William Allen

William Allen

Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, USA
Death 11 Jul 1879 (aged 75)
Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, USA
Burial Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, USA
Plot section 5
Memorial ID 7556 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Ohio Governor, US Senator, US Congressman. Born in Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, he was orphaned as a young child and moved in with his older sister at Lynchburg, Virginia. He attended private schools and moved to Chillicothe, Ohio in 1819 to attend the Chillicothe Academy. He studied law under Colonel Edward King and was admitted to the bar in 1827. He commenced to practice as an attorney in Chillicothe and became a skilled orator as a debater and public speaker. Elected as a Jacksonian to represent Ohio's 7th District in the United States House of Representatives, he served from 1833 to 1835. Allen was unsuccessful as a candidate for reelection in 1834 and resumed his legal profession in Chillicothe. He was elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1836, was reelected in 1843, and served from 1837 to 1849. As Senator, he became Chairman for the Committee on Foreign Relations and was an advocate of Western expansion. He stirred political debate in the House and earned the nickname of "Earthquake Allen." He is credited with originating the slogan "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" referring to the annexation of the Oregon Territory. He was unsuccessful for reelection in 1849, returned to Chillicothe and was engaged in agricultural pursuits at his farm, "Fruit Hill." During the Civil War, he was a vocal critic of President Abraham Lincoln as a Peace Democrat and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1864. Allen was elected as Ohio's 31st Governor when he was 70 years old and served from 1874 to 1876. As Governor, he was an advocate of the unpopular Greenback Movement and threatened the use of Ohio Militia to quell rampant labor disputes and disturbances. He was unsuccessful as a candidate for reelection in 1875 and retired to his farm. He died at his residence in 1879 when he was 75 years old. A statue of him stands in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Allen County, Kansas is named for him. His father, Nathaniel Allen, was a Colonel for the United States during the Revolutionary War and a member of North Carolina's Convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Bio by: K Guy

Family Members




How famous was William Allen?

Current rating:

28 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 11 Dec 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7556
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Allen (27 Dec 1803–11 Jul 1879), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7556, citing Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .