Allen–Stewart Family Papers, 1840-1997

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Allen – Stewart Family

Title: Papers, 1840-1997 (bulk 1840-1899)

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for this collection, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 1.33 cubic feet

Locator Number: Mss./A/A425

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists chiefly of correspondence among members of the Thomas J. Allen family of Ohio and diaries recorded by John Wesley Stewart of Chicago, Ill. The two families are related through the marriage of May Allen, a daughter of Thomas Allen, to John Fletcher Stewart, a son of John W. Stewart. The Allen letters primarily concern two of Thomas J. Allen’s sons, Thomas, a newspaper printer, and Joseph, who served in the 1st Minn. Light Artillery Battery.  Several of the letters involve Joseph’s declining health following the Battle of Corinth, his death and retrieval of his body in Lake Providence, La., by his brother for transporting to his hometown, Brecksville, Ohio, and subsequent attempts by his mother to obtain a military pension.  Stewart, who held political office in Wisconsin and Chicago, was engaged in housing development in the Southeast and the lumber industry in Michigan.  He wrote, with few omissions, daily diary entries from 1861 to1898.  Primary topics in the collection include pre-Civil War politics in Kansas, illness and death of Lt. Joseph Allen, Chicago politics and real estate development in the late 19th century. Several photographs have been transferred to The Filson’s Photograph Collection.

Biographical Note

Thomas J. Allen and Marana Morgan Allen had nine children, born between 1831 and 1849.  Thomas Allen (b. 1835) was a printer by trade and worked for a number of newspapers in Kansas, Cincinnati and Chicago.  His political leanings were anti-slavery, although he did not favor granting full civil rights to blacks.  His younger brother, Joseph (b. 1839), enlisted in the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery in 1861.  He participated in the Battle of Corinth in late 1862, but died in March 1863 from chronic diarrhea, possibly resulting from wounds he received at Corinth.

John Wesley Stewart, the oldest child of a Methodist minister, was born in 1822.  He eventually moved to Wisconsin where he speculated in real estate and was elected to the state legislature in the late 1860s.  He moved his family to the Chicago area in 1871 and was instrumental in the early development of Evanston, Ill.  He became an influential citizen and later served on the Cook County Board of Supervisors and the Chicago city council.  His real estate business thrived and he eventually had major developments in Daytona, Fla., Chattanooga, Tenn., as well as Evanston.  He and colleagues also invested in the lumber business and had extensive timber holdings in Michigan.   Stewart died ca. 1899.

List of Folders, Volumes

Folder 1:  Correspondence: 1855 – 1861, 13 items

Folder 2:  Correspondence: 1862, 19 items

Folder 3:  Correspondence: January – March 1863, 37 items

Folder 4:  Correspondence: April – July 1863, 21 items

Folder 5:  Correspondence: 1864 – 1884, 43 items

Folder 6:  Military and land papers, 10 items

Folder 7:  Photocopies of printed materials, 53 items

Folder 8:  Stewart-Allen genealogy, 12 items

Folder 9:  Miscellaneous, 42 items

Folder10:  Material removed from John W. Stewart diaries, 45 items

Volume 11: John W. Stewart diary, 1840-1841

Volume 12: John W. Stewart diary, journal, 1854-1871

Volume 13: John W. Stewart diary, 1861

Volume 14: John W. Stewart diary, 1862

Volume 15: John W. Stewart diary, 1863

Volume 16: John W. Stewart diary, 1865

Volume 17: John W. Stewart diary, 1866

Volume 18: John W. Stewart diary, 1867

Volume 19: John W. Stewart trip memorandum, 1867

Volume 20: John W. Stewart diary, 1868

Volume 21: John W. Stewart diary, 1869

Volume 22: John W. Stewart trip diary, 1869

Volume 23: John W. Stewart diary, 1870

Volume 24: John W. Stewart diary, 1873

Volume 25: John W. Stewart diary, 1874

Volume 26: John W. Stewart diary, 1875

Volume 27: John W. Stewart diary, 1876

Volume 28, John W. Stewart diary, 1877

Volume 29: John W. Stewart diary, 1878

Volume 30: John W. Stewart diary, 1879

Volume 31: John W. Stewart diary, 1880

Volume 32: John W. Stewart diary, 1882

Volume 33: John W. Stewart diary, 1883

Volume 34: John W. Stewart diary, 1884

Volume 35: John W. Stewart diary, 1885

Volume 36: John W. Stewart diary, 1886

Volume 37: John W. Stewart diary, 1888

Volume 38: John W. Stewart diary, 1890

Volume 39: John W. Stewart diary, 1891

Volume 40: John W. Stewart diary, 1893

Volume 41: John W. Stewart diary, 1894

Volume 42: John W. Stewart diary, 1895

Volume 43: John W. Stewart diary, 1896

Volume 44: John W. Stewart diary, 1897

Volume 45: John W. Stewart diary, 1898

Volume 46: Diary, account book, 1855 (probably John W. Stewart)

Volume 47: Account book, 1849-1850

Volume 48: John W. Stewart, scrapbook, 1850-1879

Volume 49: John W. Stewart, scrapbook, 1859-1860

Volume 50: Rev. John Stewart diary, 1864

Volume 51: John F. Stewart diary, 1867

Volume 52: Thomas J. Allen diary, account book, 1867

Volume 53: Rev. John Stewart diary, 1868

Volume 54: John F. Stewart record book, railroad land prices, Iowa and Nebraska, 1871-   1873

Volume 55: Manual of customs, precedents and forms, Assembly of Wisconsin, 1861

Volume 56: Guidebook to Edinburgh, Scotland, 1866

Folder 57 ovsz: Enlistment and clothing record for Lt. Joseph Allen, 3 items

Subject Headings

Augusta College (Augusta, Ky.)

Beaver Island (Mich.) – Description and travel.

Buchanan, James, 1791-1868.

California – Description and travel.

Chattanooga (Tenn.) – Description and travel.

Chicago (Ill.) – Description and travel.

Chicago (Ill.) – Politics and government – 19th century.

Chickamauga Battlefield (Ga.)

Cholera – United States.

Cincinnati (Ohio) – Description and travel.

Corinth, Battle of, Corinth, Miss., 1862.

Daytona (Fla.) – Description and travel.

Edinburgh (Scotland) – Guidebooks.

Europe – Description and travel.

Evanston (Ill.) – Description and travel.

Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872.

Harrison, William Henry, 1773-1841.

Indians of North America – Relocation.

Kansas – History – 1854-1861.

Kendall, Amos, 1789-1869.

Kentucky – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Veterans.

Lumber trade – Michigan.


Methodist church – Clergy.

Military pensions – United States – Civil War, 1861-1865.

Mines and mineral resources – United States.

Mississippi River Valley – History – Civil War, 1861-1865.

New Orleans (La.) – Description and travel.


Presidents – United States – Election – 1840.

Presidents – United States – Election – 1856.

Presidents – United States – Election – 1860.

Railroads – United States.

Real estate development – United States.

Rheumatoid arthritis – United States.

Saint Louis (Mo.) – History – Civil War, 1861-1865.

San Francisco (Calif.) – Description and travel.

Shiloh, Battle of, Tenn., 1862.

Spanish-American War, 1898.

Tennessee – History – Civil War, 1861-1865.

United Confederate Veterans.

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Equipment and supplies.

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Medical care.

United States. Army – Military life.

United States. Army. Minnesota Light Independent Artillery Battery, 1st (1861-1865)

Utah – Description and travel.

Vicksburg (Miss.) – Description and travel.

Wisconsin – Politics and government.

World’s Columbian Exposition (1893: Chicago, Ill.)