Ebenezer Allen Day – April 8, 2021

Ebenezer Allen was born on April 8, 1804, in Newport, New Hampshire. He was the first child of David and Hannah Allen. David Allen moved to Newport from Killingworth, Connecticut around 1800. Allen was born on May 13, 1777, in Killingworth. Around 1803, David married Hannah Wilcox who July 12, 1780. The Allens lived on a large farm on the Goshen Road in Newport. Mr. Allen ran an inn and tavern, which were popular stops when the Croydon Turnpike[1] was an important commercial road.


Old Allen Homestead in Newport, New Hampshire
(Judith M. Johnson, Johnson-Morrow Family Tree, Ancestry.com)

Other children joined the Allen family several years after Ebenezer. David Allen Jr. was born in 1806, Uriah Wilcox Allen in 1807, and Elvira Allen in 1809. The 1810 census lists nine people in the David Allen household. There were three males under ten: Ebenezer (6), David (4), and Uriah Wilcox (3); one white female under 10: Elvira (1); one white male 16-25, one white female 16-25, one white male 26-44: David Allen, one white female 26-44: Hannah; and one white female over 45.[2]  The Allen family continued to grow with the births of Nahum Wilcox Allen in 1812, Hannah Cordelia Allen in 1814, Roxanna Allen in 1817, Samuel Johnson Allen in 1819, Harriet Allen in 1821, Albert G Allen in 1823, and William Allen in 1825. By 1830, Ebenezer had four sisters and six brothers.[3]

As the eldest child, Ebenezer had many responsibilities in the Allen farm and businesses. Farm parents expected their children to contribute to the family’s productivity. Small children helped with simple, unskilled tasks. As the children grew and gained skills, their work became more difficult. Farm boys always had work because of the daily need for firewood and water. Boys cared for the livestock and guarded the animals in the pasture. The children assisted their parents in preparing the fields for planting and sowing the seeds in the furrows. At harvest, they helped gather the crops. Boys hunted and fished for recreation and to supply food for the family. Like other oldest sons, Ebenezer was “early made acquainted with labor.”[4]

David and Hannah Allen believed in education and their children attended the “common schools”[5] in Newport. The Allens enrolled their children in the Newport Academy after the school opened on June 24, 1819. The citizens of Newport and neighboring towns organized the school to give their children a “more advanced education than was to be had at our common schools” and “to fit them for college.”.[6] The school had “ample rooms nicely fitted up.”[7]

After school and their chores, the Allen children may have played Copenhagen, button, hunt the slipper, blind man’s bluff, and the grace-hoop.[8]

Most of Ebenezer’s brothers and sisters stayed in New England. David Allen, Jr. became a lawyer. Uriah W. Allen moved to Stonington, Connecticut, where he was a farmer. Uriah was married twice and had one son, Albert. Alvira Allen married Philo Fuller a “manufacturer” from Newport. The Fullers had five children Eugene, Nelson, Allen, Ellen, and Edith. Nahum W. Allen went west as a teacher and became a clergyman. He had a daughter, Harriet.

On April 8, 2021, the City of Allen Texas celebrated the 217th birthday of its namesake Ebenezer Allen.

Proclamation by Allen, Texas Mayor Kenneth Fulk

[1] The Croydon Turnpike Road was incorporated on June 21, 1804. The road went from Lebanon to, Grantham, Croydon, Newport, and Lempster. The road connected to the Second New Hampshire Turnpike in Washington, 34 miles, at an expense of $35,948. The Second New Hampshire Turnpike was chartered in 1799 and completed in 1801. This was the connecting route between Boston and Vermont. accessed February 6, 2017, New Hampshire’s Turnpike History, http://www.cowhampshireblog.com/2006/08/23/new-hampshires-turnpike-history/.

[2] Year: 1810; Census Place: Newport, Cheshire, New Hampshire; Roll: 23; Page: 201; Image: 00144; Family History Library Film: 0218684, accessed May 20, 2016.

[3] Descendants of Gideon Allen, Courtesy of Judith M. Johnson, Johnson-Morrow Family Tree, accessed May 20, 2016, Ancestry.com.

[4] James M. Volo and Dorothy Denneen Volo, Family Life in 19th-Century America. (Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), .

[5] A common school was a public school in the United States during the nineteenth century. Horace Mann (1796−1859) was a strong advocate for public education and the common school. In 1837, the state of Massachusetts appointed Mann as the first secretary of the State Board of Educationwhere he began a revival of common school education, the effects of which extended throughout America during the 19th century. Wikipedia contributors, “Common school,” Wikipedia contributors, “Common school,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Common_school&oldid=871899693 (accessed August 21, 2019).

[6] “Historical Chronology of  Newport New Hampshire,” accessed May 19, 2016, http://www.newportnh.net/aynnyd/uploaded/pdfs/history_of_newport_20101019.pdf, 17-18.

[7] Wheeler, Edmund. The History of Newport, New Hampshire from 1776 to 1878 with a Genealogical Register with Steel and Wood Engravings. Concord: Republican Press Organization. 1879 , 162-163.

[8] Wheeler, 221-222.

About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written five books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", and Preparing for Disunion. Allen's latest book, Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy is scheduled for release in August 2020. He teaches classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and shared his over 4,000 photographs on Civil War Journeys. He wrote posts about the Civil War on the Salient Points blog.
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