Richard Allen Essay

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LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN A BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY SUBMITTED TO DR. GREGORY TOMLIN IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHHI 692 DEPARTMENT OF CHURCH HISTORY BY SARA BALDWIN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 12, MARCH, 2010 Richard Allen was a regular man whose contributions greatly impacted American society. A self educated man, he was not a visionary nor did he enter this world privileged. Rather he was a man who knew what he believed and stood by those beliefs no matter what the consequences. He was an exemplary man by any standard, and influential for both black and white Americans both in his day and for years to come. BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY Richard Allen was born into slavery on February 14, 1760, in Philadelphia. Not much is known of his childhood, including the names and birthdates of his parents and siblings. However his father is said to have been of pure African descent while his mother was of mixed blood. At the time of Richard’s birth he and his family were owned by prominent local lawyer Benjamin Chew. However, poor economic conditions and increasing competition from younger lawyers brought about a decline in Chew’s law practice by the latter part of the decade. In order to prevent public embarrassment to his family he was forced to sell six members of the Allen family; father, mother, and four children including young Richard. The Allen family was sold as a unit which was untypical in those days, as families were usually broken apart and sold off as individuals. The new owner of the Allen family was a man named Stokeley Sturgis who farmed in Kent County near Dover, Delaware. Eventually Stokeley also ran into economic difficulties and sold Allen's parents and three of his younger siblings. He kept only the three older children: Richard, a brother, and a sister. Richard lived and worked on the
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