Philip Allen (politician)

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Philip Allen
Philip Allen (politician).jpg
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
July 20, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Preceded byJohn H. Clarke
Succeeded byHenry B. Anthony
22nd Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 6, 1851 – July 20, 1853
LieutenantWilliam B. Lawrence
Samuel G. Arnold
Preceded byHenry B. Anthony
Succeeded byFrancis M. Dimond
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1785-09-01)September 1, 1785
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
DiedDecember 16, 1865(1865-12-16) (aged 80)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Resting placeNorth Burial Ground
Providence, Rhode Island
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Phoebe Aborn
RelationsThomas W. Dorr (nephew)[1]
Alma materCollege of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
ProfessionPolitician, Manufacturer

Philip Allen (September 1, 1785 – December 16, 1865) was an American manufacturer and politician from Rhode Island. He served as Governor of Rhode Island and as a Democratic member of the United States Senate.

Early life[edit]

The storehouse of Allen's mill in Smithfield in 2013.

Allen was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Zachariah Allen and Nancy Crawford Allen.[2] He was educated by private tutors and attended Taunton Academy and Robert Rogers School in Newport, Rhode Island.[3] In 1803, he graduated from the College of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the former name of Brown University) at Providence.[4] After graduation, he engaged in mercantile pursuits and foreign commerce before becoming a manufacturer of cotton goods in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He was president of the Providence Insurance Company, and in 1831 he began manufacturing cotton goods in Providence.[5]

Political career[edit]

He began his political career as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, serving from 1819 to 1821.[6] In 1827, he was appointed pension agent and president of the Rhode Island branch of the United States Bank.[7]

Allen was elected as the Democratic Governor of Rhode Island in 1851.[2] He served as Governor until 1853, when he resigned that office after being elected to represent Rhode Island in the United States Senate.[5] Allen served in the Senate from July 20, 1853 to March 3, 1859, and was Chairman for the Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during the Thirty-third Congress and the Thirty-fourth Congress.[8][9] He was not a candidate for renomination, and retired from politics and business in 1859.

He died in Providence on December 16, 1865,[4] and is interred in the North Burial Ground in Providence.[10]

Family life[edit]

He married Phoebe Aborn in 1815, and they had eleven children.[7]


In 2016, Allen was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Inductee details: Senator Philip Allen". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
  2. ^ a b National biographical publishing Company (1881). The Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island, Page 1, Issue 281. National biographical publishing Company. p. 218.
  3. ^ Appleton, D. (1866). The American Annual Cyclopædia and Register of Important Events ...: Embracing Political, Civil, Military, and Social Affairs; Public Documents; Biography, Statistics, Commerce, Finance, Literature, Science, Agriculture, and Mechanical Industry. D. Appleton. p. 21.
  4. ^ a b Brown University (1905). Historical Catalogue of Brown University. Brown University. p. 93.
  5. ^ a b Capace, Nancy (2001). The Encyclopedia of Rhode Island. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 180.
  6. ^ "CHAIRMEN OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION AND FORESTRY, 1825 - 1997". U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  7. ^ a b White, J. T. (1899). The National cyclopedia of American biography, being the history of the United States as illustrated in the lives of the founders, builders, and defenders of the republic, and of the men and women who are doing the work and moulding the thought of the present time, Volume 9. J. T. White. p. 399.
  8. ^ "The Committee is Created". U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "CHAIRMEN OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION AND FORESTRY, 1825 - 1997". U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried: A Directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries, with Listings of Many Prominent People who Were Cremated. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 432.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Henry B. Anthony
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Francis M. Dimond
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John H. Clarke
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
July 20, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Served alongside: Charles T. James and James F. Simmons
Succeeded by
Henry B. Anthony