder 5 Helen Mar Myers Gill (maternal grandmother), 1857-1900
Folder 6 Hervey Allen (baby portraits), 1889-1895
Folder 7-8 Hervey Allen (childhood photos), 1896-1905
Folder 9 Hervey Allen, 1909-1918

Photographs of Hervey Allen at the Naval Academy.


Box 176
Folder 1 Hervey Allen, 1920-1930
Folder 2 Hervey Allen, 1931-1939
Folder 3 Hervey Allen, 1940-1949
Folder 4 Hervey Allen Portraits: Headshots, ca. 1930s
Folder 5 Hervey Allen Portraits: Artwork (in likeness of), 1925-1942
Folder 6 Hervey Allen Publicity
Folder 7 Hervey and Ann Allen
Folder 8 Jacob Myers, Mr. and Mrs. (maternal great grandparents)
Folder 9 John Gill (maternal great grandfather)
Folder 10 John Gill, Mrs. (maternal great grandmother)
Folder 11 Mable Allen (Mrs. Harold Allen)
Folder 12 Mary Ann Allen (daughter)
Folder 13 May L. Allen (aunt), 1901-1905
Folder 14 Rebecca Turner (great aunt)
Folder 15 Richard Francis Allen (son)
Folder 16 Sylvia Allen (niece)

Box 177
Folder 1-2 Unidentified Individuals
Folder 3 Uriah Myers (maternal grandfather)
Folder 4 William H. Allen (father), 1860-1911
Folder 5 William H. Allen (great uncle)
Folder 6 Winthrop Allen (brother)

Section: Groups

Folder 7 Allen Children
Folder 8 Allen Family, 1897-1905
Folder 9 Allen Family, 1949
Folder 10 Friends
Folder 11 Unidentified

Section: Places and Other Material,


Box 178
Folder 1 Charleston, South Carolina, 1924-1938
Folder 2 Edgehill Home, 1899-1900

These are photographs of the home Colonel Edward Jay Allen kept on Braddock Road, Pittsburgh. According to inscriptions on the back of these photographs, the home was built at about 1879. The Allens lived here until 1900 when it was purchased by a M. Lovejoy who demolished the home soon after.

Folder 3 Estates and Residences
Folder 4 Johnny Appleseed's Grave
Folder 5 Landscapes and General Travel
Folder 6 Mexican Border, Ysleta, 1916-1917
Folder 7 Negatives
Folder 8 Other Material Found with Photographs
Folder 9 Reproductions and Photographs of Figurines

Subseries 7. Journals and Scrapbooks, 1837-1934

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries includes personal journals and scrapbooks composed by various members of the Allen family including George T. Allen, great-uncle of Hervey Allen. At the age of 20, George was killed on May 6, 1847 on board The New Hampshire, a steamboat captained by his older brother, William Hervey Allen. First account portrayal of the accident is evident in William's journals. William Hervey, who was deeply affected by the accident, took a great deal of responsibility and sorrow because of it. Mention of the accident is also evident in Lloyd's Steamboat Directory and Disasters of the Western Waters, 1856 (in the Hervey Allen personal library collection). Also included here is the Colonel Edward Jay Allen and Elizabeth R. Allen's Golden Wedding Scrapbook.

Section: Edward S. White


Box 179
Folder 1 Notebook, 1934

Section: Elizabeth R. Allen (paternal grandmother)

Folder 2 Photo Album Containing Portraits of Allen Family, (1857-1882)
Folder 3 Scrapbook, Wedding of Edward Jay Allen and Elizabeth Allen, 1866

Section: George T. Allen (great uncle)


Box 180
Folder 1 Diary Containing Accounts of Daily Life in Pittsburgh and on the Steamboat New Hampshire, 1845
Folder 2 Diary Containing Accounts of Daily Life in Pittsburgh and on the Steamboat New Hampshire, 1846
Folder 3 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings Concerning the Steamboat New Hampshire, 1847

Section: Helen Myers (maternal grandmother)

Folder 4 Diary, 1851
Folder 5 Diary, 1879

Section: Hervey Allen

Folder 6 Scrapbook of Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings Collected by Hervey, 1922-1930
Folder 7 Diary, 1924

Box 181
Folder 1 The Gossip: According to John,Scrapbook Containing Letters from and Photographs of John Young, 1925-1927

Section: William Hervey Allen (father)


Box 181
Folder 2 Brown Scrapbook, 1857-1880
Folder 3 Diary, 1877-1879
Folder 4 Yearbook, 1921
Folder 5 Date Book, 1922
Folder 6 Date Book, 1923

Section: William Hervey Allen (great uncle)


Box 182
Folder 1 Book of Fift, Notebook of Mathematical Reference Collected by Allen, 1837-1897
Folder 2 "Notices of Books," Notebook Containing Summaries and Personal Reviews of Books and Journal Entries Accounting Daily Life and Travels, 1840-1841
Folder 3 Personal Diary Accounting Daily Life on the steamboat New Hampshire, 1842
Folder 4 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings of Poems and Handwritten Quotations, 1844
Folder 5 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings concerning the steamboat New Hampshire, current events, local happenings, and Hungarian President Kossuth, 1847-1853

Box 183
Folder 1 The New Hampshire Steamer Album of Poems, Illustrations, and Newspaper Clippings Regarding the Death of George and also William, ten years later, 1845-1857
Folder 2 Diary Accounting Work on the Steamboat New Hampshire and Daily Life in Pittsburgh, 1845
Folder 3 Review of Books Perused By...,Notebook Containing Personal Reviews and Summaries of Books, 1847-1851
Folder 4 Book of Recorded Quotations and Poems, 1847
Folder 5 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings of Poems and Recorded Poems, 1849-1963
Folder 6 Diary as Clerk on the Steamboat Hiram Powers, 1849

Box 184
Folder 1 Bible, 1850-1852
Folder 2 Bible Given to Edward Jay Allen, 1851
Folder 3 Diary Accounting Work on The Steamboat Norma and Daily Life in Pittsburgh, 1851
Folder 4 Diary Accounting Work on The Steamboat Norma and Daily Life in Pittsburgh, 1854

Subseries 8. Ephemera, 1865-1949

Scope and Content Notes:

Mementos, personal items, postcards, and newspaper clippings gathered by the Allen family including a sermon pamphlet from the Presbyterian Church given just days after the assassination of President Lincoln.


Box 185
Folder 1 A Gift for My Mother, Helen's Handiwork in Harrisburg, 1873
Folder 2 A Letter in the Collection of Benjamin Franklin (reproduction)
Folder 3 Calvary Church of Pittsburgh, 1924
Folder 4 General Family Papers
Folder 5-6 Hervey Allen Personal Items
Folder 7 Jefferson Davies for President
Folder 8 Newspaper Clippings, Assassination of President Lincoln and President McKinley, 1865-1901
Folder 9 The Philadelphia Directory (reproduction), [1791]
Folder 10-16 Postcards
Folder 17 Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg Program, 1865

Sermon about Lincoln's assassination.

Folder 18 Shadyside Literary Society Entertainment, 1876
Folder 19 Souvenir from the Musee Historique Candadien - a Wax Museum
Folder 20 Weekly Memo, 1949