Guide to the Papers of William Allen, 1800 - 1856Manuscript MS-916

Full Finding Aid

Title:

Guide to the Papers of William Allen, 1800 - 1856

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-916

Collection Dates:

1800 - 1856

Size of Collection:

2 boxes (.75 linear ft.)

Abstract:

The Papers of William Allen (DC Honorary 1812) contain correspondence, letters and documents related to Dartmouth University and the Dartmouth College Case, two unpublished books, a manuscript memoir, seven writings, leases and financial records, and miscellaneous notes and accounts. WA was a Dartmouth College trustee, President of the short-lived Dartmouth University, 1818-1819, and President of Bowdoin College, 1820-1838. The papers document his tenure as minister in Massachusetts, his college presidencies, and his retirement to Northampton, MA.

Access to Collection:

Unrestricted.

Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection

Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The Papers of William Allen (WA) contain correspondence to and from WA, letters and documents related to Dartmouth University and the Dartmouth College Case, two unpublished books, a manuscript memoir, seven writings, leases and financial records, and miscellaneous notes and accounts. The papers document his tenure as minister in Massachusetts, through his presidencies, and his retirement to Northampton, MA. The correspondence includes letters to and from John Wheelock (DC Class of 1771), Dartmouth College President and Trustee, 1779-1815; William Plumer, Governor of New Hampshire; Francis Brown (DC Class of 1805), Dartmouth College President and Trustee, 1815-1820; Daniel Dana (DC Class of 1788), Dartmouth College President and Trustee, 1820-1821; and Nathan Lord (DC Honorary 1821), Dartmouth College President and Trustee, 1828-1863. Of note in the collection is WA's manuscript memoir on Samson Occom, the Mohegan Indian missionary, and the correspondence related to the Dartmouth College Case. The writings include an oration and a sermon on patriotism.

Biography

William Allen (WA) was born in Pittsfield, MA on January 2, 1784. After graduating from Harvard University in 1802, he studied ministry for two years with his father, Rev. Thomas Allen, and the Rev. Dr. John Pierce of Brookline, MA. In 1804, WA became licensed to preach. In 1805, he became the assistant librarian and regent of Harvard until 1810. WA received his AM from Harvard in 1805. In 1810 he succeeded his father as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield, MA where he remained for seven years. In 1812, he received an honorary AM from Dartmouth College. In 1817, WA became Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the newly established Dartmouth University under the presidency of his father-in-law John Wheelock (DC Class of 1771), former President and Trustee of Dartmouth College, 1779-1815. After Wheelock's death, WA became the executor of the John Wheelock estate and succeeded his father-in-law as President of Dartmouth University in 1818. In 1819, Dartmouth University was disbanded by the Supreme Court ruling in the case of the Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, the now famous Dartmouth College Case. After his presidency at the short-lived Dartmouth University, WA accepted the position of President of Bowdoin College in 1820 and moved to Brunswick, ME. As president of Bowdoin, WA established a medical school at the college. In 1831, he was ejected from the presidency as a result of a Maine State Act, but was restored to office two years later because of the ruling of the Dartmouth College Case. In 1838, WA issued his resignation as president of Bowdoin and the next year after his decision took effect he retired to Northampton, MA. While at Northampton, he published the third edition of his "American Biographical and Historical Dictionary" (1857). Other works by WA include "Junius Unmasked" (1828), a memoir of Eleazar Wheelock, D.D., founder and first president of Dartmouth College (1838), and two books of verse: "Wunnissoo, or the Vale of Hoosatunnuk, a Poem" (1856) and "Poems of Nazareth and the Cross" (1866). In 1812, WA married Maria Malleville Wheelock, the only child of John Wheelock. Before her death in 1828, she and WA had eight children. In 1831, WA was remarried to Sarah Johnson Breed, who died in 1848. William Allen died in Northampton, MA on July 16, 1868 at 84 years of age.

