Friday, February 6, 2015

Famous Black Firsts: Judge Macon Bolling Allen

Macon Bolling Allen was born on August 4th, 1816 and was the first Black that was license to practice law and to hold a judicial position here in America. He was born free and taught himself how to read and write growing up. His first job was as a teacher. Every sentence I just wrote is shocking considering what time period that was. After moving to Maine in the 1840's he began to study law and worked as a law clerk. After passing the bar exam he was given a license to practice law but couldn't really find any work since there were so few Blacks living in Maine at the time and White people were not having any of that. 

In 1845 he moved to Boston and after walking 50 miles to the bar exam testing site he passed the exam. The reason he walked so far was because he couldn't afford transportation. After having trouble making a living being a lawyer for a bunch of racists he decided to become a judge to make money. By 1848 he became a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex County. Mind you, at the time he was not even considered a US citizen yet he was now officially a judge. After the American Civil War he moved to South Carolina and opened a law office where within two years he went from being a judge in the Inferior Court to probate judge for Charleston County. He kept on practicing law until he died at the age of 78.

Click here for previous Famous Black Firsts.  

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