Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ALLEN, William, clergyman and author, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2 January 1784; died in Northampton, Massachusetts, 16 July 1868. He was a son of the Rev. Thomas Alien, and was graduated at Harvard in 1802, and licensed to preach in 1804. He preached in western New York for some time, and was then elected a regent and assistant librarian of Harvard College. At Cambridge he prepared the first edition of the "American Biographical and Historical Dictionary," containing sketches of about 700 Americans (1809). A second edition was printed in 1832 with 1,800 names, and a third in Boston in 1857 containing nearly 7,000 in 1807 he wrote the notices of American clergymen contained in Bogue's "History of the Dissenters." In 1810 he succeeded his father as pastor of the Church in Pittsfield. He was chosen president of Dartmouth College in 1817. and in 1820 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).
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