Macon B. Allen
(1816-1894) Macon B. Allen was the first African American lawyer to be admitted to a state bar, and the first African American to hold a judicial position in the United States. Little is known about Allen’s early life, except that was born in Indiana in 1816 and learned to read and write on his own. Allen worked as a teacher, but moved to Maine in his late twenties, serving there as an apprentice in a law firm.
After passing the Maine Bar Exam in 1844, Allen could not find work because of his race. He moved to Boston, where he opened the first black law office in the United States. In 1848, Allen became Justice of the Peace for Middlesex County in Massachusetts. He later moved to South Carolina, where he was appointed as a judge in the Inferior Court of Charleston in 1873. He also served as Probate Judge of Charleston in 1874. Allen practiced law until his death in 1894.
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