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Weston-Allen family papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00185

Scope and Contents

The Weston-Allen Family Papers consist mainly of letters of Grace Weston and Walter Allen, 1856-1868. There are 81 letters from Grace Weston to Walter Allen, 1856-1868, plus 65 letters from Walter Allen to his family while he was in the Navy during the Civil War. Their granddaughter, Alice Allen Eaton Johnson (Smith Class 1929), compiled an edited version of the letters entitled Ten Years a-Courting, Letters of Walter Allen and Grace Weston, 1856-1868 (1985), which is included in this collection. In addition there are 3 miscellaneous letters and a few photographs.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1848-1985
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1848-1868


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the works created by members of the Weston-Allen family. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Walter Allen was born in Boston, Massachusetts March 21, 1840, but the family soon moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he lived until his marriage. He graduated from Yale in 1863 and in the same year enlisted in the 26th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. Shortly thereafter he was mustered out to become Acting Assistant Paymaster in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge in August 1865 he decided to move west and began his newspaper career in Cairo, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio. During his years as a journalist he wrote for 8 different newspapers, mostly in New York and Boston. He died in Boston in 1907.

Grace Weston was born September 5, 1840, in New Braintree, Massachusetts. She graduated from the Oread Institute in Worcester and from the finishing school of the Misses Anabele in Philadelphia, after which she served as a governess for two years in Chicago. They were married on October 9, 1866.

This biographical sketch was excerpted in part from "Biographical Sketches, Yale Class of 1863," which was reproduced in Ten Years a-Courting. [For more information on Grace Weston, see History of the Oread Collegiate Institute (1905) by Martha E.B. Wright, bio. sketches]


0.438 linear feet (1 container)


The vast majority of the collection is correspondence, documenting the courtship and marriage of Grace Weston Allen and Walter Allen. The collection includes letters exchanged between Grace and Walter before and after their marriage and from other family members to Allen during his service as paymaster in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. Also included are a published version of the Weston-Allen letters: Ten Years A-Courting: Letters of Walter Allen and Grace Weston, 1856-1868, as well as photographs and biographical materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Weston-Allen Family Papers were the gift of Alice Allen Eaton Johnson in 1985.

Related Material

Additional material on Alice Allen Eaton in Smith College Archives (Class 1929)

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 1985.

Weston-Allen family papers
Finding Aid
Susan Boone
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss137 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:11-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063