A Guide to the Samuel Tabor Allen Family Papers, 1759-1939
Samuel Tabor (Taber?) Allen, son of Thomas and Eunice (Johnson) Allen, was born in 1809 in Connecticut. He came to Texas by ship by way of New Orleans in 1830, and joined his uncle George Allen in Harrisburg, Texas. His goal was to seek his fortune and acquire land.
He was active in pre-Republic of Texas politics, and was arrested and imprisoned with William B. Travis and others during the Anahuac Disturbances in 1832. He was a delegate from Milam (Viesca) to the Consultation of 1835, and was a member of the General Council. Samuel T. Allen also represented Milam in the House of Representatives of the 1st Congress, 1836-1837. He and a group of his neighbors missed fighting at the Alamo by five days, and he missed participation in the Battle of San Jacinto while moving his family to safety at San Augustine during the Runaway Scrape.
In 1835 he married Matilda T. (Roberts) Connell, the daughter of Elisha Roberts, an early settler of the San Augustine area in 1818. Matilda was a widow with two children, and she and Samuel had two additional children, Thomas and Eunice Margaret Amelia. Samuel never saw his daughter for he was killed by Kickapoo Indians in 1838 just before she was born.
Samuel T. Allen was a member of a land-surveying team of some twenty men who were ambushed by a group of Kickapoo Indians near Dawson in Navarro County. Only five men escaped and one of the survivors, General Walter P. Lane, described the attack in John W. Wilbarger's Indian Depredations in Texas (1889).
Samuel acquired over 20,000 acres of land during his time in Texas, and had many business interests scattered throughout the area. His brother, Thomas J. Allen, who had recently lost his wife, came from Connecticut to help Matilda Allen settle and manage the estate after Samuel Allen's death. Thomas and Matilda were married in 1847. In 1850, Matilda gave 150 acres of land to establish the town of Belton in Bell County. She died in 1879 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John T. Coffee, in Georgetown, Texas.
Caleb J. Allen, Jr., a nephew of Samuel T. Allen, was a Union soldier in the Civil War. He described the war in letters home to Connecticut from points in Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, and Maryland.
Frederick W. Abbott of London, Ontario, was related to the Allen family through marriage. He was a master elocutionist and actor who performed extensively in Texas between 1894-1900, and finally settled in San Antonio, Texas in 1914 as a teacher of public speaking at San Antonio High School. He had been a teacher of Dale Carnegie, and was a friend of Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore, who was a San Antonio resident in 1925. Mr. Abbott is buried at the Masonic Cemetery in San Antonio.
Papers document Allen's personal, business, and political activities in Texas during the pre-Republic and Revolutionary period. The papers also contain materials concerning other Allen family members including: 70 letters from Caleb J. Allen, Jr., Allen's nephew, who served as a Union Army soldier in the Civil War; business and legal records of the Caleb J. Allen family, merchants in New London, Connecticut; correspondence of Stephen Haley Allen, 1896-1930; scrapbook materials pertaining to Frederick W. Abbott, elocutionist and actor, who was related to the Allen family by marriage.
Samuel Tabor Allen Family Papers, 1759, 1782. (1821-1931), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Collection