Celebrating Black History Month – Macon Bolling Allen
In honor of National Black History Month, The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller is proud to feature African Americans that have impacted the nation through jurisprudence.
While the names of his parents and his date of birth are unknown, Macon Bolling Allen is thought to have been born around 1816 in Indiana. Initially denied from the Maine Bar because of issues with his state citizenship, Allen passed the examination for nonresidents in 1844 and became the first licensed African-American lawyer in the United States. He immediately moved to Massachusetts and began practicing law after being admitted to the Suffolk County Bar in 1845.
To supplement his career as an attorney, Allen became a justice of the peace in Massachusetts, making him the first African-American judicial official. He relocated to Charleston, South Carolina and helped form Whipper, Elliot, and Allen, the first known African-American law firm in the United States. Continuing his judicial aspirations, Allen was appointed Judge of Inferior Court of Charleston and eventually elected probate Judge of Charleston County. In 1868, Allan then moved to Washington D.C. where he was employed as a lawyer for the Land and Improvement Association until he died of unknown causes in 1894.