Born into slavery in Philadelphia PA, owned by the Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Chew. Allen was sold with his family to Delaware farmer, Stokeley Sturgis, when Allen was seven years old. A decade later, Allen’s mother and three of his siblings were sold away from Delaware. In 1780, Sturgis had a religious conversion and allowed Richard and his remaining brother to work extra to pay for their freedom. Allen drove wagonloads of salt to the Valley Forge encampment. After the war, he became a Methodist preacher and founded the Free African Society in Philadelphia, which played such a crucial role during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. Allen later teamed up with Absalom Jones to found the African Methodist Episcopal church.

You can read more about Rev. Allen at Hotties of the American Revolution.

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