Ebenezer Allen – Statesman, Entrepreneur, Spy

Ebenezer Allen is the subject of my new book. Allen is the namesake of Allen, Texas and an important historic figure in Texas. Allen lived in Texas from 1840 until 1861.

ALLEN, EBENEZER (1804–1863). Ebenezer Allen, early state official and railroad promoter, was born in Newport, New Hampshire, on April 8, 1804. Allen migrated to Texas in the 1830s. He became attorney general of Texas under Anson Jones in December 1844, served a while as secretary of state, and assisted Jones in framing the terms of annexation to the United States. He was attorney general under Governor Peter Hansbrough Bell from 1849 to 1853. In 1848 Allen was instrumental in securing the charter for the Galveston and Red River Railroad Company, and in the 1850s he was a promoter and manager of the Houston and Texas Central Railway. He supported secession and entered the Confederate service at the outbreak of the Civil War. He died in Virginia in 1863.<1>

My efforts have focused on gathering information about Allen from town histories and genealogical databanks. It is a long and tedious process and I have more questions than answers.

Please visit this page periodically to check on my progress and the latest information that I discovered about this fascinating Texas statesman, railroad entrepreneur, and Confederate spy.

Resources

May 2016 Update –  My research and writing are progressing steadily. I am investigating Ebenezer’s membership in the Masons. Following his mysterious death in Richmond, the Masons took charge of his body and buried him in Richmond. Hollywood Cemetery seems the most likely burial site. However, the cemetery has no information on his grave.

Ebenezer Allen’s list of associates reads like a who’s who of Texas. Among his contacts were:

July 2016 Update – Work is continuing on the biography of this fascinating Texan. I received several articles from the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, TX. I obtained an number of documents from Dr. Anson Jones’ Republic of Texas, its History and Annexation.  Thanks to the Mason Grand Lodge of Texas, I learned about Allen’s membership in the lodge in Clarksville, TX. Another letter has surfaced about the Allen family’s interest in Spiritualism. This one concerns hidden treasure stolen from the pirate Jean Lafitte.

August 2016 Update – We spent an intense day reviewing documents in the William G. Hale Papers at The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin. We found several interesting legal documents, but no personal letters.

<1> Handbook of Texas Online, Claudia Hazlewood, “Allen, Ebenezer,” accessed April 22, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fal18.

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