From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Allensworth, Allen [Allensworth, California]

(born: 1842  -  died: 1914) 

Allen Allensworth was born a slave in Louisville, KY, the son of Levi and Phyllis Allensworth. He escaped and became a nurse during the Civil War and later joined the Navy and became a chief petty officer. After the war, he returned to Kentucky and became a schoolteacher, an ordained minister, and a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1880 and 1884. He was appointed chaplain of the 24th Infantry by President Cleveland and received promotion to lieutenant colonel. In 1890, Allensworth moved to California and established a company to assist African Americans in their migration to California. The town of Allensworth was developed, the first and still the only California town founded by African Americans. Today the area where the town once stood is Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park. Allen Allensworth was the husband of Josephine Leavell Allensworth, also a Kentucky native. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; "Rev. Allen Allensworth, A.M." on pp.198-199 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in KentuckyHistory of Allensworth, CAFriends of Allensworth; and for more about Allen Allensworth's military career see his entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier by F. N. Schubert.

See photo image of Allen Allensworth on p.189 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Allensworth, Josephine L.
NKAA Source: Dictionary of American Negro biography
NKAA Source: Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky: the story of 50 years' work from 1865-1915 including many photos and sketches, compiled from unpublished manuscripts and other sources
NKAA Source: On the trail of the buffalo soldier: biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Allensworth, Josephine L.
NKAA Entry:  Liberty Association - African American Baptists in Kentucky
NKAA Entry:  Skanks, Eva B. Allensworth
NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Scott County, KY

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Allensworth, Allen [Allensworth, California],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 31, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-06-17 13:19:58