Edward John Allen (afterwards referred to as Edward Jay Allen) was born at No. 18 Cornelia St. in New York City (according to the family bible) and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Western University of Pennsylvania. At the age of 22 Allen went west over the Oregon Trail and took out a Donation Land Claim near the village of Olympia on the shores of Puget Sound. He was a delegate to the Monticello Convention that sent a memorial to the U.S. Congress urging the splitting of Washington and Oregon into two separate territories. In the spring of 1853 he was one of four scouts sent over Naches Pass to determine its suitability for a wagon road. That summer he was in charge of a work crew that began construction of the wagon road. The winter of 1853-54 he shared his Olympia cabin with Captain George B. McClellan and George Gibbs, and served as McClellan's private secretary. In the the summer of 1854 Allen went back to Naches Pass and improved the roughed-out wagon road. In August 1854 Allen took a break from road work and led the first party to successfully climb Mt. Adams. Allen returned to Pittsburgh in 1855 where he married Elizabeth Robinson on July 16, 1857. Allen was working as a railroad contractor in Virginia when the Civil War broke out. He volunteered on the staff of General Fremont and served in the Shenandoah Valley campaigns in the spring of 1862. In the summer of 1862 he recruited the 155th Regiment Pennsylvania infantry and was appointed Colonel. At the battle of Fredricksburg his unit lead a bayonet charge against Robert E. Lee's forces entrenched on Marye's Heights. After the battle of Gettysburg Allen was medically discharged from active duty with the army, but continued to serve as a civilian contractor. In 1866 he became the secretary/treasurer of the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company. In his later years he became involved with Ezra Meeker's efforts to memorialize the Oregon Trail. Edward had a life long love of poetry and in 1900 published a book of poems titled "Hiou Tenas Iktah" (meaning "A Lot of Trifles" in Chinook jargon). Edward Halkett Allen, not listed below, was born January 18, 1868.
Elizabeth Wilson Robinson Allen
1838–1915 (m. 1857)
Colonel Edward Jay Allen 1830-1915
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