Related Material

"An American Biographical and Historical Dictionary," by William Allen
Alumni 432a, Alumni 432b, Ticknor LAH .A5a, Ticknor LAH Ap5am, Ticknor LAH Ap5am c.2, Ticknor E176 .A435 c.2 Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library Reference E176 .A435 Baker/Berry Library, Dartmouth College Library

Documents relating to property given by Pres. Wheelock to Princeton Theological Seminary, March 28, 1799-August 14, 1844, v.p
Manuscript Codex 799228.1 Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library

Opinion in the case of Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Wm. H. Woodward by the United States Supreme Court
Manuscript Codex 001950 Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library

Papers of Salma Hale (DC Hon. 1849)
Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library Manuscript MS-933

Records of the Dartmouth University Treasurer, 1817-1820
Manuscript DA-90 Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library

Papers of John Wheelock (DC Class of 1771)
Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College Library Manuscript MS-934

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Writings, 1800-1853

This series consists of writings by William Allen (WA) from his days as a college undergraduate to his retirement. These include books, accounts, a memorandum, notes, a sermon, an oration, and a manuscript memoir. The earlier book was written while WA was an undergraduate at Harvard University in Massachusetts. The other book appears to have been a preliminary for his later, larger works of historical and biographical sketches of American personages, of which three editions were published. The accounts include deeds of land, financial records and receipts for food, land, and various other items. The memorandum is a listing of the curricula of studies at Columbia University, Union College, and Harvard University. Since its date is circa 1818, it was probably written by WA for use in his role as President of Dartmouth University. The sermon and oration both are on the topic of patriotism.

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Student assignment book: "Elements of Geometry", 1800
  • Folder: 2, Unpublished book: Historical & Biographical Sketches, November 1807
  • Folder: 3, Financial and account papers, June 1810-March 1845
  • Folder: 4, Memorandum of the curricula of studies at Columbia, Union, and Harvard, 1818
  • Folder: 5, Notes re: Nathaniel Hall's account & papers with the estate of Amos Wardwell, June 21, 1819
  • Folder: 6, Sermon: "On the Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth 22nd December 1620", December 22, 1844
  • Folder: 7, Oration: "The Patriot Hampden", January 4, 1853
  • Folder: 8, Manuscript memoir: "Memoirs of Samson Occom the Mohegan Indian Missionary", undated

Series 2, Personal Correspondence, 1810-1838

This series consists of letters to and from family and personal acquaintances of William Allen. Writers include John Wheelock (DC Class of 1771), WA's father-in-law; Mrs. Maria Malleville (Wheelock) Allen, WA's wife and daughter of John Wheelock; and Dartmouth College alumni.

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 9, Letter from Thayer, Gideon, et al. re: the ministry in Braintree, MA, June 20, 1810
  • Folder: 10, Correspondence with Wheelock, John (DC Class of 1771) Dartmouth College President & Trustee 1779-1815, Dartmouth University President & Trustee 1815-1817, July 1812-December 1814
  • Folder: 11, Correspondence with Allen, Mrs. Maria Malleville (Wheelock), July 1814-September 1816
  • Folder: 12, Letter from Ripley, Eleazar Wheelock (DC Class of 1800), August 9, 1815
  • Folder: 13, Correspondence re: Goodrich claim, May 1817-May 1819
  • Folder: 14, Letter to Patten, Mrs. Ruth (Wheelock), June 13, 1818
  • Folder: 15, Letter from Dana, Judah (DC Class of 1795), August 20, 1818
  • Folder: 16, Lease of house & land in Hartford, VT to Levi Bellows, October 10, 1818
  • Folder: 17, Letter from White, Allen Porter (DC Class of 1816), May 22, 1819
  • Folder: 18, Letter from Perkins, Cyrus (DC Class of 1800, Med. School 1802), Dartmouth University Trustee 1816-1819, Dartmouth University Treasurer 1817-1819, July 16, 1819
  • Folder: 19, Correspondence with Mason, Jeremiah (DC Hon. 1823), August 1819
  • Folder: 20, Letter to Packard, H. and Bailey, J. accepting the presidency of Bowdoin College, January 29, 1820
  • Folder: 21, Letter to Pickering, William, March 3, 1820
  • Folder: 22, Letter to Cleaveland, Parker (DC Hon. 1823), March 8, 1820
  • Folder: 23, Letter from Brewster, Amos Avery, April 18, 1821
  • Folder: 24, Letter from Richards, William, December 25, 1838

Series 3, Correspondence and documents related to Dartmouth College, the Dartmouth College Case, and Dartmouth University, 1815-1856

This series consists of letters and documents relating to WA's involvement with Dartmouth College, Dartmouth University, and the Dartmouth College Case. This includes correspondence with Dartmouth College administration, papers, letters, and reports written by WA as President of Dartmouth University. Also found within this series is correspondence with Dartmouth College alumni, administrators of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University, and the then current governor of New Hampshire, William Plumer, regarding the Dartmouth College Case.

