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George Allan was born in Linlithgow Bridge, Scotland, on 23rd August, 1875. A centre-forward, Allan played for Leith Athletic before being transferred to Liverpool for £100 in September, 1895. He had a great season and helped Liverpool win the Second Division championship in the 1895-96 season. That year he scored 25 goals in the league plus three vital ones in the end-of-season Test matches.
The following season, in a game between Sheffield United, Allan was involved in a famous incident with William Foulke. According to the Liverpool Daily Post: "Allan charged Foulke in the goalmouth, and the big man, losing his temper, seized him by the leg and turned him upside down."
After he retired from football William Foulke gave a different version of the incident when he was interviewed by the London Evening News 18 years later: "You may have heard that there was a very great rivalry between the old Liverpool centre forward Allan and myself, that prior to one match we breathed fire and slaughter at each other, that at last he made a rush at me as I was saving a shot, and that I dropped the ball, caught him by the middle, turned him clean over in a twinkling, and stood him on his head, giving him such a shock that he never played again. Well, the story is one which might be described as a "bit of each". In reality, Allan and I were quite good friends off the field... What actually happened on the occasion referred to was that Allan (a big strong chap, mind you) once bore down on me with all his weight when I was saving. I bent forward to protect myself, and Allan, striking my shoulder, flew right over me and fell heavily. He had a shaking up, I admit, but quite the worst thing about the whole business was that the referee gave a penalty against us and it cost Sheffield United the match."
George Allan was again Liverpool's top scorer in the 1896-97 season. Allan was then sold to Celtic for £50 in May 1897. However, after winning the Scottish League title with his new club, Allan returned to Liverpool.
Allan scored another twelve goals for Liverpool before being forced to retire from professional football in July 1899 as a result of poor health.
George Allan died of tuberculosis in Liverpool on 9th October 1899. He was only 24 years old.
Allan charged Foulke in the goalmouth, and the big man, losing his temper, seized him by the leg and turned him upside down.
McCowie shot in from the left, Foulke caught the ball with one hand, and as Allan dashed up, Foulke used his other hand to collar Allan's leg and upset him.
He (Foulke) got hold of Allan by one of his legs and laid him on the grass.
As the biggest man who ever played football, I have naturally had a few stories told about me, and I should just like to say that some of them are stories.You may have heard that there was a very great rivalry between the old Liverpool centre forward Allan and myself, that prior to one match we breathed fire and slaughter at each other, that at last he made a rush at me as I was saving a shot, and that I dropped the ball, caught him by the middle, turned him clean over in a twinkling, and stood him on his head, giving him such a shock that he never played again.
Well, the story is one which might be described as a "bit of each". In reality, Allan and I were quite good friends off the field. On it we were opponents, of course, and there's no doubt he was ready to give chaff for chaff with me. What actually happened on the occasion referred to was that Allan (a big strong chap, mind you) once bore down on me with all his weight when I was saving.
I bent forward to protect myself, and Allan, striking my shoulder, flew right over me and fell heavily. He had a shaking up, I admit, but quite the worst thing about the whole business was that the referee gave a penalty against us and it cost Sheffield United the match.
One of the subplots of that titanic semi-final series was the running battle between William Foulke and George Allan, the Liverpool inside right. Allan, a high-scoring, combative Glaswegian and Scottish international, was the latest in the succession of forwards who had openly opted for the (usually unrewarding) tactic of the intimidation of Foulke. There was little of the subtlety of a Bloomer or a Meredith in this bull-at-a-gate approach, and it was usually no problem to one who had been a student at the Blackwell Colliery soccer school of hard knocks.
In the League game the previous October, however, there had occurred one of those incidents that has taken on legendary status over the years. It was at Anfield, and the Blades were winning 1-0 from a well-taken Bennett goal. In the second half Liverpool pressed, Foulke collected, and Allan ran at Foulke. What happened next probably took no more than a couple of seconds, and the Liverpool Daily Post's description was unequivocal: "Allan charged Foulke in the goahnouth, and the big man, losing his temper, seized him by the leg and turned him upside down."
From the resultant penalty McCowie scored; then a late own-goal gave Liverpool the points. Almost before the crowd had dispersed at the end of the game the tale was growing in the telling. One version depicted the incident as the culmination of a fiery vendetta between the two players, with William catching Allan by the midriff, turning him over, and planting his head in the mud, giving him such a shock that he never played again.
Pittwater Online News
George Urquhart Allan was born in Bellshill (Forgandenny), Scotland. At 17 years of age, in 1917, he joined the Royal Flying Corps and served on the Western Front. He served in the 71 Sqn RFC and 11, 47, 58 Sqns RAF.
Allan continued his service with the RAF after the war and served in the Middle East. In 1929 he was recruited by Charles Ulm as a pilot, emigrated to Australia to take up a position with Charles Kingsford Smith and Ulm's Australian National Airways. In this company he was highly regarded for his skills flying their Avro X aircraft.
Right: Portrait of Captain George 'Scotty' Allan in Royal Air Force uniform, 1918, nla.pic-vn4925609, Courtesy of the National Library of Australia, 18 years of age!
He flew on the first airmail flights from Sydney to Brisbane with Charles Kingsford-Smith and from Sydney to Melbourne with Pat Hall. Following the collapse of ANA in 1931, Allan acted as co-pilot to both Kingsford Smith and Ulm on various long distance flights.
In 1933 he flew with Ulm and P.G. Taylor on the record-breaking flight from England to Australia in Faith in Australia . In October 1934 he joined QANTAS on the DH86 service between Brisbane and Singapore, this time flying DH86 aircraft.
During this period he also worked as a flight instructor and trained a keen aviator, Dr Lee Brown, a surgeon in partnership with famous surgeon and urologist Robert Gordon Craig, and daughter of this gent and Dr Lee’s wife, Ailsa Craig, also a keen aviator, and artist. Dr Brown died in 1934 when he crashed his self-piloted biplane on a Botany Bay beach. He was 39.
In 1935 Ailsa and George married, living in Brisbane for two years due to his work commitments.
Flying Couple Wed in N.S.W .
SYDNEY, Saturday. — Mrs. Ailsa Lee Brown, the widow of Dr. R. K. Lee Brown, who tragically crashed at Brighton Le Sands in April, 1934, was quietly married today at Binnaway (New South Wales) to Mr. G. U. ('Scotty') Allen, the well-known airman, now flying on the Brisbane-Singapore air mail route. Mr. Allen was a close friend of Dr. and Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Allen is also a flier, having an A pilot's licence, and the pair will have a flying honeymoon in two States. The bride is the daughter of Dr. Gordon Craig, and the wedding was held at his property. Mrs. J. F. Chambers, sister of the bride, was matron of honor, and the best man was Mr. A. Baird, chief engineer of Qantas-Empire Airways. Mr. and Mrs. Allen will make their home in Brisbane. Flying Couple Wed in N.S.W. (1935, June 22). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57009571
MR. AND MRS. G. U. ALLAN photographed after their marriage at the Gordon-Craig homestead, Ulinda, near Binnaway, New South Wales. The bridegroom is the well-known air mail pilot on the Brisbane— Singapore route, and the bride was formerly Mrs. Ailsa Lee Brown. No title (1935, June 25). The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36771694
Mrs. G. U. Allan, who is the wife of Captain Allan, the well known aviator on the Singapore route, has since her marriage been residing in Ascot, Brisbane, but has now decided to make her home in Sydney. She intends to refurnish and redecorate the house at Palm Beach, which was the seaside home of her parents, the late Dr. Gordon Craig and Mrs. Craig. A Few Lines to Say. (1937, April 17). The Courier-Mail(Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), p. 27. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36887917
Ailsa's house at Palm Beach, New South Wales, approximately 1935 photo by Harold Cazneaux- courtesy National Library of Australia Image No.: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-140228205
Right: Ailsa Allan's lithograph 'Pittwater' from 1937, Courtesy State Library of NSW
In 1938 Captain Allan went to England to study flying-boat techniques and returned to Sydney in the flying boat Coolangatta.
His home base during these years was Palm Beach where the couple entertained guests such as William Dobell, whom Ailsa had met while studying Art, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, whom they had met while based in London or visiting New York:
Quite a party with Otis Pearce and Sono Osato doing the Big Apple . . . Hera Roberts, Mrs. Scotty Allen, Arnold Haskell, Roman Jasinsky, Kyra Strakhova, and Jimmy and Prudence Dickson. The Whole Town Goes A-Partying: Off To Melbourne For Big Society Wedding (1938, December 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 1 (WOMENS SECTION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231136070
Talking of flying folk . . . it's the done thing to ask. Scotty Allen how his knitting's coming along. No one has ever seen Scotty' s knitting, but he's done a lot of boasting about taking it up, being first interested by picking up a magazine a woman flying-boat passenger had been engrossed in, and finding it written in a strange language: K. 1, p. 1, k, 2 tog., si. 1, k. 1 .. . k k k
Subsequently he discovered that this type of literature was the favorite among women passengers and thought he might drop Esperanto and take it up, too.
