Allen, William, 1704–80, American jurist, b. Philadelphia. He and his father-in-law, Andrew Hamilton, decided the choice of Philadelphia instead of Chester as provincial capital, and he helped finance the building of Independence Hall. Allen was (1750–74) chief justice of Pennsylvania, secured (1763) postponement of the sugar duties, and helped (1765) Benjamin Franklin in his efforts to have the Stamp Act repealed. He wrote The American Crisis (1774), containing a plan for colonial reconciliation with England. When it was not accepted, he made his home in England. Allentown, Pa., was named for him.
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