Monday, July 27, 2020

Hornby on Macon Allen, Part I

D. Brock Hornby, a Senior District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, has posted History Lessons: Instructive Legal Episodes From Maine's Early Years — Episode 1: Becoming a Lawyer, which appeared in Green Bag 2d 23 (Spring 2020): 195-203
Macon Bolling Allen, the country's first African American lawyer, was admitted to the bar in Portland, Maine in 1844. Becoming a lawyer in antebellum America did not insulate Allen from racism. He faced financial hardship, hostility from white people, even assault. This article traces his career from Portland to Boston and, later, to South Carolina and Washington, D.C., as Allen built a career as a lawyer and also became the first African American to hold a U.S. judicial office. It is the first in a two-part series recounting early civil rights episodes in Maine’s history on the occasion of the state's bicentennial.
--Dan Ernst