But now the opportunity to knit socks has arisen, Scotty's squibbing the issue and says he's "conseedering being a soldier m'self and being kneeted for." General's Family Arrives To Make Home In Sydney (1939, October 22). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 25. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231223500
Ailsa was an artist, and his stepdaughter was Mitty Lee-Brown, who was a student of Dobell's when he took a teaching job at East Sydney Technical College. Dobell became a friend of Ailsa's, and he would visit her and Scotty at their home at Palm Beach, on Sydney's northern beaches. Scotty bought a number of Dobell’s London paintings, including an over-the-shoulder observational piece from 1933, Watching Hyde Park Speakers, and Dust Cart created from one of Dobell’s most comfortable positions…
Scotty’s second wife, Barbara, remembers him telling her he bought the paintings when ‘Bill was a bit broke’.
'He got those [paintings] for about £5, or something,’ Barbara Allan says.
In his autobiography, Scotty Allan wrote about how ‘difficult’ it was to buy the paintings, because Dobell ‘wouldn’t sell them, even though he was broke moist of the time. I really had to kid him into selling me some’ . - Bill: The Life of William Dobell. By Scott Bevan. 2014. Simon and Schuster.
Study for 'Captain G.U. 'Scotty' Allan'-William Dobell - Squadron Leader GU 'Scotty' Allan Finalist in 1941 Archibald
In 1941 Allan was a member of the Qantas crew which brought flying boats from San Diego to Sydney for the RAAF. During 1941 Allan was seconded to the RAAF in the 23 Sqn as Wing-Commander and was C.O. of various stations including Rathmines on Lake Macquarie, where he trained Catalina crews, and No. 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot at Lake Boga.
Below: George 'Scotty' Allan, in centre, watching Charles Kingsford-Smith , on left, shaking hands with James 'Jimmy' Mollison, ca. 1930, nla.pic-vn4925810
In 1943 Ailsa died in a traffic accident as she returned home from volunteer coast-watching at Palm Beach. Some sources state she was struck by a bicycle ridden by a delivery boy and died on Pacific road, Palm Beach. The lady was interred at Manly.
ALLAN.-On February 9, at Palm Beach(as the result of an accident), Ailsa, beloved wife of Wing-Commander G. U. Allan, A.F.C., and sister of Mrs. J. F. Chambers, Toorak. Privately cremated. Family Notices. (1943, February 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17836678
In 1944, whilst serving in England 'Scotty' met and married Barbara Millbourne
AIRMAN'S WIFE FROM ENGLAND: Mrs. G. U. Allan, wife of the famous aviator, Captain "Scotty" Allan, arrived yesterday from England by Qantas flying-boat. As the guest of Mrs. Gordon Craig, of Palm Beach, Mrs. Allan expects to stay indefinitely in Australia.
Captain Allan, who is with Qantas in Los Angeles, California, is expected to return to Sydney in two on three months' time. Before their marriage in England last year, Mrs. Allan was Miss Barbara Millbourn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Millbourn, of Purley, England. AIRMAN'S WIFE FROM ENGLAND. (1947, July 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18032894
Above: Scotty Allan, Charles Ulm, P.G. Taylor and J.A.W. Edwards in front of Faith in Australia , Avro X monoplane VH-UXX at Heston Aerodrome, England, 25 July 1933, nla.pic-vn3930851, Courtesy National Library of Australia.
After the war Captain Allan rejoined Qantas as London Manager, then as Controller of Technical Developments, where he was chief adviser on aircraft types. In 1957 he was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to aviation. He retired from Qantas in 1961 as Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy General Manager, but, clearly an active man, he went on after his retirement and held positions on many boards including Fiji Airways, Air Pacific, Polynesian Airlines and Malayan Airways.
Pete Smith of Newport Beach contributes: In 1983 I was a young Army Lieutenant working out of Victoria Barracks (Paddington) and was attached to the Schofields Air Show. At that same time, I was flying around Sydney helping to demonstrate a McDonnell Douglas 500E helicopter as well as promote the Show. The pilot in command of the MD500 was astronaut and commander of Apollo 12, Charles (Pete) Conrad.
Conrad and I landed on what I understand now to be Barrenjoey Beach and walked across the park to pick up Scotty and Mrs Allan and fly them as two of the guests of honour at the show. Scotty was the subject of an Archibald entry by Sir William Dobell and the portrait is described by art critics as one of Dobell’s greatest works.
He was an Ace, a pioneer in Australia’s aviation and huge contributor to the development of our RAAF and domestic air services.
George Allan - History
"Dod" Allan, who was described as "a model centre of fine physique, great speed and no fear," was Liverpool's first great goalscorer in the Football League and the first Liverpool player to be capped for Scotland on 3 April 1897. Allan's transfer to Liverpool was made under controversial circumstances as he had signed a contract with St Bernard's in Edinburgh as well. He was reported to the Scottish Football Association and on 14 October 1895 he was suspended till 30 November after which he was considered a bona fide Liverpool player. 5 ft. 10 ins. and 13 st. 6 lbs. (173 cm. and 86 kg.) Allan burst onto the scene in the 1895/96 season with a staggering 25 goals from only 20 league matches as the club won the Second Division and would have no doubt netted more if not for his eight-game suspension. He was Liverpool's top-scorer the following season with 17 goals from 34 games as Liverpool finished fifth in the First Division.
Allan moved to Celtic in May 1897 where he helped the club to its fourth championship by scoring 15 goals in 17 league games. Liverpool still held his registration, but paid quite happily £50 to get him back before the 1898/99 season in which Liverpool finished second in First Division with Allan scoring 11 goals in 36 games. Allan had played seven games in his second spell at Liverpool when he was involved in a colorful incident with Sheffield United&rsquos goalkeeper, William "Fatty" Foulke, which gained legendary status. Foulke was over 20 st. (125 kg.) and very difficult to say the least to charge him off the ball or into the goal as was allowed to do to goalkeepers in those days. 'I don't mind what they call me as long as they don't call me late for my lunch', he once said. Foulke once took to swinging on the crossbar in mid-game which resulted in him breaking it in two and on another occasion charged around butt-naked after a match searching for the referee to protest a controversial equaliser. The scene is set for 29 October 1898 when Liverpool and then League champions Sheffield United were playing at Anfield. Unlike his contemporaries Allan was not afraid of "Fatty" and it was reported that "Allan charged Foulke in the goalmouth, and the big man, losing his temper, seized him by the leg and turned him upside down." The referee wasn't too keen on Foulke's reaction and awarded Liverpool a penalty, from which Andy McCowie scored. Liverpool won the game 2-1, with none other than Allan scoring the other goal for Liverpool.
Prior to the 1899/00 season it was reported that Allan was too ill for training and he remained in Scotland. In September 1899 manager Tom Watson admitted full of sorrow: &ldquoDiseased lungs are not cured in a day. Allan&rsquos absence is now beginning to be felt, and we are able to estimate him at his worth. Poor old George!&rdquo It had become apparent that Allan could not play top class football again, but his death from tubercolosis on 17 October 1899 at his mother's home in Fife was still unexpected and described as a 'thunderclap' for Liverpool fans."
W. George Allen
Civil rights activist and lawyer W. George Allen was born on March 3, 1936 in Sanford, Florida to Lessie Mae Williams and Fletcher Allen. Allen was raised by his mother and stepfather, Bruce Brown. Allen grew up in a segregated community in Sanford, Florida attended Midway Elementary and Junior High Schools and graduated from Crooms High School in 1964. Allen went on to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where initially, he wanted to be a physician. He however played the role of a lawyer in a school play, which made his career plans change. In 1958, he earned his B.S. degree in political science and minored in economics. Then, in 1962, Allen earned his J.D. degree from the University of Florida Law School. He was the first African American to do so.
Between 1958 and 1960, Allen served in the U.S. Army as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He attained the rank of first lieutenant when he was honorably discharged. While in law school, Allen got involved with social activism when he organized lunch counter sit-ins in and around Gainesville, Florida. After receiving his law degree, Allen filed a suit that led to the integration of Broward County’s public accommodations and public school system. In 1963, Allen and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale after he passed the bar exam and was admitted to the Florida Bar Association. Allen was hired at the law firm of Orr & Kaplan. After six months there, Allen started his own law practice where he has practiced for forty-two years. Allen specializes in trial work, probate, personal injury, insurance defense and wrongful death.
Allen is a member of several organizations, boards and associations including the Urban League of Broward County, the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the University of Florida Foundation, the Florida Bar Association, and serving as Broward County Bar Association’s president. Allen has also received numerous awards for his achievements including the University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award in May, 2000 and the National Conference for Community and Justice Silver Medallion Award in 2001. In July of 2003, he was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. In February of 2005, Allen was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees.
Allen was married to Enid Allen, and they lived in Florida.
Allen passed away on November 8, 2019.
W. George Allen was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 17, 2006.
PROFESSOR EMERITUS GEORGE ALLAN LINDSAY
1879 - 1976
George Allan Lindsay, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died on March 16, 1976 at University Hospital. He was 96 years of age. A native of Michigan, Professor Lindsay was born in Wyandotte on November 1, 1879. He was educated at Flat Rock High School and Ann Arbor High School before enrolling in the University of Michigan, from which he received the AB degree in 1905. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, and held the position of lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis. During the same period he was enrolled in graduate studies at University of Michigan. He was awarded the MA degree in 1908 and the Ph.D. in 1913.
