Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Allen family papers

Abstract

The Allen family papers (dated 1902-1945, undated; 0.32 cubic feet; 7 folders, 17 photographs) comprises letters, postcards, and photographs documenting the lives of the Allen family members of Atlanta, Georgia.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Allen family papers
Date
1902-1945, undated (inclusive)
Extent
0.32 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Travel.
Postcards.
Letters.
Missionaries
Families.
Postal service -- China.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Hanna Rumbarger
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0846: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Allen family papers, 1902-1945, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Allen family of Atlanta, Georgia included Young John Allen (1836-1907), his wife Mary Houston Allen (1838-1907), and their seven children: Malvina Louise (1859-1940), Young John (1861-1862), Herbert Mowry (1863-1864), Edgar Pierce (1866-1921), Arthur Houston (1869-1948), Mary Louise (1872-1920), and Ethel Margaret (1874-1944). Young John Allen and Mary Houston married in 1860 while they were living in Shanghai, China. Young John Allen was a Methodist Episcopal missionary to China and a journalist. Young and Mary fought for the human rights of women in China, which sought to get them education, eliminate foot binding and concubinage. Arthur Houston followed in his parent's footsteps and lived and worked in China. Arthur worked with the Chinese Postal Service for multiple years, and traveled to other countries in Asia. Arthur married Jessie Cornelia Prior (1874-1969) in 1899 while visiting Nagasaki, Japan. Arthur and Jessie had no children together and eventually divorced.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Allen family papers (dated 1902-1945, undated; 0.32 cubic feet; 7 folders, 17 photographs) comprises letters, postcards, and photographs documenting the lives of the Allen family members of Atlanta, Georgia. The letters in this collection are primarily addressed to Jessie Prior Allen, and are from various members of the Prior family, and her husband, Arthur Houston Allen. The letters from her family provide updates on distant aunts, cousins and friends in Atlanta while Jessie is in Shanghai with Arthur. She also receives letters of condolences for the deaths of both of her parents. Arthur sends Jessie letters about sending checks to her while he is traveling to different areas in China with the Chinese Postal Service. The postcards in this collection are separated by who they are addressed to, Jessie and Arthur, and then non-addressed postcards. The postcards are from Europe, the United States and Asia. The photographs mainly document life in China. Group photos of the Chinese Post Service staff and missionary groups are matted and feature notes written by Arthur written on the back. The rest of the photos feature unnamed men and women.
The Allen family papers is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Postcards to Jessie Prior Allen, 1909-1915, undated

  • Box WH-96, folder 1
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Postcards to Arthur Houston Allen, 1902-1917, undated

  • Box WH-96, folder 2
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Allen family postcards, 1906-1911, undated

  • Box WH-96, folder 3
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Arthur Allen to Jessie Prior, 1910, 1943-1944, undated

  • Box WH-96, folder 4
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Letters to Jessie Prior Allen, 1923-1945

  • Box WH-96, folder 5
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Jessie Prior Allen to parents, 1934

  • Box WH-96, folder 6
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Allen family letters, undated

  • Box WH-96, folder 7
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Allen family photographs, 1903-1911, undated

Unidentified group photo of young men and women, undated

  • Box WH-75, item 1
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Three unidentified persons in a horse-drawn wagon, 1911

  • Box WH-75, item 2
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Portrait of an unidentified woman, undated

  • Box WH-75, item 3
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Two unidentified men and two women in Shanghai, undated

  • Box WH-75, item 4
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Imperial patrol staff, 1911

  • Box WH-97, item 5
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Unidentified group photo taken at the opening of a Chinese hospital, 1920

  • Box WH-97, item 6
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Unidentified group of men, in China, undated

  • Box WH-97, item 7
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Group photograph of unidentified white and Chinese men, note on back reads "This is a picture of the Shanghai Staff. Arthur [Allen] - next to him one of the juniors - next to him the Senior Postal Officer - next to him the new Acting Postmaster Mr. Gilchrist from Boston - next to him Mr. Taylor the Postmaster transferred to the interior etc, next to him the Accountant, and next one of the Postal Officers - the others are juniors and the Chinese clerks and letters carriers", undated

  • Box WH-97, item 8
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Group of unidentified armed men standing at attention outside, undated

  • Box WH-98, item 9
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Army or patrol group heading down a street, men on foot and on horseback, undated

  • Box WH-98, item 10
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Photo of a patrol group, 1903

  • Box WH-98, item 11
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Portrait of two unidentified women, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 12
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Unidentified man walking down a street, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 13
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View of a dining room, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 14
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Unidentified elderly man, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 15
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Negative of an unidentified woman standing next to a car, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 16
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Negative of an unidentified woman sitting outside, undated

  • Box WH-100, item 17
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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.