James C. Allen

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James Cameron Allen
James C. Allen.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by Samuel W. Moulton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – July 18, 1856
Preceded by Richard Yates
Succeeded by Vacant
In office
November 4, 1856 – March 3, 1857
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Aaron Shaw
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1822-01-29)January 29, 1822
Shelby County, Kentucky
Died January 30, 1912(1912-01-30) (aged 90)
Olney, Illinois
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Ellen Kitchell
Julia Kitchell
Children 3 children by his first marriage, 7 by his second
Occupation Attorney, Judge

James Cameron Allen (January 29, 1822 – January 30, 1912) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Shelby County, Kentucky to Benjamin and Margaret (née Youel) Allen, the seventh of ten children.[1] His family moved to Parke County, Indiana in 1830.

Allen read law in the office of Howard & Wright in Rockville, Indiana, and in August, 1843, He was admitted to the bar and began to practice in Sullivan, Indiana.[1] He served as prosecuting attorney for the seventh judicial district of Indiana 1846-1848 before moving to Palestine, Illinois, where he continued to practice law. He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1850 and 1851.

Allen was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855). When he presented his credentials as a Member-elect to the Thirty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1855, to July 18, 1856, the House decided he was not entitled to the seat due to a challenge by Colonel W.B. Archer, who claimed there were irregularities in the election.[1]

Allen was subsequently elected to fill the vacancy thus caused and was allowed to serve from November 4, 1856, to March 3, 1857. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1856. Following his term in office, he served as the Clerk of the House of Representatives in the Thirty-fifth Congress from 1857 to 1859.[2] He was an unsuccessful candidate for Illinois Governor in 1860, losing to Richard Yates.[3]

In 1861 Governor Yates offered Allen the command of the Twenty-first Illinois Regiment of Infantry. Allen declined, claiming no military experiences and recommended that the command be offered to Ulysses S. Grant.[1]

Allen was elected circuit court judge in April 1861 and served until he resigned in 1863 to serve a second term in Congress during the Thirty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1864 and returned to Illinois to practice law.

He was reelected circuit court judge in 1873 and upon the establishment of the appellate court was appointed its judge, occupying both positions and serving from 1873 to 1879.

Private life[edit]

Allen married Ellen Kitchell on January 22, 1845, to Ellen Kitchell, the daughter of Joseph Kitchell. They had three children. Ellen Allen died in May, 1852. In June, 1857, Allen married Julia Kitchell, the daughter of Harvey Kitchell. He had seven more children with his second wife.[1]

He moved to Olney, Illinois, in 1876 and practiced law until he retired in 1907.

He died in Olney on January 30, 1912, the day after his 90th birthday, and is buried in Olney Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Biography of Hon. James Cameron Allen". Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  2. ^ "35th Congress (1857–1859)". Congress Profiles. US Congress. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  3. ^ "The History of Southern Illinois". Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Yates
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1853 – July 18, 1856
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th congressional district

November 4, 1856 – March 3, 1857
Succeeded by
Aaron Shaw
Preceded by
District elections
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865
Succeeded by
Samuel W. Moulton

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.