Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ALLEN, Elizabeth Akers, author, born in Strong, Maine, 9 October 1832. Her maiden name was Chase. She married Paul Akers, the sculptor (see AKERS), who died in 1861, and in 1865 she married E. M. Allen, of New York. She begun to write at the age of fifteen, under the pen name of "Florence Percy," and in 1855 published under that name a volume of poems entitled "Forest Buds." In 1858 she became a contributor to the "Atlantic Monthly," and in 1866 a collection of her poems was published in Boston. This volume included the poem "Rock me to Sleep, Mother," which has been set to music as a popular song by several composers. A dispute as to the authorship of the words attracted wide attention. Mrs. Allen wrote them in Portland, Maine, early in 1859, and sent them from Rome in May 1860, to the Philadelphia " Saturday Evening Post." The validity of her claim was presumable, not only from the fact that she had placed the piece in her volume before the discussion arose, but also because she was the only claimant that had written poems equal or superior to the disputed one. That she was the real author was demonstrated by William died O'Connor in a long article in the New York "Times " of 27 May 1867. Mrs. Allen was for several years literary editor of the Portland, Maine, "Advertiser," and she is a frequent contributor to periodical literature.
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