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 25, Correspondence with Wheelock, John (DC Class of 1771), Dartmouth College President & Trustee 1779-1815, Dartmouth University President & Trustee 1815-1817, July 1815-December 1815
  • Folder: 26, Letter from Allen, Mrs. Maria Malleville (Wheelock), September 15, 1816
  • Folder: 27, Letter from Woodward, William Henry (DC Class of 1792), Dartmouth College Treasurer 1805-1816, Dartmouth University Treasurer 1816-1818, March 4, 1817
  • Folder: 28, Correspondence with Morse, Jedidiah, March 1817
  • Folder: 29, Correspondence with Brown, Francis (DC Class of 1805), Dartmouth College President & Trustee 1815-1820, August 1817-July 1819
  • Folder: 30, Address to parents and friends of students, late members of Dartmouth, November 8, 1817

Box: 2

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Notes re: Dartmouth University affairs, November 11, 1817
  • Folder: 2, Correspondence with Holmes, John, January-March 1818
  • Folder: 3, Correspondence with Hale, Salma (DC Hon. 1849), February-December 1818
  • Folder: 4, Correspondence with Plumer, William, Governor of New Hampshire, March 1818-March 1819
  • Folder: 5, Letter from Eastman, Moses (DC Class of 1794), April 7, 1818
  • Folder: 6, Correspondence with Lang, Richard, April 22, 1818
  • Folder: 7, Letter from Ripley, Major General T.W., August 14, 1818
  • Folder: 8, Letter from Bartlett, Ichabod (DC Class of 1808), August 19, 1818
  • Folder: 9, Letter from Elkins, Jeremiah (DC Class of 1817), August 27, 1818
  • Folder: 10, Letter to Pinkney, William, September 10, 1818
  • Folder: 11, Letter to Sullivan, George, September 19, 1818
  • Folder: 12, Bill to the Dartmouth University Treasurer, 1818-1819
  • Folder: 13, Correspondence with Perkins, Cyrus (DC Class of 1800, Med. School 1802), Dartmouth University Trustee 1816-1819, Dartmouth University Treasurer 1817-1819, January 1819-February 1819
  • Folder: 14, Letter from Walcut, Thomas and Ticknor, Elisha (DC Class of 1783), February 17, 1819
  • Folder: 15, Notice to students and friends of Dartmouth University, March 1, 1819
  • Folder: 16, Letter from Nott, Eliphalet, March 10, 1819
  • Folder: 17, Correspondence with Marsh, Charles (DC Class of 1786), April 1819
  • Folder: 18, Deposition re: the Dartmouth College Case, April 27, 1819
  • Folder: 19, Report to the Committee of Legislature, September 15, 1819
  • Folder: 20, Letter to the Committee of New Hampshire Legislation, May 5, 1820
  • Folder: 21, Letter to Farrar, Timothy (DC Class of 1807), Dartmouth College Librarian & Treasurer 1822-1826, January 7, 1824
  • Folder: 22, Correspondence with Lord, Nathan (DC Hon. 1821), Dartmouth College President & Trustee 1828-1863, July 1841-February 1856

Series 4, Correspondence and documents related to the Wheelock estate, 1810-1836

This series contains letters to and from William Allen and documents written by WA as executor of the Wheelock estate. WA married the only child of John Wheelock, and so became the executor of John Wheelock's estate. After his wife died in 1828, he became the legal guardian of his children, and thus, the executor of his children's Wheelock estate. The papers in this series relate to WA's function as executor of the Wheelock estate.

Box: 2

Box Contents

  • Folder: 23, Miscellaneous notes and accounts re: Dartmouth University & Wheelock estate, August 1810-March 1839
  • Folder: 24, Letter to Morse, Jedidiah, April 5, 1817
  • Folder: 25, Correspondence with Miller, Samuel, February 1819-June 1822
  • Folder: 26, Correspondence with Olcott, Mills (DC Class of 1790), Dartmouth College Treasurer 1816-1822, August 1819-November 1819
  • Folder: 27, Correspondence with Ralston, Robert, March 1820-October 1826
  • Folder: 28, Correspondence with Codman, John, March-July 1820
  • Folder: 29, Correspondence with Dana, Daniel (DC Class of 1788), Dartmouth College President and Trustee 1820-1821, December 1823-June 1825
  • Folder: 30, Letter to Chester, N., October 15, 1826
  • Folder: 31, Papers re: WA's children's estate, July-August 1836
  • Folder: 32, Memorandum of dates of papers re: Princeton, undated

Finding Aids