Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911Alternative names
Allen was born Elizabeth Anne Chase on October 9, 1832 in Strong, Maine and grew up in Farmington, Maine, where she attended Farmington Academy (later Maine State Teachers College). In 1851 she married her first husband, Marshall Taylor, but the marriage ended soon in divorce. She served as writer and associate editor for the Portland Transcript beginning in 1855, and in the next year published her first volume of poetry, Forest buds from the woods of Maine, under the pseudonym Florence Percy. She traveled throughout Europe from 1859-1860, serving as a correspondent for the Portland Transcript as well as the Boston Evening Gazette. From Rome she dispatched to the Saturday Evening Post of Philadelphia the poem Rock me to sleep, mother, which would become her most well known work. It was later set to music and became a famous Civil War song. She married Benjamin Paul Akers, a Maine sculptor who she met in Rome, in August of 1860. Akers died in 1861 of tuberculosis. From 1863 to 1865 she worked in Washington D.C. as a government clerk and in 1865 married Elijah M. Allen. In 1866 a collection of her work, entitled Poems was published, sparking a controversy in which Alexander M.W. Ball claimed authorship of Rock me to sleep, mother. Allen became involved in legal proceedings to reclaim the copyright, as the poem was indeed her own work. After living for a while in Richmond, Virginia, Allen and her husband returned to Portland, Maine in 1874, where she took a job as the associate literary editor of the Daily Advertiser. The couple finally moved to Tuckahoe, New York, in 1881, during which time Allen published several more volumes of poetry, including Queen Catherine's rose (1885), The high-top sweeting (1891), and The ballad of the Bronx (1901). She also wrote and published one novel, The triangular society: leaves from the life of a Portland family in 1886. She died on August 7, 1911.
From the description of Elizabeth Akers Allen collection, 1866-1911. (University of New England). WorldCat record id: 755731835
Elizabeth Akers Allen was a popular poet and editor. She published countless poems in newspapers and journals, and several volumes of verse, often under the pseudonym Florence Percy. She is probably best remembered for the poem Rock me to sleep, mother, which was set to music and became a popular song.
From the description of Elizabeth Akers Allen poem and letter, ca. 1860 and 1895. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 52863780
American poet and journalist.
From the description of Rock me to sleep : autograph manuscript of the poem signed "Elizabeth Akers" : [n.p.], [ca. 1860-1865]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270132678
American author and editor.
From the guide to the Elizabeth Akers Allen letters, 1863-1888, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Women poets, American|
|American poetry--19th century|