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William Allen


In office
January 12, 1874 – January 10, 1876
Lieutenant Alphonso Hart
Preceded by Edward F. Noyes
Succeeded by Rutherford B. Hayes

In office
March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1849
Preceded by Thomas Ewing
Succeeded by Salmon P. Chase

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1833 – March 3, 1835
Preceded by Samuel Finley Vinton
Succeeded by William K. Bond

Born December 18 or 27, 1803 (2010-12-18)
Edenton, North Carolina
Died July 11, 1879 (1879-07-12) (aged 75)
Political party Democratic

William Allen (December 18 or 27, 1803– July 11, 1879) was a Democratic Representative and Senator from the U.S. state of Ohio, as well as Governor of Ohio.

Allen was born in Edenton, North Carolina. His sister, Mary Granberry Allen, married Pleasant Thurman, and their son, Allen G. Thurman, followed in his uncle's footsteps, becoming a lawyer and politician. Allen moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1819 and he and his sister lived there together.

He served as a Representative from Ohio from 1832 to 1834, when he lost a bid for re-election, and Senator from Ohio from 1837 to 1849, losing a bid for a third term in 1848. Allen then retired to his farm, "Fruit Hill", near Chillicothe, Ohio, and did not return to public service for nearly a quarter century. He served as Governor of Ohio from 1874 to 1876. He unsuccessfully sought a second two-year term in an 1875 election.

While in the Senate, Allen was one of a group of Western Democrat expansionists who asserted that the U.S. had a valid claim to the entire Oregon Country, which was an issue during the 1844 U.S. presidential election. He suggested that the United States should be prepared to go to war with the United Kingdom in order to annex the entire Oregon Country up to Russian-owned Alaska at latitude 54°40′N (fifty-four forty). This position ultimately produced the famous line "54 40 or fight!", coined in 1846 by opponents of such a policy (not, as popularly believed, a slogan in the Presidential campaign).

William Allen is one of Ohio's statues donated to the National Statuary Collection. He stands in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.

Allen is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe.

External Link

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel Finley Vinton
U.S. Representative from Ohio,
7th District

1833–1835
Succeeded by
William K. Bond
United States Senate
Preceded by
Thomas Ewing
United States Senator (Class 3) from Ohio
1837–1849
Served alongside: Thomas Morris, Benjamin Tappan, Thomas Corwin
Succeeded by
Salmon P. Chase
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward F. Noyes
Governor of Ohio
1874–1876
Succeeded by
Rutherford B. Hayes
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