- Mini Bio
- Name: Allen Allensworth
- Born: 7th April 1842, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
- Died: 14th September 1914, Monrovia, California, U.S.
- Occupation: Slave, soldier and chaplain
- Rank: Lt Colonel in the U.S. army
- Infamous for: Escaping slavery and joining the Union army
- Trivia: The town of Allensworth in the Tulare county in California was founded by him
"Can I be of any service to your committee as a speaker driving the campaign?"
From a letter to R. F. Jones, Chairman of the Republican Committee
"Every action during his administration [Lincoln], the most trying and turbulent in our history, has been weighed in the balance with critical accuracy by those most conversant with the momentous affairs of the nation"Allen Allensworth
"Well sir, if that's the way you insult a gentleman, I don't want to stop in your hotel. Return my money and I will leave"
Said to the clerk of the Blossom House Hotel in Kansas City
"A great deal has been said and written about the causes that operate against our success in competing with the white man for an equal chance in the race of life"Allen Allensworth
"We have among us as leaders men who feast and fatten upon credulity and generosity. Some of the most vicious of the country are our reputed leaders"Allen Allensworth
"We must improve our social status, we must have social distinctions; we must draw the line between the refined and the unrefined"Allen Allensworth
"We have no rigid rule of exclusion by which our homes and families may be protected against the incursions of fat indolents and dangerous libertines"Allen Allensworth
"I wrote your committee some time ago tendering my services as a speaker. My letter seems to have been treated with contempt"Allen Allensworth
"We should refute the white man's slander; 'all coloured people are alike'."Allen Allensworth
"We hold to many false ideas and practices in social life, that militate against us more than any other social factor"Allen Allensworth
"It is a mistake for your committee to ignore the services of a number of serviceable colored speakers from the South"Allen Allensworth
"With peace came a change of public sentiment. The north became charitable. The south had not suffered in vain"Allen Allensworth
"The war of the Rebellion, was unprecedented in all the annals of war in the history of the civilized world"Allen Allensworth
"Create sentiment favorable to intellectual and industrial liberty"Allen Allensworth
"All the laws against us are merely public opinion in legal forms"Allen Allensworth
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Allen Allensworth Biography
The Allen Allensworth story is one of hope reigns eternal and the universe giving him exactly what he wanted, freedom and the ability to earn his own keep. During the American civil war he secretly enlisted with the 44th Illinois Volunteers after they set up camp nearby his masters house while marching on the confederates.
The irony of being able to join your slave masters enemy must have been very self satisfying for a man who was born into servitude. He saw out the war first with his army unit and then joined the Union navy for 2 years.
After the war he joined the baptist church and years later he became a chaplain in the U.S. army with what was known as the buffalo soldiers or an all black regiment. He rose to the rank of Lt Colonel before retiring from service.
Not content with his lot so far he then established the town of Allensworth in Tulare county which was the first black only funded and built settlement in California. It was challenge finding letters with words attributed to him, so far my compilation is 15 of the best Allen Allensworth quotes.
Quotes About Allen Allensworth
The author John Steven McGroarty described him thus:
"Born in slavery and sold as a human chattel on the block of the slave market of Henderson, Kentucky, this man fought his way with a dogged persistence and a sublime courage to a place of peerage in the affairs of the nation that had shackled himself and his fathers"
The author Charles Alexander was impressed to say:
"The slow, steady climb up from the lowly estate of slavery to one of the most honorable positions in the gift of a great nation, the reward of merit, required something more than mere physical effort. This climb required, first of all, character. Colonel Allen Allensworth has won his victories; and the future generations must know about them. They will afford inspiration to the ambitious"
A Brigadier General in the U.S. army, J. Milton Thompson wrote in a letter to Allensworth:
"Referring to your service in the Army, I desire to go on record as saying that I consider you the most all round efficient Chaplain I have known in the Army during my entire service. For years you have retained the respect of officers and men with whom you have been associated. You have at all times worked for the improvement of your regiment and the service"