At this time George Lindsay began his long career as a faculty member at the University of Michigan, a career which was to span thirty-seven years. He rose through the -Academic ranks from Instructor in 1913, to Assistant Professor in 1920, to Associate Professor in 1927 and then to Professor in 1936. He retired in 1950 as Professor Emeritus, and lived the remaining 26 years of his life in his home at 2015 Day Street in Ann Arbor.
His earliest scientific work was in mechanics and in astronomy, but he is best known for his work in X-ray spectroscopy. This line of research was initiated during a sabbatical year abroad in Lund and Paris and was continued for the rest of his carrer. Through his measurements of the fine structure of the X-ray absorption of various elements, he was able to contribute to the theory of atomic structure and of the structure of metals. This work was a significant part of the quantum theory of matter, then in its infancy. Professor Lindsay was not a prolific worker but was held in considerable esteem by his colleagues for the care and precision with which all of his measurements were made. He was an active participant in the teaching duties of his department, and wrote one journal article on the physics of X-rays for students in medicine. He was also a participant in the administration of his department as a member of its executive committee, and was a member of several professional societies, being a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.
Professor Lindsay married Edith Robbe in 1906 and they had one son Eugene Robbe Lindsay in 1909. Both his wife and son preceded him in death.
George Lindsay was well regarded by his colleagues and friends, both in the University and in the community. He left behind him a sincere admiration for his diligent work and his warm humanity toward others.
George Allan - History
In stuff saved by Stella Peden Churchill, were two photos of George Allan England. England was a science fiction writer from the 1920's. There were no other items about him in Stella's stuff. The two photos have been sent to the Preserve Our Past Society (P.O.P.S.) in El Dorado Springs, MO.
Notes from an internet search:
Can you help me with more information about George Allan England and why he might have been in El Dorado Springs, MO?
I am an historian at the University of South Florida and have been researching GAE for some time. I have an essay about his time in Key West in press and he factors into a chapter of a book I am writing right now. Therefore I was very excited to see the two photos you have posted. As you know GAE is largely forgotten today, but in his day he commanded a considerable audience. I have been hoping to find remnants of his papers but I have had no luck, so every little detail is of value.
I can tell you this about GAE and his travels. While his best known writings were his socialist utopianist science fiction, he made a much larger career as a travel writer and published an enormous volume of material in magazines. For much of the 1920s he published one or more essays every month. This was how he made his living, augmented here and there with flights of fancy like chicken farming. Despite his strong association with New England, GAE was born in Nebraska (1877) and traveled considerably in the midwest. I am sure that the photos you have posted resulted from one of these story hunting jaunts. The hotel business not being as developed than as it would later become, it was his habit to stay with locals on his trips many of whom were flattered to have the author stay with them--and they often received friendly mention in the next essay. If you can tell me the dates of the photos I may be able to pair them with some of his writing.
Thanks for posting these, and I look forward to hearing what ever else you might know about the pics and that GAE visit.
You are the first person to contact me about George Allan England since I put the web page on line.
These two photos were found in the stuff saved by Frank and Stella Churchill. It took me a few years to realize that GAE was actually someone important. Once it hit me, I went through all the memoriabilia saved by Frank and Stella but I could not find anything more that mentioned him. The photos were undated.
Looking at Frank and Stella's faces and comparing them with other photos, would lead me date the photos to about 1915 but that would have to be +/- 5 years. These photographs were 'homemade'. Stella Churchill was an amateur photographer and had a simple darkroom and developing setup.
Frank and Stella were pretty good about labeling the photos (that is why I knew it was GAE) but they left off dates of these two.
In Frank and Stella's memoriabilia, I did find a small number of flyers and newspaper clippings that were Socialist oriented. Mostly articles about Upton Sinclair. Frank and Stella may have been in a political organization that expoused those ideas - but I did not find anything that directly pointed to that.
( Mark's added note: in the biography below by Bill Moyer, we learned that in 1908, GAE ran for governer of Massachusetts on the Socialist ticket. )
The fact that Frank and Stella took these photos and saved them for 90+ years tells me that this was a fairly important event in their lives.
Sorry that I can't add more concrete info.
May I use your email on my web page? I will remove your email address unless you might want it on the page so that others may contact you.
Mark, My wife is George Allan England's great niece, and I've written a biography of him from a genealogical point of view. Will attach a copy, excluding the genealogical tables which probably wouldn't interest you. My theory about why he went to visit Fred Churchill is that he was trying to raise money in his later years to finance diving for Spanish treasure near the Dry Tortugas, which islands he wrote about in "Isles of Romance." He then suffered mysteriously from mental incapacity which I suspect was a result of the bends caused by trying to dive deep and long. A stroke or series of strokes finally killed him. I'll attach the biography. Hope you find it interesting. Best regards, Bill Moyer
George Allan England--a Genealogical Biography
by Bill Moyer, Dallas, September, 2008
My wife&rsquos Aunt Tiz was an interesting person, though she and her husband didn&rsquot live near us and we didn&rsquot see them often. She was an art teacher in Philadelphia when we first knew her, and one story she related at a family get-together on Long Island was how, as a young girl in Maine, she rescued a woman from drowning on Bryant Pond and received a &ldquoCarnegie Hero Medal&rdquo. She was the only person I knew who had one. One summer we visited her at Bryant Pond, after she and Uncle Don retired, and she showed us a shelf of books written by her father, George Allan England. She said he had been a rather famous author in his day.
After Tiz and her husband, Donald Russell, died, I asked about her father&rsquos books, but was unable to obtain them. I started looking for them at book fairs, and found a few. George Allan England lived from 1877 to 1936 and, I learned, wrote prolifically but with great variations in quality, producing a series of novels and countless magazine articles. Some articles were for Colliers and The Saturday Evening Post, but more often than not they were for &ldquopulp&rdquo magazines intended for sale to young boys, full of fancy, adventure, and imagination but not likely to be timeless literature. The paper used for pulp magazines was of low quality, to keep publication costs low, so most of them have deteriorated over time if readers bothered to save them at all. Few ended up in &ldquoproper&rdquo libraries.
Yet some critics rank England in the class of Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle as writers of imaginative fiction, and some give England credit for being one of the first, and best, writers of science fiction. His most successful book, Darkness and Dawn, published in 1914, is a trilogy describing the end of the world as we know it, the awakening of one man and one woman after 1,500 years of suspended animation, and their adventures in a future world slowly recovering from disaster and partially inhabited by a strangely primitive race of humans regenerated in a deep abyss where their ancestors somehow survived the calamity that wiped out most of humanity. Reading this and other writings by George Allan England, I&rsquove decided my favorite is Vikings of the Ice, a true account of a voyage with the annual Newfoundland seal hunt. He captured the language of the hunters, the brutality and hardship of their quest onto the ice fields, and the strange admixture of implacable cruelty toward animals with man-to-man, human warmth toward each other. The writing has a brevity and directness about it that reads like Hemingway.
I began putting England&rsquos genealogy together. His sole child, whom we knew as Aunt Tiz, was Isabella Pearl England, born in 1905 in Woodstock Twp., Oxford County, Maine, and died in 1985 in Gulfport, Florida. George himself was born in 1877 in Fort McPherson, Nebraska. His wife, Tiz&rsquos mother, was Almeda Agnes Coffin, born 1877 in Milan, Coos County, New Hampshire, died about 1948 in probably Oxford County, Maine (which is where Bryant Pond is located.) I learned that England graduated from Harvard in 1902 with Phi Beta Kappa honors as well as a special award for writing, and went on to obtain a master&rsquos degree from Harvard in 1903. He started work for a New York insurance company, but soon left corporate life to make his living as a free lance writer, published mostly by Frank Munsey of New York. In 1908, he ran for Governor of Maine, on the Socialist ticket, and he attended an Indianapolis convention of the Socialist Party as the Maine delegate. He and &ldquoMeda&rdquo maintained their Maine life style as much as possible, and when success as a novelist enabled them to travel, I found records of his return to the U.S. in 1910 from Genoa on the SS &ldquoKoenig Albert.&rdquo (This was the first time I learned that Ancestry.com has, in addition to census records, ship records showing arrival in U.S. ports of American citizens. This has subsequently been very useful for me in preparing genealogies for friends.)
How would a boy born in Ft. McPherson, Nebraska, get to Harvard and marry a New Hampshire girl?, I wondered. The 1880 Census helped me get started, and opened many new lines of inquiry: there was George England, age 3, parents George A. England, age 42, born in Vermont with both parents also born Vermont, wife H. Pearl England (so that&rsquos where Tiz&rsquos middle name came from!), born Connecticut, both parents also b. Conn., children Paul England, age 12, born Wisconsin (!), Florence England, age 10, also b. Wisc., and George England, age 3, born Nebraska. The other two members of the household were listed as Eva M. Lyon, sister-in-law of the head of the household and &ldquovisitor&ldquo, 22, b. Connecticut, both parents also born in Conn., and Harriet G. Gleason, servant, aged 52, born Canada with parents from Vermont. Hand-written notes added that the senior George A. England was a clergyman, serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Army moreover, he was suffering from &ldquooverexertion!&rdquo The rest of the page, listing neighbors of the England family, was filled with military titles (&ldquoQuartermaster, USA, from New York State&rdquo, &ldquoColonel, USA, Virginia&rdquo, &ldquoMajor, USA, Indiana&rdquo, &ldquoSurgeon, USA, Virginia&rdquo, &ldquoDining Room Servant, Michigan&rdquo and so on. Isn&rsquot it amazing how much you can find out from one census record page?) Clearly, I had stumbled into the middle of a military base! It wasn&rsquot Fort McPherson, though, where England said he was born--this location turned out to be Ft. Omaha, in the Saratoga District of Douglas County, on the eastern border of the state.
