William Allen (biographer)

William Allen (biographer)

Infobox University President

width = 150px
name =Wiliam Allen

caption =
order =3rd
university =President of Bowdoin College
term_start =1820
term_end =1839
birth_date =1784
birth_place =
death_date =1868
death_place =
predecessor =Jesse Appleton
successor =Leonard Woods
alumnus =Harvard University
residence =
profession =
website =
footnotes =|

William Allen (1784-1868) was an evangelical Congregationalist.

He was born at Pittsfield, Mass., graduated at Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States in 1802 and after a few years of work became assistant librarian at Harvard. Became Pastor of Pittsfield 1810; and President of Bowdoin College 1820-1839. He was largely responsible for establishing the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College in 1820. He resigned in 1839. Died at Northampton in 1868

He prepared his "American Biographical and Historical Dictionary" (1809), the first work of general biography published in the United States. In 1810 he succeeded his father as pastor of the Church in Pittsfield. He was chosen president of Dartmouth University in 1818 and remained until the Dartmouth College Case extinguished the institution in 1819. In 1820 he went to Bowdoin College, over which institution he presided until 1839, when he resigned and devoted himself to literary studies. He collected 10,000 words not contained in standard dictionaries, and published them as a supplement to Webster's " Dictionary." tie wrote "Junius Unmasked," in which he sought to prove that Lord Sackville was the author of the Junius letters (Boston, 1828)" "Psalms and Hymns" (1835)" "Memoirs of Dr. Eleazer Wheeloek and of Dr. John Codman" (1853); "A Discourse at the Close of the Second Century of the Settlement at Northampton, Massachusetts." (1854)" " Wunnissoo, or the Vale of Housatonnuck," a poem (Boston, 1856)" a Dudleian lecture at Cambridge" a book of" Christian Sonnets" (NorthaInpton, 1860)" "Poems of Nazareth and the Cross" (1866); "Sacred Songs" (1867)" and numerous pamphlets, and contributed biographical articles to Sprague's "Annals of the American Pulpit." See his "Life, with Selections from his Correspondence" (Philadelphia, 1847). Some of the hymns, especially those about slavery, are curious.


cite book
last =Julian
first =John
authorlink =John Julian, D.D.
coauthors =
title =A Dictionary of Hymnology
publisher =John Murray
date =June, 1907
location =London
pages =50
url =
doi =
id =

cite web
last =George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives
first =Bowdoin College Library
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =William Allen, Administrative Records
work =
publisher =
date =
url =http://library.bowdoin.edu/arch/archives/wag.shtml
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-01-29


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