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Allen, Selima Blanchard. (1807-1892)



  • Existence: 1807 - 1892

Biographical Statement

Selima Blanchard Allen was the eighth child in the farming family of Mary ("Polly") Lovell Blanchard and Jonathan Blanchard, Sr. She was born in Rockingham, VT on the first day of 1807.

She left the family farm and, after teaching in several locations, moved to Batavia, Ohio. There, in 1843, she met and married Jacob T. Allen, an Irish immigrant. Allen's unsettled habits and tendency to drink, along with Selima's inclination to be strong in her opinions, combined to make the marriage a miserable one. This unsatisfactory union influenced Selima for the remainder of her life; she was forced to make her own living and occasionally counseled young women not to marry. She followed the career of school teaching and housed boarders to support her needs.

She actively participated in local church and religious functions. She also supported the activities of her brother Jonathan in anti-secretism, Christian reform work, and his duties at Wheaton College. In her later years, she lived with the family of her nephew, Charles Blanchard, and died in Wheaton on October 21, 1892 at the age of 85.

Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Jonathan Blanchard Papers

 Collection — Box: microfilm
Identifier: RG-02-001
Abstract The Jonathan Blanchard Collection is a diverse gathering of items covering the family of Wheaton College's first president. Ranging from the scribblings of grandchildren to a petition for the abolition of slavery, they illuminate Blanchard in many roles: Minister, College President, Abolitionist, Anti Secretist, Reformer, lecturer, and head of a large family. Jonathan Blanchard's life in both the public and private realm is detailed. In addition to the biographical interest of the materials,...
Dates: Created: 1808-2018; Majority of material found within 1808 - 1893

Selima Blanchard Allen Papers

Identifier: SC-101
Scope and Contents The Selima Blanchard Allen materials form a collateral collection to the papers of her brother, Jonathan Blanchard. Included are correspondence, diaries, account books, scrapbooks, and personal items ranging in time from 1836-1892.The correspondence spans the dates 1836-1892, with the greatest number of items dated between 1839 and 1853. Thus the main body of Selima's papers falls during a period which is often sparsely covered in the Jonathan Blanchard Papers. Since many of the...
Dates: Created: 1836-1892; Other: Majority of material found in 1848-1892

Additional filters:

Abolitionists -- Illinois. 1
Abolitionists -- Ohio. 1
Abolitionists -- United States -- Biography. 1
Abolitionists. 1
African Americans. 1