I looked up Ft. McPherson on Wickipedia, learning that it was a western Nebraska outpost that served as a staging base for U.S. military operations, including George Custer&rsquos, heading onto the plains to deal with pesky Indians who, for some strange reason, weren&rsquot anxious to vacate eastern prairie and shift further west where settlers might be willing to let a few of them survive. Now that I knew that England&rsquos father was a chaplain from Vermont who had served in Wisconsin before moving to Ft. McPherson, and then retreating to Ft. Omaha by the time of the 1880 census, I could begin to look elsewhere. George&rsquos mother, &ldquoH. Pearl&rdquo, with a sister named Eva Lyon, was quite likely a Lyon by birth, and from a family with roots going back at least one generation further in the Nutmeg State. I was later to learn that even the name Pearl was not intended as a jeweled embellishment of a little girl&rsquos name, but another old family name in Connecticut. The trail was expanding in several directions at once--every genealogist&rsquos dream.
Next, scanning on Google disclosed the availability of a Harvard alumni book for the Class of 1902. In it was an article by George Allan England, the author! It confirms that he was born at Ft. McPherson, adds that his parents are George Allan England and Hannah Pearl Lyon, that he attended Boston English High School before going to Harvard, and he married &ldquoMeda&rdquo Agnes Coffin in Allston, Mass., in 1903. (I had to look up Allston, too, learning that it is a residential area just across the river from Harvard--so that&rsquos probably where either of them was living at the time.) He goes on to say he worked for Mutual Life, &ldquodeveloping my imagination and power of handling fiction&rdquo, next devoting himself to almost continual application to the typewriter, publishing about 250 short stories, articles, essays, and novels. He visited Europe twice to gather material, and ran for Congress and later the Maine Governorship, on the Socialist ticket, &ldquodefeated by the largest plurality ever given in the State.&rdquo He concludes with: &ldquoI can&rsquot think of anything else, except that so far I have kept out of jail. Member: Human Race, Everywhere&hellip&rdquo. This was to kindle my interest to learn more about the man, as well as about his roots, if I could.
If George graduated from Harvard in 1902, I would guess he started four years earlier, in 1899, having attended Boston English High School from approximately 1896 through 1899.
Going back to Ancestry.com, I found many other items of interest. Meda Agnes England and daughter Isabella Pearl England returned to Portland, Maine, from Liverpool in December, 1909, aboard the &ldquoS.S. Canada&rdquo--one month before George Allan England sailed back from Europe via Genoa in January, 1910. The 1910 census shows George Allan England and wife &ldquoMedd A.&ldquo living in Oxford County, Maine. Census records and ship arrival notices gradually fleshed out more of the &ldquoEngland story&rdquo. With the mother and daughter was an older woman named Louella Frances Sessions, whom I was to learn later was Almeda&rsquos mother, but bearing the name of a second husband rather than Almeda&rsquos father&rsquos family name. Each little tidbit of information adds mysteries of its own! And the plot thickened: one shipping record, in 1917, disclosed that the &ldquoS.S. Havana&rdquo carried four passengers including George Allan England (born Nebraska) back to N.Y. from Havana, Cuba, but not accompanied by his wife! Instead, the person listed immediately after his name was identified as Ella Collins, born 1881 in Fitchling, Mass., and she gave her New York address as the Hotel Albert--the same address George gave! Perhaps she was &ldquojust&rdquo his recording secretary, but then again, perhaps not.
George&rsquos World War I draft card is next, showing his signature, his 1918 address in Portland, Maine, his employment as &ldquonovelist&rdquo by Frank Munsey Co., of N.Y.C., and the address of his brother Paul, listed as next of kin, working for Bell Telephone in Harrisburg, Pa.. (Why did he list his brother instead of his wife?, I wondered.) A passport renewal application in 1918 gives his address again as the Hotel Albert, reveals that he has previously made trips to England, France, Italy, and Cuba in 1909, 1911, and 1916, and desires to make another trip to Cuba. He adds that his father, George Allen (spelled with an &ldquoe&rdquo) England, died in Nebraska, having been born in St. Albans, Vermont. In the 1920 census, George was living in Brookline, Mass., but without Almeda. His daughter &ldquoElizabeth&rdquo (I&rsquove since learned that Isabella and Elizabeth are the same name, with Isabella the Spanish version) and his sister Florence Nosworthy were now living with him, as well as Florence&rsquos daughter, Margaret. The ages and places of birth all check out perfectly. George is born in Nebraska, his father in Vermont, his mother in Connecticut. Florence is born in Wisconsin, her father in Vermont, her mother in Conn.. Florence&rsquos daughter is born in New York State, her father in England, her mother in Wisconsin. But George reports himself as &ldquomarried&rdquo, so where is Almeda? She&rsquos in the Oxford County, Maine, census, &ldquoMeda England&rdquo, living as a Divorced Woman (whether George acknowledged it or not!), aged 43, born New Hampshire and both parents born New Hampshire. She has two boarders, a man and son named Wallace and Charles Andrews, aged 50 and 25, both born in Maine. Just three households away lives a woman named Orinda J. Coffin, aged 67, born in New Hampshire--possibly a relative of Almeda&rsquos, though I don&rsquot know what the relationship may be.
In the 1930 census, the situation has changed. George is living in Bradford, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. He&rsquos 53. His wife, ten years younger, is identified as Blanche P., age 43, born in &ldquoEnglish Canada&rdquo. As for Almeda, she&rsquos still using the England name, but now she appears as &ldquoNeda A. England&rdquo (yes, I&rsquom getting used to the fact that census takers are human and write down what they hear), 52 years old, born New Hampshire, living on Hill Street, Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine, with a single boarder, the younger of the two Andrews men.
It was time for a trip to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, to look up records. My daughter and two granddaughters joined me in the summer of 2007 in an expedition through lovely forests and rolling farmlands of east central New Hampshire to visit Milan, Coos County, N.H., then swing east into Oxford County, Maine. They&rsquore close enough together to include both in a one day drive. We looked for tombstones, but with no beneficial effect except to enjoy the scenery and see where the &ldquoOld Man of the Mountain&rdquo had been. I sometimes enjoy just soaking up atmosphere of places where people have lived, even if I don&rsquot find new and exciting facts. By myself, I then made several visits to the New Hampshire State Records Center, which was moved last year from the old repository east of the state capital, Concord, which was hard to get to, to a much more convenient location west of town and near Highway 89. I found George Allan England&rsquos marriage record to his second wife, Blanche Mildred Porter, a native of Nova Scotia who had previously been married to a man named Kennedy. She and George were married in Manchester, N.H., in 1921.
By now I had read quite a few of George Allan England&rsquos writings and had noticed such things as an early dedication &ldquoto Agnes&rdquo in a book of poems he evidently had written in his college days, and a later article based on an interview in which he said he credited Blanche for doing a lot of work as his secretary in writing his later books. I eventually found a reissue of Vikings of the Ice that had been released by Blanche long after George&rsquos death, after she had moved back to Nova Scotia and remarried, to a man named George Ernest Churchill. I made a trip to the Vermont State Records Center, located right off Highway 89 in Middlesex, but didn&rsquot find anything new to add to my growing stack of &ldquoEngland notes.&rdquo I&rsquove had good luck there in the past, but didn&rsquot find anything useful this time. I went on to St. Albans and to town records centers in a few small towns nearby, but was only able to add a few details here and there. I can only trace the England line in a very fragmentary way, via inferences but no proof, to Stephen England (1758-1810), a Revolutionary War soldier from Newbury, Mass., who moved to Fairfield, Vermont after the War, and to Joseph Soule (1747-1820), from Dartmouth, Mass., who appears to have been a Tory or Loyalist soldier during the War and to have resettled to Fairfield, Vermont after the War.
By now having become curious about Blanche Porter England, I wrote to the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, records center, and received helpful information from them about old Yarmouth families, including Blanche&rsquos. Her family, it turns out, traces back to New England prior to the Revolution, after which some of her ancestors emigrated to Canada. I even discovered that she was related to Almeda Agnes Coffin! They were 7th cousins once removed, connecting through their common ancestress, Judith Greenleaf (1625-1705), who married Tristram Coffin Jr. in 1653 in Newbury, Mass..
But I digress! The most productive single area of research I got into was in pursuing the Connecticut connection of George&rsquos mother, Hannah Pearl Lyon (1842-1904.) George&rsquos father, the senior George Allen England, became a Methodist minister/ Army chaplain, and I learned he had gone from his early days in North Fairfax, Vermont (near St. Albans) to Wesleyan College, in Middletown, western Connecticut, for his training, graduating in 1862. The next year, 1863, he married Hannah, who was from Middletown. As I looked into Connecticut records, I learned about the Barbour Collection with copious details of town records, an invaluable tool for genealogy in that state. The Barbour collection allows you to focus on one town at a time, and look for all people in the town with a given surname, such as Lyon.
