Allendale: A Shunned House Part 9

The history of the house Elias collected was extensive and was, as well, a history of our branch of the family. George Allen, who was the first Allen in Middle Tennessee arrived with his oldest sons—Elias (b. 1772) James (b.  1774), and John (b. 1776)—and two trusted slaves before 1790 in the area that was to become Gallatin. The cabin they erected was the very one later incorporated into the first floor of Allendale. When George’s wife and the rest of the children were finally sent for, the house was transformed into a dog-trot, but for some reason the men seem to have quickly abandoned this home to the two slaves and set about to building Allenwood, just up the bend. I found correspondence from late 1791 in which George asks his lawyer to sell Dan down in Nashville as soon as possible and to expect to see him, George, before the turn of the year to replace the two slaves. Why George would sell an able-bodied man without having someone to replace him is not clear from the letter. What happened to the other slave remains unspoken.

But that is as much of a hint of a beginning as we get to the house’s impending long, sad history. By the time the rest of the family installs itself at Allenwood, Elias is living at Allendale.

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