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Julian Sargent Allen papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Julian Sargent Allen papers, 1880-1883

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Collection Overview

Title: Julian Sargent Allen papers, 1880-1883Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Allen, Julian Sargent (b. 1860)

Extent: 0.2 Linear Feet

Arrangement: Arranged in chronological order.

Date Acquired: 05/30/1985

Collection processed by: Alice Roth


The Allen papers consist of outgoing letters, dated between 1880 and 1883, from his time as a student at Rensselaer. The letters, which were written to his family, describe his personal and educational experiences at the school, and provides a look at student life at Rennselaer in the early 1800s.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Though an extremely small collection of personal papers, the Julian Sargent Allen papers (MC 21) consist of letters spanning three years (1880-1883) and primarily focus on outgoing letters to Allen's father, mother, brothers, and sister describing in detail his educational and personal experiences while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute between 1880 and 1885.

Several letters describe Allen's departure from New York City via the Steamer Drew to Albany. He describes his first day at RPI which included an entrance examination, securing lodging at 1 St. Paul's Place, on State Street in Troy and describes in some detail (and includes a small hand drawn map) the area of Troy surrounding his lodgings. In another outgoing letter, Allen describes in some detail (including an illustration) the not quite finished New South end Bridge between Albany and Greenbush, half a mile or more below the NYC & HR (passenger) bridge. This letter also described that Allen had changed his lodgings and began residing at 57 Fourth Street, Troy, NY. Remainder of the letters in the first folder contain pleas for more money, concerns over exams and courses, extra-curricular activities such as church concerts, walks to Albany, and family business.

Within the second grouping of correspondence to family members Allen conveys more pleas for money, concern over calculus, and appreciation for home and family. Of particular mention is Allen's insoloence of the Freshman class. Complaints to his mother about his work load, much discussion about St. Paul's Church, the minister, sermons and the choir permeate his letters to his mother.

Overall, references are made to courses that students were required to take to earn a degree in Civil Engineering.

Biographical Note

Julian Sargent Allen was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut on January 8th, 1860. The son of a minister, Julian attended Rensselaer from 1880-1885. Little biographical information exists on Allen. Records show that, beginning with the winter session of 1882, through the summer session of 1884, his status was that of a special student. In a letter to his brother, dated October 1st, 1882, he states that he is a special student because he is "not able to carry on the entire work of the class."

Julian Allen graduated from Rensselaer in June 1885 with a civil engineering degree. He wrote a graduating thesis, titled "Review of the Machinery and Boilers of the Steamer Saratoga of the Troy Citizens Line."

Sometime after graduating from Rensselaer, Allen married Mary Louise Bradley. On June 18th, 1940, he passed away at the age of 80. Unfortunately, no further information exists as to Allen’s life and pursuits after leaving Rensselaer.

Administrative Information

Repository: Institute Archives and Special Collections

Preferred Citation: Julian Sargent Allen papers, MC 21. Institute Archives and Special Collections, Rensselaer Polytechinic Institute, Troy, NY.

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Letters sent to brother (s), sister and Redfield, 1880-1882Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Letters sent to father, mother (5 postcards included), 1882-1883Add to your cart.

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