From them, I was able to establish that Hannah Pearl Lyon England&rsquos parents were Willard Lyon and Harriet Pearl of Ashford and Hampton, Conn., respectively. As is so often the case, the innocent &ldquoPearl&rdquo middle name was a clue to an important ancestral line--the Pearl family, who were rather prominent in Connecticut and led to many other early New England families. Harriett was a granddaughter of the Honorable Philip Pearl, Jr., a Conn. State Senator and successful businessman whose life, however, was cut short when he was inspecting a building and it fell over on him! The interrelations between many of these families are spelled out in careful detail in the Barbour notes. Best of all, these records are accessible via the Internet as well as in books that can be purchased from genealogical publishing companies.
The Barbour records helped explain how George Allan England&rsquos sister, Florence Pearl England Nosworthy, got her middle name, and why she decided to settle in her later years in a small, central Connecticut town that had meaning in her family&rsquos history. She died in Hampton, Conn., in 1936, her obituary explaining that she was a children&rsquos book illustrator, daughter of Rev. George Allen England of the Ninth Infantry Regiment, educated at Emerson College in Boston and the art school of the Boston Museum. Her works included &ldquoSongs for Children&rdquo, which appeared as a serial in the New York Times in 1916. In the 1930 census of Hampton Township, Windham County, Conn., she appears with her husband, William A. Nosworthy, aged 62, who is listed as a &ldquogardener, private homes&rdquo while she, aged 60, is listed as a &ldquomagazine artist.&rdquo Since her husband is not listed in her obituary, I would guess that he predeceased her, dying some time between April of 1930 and March of 1936.
One of George Allan England&rsquos specialties as a writer was visiting remote islands and reporting back to the Saturday Evening Post about them. In addition to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, his interest extended to smaller, lesser known places such as The Dry Tortugas (west of Florida and north of Cuba), Anticosti, Grand Cayman, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Bird Key, The &ldquoMisty Magdalens&rdquo, Sable Island, Isle of Pines (near Cuba), and Cozumel (then seldom visited by tourists, he said, and primarily occupied with the chicle trade directed by a man named Adams for the booming U.S. business of chewing gum manufacture.) Stories about the latter islands were compiled in 1929 into what I think is one of his better books, Isles of Romance, which is strictly reportorial and nonfictional, but interesting. On the Dry Tortugas, for example, he talks about Spanish treasure ships lost on nearby reefs, and the Civil War prison where Dr. Samuel Mudd, the Maryland doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth&rsquos broken leg after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was imprisoned. England read letters from the correspondence of Dr. Mudd with his wife, and wrote sensitively of the Dr.&rsquos predicament and how his family dealt with it.
Among his notes, England suggested he had ancestors including &ldquoThe Pirate England&rdquo and a &ldquoBishop England.&rdquo However, I studied everything I could find along these lines, concluding that the &ldquoPirate England&rdquo was really a man with another name who used England as a pseudonym. There was no England clergyman I could find in George Allan England&rsquos line. I suspect he was enjoying poetic license as a writer to make things sound more interesting, or perhaps passing along rumors he had heard but not taken time and trouble to substantiate.
England&rsquos preface to Isles of Romance is dated July 15, 1929, at Camp Sans Souci, Bradford, New Hampshire. Last summer my wife and I were staying in a cabin on a small New Hampshire lake named Tucker Pond, about ten miles north of the little town of Warner. Bradford, I noted, was just a few miles west of Warner, so I drove there to see if any record of George Allan England and Blanche Porter England might yet survive. The town historian very kindly took me to the town&rsquos historical library, and showed me maps indicating approximately where the Sans Souci camp might have been, on a nearby lake named Massasecum. She drove me to a house near the lake where we spoke with a gentleman who, many years before, had operated a small store on the lake, to sell groceries and other items to summer residents of the cabins lining the water. He remembered seeing Mrs. England, he said, and that she came to his store occasionally. He then directed me to a particular cabin on the lake front, and when I interviewed the present owners, the Albert Mosely family, they quickly confirmed that one of their two cabins had indeed been called Sans Souci at one time and was the home of the writer George Allan England (who had referred to the place as his &ldquofiction factory!&rdquo)
Mrs. Mosely said the Sans Souci sign had been moved to their garage nearby, along with another that had some Chinese characters on it. She then led me into the former England house, pointing out where some modifications and modernizations had been made, but saying it was still mostly as it was when the Englands lived there. Her grandson took me upstairs to the room where he said Mr. England had his typewriter and presumably did most of his writings. It now serves as the young man&rsquos bedroom. A bathroom nearby has a large, old-fashioned bathtub that is probably the same one George Allan England used. As I came downstairs, Mrs. Mosely remarked that some of George Allan England&rsquos books are still in the bookcases there, and she pulled out three small ones she said I could have. I was flabbergasted to put my hands on some of George Allan England&rsquos possessions, and fascinated to study them to see what his interests were. One is Les Origines de la France Contemporaine, by Henri Taine, published by Henry Holt and Co. of N.Y. in 1895. A few small marginal marks here and there indicate that England read it, in French. More impressively, he marked Chinese characters below his signature on the frontispiece and again between the back covers. The second small volume is Italian Reader, by B. L. Bowen, published in 1896 by D.C. Heath & Co.. It appears to be a book for beginning linguists to learn Italian from, and frequent marginal notes and underlinings indicate that George Allan England must have studied it very carefully. He even indulged in a few small cartoons, and, again, some Chinese characters he evidently was practicing. Like the previous book, I would guess that this is something he spent time studying while in college. &ldquoAgnes&rdquo is mentioned in one small marginal note.
The third little book is La Triade Francais, published by D.C. Heath in 1898. It is a book of poems, all in French. About half of the poems are by Victor Hugo. George Allan England&rsquos intense usage of the book is evidenced by scribblings in both pen and pencil, indicating translations here and there of particular French words or phrases. There are no humorous notes or cartoons in this book, which England also probably used in college.
Returning to New England this summer (2008), I found George Allan England&rsquos official record of death, in the New Hampshire State Archives on Fruit Street in Concord. He died 26 June 1936 in Ward #6 of the N.H. State Hospital at 105 Pleasant Street, Concord. My daughter, who is a nurse at Concord General Hospital, tells me the State Hospital is the one commonly used for patients needing long term care or mental care. The official record states Mr. England was a patient there for two years, ten months, indicating he entered in August of 1933. It adds that the cause of death was &ldquoencephalomalacia, left parietal caused by occipito temporo cerebral thrombosis&rdquo, contributing cause &ldquoauricular fibrillation cyst of left cerebellar lobe, duration 8 years.&rdquo If the original downturn in Mr. England&rsquos health was eight years before his death, it occurred approximately in June of 1928. My daughter, and one other nurse I talked to, said they think Mr. England had a stroke in August, 1933, probably a very severe one that left him unable to care for himself. The &ldquocontributing cause&rdquo a full eight years before his death sounds to them like a combination of atrial fibrillation, a problem in the top chamber of his heart, plus possibly a cyst in the brain or a clot that eventually moved to the left side of his brain and caused a severe stroke.
In the Woodstock, Maine, Historical Society in Bryant Pond, Maine, this summer, I was given by the custodian a copy of a two page article about George Allan England written by his son-in-law, Donald Russell (my wife&rsquos Uncle Don.) Don said that England knew Joseph Conrad, wrote movie scripts, and was such a good friend of Ernest Hemingway that he sometimes stayed in the Hemingway home in Key West. Don added that England tutored Franklin Roosevelt for three years while both were at Harvard. Don also said the reason England had been able to attend Harvard was that he had a wealthy aunt in Boston who offered to pay his expenses in the hope that he would later become her coachman, since she had four horses and two coaches and needed reliable help with them. Don also said England obtained a PhD from Harvard, edited &ldquoThe &ldquoCrimson&rdquo, wrote plays for the Hasty Pudding Club, and by 1910 had attended Cambridge University in England for two years as a Rhodes Scholar. This is the first time I have heard this information, and I don&rsquot know whether it is true, but Don would have known as much as anyone about his father-in-law, from information probably relayed by Don&rsquos wife, our &ldquoAunt Tiz&rdquo--George Allan England&rsquos only daughter.
To check the Roosevelt comment, I looked on the Internet and confirmed that Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945, five years younger than George Allan England) did indeed attend Harvard from 1899 to 1904, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1903 but remaining one additional year to serve as editor of &ldquoThe Crimson.&rdquo He then went on to Columbia to study law, and passed the New York State bar exam but did not complete his Columbia Law degree, then married Eleanor Roosevelt, his cousin and the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1905.
The Bradford, N.H., library has a small section dedicated to local authors, including George Allan England. His obituary from the Concord Monitor is inside a copy of Darkness and Dawn. The obituary, I would guess, was based on information provided by Blanche Porter England, the author&rsquos widow. It says Mr. England became discouraged with writing for a living in his later years, and tried chicken farming while also making treasure hunting expeditions to the Caribbean in 1929 and 1930. Coincidentally, just before going on vacation this year, I &ldquoGoogled&rdquo George Allan England&rsquos name and found two amazing photographs on the Internet (the middle name is spelled &ldquoAllen&rdquo but the pictures, in my opinion, are clearly George Allan England.) The photos are said to have been in papers saved by Stella Peden Churchill, depicting a visit of &ldquofamous pulp novelist&rdquo Mr. England with an Eldorado Springs, Missouri, building contractor and promoter named Frank Churchill. Sadly, the date of the visit is not given, but after looking up as much information as I could find about Frank Churchill, I conclude that he is not from Nova Scotia nor connected to Blanche&rsquos future husband there. My guess would be that England traveled to Eldorado Springs organizing his treasure-hunting company. He is well dressed in the pictures, wearing tie, jacket, and coat--as is Frank Churchill.
