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Allen, Selima Blanchard (1807-1892) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Allen, Selima Blanchard (1807-1892)

Historical Note:

Selima Blanchard Allen was the eighth child in the farming family of Mary ("Polly") Lovell Blanchard and Jonathan Blanchard, Sr. She was born in Rockingham, VT on the first day of 1807.

She left the family farm and, after teaching in several locations, moved to Batavia, Ohio. There, in 1843, she met and married Jacob T. Allen, an Irish immigrant. Allen's unsettled habits and tendency to drink, along with Selima's inclination to be strong in her opinions, combined to make the marriage a miserable one. This unsatisfactory union influenced Selima for the remainder of her life; she was forced to make her own living and occasionally counseled young women not to marry. She followed the career of school teaching and housed boarders to support her needs.

She actively participated in local church and religious functions. She also supported the activities of her brother Jonathan in anti-secretism, Christian reform work, and his duties at Wheaton College. In her later years, she lived with the family of her nephew, Charles Blanchard, and died in Wheaton on October 21, 1892 at the age of 85.

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff

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