William F. Allen (New York)

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For other people named William Allen, see William Allen (disambiguation).

William Fitch Allen (July 28, 1808 in Windham County, Connecticut – June 3, 1878 in Oswego, Oswego County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician.


He was the eldest son of Abner Harvey Allen and Cynthia Palmer, a sister of the mother of Sanford E. Church. He graduated from Union College in 1826. Then he studied law in the office of John C. Wright at Esperance, New York, and in the office of C. M. and E. S. Lee at Rochester, New York. He was admitted to the bar in 1829, and commenced practice in partnership with George Fisher at Oswego until 1833. In 1834, he formed a partnership with Abraham P. Grant which continued until his election to the New York State Supreme Court.

He was a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly in 1843 and 1844. From 1845 to 1847, he was United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York. He was a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1847 to 1863, and sat ex officio on the Court of Appeals in 1854 and 1862. In 1863, he removed to New York City and resumed the practice of law.

He was New York State Comptroller from 1868 to 1870. He had been re-elected in 1869, but resigned in July 1870 when he was chosen a judge of the New York Court of Appeals upon its re-organization after the amendment of the State Constitution in 1869. He remained on the bench until his death in office.


  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • [2] Court of Appeals history
  • [3] Obit in NYT on June 4, 1878
  • Google Book The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 255, 351; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
  • [4] Bio at NYCoA history
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Hillhouse
New York State Comptroller
Succeeded by
Asher P. Nichols