Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ALLEN, Henry Watkins, soldier and statesman, born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, 29 April 1820; (1. in the city of Mexico, 22 April 1866. His father, a physician of note, removed to Lexington, Mo., while Henry was young. The latter, at his solicitation, was taken from the shop where he was employed and placed in Marion College, No., but, in consequence of a dispute with his father, he ran away and became a teacher in Grand Gulf, Bliss. Then he studied law, and was in successful practice in 1842 when President Houston called for volunteers in the Texan war against Mexico. He raised a company, and acquitted himself well during the ,campaign, then resumed his practice in Grand Gulf, and was elected to the legislature in 1846. lie settled a few years later on an estate in West Baton Rouge, and was elected to the Louisiana legislature in 1853. A year later he went to Cambridge University to pursue a course of legal studies. In 1859 he went to Europe with the intention of I aking part in the Italian struggle for independence, but arrived too late. Hie made a tour through Europe, the incidents of which are recounted in "'gravels of a Sugar Planter." He was elected to the legislature during his absence, and on returning 1ook a prominent part in the business of that body. He had been a Whig in politics, but had joined the .Democratic Party when Buchanan was nominated for president in 1856. When the civil war broke out he volunteered in the confederate service, was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel, and was stationed for some time at Ship island. He was subsequently made colonel of the 4th Louisiana regiment, and was appointed military governor of Jackson. He fought gallantly at Shiloh, where he was wounded. At Vicksburg he rendered important service in the construction of fortifications, a part of the time under fire. At the battle of Baton Rouge he commanded a brigade, where he was badly wounded in both legs by a shell. On his recovery he was commissioned a Brigadier-General, in September 1864, ..and almost immediately afterward was elected governor of Louisiana. He arranged to have the cotton tax to the confederate government paid in kind, and opened a route by which cotton was exported through Texas to Mexico, and medicine, clothing, and other articles introduced into the state. These necessities were sold at moderate prices and given to the poor. In the suppression of the manufacture of liquor and other similar measures Governor Allen exercised dictatorial powers. After the war he settled in Mexico and established am English paper, the "Mexican Times." See "Recollections of Henry W. Allen," by Sarah A. Dorsey (New York, 1867).
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