Allyn, Robert (1817-1894) educator
Pair of Letters, written while President of Wesleyan Female College, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1860 to Isaac Tichenor Goodnow

octavo, two letters, six pages, in very good, clean and legible condition.

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Allyn writes to Goodnow, educator, and Kansas pioneer, discussing general family news, (they had both married sisters, and had been schoolmates, and colleagues) and practical advice concerning his proposed Bluemont Central College, now Kansas State University:

Spring Side Cottage - Near Xenia, July 21, 1860

Dear Bro. Goodnow,

... Sister Goodnow says you are talking about getting Bro. French to act as agent for your college. Now before you do anything of that kind I wish you would understand him. I do not know him have never seen him - and only know of him through the accounts of his friends partly, and partly of his enemies I presume. I know that his enemies accuse him of very bad management in regard to Wilberforce University, and his friends regret much of his financing there. But perhaps you understand these things, and are completely posted on them. I would not like to hurt Bro. French, but I would not like to have him tangle up your affairs as he has those of Wilberforce; and hence I write merely to put you on your guard that you amy inquire and understand him.

We are here at Bro. Cheyney's making them a great deal of trouble - and contriving to keep Ellen busy enough for a Kanzas woman. ..."

Wesleyan Female College Cincinnati September 9, 1860

"Dear Brother Goodnow,

Your letter came to hand in good time and was very welcome on many accounts. I am glad you are getting on so well with your college matters and trust that you will finish the building and payments for it before you return. You will then have done a good work and be in a situation to do a vast deal of good for Kanzas and all west of it.

...We are looking for Ellen here about next week and calculate to have a Sewing Machine for her to learn about: if yours does not come on by that time. Our school opens well, rather better than last year. And yet I am not quite satisfied with it. All its internal arrangements suit me better and I am no longer told that any changes will either kill it or imply disrespect to "Mr. Wilber." We are looking for a good year and yet we have the elements of a storm among us yet...."

Robert Allyn, college president, was born in Ledyard, Connecticut January 25, 1817, was a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1841; married Emeline Denison, November 18, 1841, the couple had two children, he re-married Mary Budlington, June 22, 1845 and they had three children. He was principal of Wesleyan Academy, 1846, and in 1848 headmaster Providence Conference Academy, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, he served as commissioner of Rhode Island Public Schools1854-1857; he then served as professor of ancient languages, Ohio State University 1857; he was president of Wesleyan Female Academy in Cincinnati, 1859-1863; from there he went to McKendree College, in Lebanon, Illinois and became its president in 1863. He established and was first president of Southern Illinois State Normal University, in Carbondale in 1874, serving there until 1892. He died in Carbondale in 1894.

American National Biography, volume 1, pp., 374-375; Dictionary of American Biography, volume 1, pp., 225-226

Isaac Tichenor Goodnow, educator, was born in Whitingham, Vermont, January 17, 1814, graduated Wesleyan Academy 1838, married Ellen Denison, August 28, 1838. Became professor of natural sciences Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Massachusetts, he was in 1848 appointed to a professorship at Providence Conference Seminary, in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He became active in the Anti-Slavery movement and the New England Emigrant Aid Company, he raised a company of 200 emigrants, who left Boston in 1855 and founded the town of Manhattan Kansas. Goodnow was a member of the committee which selected the townsite. He was one of the representatives of Manhattan in the Free-State Convention held in Lawrence in August 1855. In April 1858 was a member of the convention which drew up the Leavenworth Constitution. In 1857 he raised money for the establishment of a Methodist church in Manhattan. And took a leading part in the founding of Bluemont Central College, (later Kansas State Agricultural College, now Kansas State University). Goodnow was a member of the first Kansas Legislature 1861-1862; superintendent public instruction of the state of Kansas 1862, 1864, land commissioner M.K. T. Railroad 1873-1880. He died in Manhattan March 20, 1894.

Dictionary of American Biography, vol. IV, pp. 394-395