Chaplain, Military Person
1842 – 1914
Who was Allen Allensworth?
Allen Allensworth, born into slavery, escaped and became a Union soldier; later he became a Baptist minister and educator, and was appointed as a chaplain in the United States Army. He was the first African American to reach the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He planted numerous churches, and in 1908 founded Allensworth, California, the only town in the state to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.
During the American Civil War, he escaped by joining the 44th Illinois Volunteers and later served two years in the Navy. After being ordained as a minister, he worked as a teacher, studied theology and led several churches. In 1880 and 1884, he served as the only black delegate from Kentucky in the Republican National Conventions. In 1886 he gained an appointment as a military chaplain to a unit of Buffalo Soldiers and served in the US Army for 20 years, retiring in 1906.
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