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Mon, 06.15.1772

Anthony D. Allen, Mariner born

Anthony D. Allen

*Anthony D. Allen was born on this date in 1772.   He was a Black mariner and businessman. 

From Schenectady, New York, he was owned by the Dougal family, his mother was their slave, and his father was a freeman and a mariner.   As a young man, he developed medical skills in Schenectady, where ill or injured seamen and sea captains could recuperate ashore.  As New York was a slave state until 1799, Allen was freed at 24.  

He fled to Boston and, like his father before him; he shipped out to China, the West Indies, and the Northwest Coast of America and finally to Hawaii, where he settled around 1810.   Many blacks found their way to the island kingdom after Western contact: stonemasons, tailors, cooks, teachers, laborers, and missionaries. They were received hospitably by the Indigenous Hawaiians, and some were taken under the care of chiefs.  

Allen was called Alani by the Native Hawaiians.  He served as steward to Kamehameha the Great and acquired a parcel of land from the High Priest Hewa Hewa, some six acres in Waikiki. Allen married a Hawaiian woman, three of their children survived into adulthood, and they had children.   Allen became a successful businessman and farmer. He kept his cattle and horses and, boarded others, ran a boarding house, a bowling alley, and a hospital. 

He was respected and admired by missionaries, other residents, visitors, and Native Hawaiians.  After a long and prosperous life, Allen suffered a stroke, died on December 31, 1835, and was buried near his Waikiki dwelling.  Marc Scruggs, a resident, researched and published his story in the 1992 Hawaiian Journal of History. 

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