Fanny Allen was a daughter of Colonel Ethan Allen of the Continental Army, noted for taking Fort Ticonderoga from the British by surprising them while they slept. (Or General Ethan Allen if you like; he was a colonel in the Continental Army and a general in the Vermont militia.)

Ethan Allen wrote a book on theology and was considered a Deist; he was avowedly not a Christian.

Fanny Allen was four years old when her father died. She relocated to Quebec from her native Vermont and became a Catholic nun.

Did she express any opinions of her father's book, or of her father, that survive today?

  • She doesn't appear to have been comfortable being public person, but its probably fair to say converting to Catholocisim and becoming a nun is itself all the rebuke to her father's theology that she needed to give. – T.E.D. Jun 29 '17 at 13:47
  • Are you looking for direct, published quotes by Fanny directly concerning the book, or her general attitude towards religion, which obviously changed during her (short) life? – justCal Jun 29 '17 at 13:48
  • 2
    She actually started in her fathers corner, but 'supernatural events' caused her conversion. I found one unsourced quote where she says "I was such an infidel", referring to her youth. – justCal Jun 29 '17 at 13:52
  • @T.E.D. : Whether she wanted to rebuke anything is unclear at best; do you have some evidence for it? Certainly her conversion expresses disagreement with her father's position if she knew what her father's position was, but disagreement isn't what I think is usually meant by the word "rebuke". At any rate your comment doesn't address the question of whether she said anything about her father's book. – Michael Hardy Jun 29 '17 at 18:33

It appears she had read the book, and her opinion on the subject changed during her life.

Information had been recorded within the church, and this book pgs 487-490, listed as a source from the wiki article, relates some of her story.

These annals always written by one of the Sisters relate the most important events which have happened in their convent and contain also a short biography of some of the religious.

Within their record, besides the story concerning the appearance of the apparition of St Joseph as related in the wiki article, contains the following passage:

...As she remarked to the Sisters "I was at this time an infidel. I had read only novels and the writings of rationalists and had heard nothing but evil spoken of the Catholic church."

So this strongly implies she would have read her fathers book, Reason, The Only Oracle of Man. It also points out that she thought of herself as being an infidel for her views then, so we can deduce she did agree with the views espoused in his book (during her youth) but in later adulthood had a different opinion on the matter (hence the infidel part).

I find no direct acknowledgement of her fathers book by title or author, but since most of the recorded record of her is from the Catholic period of her life, that probably makes sense.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.