On the way home from New England, I attended a reunion of my high school, the Lago Community High School of Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, and had a rather unusual conversation with Ann Nixon, Lago Class of 1957, about Ernest Hemingway. She said she used to write copy for a Miami radio station and learned to fly so she could travel around south Florida on her own. She loves visiting Key West, she said, especially Hemingway&rsquos home. Her other favorite place to visit in Key West, she said, is the private museum of Mel Fisher, the man whose company is bringing up silver and gold from the Spanish treasure galleon, Nuestra Senora de Atocha. I mentioned I am writing a biography of George Allan England, adding that George Allan England&rsquos son-in-law wrote that England was a friend of Hemingway&rsquos and sometimes stayed in the Hemingway home there, also that England was quite an adventurer, having visited the Dry Tortugas and written about them in his book, Isles of Romance. She jumped at the mention of the Dry Tortugas and said she and a friend once took a skin diving trip there, finding beautiful reefs protected by U.S. Law as a nature preserve. The reefs on which the wreck of the Atocha was found, she added, are in the Dry Tortugas area! I suppose it is possible that Mr. England might have obtained information about Spanish galleon wrecks on sand bars near the Dry Tortugas. Incredible as it sounds, he may actually have been on the trail of that vast treasure, though I can&rsquot imagine how he could have raised enough money and obtained the right kind of equipment that the Atocha recoveries have required. But if he had any clues to the presence of Atocha or a similar vessel, no wonder he wanted to raise money to attempt a salvage, and no wonder he could interest adventurous types in participating in such a venture.
&ldquoWikipedia&rsquos&rdquo article on &ldquoGoogle&rdquo says Mel Fisher looked for the Atocha for 16 years, then, after his success in bringing up gold, silver, and other valuables, had to fight lawsuits for eight years from the State of Florida, which claimed the treasure. The U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of Fisher. The article adds that Atocha was part of a fleet sunk in 1622 by a hurricane while carrying copper, silver, gold, tobacco, gems, jewels, jewelry, and indigo from Cartagena, Porto Bello, and Havana, en route to Spain. The wreck lay in about 55 feet of water, which would have required &ldquohard hat&rdquo diving equipment in England&rsquos day but is now reachable by scuba diving. It&rsquos sad to think that, based on what we now know about George Allan England&rsquos health, even if his 1929 or 1930 expeditions had been successful, he was soon to be felled by heart and stroke troubles that would have killed him long before his pursuit of the treasure would have paid off. (I wonder if his heart and stroke troubles might have been brought on by attempts at deep diving in 1929 and 1930?)
I&rsquoll conclude with the hope that readers of this article may feel inspired to read a few of George Allan England&rsquos compositions. I liked some of his novels, found others rather tedious, but all imaginative. One, about a super airplane, describes a flight to Mecca by a group of raiders in an attempt to steal the Kaaba! Another describes an attempt to corner the world supply of oxygen in order to charge people for using it! Another describes the building of an artificial heart--something scientists and creative thinkers have been aspiring towards for a long time, it seems. He also wrote some humorous short stories and travel reports, such as one on Carcassone in France that I suspect he visited in 1909 when he returned to America via Genoa while his wife, daughter, and mother-in-law returned via Liverpool (my guess would be that they went abroad together, then split as England struck off on his own to do research.) On the genealogical side, I would be happy to print charts for those interested in England&rsquos ancestry or that of his wife, Almeda Agnes Coffin. My sources are mostly Ancestry.com, WorldConnect, the Barbour records in Connecticut, other Internet sources, and as much as I&rsquove been able to glean from brief visits to the New Hampshire Vital Records Center in Concord and the New Hampshire Historical Society Library. The Coffin family has been pretty well researched, by many others, as early settlers of Nantucket Island. Other lines include Parker, Soule, Lyon, Farnam, Pettingill, and of course Pearl.
In the frontispiece of his first published book, Underneath the Bough, in 1903, England wrote: &ldquoOffered to Agnes, its inspiration, in this the tenth year of her reign.&rdquo Both George Allan England and Almeda Agnes Coffin were born in 1877, so would have been 16 years old in 1893. Where could they have met? Boston English High School is a likely possibility. Don Russell wrote that Almeda attended Emerson College in Boston, which is the same college George&rsquos older sister, Florence, attended. Florence was, however, 7 ¾ years older than George and Almeda, so it&rsquos unlikely the girls would have been friends in those early years of their lives. Attendance at Boston English High School is the more likely way that George and Almeda got to know each other.
A Nebraska State Census recently turned up the information that &ldquoyoung George&rdquo apparently was originally called George Philip England. This could have come from his mother&rsquos ancestor, Philip Pearl, or perhaps from his father&rsquos father, &ldquoPhilo&rdquo England. Evidently the budding fiction writer liked &ldquoAllan&rdquo better, and chose it as his own middle name after slightly altering the spelling but keeping the sound, perhaps because it was his father&rsquos name and perhaps because it recalled Ethan Allen, the Revolutionary War leader often credited with founding the State of Vermont. It was also a Soule family ancestral name, since George&rsquos great great great grandmother on that side was named Elizabeth Allen--four generations earlier, the ancestral couple in this line who immigrated from England were named George and Hannah Allen. (I find no connection between this Allen family and Ethan Allen&rsquos.)
One of the more curious England publications I have found via the Internet is called Keep Off The Grass, published in 1919 (&ldquoAfter the war&rdquo, the author points out) by Small, Maynard & Co.. It is illustrated with cartoon drawings by the author himself, giving a good sense of the whimsical, humorous side of his nature. Most of the humor, aside from the drawings, derives from plays on words. One example: &ldquoIt makes a lot of difference whether the Germans have Gott or have not Gott away with it.&rdquo In the beginning, he lists the &ldquoDramatis Persiflage&rdquo or characters in the book, including &ldquoEdward, A Human Being&rdquo and &ldquoHenrietta, His Wife.&rdquo He says the book was written mostly in and around Portland, Maine. One of the characters is named &ldquoIsabelle Pearl&rdquo! Knowing the genealogy of the author gives a reader just a tiny bit more understanding and appreciation of how his mind works.
Thank you very much for the biography of your wife's great uncle. It makes very interesting reading. May I post it on my web page about GAE?
You're welcome to post it, Mark. Glad you found it interesting. Evidently his father died when he was still pretty young and he was taken back to New England by his mother and other relatives. I'd love to find out more about his high school in Boston, and I imagine there are writings by him at Harvard if I knew where to look. Incidentally, my Dad was from Caplinger Mills, Missouri, in Cedar County near Eldorado Springs, so I have been to Eldorado many times, drunk the water, attended the 20th of July picnic. Dad's grandmother died in Eldorado and so did one of my aunts. So I was particularly interested to learn from you that GAE had been there too!
I just found your website and was thrilled to see two pictures and a biography of George Allan England. His 2nd wife, Blanche Porter, was my great aunt.
Blanche was the daughter of Wilbur Porter Sr. & Clara Kelley of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
My grandfather, Wilbur Porter Jr. was Blanche's brother. He immigrated to the U.S. shortly after 1900 and settled in Massachusetts.
I don't know very much about Aunt Blanche however, I do have a nice picture of her. It was taken aboard a boat and she is standing with two men. I do not know the identities of the two men, but I am wondering if the gentleman on the left (with the mustache & glasses) could be George England. He definitely would be older than the pictures on your website. It's hard to tell with the mustache and glasses, but his ears seem similar - especially the one on the right as it seems to stick out. I could be completely wrong.
I have attached this picture for you. If you happen to locate another picture of George England, I would be interested in seeing it.
I'm always pleased to get emails like yours. They make what could be dull genealogy, come to life.
I would say that odds are that the man on the left is George England. The ears are a good likeness. And his somewhat 'tilted' stance.
May I use your email and photo on my web page? There are a few people who are interested in George England and maybe my web page will serve to connect up a few of them.
Yes, please do use my email and photo on your web page.
I see what you mean by his 'tilted' stance. The man with Blanche has the same stance as the 2nd photo on your website.
A family member told me that the 2nd gentleman could possibly be one of Blanche's brothers. I will let you know if I find out.
Google has digitized many newspapers and I just did a search on GAE.
I found this letter from his wife:
I can't tell if it was Blanche Porter or GAE's first wife.
I found your website and the articles to GAE. I am a cousin of GAE and have a newspaper article that you might enjoy. I have also sent in along to Bill Moyer as he is here in Texas where I reside.
It is a very large file as it is the full newspaper article on GAE. You will have to unzip it.
A Brief History of “Down to the River to Pray”
While it is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of the song, “Down to the River to Pray” has been referred to as a hymn, a spiritual and an Appalachian song. Some believe it was a Native American Tribal song that was adapted to include Christian lyrics. It is attributed to George H. Allan in the Slave Songbook of 1867, and Alison Krauss popularized it in the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The song also is known by alternate titles such as “Down in the Valley to Pray,” “Come, Let Us All Go Down” and “The Good Old Way.” Whatever the title might truly be, the deeply spiritual song is about keeping the faith in a time of darkness.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir recorded a rendition of the song, which appears on the 2009 album, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns and Spirituals. The song also appears on another album by the Choir, titled “100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence.”
