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Penelope Johnson Allen, Historian

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  • Jerry Triplett
    I thought I would take the time to send this information to Jackson Genie in case some might find it of interest. I have been aware of Penelope Johnson Allen
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2013
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      I thought I would take the time to send this information to Jackson Genie in case some might find it of interest.

      I have been aware of Penelope Johnson Allen for a long time but recently began to realize what a remarkable genealogist and historian she was.  Yesterday I went to the Chattanooga Library and got a copy of "Cherokee Homes in Hamilton", a fairly short article that she wrote to be published in the Chattanooga Times on Dec 8, 1935.  Apparently, she did a weekly column for the Times.

      It is hard to separate Jackson County and DeKalb from Hamilton, Marion, Roane or from several counties in GA or NC, etc when looking at Cherokees in the 1700's and early 1800's.

      Apparently, in addition to her collections at the TN State Archives and the Chattanooga Public Library, there are other collections at UTK and UTC, for example.

      For any DAR or SAR members, I would like to believe that Mrs. Allen was especially proud of her title of State Chairman of Genealogical Records, Tennessee Society, DAR.

      I hope some might enjoy reading what I have included.

      Penelope Van Dyke Johnson, daughter of James Whiteside and Sue Cleage Johnson, was born October 27, 1886, in Chattanooga. She was educated in the public schools of Chattanooga where she received her grade school instruction at the old First District School and was graduated from Chattanooga High School in the class of 1904. She did a year of preparatory work at Mrs. Starrett’s School in Chicago and then attended for 3 years the Western College in Oxford, Ohio. She spent the summer of 1908 traveling in Europe. After her father's death on March 15,1908, she left college & became a teacher at the North St. Elmo Elementary School. On February 17, 1909, she married Samuel Boyd Allen of Knoxville. On July 31,1911 their daughter, Penelope Van Dyke Allen, was born in Knoxville, TN. Later they moved to Tate Springs, TN, and from 1912-1915, Mr. Allen managed the Tate Springs Hotel. In 1916 they moved to Williamsburg, VA., where during World War I, Mrs. Allen was the assistant supervisor of the large caliber area at the DuPont Shell Loading Plant in Penniman, VA. She returned to Chattanooga and was divorced in 1923. She worked at the Chattanooga News from 1919 to 1923 and became an early advocate of the women’s suffrage movement in Tennessee. In 1923 Mrs. Allen took a job as a traveling advertising salesperson with the St. Elmo based Chattanooga Medicine Company. This gave her an excellent opportunity to visit in her free time old book dealers throughout the South. It was at this time that she became acquainted with the descendants of Chief John Ross and other Cherokees in the Oklahoma area. She gradually put together an invaluable collection of books, manuscripts, Indian claims, letters from Indian Agents, and other Cherokee items. Part of this collection can be found in Nashville at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and part in Knoxville at The University of Tennessee, Special Collections. In 1933 Mrs. Allen took a job with the Chattanooga Times, writing a weekly genealogical feature called "Leaves From the Family Tree." Each week she focused on a local pioneer family by tracing the family roots back to colonial times. In 1982, these articles were published in a book, Leaves From the Family Tree, by Southern Historical Press.

      Mrs. Allen was a member of many civic and patriotic clubs. She was a life member of the DAR joining in 1913. She served as president of the Volunteer Chapter of the USD 1812 and as state president of the USD 1812. She was also a member of the Hamilton County Historical society, the Tennessee Historical Society, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the Chattanooga Area Historical Commission, the National Society of Colonial Dames in America in Tennessee, the Daughters of Colonial Wars, and the Junior League of Chattanooga. She was a member of Thankful Memorial Episcopal church, which her Grandfather built as a memorial to her Grandmother, Thankful Whiteside. Mrs. Allen published the following books: Tennessee Soldiers in the Revolution, Historic Chattanooga, A Guide Book, and Tennessee Soldiers in the War of 1812. She also compiled a family history of her Johnson line which was published by her cousin, Mrs. Frank L. Miller.
      Mrs. Allen received many honors for her dedication to historic causes in and around Tennessee. In 1970 a portrait of Mrs. Allen was commissioned by the Chattanooga Area Historical Association and now hangs in the state Library in Nashville. Mrs. Allen lived the last few years of her life at Life Care Center in East Ridge teaching genealogy and answering questions for all that called for help. She died January 9, 1985, and is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in St. Elmo.




      At the Tennessee Archives:
      The Penelope Johnson Allen Cherokee Collection spans the years 1775-1878 and
      contains materials relating to the Cherokees and to John Ross (1790-1866), Principal
      Chief of the Cherokees, 1828-1866. The collection was purchased from Mrs. Penelope
      Johnson Allen of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who previously obtained the portion
      belonging to John Ross from his grandson, Robert Bruce Ross (1845-1930). The abstract
      of provisions (1836) issued to Cherokee Indians (30 pages) was a gift of Roy Ashley of
      Big Spring, Tennessee (ac. no. 69-301).  The materials described in this finding
      aid measure 7.98 linear feet. There are no restrictions on the materials. Single photocopies of unpublished writings in the Cherokee Collection may be made for purposes of scholarly research.

      At UTC:
      The Penelope Johnson Allen Papers contain papers, notes, documents, and correspondence relating mainly to the Brainerd Mission of Chattanooga (early 19th century), Gideon Blackburn, and the Cherokee Indians.


