Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911

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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.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Manchester, Harriet E., d. 1915. Harriet E. Manchester letters received, 1872 Apr.-July. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Elizabeth Sedgwick Child family collection, Child, Elizabeth Sedgwick family collection, 1826-1918, 1826-1837, 1855-1885 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Allen, Elizabeth Akers,. Papers, 1852-1914. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Portland Society of Natural History (Me.). Portland Society of Natural History records, 1850-1946. Maine Historical Society Library
creatorOf Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911. Elizabeth Akers Allen poem and letter, ca. 1860 and 1895. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Brown University. Library (Providence, Rhode Island). Selected correspondence, 1913-1993, "Ahrens" to "Bradstreet". Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Elizabeth Akers Allen letters, 1863-1888 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Tracy, Gilbert A. (Gilbert Avery), b. 1835. Gilbert A. Tracy autograph collection, 1862-1917. Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn Staples, Franklin, 1833-1904. Akers brothers : a brief sketch concerning those American artists, ca. 1900. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn McKay, James T., 1843-1890. Papers, 1854-1930, 1860-1898 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Akers, Benjamin Paul, 1825-1861. Benjamin Paul Akers letter collection, 1858-1920. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Lawson, James, 1799-1880. Papers of James Lawson, 1867, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Abbott, Emma, 1850-1891. Women authors collection, A-Al, 1944-1965. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Rossiter and Helen Kendrick Johnson papers, 1851-1929, 1883-1900 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Correspondence, 1827-1885. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Poets of America, extra-illustrated. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Pickard-Whittier papers, 1815-1915. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Johnson, Rossiter, 1840-1931. Rossiter and Helen Kendrick Johnson papers, 1851-1929, bulk (1883-1900). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers, 1821-1919 (inclusive), 1892-1898 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911. Elizabeth Akers Allen collection, 1866-1911. University of New England, Jack S. Ketchum Library
referencedIn Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (inclusive) 1820-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Chapman, Leonard Bond, 1834-1915. Papers, 1726-1915. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Underwood, Francis Henry, 1825-1894. Papers of Francis Henry Underwood [manuscript], 1859?-1874? University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Adams, Charles Follen, 1842-1918. Collection [18 pieces] by poets/lyricists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, [1810-1907], various locations. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911. Rock me to sleep : autograph manuscript of the poem signed "Elizabeth Akers" : [n.p.], [ca. 1860-1865]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Allen, Elizabeth Akers, 1832-1911. Manuscripts [manuscript], 1864-1902. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Dorr, Julia C. R. (Julia Caroline Ripley), 1825-1913. Papers of 47 women authors, chiefly American [manuscript] 1847-1949, 1970. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Akers, Benjamin Paul, 1825-1861. person
associatedWith Allen, Elizabeth Akers, person
associatedWith Brown University. Library (Providence, Rhode Island). corporateBody
correspondedWith Chapman, Leonard Bond, 1834-1915. person
associatedWith Child family family
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Rossiter, 1840-1931. person
associatedWith Kettaneh, Francis Anthony Bernard, 1897-1976, person
associatedWith Lawson, James, 1799-1880. person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Manchester, Harriet E., d. 1915. person
associatedWith McKay, James T., 1843-1890. person
associatedWith Nichols, George, 1809-1882 person
associatedWith Portland Society of Natural History (Me.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sedgwick family family
associatedWith Staples, Franklin, 1833-1904. person
associatedWith Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 1833-1908 person
associatedWith Tracy, Gilbert A. (Gilbert Avery), b. 1835. person
associatedWith Underwood, Francis Henry, 1825-1894. person
correspondedWith Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892 person
associatedWith Wingate, Charles E. L. (Charles Edgar Lewis), b. 1861 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Women poets, American
American poetry--19th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1832

Death 1911

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