In the video above the Choir performs “Down to the River to Pray,’ arranged by Mack Wilberg, from episode 4323 of Music & the Spoken Word.
Follow us for more insights on songs and performances by the Choir:
Confederate Signal Corps and Secret Service Bureau
The Confederate Signal Corps, which operated the semaphore system used for communicating vital information between armies on the field, also set up a covert intelligence operation known as the Secret Service Bureau. Headed by William Norris, the former Baltimore lawyer who also served as chief signal officer for the Confederacy, the bureau managed the so-called “Secret Line,” an ever-changing system of couriers used to get information from Washington across the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers to Confederate officials in Richmond. The Secret Service Bureau also handled the passing of coded messages from Richmond to Confederate agents in the North, Canada and Europe.
A number of Confederate soldiers, especially cavalrymen, also acted as spies or “scouts” for the rebel cause. Among the most famous were John Singleton Mosby, known as the “Gray Ghost,” who led guerrilla warfare in western Virginia through the latter years of the war, and especially J.E.B. Stuart, the celebrated cavalry officer whom General Robert E. Lee called “the eyes of the army.”
Allen, George (1800–1877)
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
George Allen (1800-1877), solicitor, was born on 23 November 1800 at Southwark, London, the second son of Richard Allen, a physician of London, and his second wife Mary, née Tickfold. Richard Allen died in 1806, leaving a widow and five children between 14 and 6, and little to support them. As well as his practice, he had had a business of vending medicines it was managed by Thomas Collicott, whom his widow married in 1809. In 1812 Collicott was convicted of failing to affix revenue stamps to his medicine bottles, and was transported to New South Wales in the Earl Spencer in October 1813. His wife, with George Allen and two other children of her first marriage and three children of Collicott's previous marriage, followed him, reaching Sydney in the Mary Anne in January 1816.
Mrs Collicott bore a letter of introduction to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who received her kindly and arranged for George Allen to be articled to the government solicitor, William Moore, but this fell through on Moore's suspension after a quarrel with the governor. Instead, Allen was articled in July 1817 to Frederick Garling Collicott, who described himself as a merchant, paid the premium of £100, and supported him until he was able to provide for himself. Allen was admitted to practise as a solicitor on 24 July 1822. He was the first solicitor who had received his legal training in the colony, and the founder of the oldest legal firm in Australia. His office was at first on the corner of George and Hunter Streets, later in Macquarie Street, and from 1825 in Elizabeth Street.
During the five years of his articles and until his marriage, Allen was a lonely man, because of the absence of his family, first at Parramatta and afterwards in Hobart Town, and because, though not an emancipist, he had few friends among the free settlers, since his stepfather was an ex-convict. This may have been a reason why he became intensely religious. He joined the Methodist Society in 1821 and was soon a leading member. He was active in the Wesleyan Missionary Society, the Sydney Bethel Union, the Religious Tract Society, and the British and Foreign Bible Society. In keeping with the spirit of the times, he extended his puritanism to his purse, and his affairs prospered. By 1831 he owned three houses in Sydney, held an estate of thirty acres (12 ha) at Botany Bay, had acquired from the Church and School Corporation ninety-six acres (39 ha) of the old St Philip's glebe, and had built there a house, Toxteth Park, where he and his family lived for the rest of his life. Besides conducting a lucrative legal practice, he was a founding director of the Gaslight Co. in 1836, as well as its solicitor, became the solicitor of the Bank of New South Wales in 1843, was a director of the bank in 1860-66 and 1868-77, and its president in 1863-66, and was a vice-president of the New South Wales Savings Bank and a director of several other companies.
Allen was humane and philanthropic and had a strong sense of duty. He was the honorary secretary of the Benevolent Society for many years and a member of the Temperance Society. In 1826 he joined the Agricultural and Horticultural Society. In November 1842 he was elected a councillor of Bourke Ward in the first poll for the Municipal Council of Sydney, and he was also an alderman for Brisbane Ward. He supported the popular cause in the council, advocating the employment of the poor rather than convicts on public works, though this may have been with the object of relieving the Benevolent Society from the burden of helping them. From November 1844 to November 1845 he was mayor of Sydney. In July 1845 Governor Sir George Gipps appointed him to the vacancy in the Legislative Council created by John Blaxland's resignation. In 1856 he was appointed for five years as a member of the first Legislative Council under responsible government, and in 1861 was reappointed for life, but resigned in 1873. He was elected chairman of committees in the Legislative Council on twenty-two occasions.
He was a founder of the Sydney Free Grammar School in 1825, and at various times its secretary, president of its trustees, and a trustee of its successor, the Sydney College. He was a member of the Denominational Board from 1848 to 1866, and of the Council of Education, established after the Public Schools Act of 1866, from 1867 to 1873. He became a member of the senate of the University of Sydney in 1859.
In 1847 he had taken his son, George Wigram, into partnership, the name of their firm being Allen & Son. He retired in 1855. The practice has been carried on uninterruptedly since 1822 since 1894 its name has been Allen Allen & Hemsley.
George Allen had married Jane, the daughter of the schoolmaster, Thomas Bowden, on 24 July 1823 she bore him fourteen children, of whom five sons and five daughters survived infancy. His son George Wigram was not only his partner and successor in his legal firm but continued many of his public activities, becoming minister of justice and public instruction in Parkes's administration in 1873-75, and afterwards Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
On George Allen's death on 3 November 1877 the Sydney Morning Herald referred to him as 'one of the foremost public citizens, who overcame the temptation of successful men to live a life of easy self-indulgence'. The sour description of him in Rev. John Watkins's Journal on 6 May 1871 as 'the stereotyped chairman of religious meetings' did him far less than justice. He was assiduous and successful in the practice of his profession, a supporter of good causes, zealous for the public interest, and a man of piety and rectitude.
- G. W. D. Allen, Early Georgian (Syd, 1958)
- A. Halloran, ‘Some Early Legal Celebrities’, Journal and Proceedings (Royal Australian Historical Society), vol 10, part 6, 1924, pp 301-47
- C. H. Bertie, ‘Pioneer Families of Australia: The Allens’, Home (Sydney), May 1932, pp 37, 62
- Sydney Gazette, 26 July 1822
- Australian, 2, 11 Nov 1842
- manuscript catalogue under George Allen (State Library of New South Wales).
Related Entries in NCB Sites
- (wife) (daughter) (daughter) (daughter) (daughter) (son) (son) (son) (son) (daughter-in-law) (daughter-in-law) (son-in-law) (father-in-law) (sister-in-law) (brother-in-law) (brother-in-law) (niece by marriage) (niece by marriage) (niece by marriage) (niece by marriage) (nephew by marriage) (nephew by marriage) (nephew by marriage) (granddaughter) (granddaughter) (granddaughter) (educational sponsor) (educational sponsor) (educational sponsor)
Norman Cowper and Vivienne Parsons, 'Allen, George (1800–1877)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/allen-george-1696/text1831, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 29 June 2021.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
Fur Trade Family History
Some of you have noticed I have sneaked into my last post, an express journal written by George Traill Allan of the HBC.
This express journal, and another by him, is in the British Columbia Archives, under A/B/40/AL5.2A and A/B.40/AL5.3A.
I am delighted to have found them, and I will tell you why:
First, I found the journals a delightful read, and Allan a wonderful character who I would like to know more about.
I knew that he was in the Fort Vancouver area and was later connected to Thomas Lowe and Archibald McKinlay in the merchantile business they set up after they, too, retired from the fur trade.
But I did not consider Allan an important man, though I knew I eventually had to know a little about him.
But now I will look forward to writing about him when it comes time, because I read his journals.
I discovered his light-hearted, generous, and fun loving personality.
I laughed my way through his writings, and I hope you laughed your way through the piece of journal I have already posted.
But you will laugh even more when you read Bruce Watson's description of him, in Lives Lived West of the Divide:
Allan, George Traill, British: Scottish
Birth: Perthshire, Scotland, c. 1807
Death: Cathlamet, Washington, 1890
Passenger: Prince Rupert IV (ship), 1830 Clerk, Fort Vancouver general charges, 1831-1842 [he would have been at Fort Vancouver whenever Alexander Caulfield Anderson spent any time there, excluding the summer of 1841 when he travelled out in the York Factory express.]
On his return in the fall he was assigned to Honolulu, and was there until 1847. Afterward he was Chief Trader disposable in the Columbia Department, 1848-1850.
Bruce Watson continues: "It would seem natural that George Traill Allan, a slight, five foot tall, even delicate person of about one hundred pounds, seemingly not at all cut out for the rough and tumble fur trade, would start his career selling books and stationery in Glasgow.
"However, his brother, Dr. Allan, who had been Lord Selkirk's attending physician in North America, secured a position for him in 1830 in the HBC as a writer at York Factory.
"He was more needed at Fort Vancouver and so made his way overland to the Columbia River post.
"During his ten year stay at Fort Vancouver, he had a name exchange with a Cascade native and was nicknamed "Twahalashy," or coon."
