William Francis Allen, 1830-1889
William Francis Allen was born in Northboro, Massachusetts on September 5, 1830. Allen was the son of a Unitarian minister. He graduated from Harvard College in 1851. In 1854, Allen went to Europe and studied in Göttingen, Berlin, and Rome, returning to Boston in 1856.
In November 1863, Allen began work on St. Helena Island in South Carolina under the employment of the Freedmen's Aid Commission. In 1867, Allen was appointed chair of ancient languages at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. During his tenure, Allen became known as a pioneer in the teaching of history by a topical system of study and reading the original sources. Allen was a prolific writer. William Francis Allen died on December 9, 1889.