James Allen (highwayman)

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James Allen
Born 1809
?
Died 1837
Massachusetts State Prison, Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Other names George Walton, Jonas Pierce, James H. York, Burley Grove
Occupation highwayman
Known for 1837 deathbed confession to the warden published as the Narrative of the Life of James Allen.

James Allen (1809-1837), also known as George Walton, Jonas Pierce, James H. York, Burley Grove, was a Massachusetts highwayman in the early 19th century.[1]

One man fought back when Allen attempted to rob him, and that was John Fenno. After a prolonged life of banditry, Allen was eventually imprisoned in the Massachusetts State Prison, which opened in 1805, in Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts. He died in prison, and is remembered for delivering a deathbed confession to the warden in 1837, one copy of which was bound in the author's skin. This 40 page copy of the Narrative of the Life of James Allen, alias Jonas Pierce, alias James H. York, alias Burley Grove, the Highwayman, Being His Death-bed Confession to the Warden of the Massachusetts State Prison now belongs to the Boston Athenaeum.[2]

Other copies are extant and can be found in other libraries. A scan of the text is freely available from the Internet Archive. A transcript of the text has been made available by the Boston Athenaeum.

References[edit]

  1. ^ True Crime Compiled by Adam Gaffin
  2. ^ Allen, James. Narrative of the Life of James Allen, alias Jonas Pierce, alias James H. York, alias Burley Grove, the Highwayman, Being His Death-bed Confession to the Warden of the Massachusetts State Prison. Boston: Harrington and Co., 1837.

Bibliography[edit]

Allen, James. Narrative of the Life of James Allen, alias Jonas Pierce, alias James H. York, alias Burley Grove, the Highwayman, Being His Death-bed Confession to the Warden of the Massachusetts State Prison. Boston: Harrington and Co., 1837.