And this is about the time we met him in his York Factory express journal, as he travelled out of the Columbia district.
"Around 1841, he was appointed joint agent with George Pelly in the Hawaiian Islands post.
"In 1845 he was promoted to the rank of Chief Trader and during his stay on the islands he found the visiting American commodores much more arrogant than the English admirals.
"The bias may have worked against him for, in 1847, when he was replaced by Dugald McTavish, Simpson explained Allan's recall to him in a letter dated June 28, 1847."
Simpson's letter said, "I hope you may not be disappointed by your recall from the Island.
"The plain matter of fact is that we consider MacTavish a better man of business and accountant than you are, and politics and party spirit have been so high of late that, we think it as well a stranger, who can have no bias, should be associated with Pelly, instead of you and that Gentleman continuing longer together."
(Source: D.4/36, p. 59d)
"In October 1848, after going on furlough for one year, he gave notice to retire and settle in San Francisco.
"Using his acquired skills, he became a commission merchant in a partnership with Archibald McKinlay and Thomas Lowe and was in 1850 listed as a merchant living in the house of McKinlay, where he stayed until 1851, at which point he went to Scottsburgh at the mouth of the Umpqua River.
"Under the name Allan, McKinlay and Co., he carried on business until about 1861 when he settled in Cathlamet.
"He was still alive in 1888."
At the bottom of the description Bruce Watson notes that George Traill Allan was a relative of James Allen Grahame of Fort Vancouver, who married Susanna Birnie, daughter of James and Charlot Birnie.
So somehow, even if we don't know how, George Traill Allan is in our family tree -- and I am delighted to welcome him to the Birnie tree.
But now that you know how small and delicate George Traill Allan is, picture him crossing the Athabasca Pass with Dr. Tolmie!
No wonder the two men laughed their way across the mountains!
I have more information for you: His journal did begin at Fort Vancouver, and though it proceeds quite rapidly through the first part of his cross country travels, it is still an interesting read.
I will include it here, and some of you will especially be amused by the information it contains.
In this post we will go only as far as the Boat Encampment:
Journal of A Voyage from Fort Vancouver Columbia to York Factory, Hudson's Bay, 1841, by Geo. T. Allen:
I left Fort Vancouver on the 22d of March 1841, by the Express, accompanied by the following gentlemen -- Messrs. [Francis] Ermatinger, [Archibald] McKinlay, [Francois?] Payette, and Dr. [William F.] Tolmie -- in four boats -- and twenty eight men chiefly Canadians all the gentlemen of the Establishment, as usual upon such occasions, accompanying us to the River to see us start.
Mr. Ermatinger, being the oldest Clerk of the party in the Company's Service, the command of conducting the party, so far as he went, of course, devolved upon him.
After a voyage of nine days, during which nothing worth recording took place, we reached Fort Walla Walla [Endnote #1], situated in the midst of a sandy plain upon the Banks of the Columbia & in charge of my friend, Mr. Ch. Trader [Pierre Chrysologue] Pambrun, who received us most kindly, and presented us to dinner a couple of fine roast Turkies -- a rather unexpected sight in this quarter of the world.
April 1st. Having arranged everything for my trip on horseback from Walla Walla to Fort Colvile, I started today at noon accompanied by a man, a boy and an Indian, as Guide, with a band of forty six Horses, the Boats having gone off the day before with the other gentlemen my object in going across land being to get a-head of the Boats & so gain time to close all the accounts at Fort Colvile [#2] (the last past on this side of the Rocky Mountains) before their arrival.
As the country through which I now passed was all much of the same description, I may here mention, that its general appearance was not particularly pleasing, consisting principally of hills without a stick of wood to adorn their summits or relieve the eye from the sameness of the landscape which now presented itself to an immense extent, the surface of the ground over which we rode at no tardy pace was so covered with badger holes that it required the utmost caution to guide our riding horses clear of them as for the light horses, we allowed them to look out for themselves.
After a ride of four days we reached Fort Spokane, an old establishment, abandoned some years ago, situated upon the banks of the River of that name in a beautiful spot.
On crossing the River, which we did by the assistance of the two Indians in a small Canoe, I was very much surprised, when gaining the opposite bank, to hear my name distinctly pronounced by one of a band of Indians assembled there to greet our arrival but on looking in the direction from whence the voice came I immediately recognized my old friend, a young Indian Chief called Garry, who had entered the Columbia with me ten years before.
He had been educated at Red River at the expense of the Company and when I had known him was well clothed and could both read and write now, however, the march of improvement had apparently retrograded, as he made his appearance wrapped up in a Buffalo Robe a la Savage.
Having presented some Tobacco to the Indians I requested Garry to send for one of our horses which I had been obliged to abandon that morning, he being too much fatigued to come one, and to forward him to Colvile, all which he promised to do, and I have no doubt has already performed.[#3]
The evening before our arrival at Spokane we encountered a very severe snow storm, but we were fortunate enough, that very evening to find abundance of wood, an article of which we had hitherto only procured a sufficiency to boil the tea kettle.
We were therefore enabled to make a very large fire and managed with the aid of my bed oil-cloth to erect a kind of shelter from the pelting of the pitiless storm during the night.
On the night of 7th April we reached Fort Colvile about 10 o'clock to my great pleasure, where I was received with the utmost kindness by my old acquaintance, Mr. Chief Trader Arch[ibald] McDonald & his amiable wife.
Being very desirous, if possible, to reach Fort Colvile to day (the 7th) I had ridden very hard -- so much so, that another of our horses gave in, within a few miles of the Fort.
I had, however, no alternative but to ride hard or go supperless to bed as our provisions were entirely out.
This I do not regret, because it gave me an opportunity of proving the correctness of two old adages, viz. put a hungry man on horse back and he'll ride to the Deil [Devil?] & keep a thing seven years & you will find a use for it.
To understand however the allusion to the latter of these wise sayings, it will be necessary here to state, that on leaving Fort Vancouver, Mr. Ermatinger, a veritable John Bull and our caterer for the grub department of the voyage, had prevailed upon Captain Brotchie, whose vessel was then laying at Vancouver, to get made for us, a couple of large plum puddings, & the same puddings upon being tried on the voyage from Vancouver to Walla Walla, had been found wanting, not in quantity but in quality, and until our arrival at the last mentioned post had layen neglected and almost forgotten.
While seeing me equipped for the trip on horseback from Walla Walla to Fort Colvile, Mr. Ermatinger had slipped in amongst my eatables a piece of those identical puddings being this morning therefore pressed by hunger, I had, I presume, dived deeper than usual into the recesses of my haversack and finding poor Brotchie, I made, sans ceremonie & cannibal-like, a most hearty Breakfast upon his remains.
As already mentioned, we reached Colvile on the night of the 7th April about 10 o'clock for two hours previously we had ridden in the dark, through woods, across River, & over hill & dale, so anxious was I to reach my destination -- not, I beg it to be understood, from the paltry motive of procuring a supper, but from the desire of gaining upon the trip of last year.
On the 23rd of April, having received the last despatches from Fort Vancouver & having finished the accounts, I started, accompanied by Dr. Tolmie with two Boats and fourteen men the other gentlemen having dispersed during the route to their different departments.
Fort Colvile is a very neat and compact little establishment and nothing I have yet seen in the Indian Country can equal the beauty of its situation -- placed on a rising ground in the midst of a very pretty plain encircled by an extensive & well cultivated farm -- the fields & fences laid out with a neatness which does credit to the taste of their projector -- here and there a band of Cattle to enliven the prospect and at a considerable distance surrounded on all sides by high mountains covered from the base to the summit with beautiful pines.
Nor does the inside of the establishment yield in any respect to the exterior, for when seated at table with Mr. and Mrs. McDonald & their family, one cannot help thinking himself once more at home enjoying a tete-a-tete in some domestic circle.
After a voyage of ten days up the most rapid & almost most dangerous part of the Columbia River, the country very rugged and rocky, we arrived on Tuesday the 4th of May at the Boat Encampment, which is the highest point that a Boat or Canoe can navigate the Columbia.
Endnotes to above:
 200 miles from Fort Vancouver. River here 3/4 of a mile wide
 About 700 miles from the Pacific by the travelled route
 N.B. Upon my return from Hudson's Bay I found Garry had returned the Horse. G.T.A.
To continue George Traill Allan's story:
In a document held by Oregon Historical Society Archives, written by a descendant of James Birnie, we have a little more information about George Traill Allan.
The author of the piece copied out a letter Allan wrote in April 1885, telling a descendant a little about James and Charlot Birnie its a nice letter but has no information new to us Birnie descendants.
But a few pages later, the author of the document tells us more about George Allan:
"Mr. Allen [sic], an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company had become super annuated and was cared for by James Birnie, and his wife after James Birnie's death.
"After the decease of Mrs. Birnie, Mr. Allen was cared for by Alec. D. Birnie in a cottage built on the latter's property and still standing (1922) until Mr. Allen's death."
And so it appears that the entire Birnie family valued George Traill Allan, and were fond enough of him that he was treated as if he was almost a family member -- even if he did not marry one of the Birnie girls.
His good humour and kindness kept Allan in safe hands until his death.
It sounds as if he remained single his entire life.
But what can a five-foot tall, one hundred pound, delicate dynamo like George Traill Allan do to attract a wife?