Allen, Abram

1795 - 1867

Abram Allen was a Methodist minister in Craven and later Beaufort County, North Carolina. He officiated the wedding of Ephraim and Rosetta Crandall at Rosedale Plantation in 1844. In an 1894 affidavit, Elizabeth W. Blount described Allen as "a highly respected colored man . . . always free who lived in this town."

In the 1850 census, there is a free "mulatto" man named Abraham Allen, born around 1795 and a resident of Washington, North Carolina. A brickmason, this Abraham Allen enslaved two people, ages 18 and 15, in 1850. In May 1840, Allen put out a notice in the Newbern Spectator offering a reward for the capture of Richard Johnston, a seventeen-year-old apprentice named Richard Johnston who was then learning the plastering and bricklaying trades from Allen.

A February 8, 1856, article from the Raleigh-based Christian Advocate recounted the history of Methodism in the state and described Abram Allen thusly: "We are informed that at that period, Abram Allen, a colored preacher from Newbern, became a most successful instrument in proclaiming a free salvation to those of his race who were privileged to hear him, and that a considerable gathering-in of bond and free witnessed to the efficacious, saving excellency of the Christian religion. Three years thereafter, in 1827, the colored membership of the M. E. Church in Washington numbered more than two hundred; a most astonishing success, certainly, when we consider the shortness of time in which the work was performed. Abram Allen continued, we believe, to exercise the immunities of his office until set aside by civil appointment: he is still living among us."

Upon his death in 1867, a eulogist, John S. Long of Washington, described Allen as having a "wide-spread reputation by his friendship for the Southern cause, and his fidelity to the State." Long intimated that Allen's loyalty to the Confederacy was so strong that during the Civil War, Allen was abandoned by his wife and children as a result. Long also stated that Allen was spared assassination by the protection of military governor Edward Stanley. [See "Uncle Abram Allen," from the Raleigh Sentinel, 23 August 1867.]