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Timothy Field Allen (1837-1902)

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2 linear inches


A physician by training, Timothy Field Allen (1837-1902) was an enthusiastic botanist and served as the Vice-President of the Torrey Botanical Club from 1873 until his death. His interest in algae led him to specialize in the family Characeae. Allen wrote many scientific papers on these plants and corresponded and exchanged specimens with students all over the world . In 1901 he presented to the Garden his specimens and his extensive collection of information on the Characeae. He is commemorated by the grass Danthonia Alleni Austin, Eriogonuum Alleni S. Watson, and by the sundrops of eastern Long Island, Kneiffia Alleni.

Allen was born in Westminster, Vermont on April 24, 1837. He received a degree from Amherst College in 1858 and a M.D. from the University of the City of New York in 1861. From 1862 to 1864 he was an assistant surgeon of the United States Army. After the war, Allen served as Dean of the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital. He was largely instrumental in the establishment of the Flower Hospital and the Laura Franklin Free Hospital for Children. He died on December 5, 1902 in New York City.


The collection comprises materials on Characeae including correspondence, drawings, and parts of Allen's publication, Characeae Americanae.


Series 1: Correspondence  (1870-1900)
Series 2: Characeae of America, Part II  (1892-1894)
Series 3: Chara drawings, n.d.
Series 4: Characeae Americanae, Part I  (1879)

Series 1     Correspondence.  (1870-1900)
                   1.5 lin. in.

Includes nine folders, seven with individual correspondents, including J.W. Blankenship, F. Hauck, O. Nordstedt, A.J. Pieters, Kenzo Saito, D.A. Saunders, and Ernest Volk; one on medical topics, and one with various correspondents.

Series 2     Characeae of America, Part II  (1892-1894)

Three folders containing descriptions and illustrations of nitella. Includes fascicle 1, 1892 and fascicle 2, 1894.

Series 3     Chara drawings

Three folders of drawings. (Includes one oversized folder)

Series 4 Characeae Americanae, Part I (1879)

Contains two oversized folders.  One folder contains the issue of Characeae Americanae devoted to Chara gymnopus and one folder contains Characeae Americanae Exsiccatae.


The New York Botanical Garden

PP    Richard D. Wood Papers

Processed May 2001 by Natalie S. Brody under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH PA-23141-98) and a grant from the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation.

For more information and a complete description contact:
Susan Fraser, NYBG Archivist
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
(718) 817-8879

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