    • Helen Lopez
      Enjoyed this info. and found it very interesting.    Helen From: Jerry Triplett To: jacksongenealogy@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:57
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 25, 2013
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        Enjoyed this info. and found it very interesting. 
         
        Helen

        From: Jerry Triplett
        To: jacksongenealogy@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:57 AM
        Subject: [jacksongenealogy] Penelope Johnson Allen, Historian
         
        I thought I would take the time to send this information to Jackson Genie in case some might find it of interest.

        I have been aware of Penelope Johnson Allen for a long time but recently began to realize what a remarkable genealogist and historian she was.  Yesterday I went to the Chattanooga Library and got a copy of "Cherokee Homes in Hamilton", a fairly short article that she wrote to be published in the Chattanooga Times on Dec 8, 1935.  Apparently, she did a weekly column for the Times.

        It is hard to separate Jackson County and DeKalb from Hamilton, Marion, Roane or from several counties in GA or NC, etc when looking at Cherokees in the 1700's and early 1800's.

        Apparently, in addition to her collections at the TN State Archives and the Chattanooga Public Library, there are other collections at UTK and UTC, for example.

        For any DAR or SAR members, I would like to believe that Mrs. Allen was especially proud of her title of State Chairman of Genealogical Records, Tennessee Society, DAR.

        I hope some might enjoy reading what I have included.
        Penelope Van Dyke Johnson, daughter of James Whiteside and Sue Cleage Johnson, was born October 27, 1886, in Chattanooga. She was educated in the public schools of Chattanooga where she received her grade school instruction at the old First District School and was graduated from Chattanooga High School in the class of 1904. She did a year of preparatory work at Mrs. Starrett’s School in Chicago and then attended for 3 years the Western College in Oxford, Ohio. She spent the summer of 1908 traveling in Europe. After her father's death on March 15,1908, she left college became a teacher at the North St. Elmo Elementary School. On February 17, 1909, she married Samuel Boyd Allen of Knoxville. On July 31,1911 their daughter, Penelope Van Dyke Allen, was born in Knoxville, TN. Later they moved to Tate Springs, TN, and from 1912-1915, Mr. Allen managed the Tate Springs Hotel. In 1916 they moved to Williamsburg, VA., where during World War I, Mrs. Allen was the assistant supervisor of the large caliber area at the DuPont Shell Loading Plant in Penniman, VA. She returned to Chattanooga and was divorced in 1923. She worked at the Chattanooga News from 1919 to 1923 and became an early advocate of the women’s suffrage movement in Tennessee. In 1923 Mrs. Allen took a job as a traveling advertising salesperson with the St. Elmo based Chattanooga Medicine Company. This gave her an excellent opportunity to visit in her free time old book dealers throughout the South. It was at this time that she became acquainted with the descendants of Chief John Ross and other Cherokees in the Oklahoma area. She gradually put together an invaluable collection of books, manuscripts, Indian claims, letters from Indian Agents, and other Cherokee items. Part of this collection can be found in Nashville at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and part in Knoxville at The University of Tennessee, Special Collections. In 1933 Mrs. Allen took a job with the Chattanooga Times, writing a weekly genealogical feature called "Leaves From the Family Tree." Each week she focused on a local pioneer family by tracing the family roots back to colonial times. In 1982, these articles were published in a book, Leaves From the Family Tree, by Southern Historical Press.
        Mrs. Allen was a member of many civic and patriotic clubs. She was a life member of the DAR joining in 1913. She served as president of the Volunteer Chapter of the USD 1812 and as state president of the USD 1812. She was also a member of the Hamilton County Historical society, the Tennessee Historical Society, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the Chattanooga Area Historical Commission, the National Society of Colonial Dames in America in Tennessee, the Daughters of Colonial Wars, and the Junior League of Chattanooga. She was a member of Thankful Memorial Episcopal church, which her Grandfather built as a memorial to her Grandmother, Thankful Whiteside. Mrs. Allen published the following books: Tennessee Soldiers in the Revolution, Historic Chattanooga, A Guide Book, and Tennessee Soldiers in the War of 1812. She also compiled a family history of her Johnson line which was published by her cousin, Mrs. Frank L. Miller.
        Mrs. Allen received many honors for her dedication to historic causes in and around Tennessee. In 1970 a portrait of Mrs. Allen was commissioned by the Chattanooga Area Historical Association and now hangs in the state Library in Nashville. Mrs. Allen lived the last few years of her life at Life Care Center in East Ridge teaching genealogy and answering questions for all that called for help. She died January 9, 1985, and is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in St. Elmo.



        At the Tennessee Archives:
        The Penelope Johnson Allen Cherokee Collection spans the years 1775-1878 and
        contains materials relating to the Cherokees and to John Ross (1790-1866), Principal
        Chief of the Cherokees, 1828-1866. The collection was purchased from Mrs. Penelope
        Johnson Allen of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who previously obtained the portion
        belonging to John Ross from his grandson, Robert Bruce Ross (1845-1930). The abstract
        of provisions (1836) issued to Cherokee Indians (30 pages) was a gift of Roy Ashley of
        Big Spring, Tennessee (ac. no. 69-301).  The materials described in this finding
        aid measure 7.98 linear feet. There are no restrictions on the materials. Single photocopies of unpublished writings in the Cherokee Collection may be made for purposes of scholarly research.At UTC:
        The Penelope Johnson Allen Papers contain papers, notes, documents, and correspondence relating mainly to the Brainerd Mission of Chattanooga (early 19th century), Gideon Blackburn, and the Cherokee Indians.
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