John J. Allen (judge)

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John J. Allen
President of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
In office
January 6, 1851 – February 8, 1865
Preceded by Henry St. George Tucker, Sr.
Succeeded by Richard C. L. Moncure
Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court
In office
January 6, 1841–February 8, 1865
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 20th district
In office
December 2, 1833 – March 3, 1835
Preceded by Robert Craig
Succeeded by Joseph Johnson
Member of the Virginia Senate
In office
Personal details
Born September 25, 1797
Woodstock, Virginia
Died September 18, 1871(1871-09-18) (aged 73)
Botetourt County, Virginia
Political party National Republican
Alma mater Washington College, Dickinson College
Profession lawyer, politician, judge

John James Allen (September 25, 1797 – September 18, 1871) was a Virginia lawyer, judge and political figure. He served in the Virginia Senate, the 23rd United States Congress, and as judge and President of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.


Allen was born at Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Virginia. His father was a distinguished lawyer and a judge of the circuit court. John Allen received his education at Washington College and at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He studied law with his father, passed the bar in 1818, and opened his first office in Campbell Courthouse, Virginia, in 1819. A short time later, he moved to Clarksburg where he practiced law for seventeen years.

In 1827, Allen was elected to the Virginia Senate and, in 1834, he became Commonwealth’s Attorney for the counties of Harrison, Lewis and Preston. At the same time, he was a member of the 23rd United States Congress from March 4, 1833 to March 4, 1835. Being appointed Judge of the seventeenth Circuit in 1836, he moved to Botetourt County where he held his first court. In December 1840 Judge Allen was elected a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals and, in 1851, became President of the Court when it was reorganized again. As President of the Court, Allen was a strong supporter of the concept of secession. He resigned from the Court in April 1865 and retired to private life in Botetourt County, where he died in 1871.


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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Craig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph Johnson