Richard Allen, my 5th great-grandfather, was born on November 26, 1741, in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of John (1717-1767) and Ann (1722-1746), Rhodes Allen. His family moved to Rowan County, North Carolina in 1743 and his mother died there in 1746. By 1759 we find him living in Fredrick County, Virginia. Richard was the youngest of nine children born to John and Ann and the family was considered to be poor. When he and Miss Lindsey fell in love, her father, who was wealthy, opposed the marriage. The young lovers persisted, and he married Nancy Ann Lindsey in 1763 in Virginia, and they had 8 known children, 5 sons, and 3 daughters. After the birth of their first child, Thomas (my 4th great-grandfather) in September of 1770, they again moved, this time back to North Carolina to avoid the ill will of her family.
In the month of October 1775, he entered the service of the Patriots as a volunteer for six months in Capt. Jesse Walton’s Company of minute men. It was the first company ever raised in the county of Wilkes. He was appointed First Sergeant. Immediately after the company was raised and organized they marched to Salisbury, where they remained about sixteen days engaged in training and exercising the men, after which they were discharged and returned home, where they arrived a few days before Christmas.
On the 13th day of February 1776, they set out upon their march for Cross Creek because they had heard that the Scotch Tories were committing great devastation in the country there. On their way, they were joined by Col. Martin Armstrong with the Surry militia at a place called old Richmond. After joining Col. Armstrong they continued their march until they reached Randolph County, where they were joined by Col. Alexander Martin of the Continental line with a small body of troops under his command. They engaged the Tories that were in this area.
Not long after the expiration of his first term Richard was chosen an ensign in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Benjamin Cleveland and they received orders from Col. Armstrong to go against the Indians who were committing acts of destruction upon the frontier of the Western part of North Carolina. In this expedition, they served about two weeks scouring the frontier settlements for any problems.
Early in the year 1778, Captain Benjamin Cleveland was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel and Richard was appointed to succeed him as Captain of the company which commission he held until the close of the war. In the latter part of the year 1779, a call was made for troops to march to the defense of Charleston. A draft was made from the militia in Wilkes for the company and a draft also made from the Captains of Companies for a Captain to command that company. The lot fell upon Richard, and he rendezvoused with the company on January 13, 1780. As soon as they could organize and make the necessary preparations they marched directly to Charleston, S. C., where they joined the third regiment of North Carolina militia, commanded by Col. Andrew Hampton.
Gen. Lincoln ordered all the troops into the city where they remained until the term of service of Richard and his men expired. They were then discharged and returned home, Richard arrived home sometime in the month of April 1780. In the month of September 1780, information was received by Col. Benjamin Cleveland that Major Ferguson of the British army was advancing from South Carolina with a large body of British and Tories, upon which Col. Cleveland immediately issued orders for all the Troops within the County of Wilkes to rendezvous at the Court House. Richard along with what men he could gather together immediately set out on their march to join the fight. At this time he was promoted to Colonel. They continued their march as quickly as possible in the direction of King’s mountain but was not able to reach it in time to engage in the battle. After this, Richard and his men again returned home to Rowan (now called Wilkes), County.
In 1778, Richard was a member of the Constitutional Convention in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Richard was also appointed the First Sheriff of Wilkes County after the end of the War. In 1785 he served as a justice in the county. In 1793, he was a Representative in the General Assembly as well as serving a term in the House of Commons. Beginning in 1798 through 1804, Richard was once again made Sheriff of Wilkes County. He then served as the clerk for the Baptist Association until his death on October 10, 1832, in Edwards Township, Wilkes Co, North Carolina at the age of 90.
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