Scope and Content note
This collection is composed of six volumes of William C. Allen's religious visits around the world from the 1904-1937. Three volumes of the collection were handwritten, and the remaining three were typed by Allen. While the diaries in this collection cover a wide range of topics, entries generally describe the customs, manners, language, transportation, food, and religious beliefs in each location Allen visited. In addition, Allen describes Quaker meetings he lead, and religious and political leaders he met with in each place he visited.
Only one volume of the collection does not record a religious visit- volume 4 of the collection is a record of Allen's thoughts on World War I, which he kept during 1917 while living in San Jose, Ca.
William Charles Allen (1857-1938) was born at Westtown, Pa. on March 9, 1857, the son of Richard Allen and Mary Dutten. Allen was often ill as a child, and received little schooling after age 14. He married Elizabeth C Bromley at Burlington, N.J. on September 10, 1883, and the couple had one daughter. For Allen's health, the family moved from New Jersey to Colorado, and later to California.
Allen was a recorded minister of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and made multiple religious visits to Japan, China, Australia, and South Africa, as well as England and Ireland. Allen also founded the Peace Committee of Churches of the Pacific Coast. Allen was a conscientious objector, and wrote a number of books related to this topic, including "Real war: as seen in South Africa, 1899-1900 (1910), "War! Behind the Smoke Screen" (1929), and "A Quaker diary in the Orient," among other publications.
Allen died on March 14, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the age of 81.