THE REVEREND THOMAS ALLEN (1743-1810)
The Reverend Thomas Allen, the fighting parson, was born on January 17, 1743 in Northampton, Massachusetts. At the age of 19 he graduated from Harvard, an outstanding classical scholar. Returning to his place of birth, he studied Theology under the Reverend John Hooker. He was ordained the first pastor of the First Congregational Church, Pittsfield, on April 18, 1764.
He served as chaplain to three Berkshire Regiments during the Revolution and was at Ticonderoga and at the Battle of Bennington where he lead a group of soldiers from Pittsfield.
At home he was a true leader too, inspiring his congregation with powerful sermons, unselfish examples of giving, and persuasive arguments for improving every man’s lot by better education and new schools. His struggles in the fight to achieve constitutional government in Massachusetts are less well known than his colorful career as the parson with a musket, but no less significant.
Allen and his wife had twelve children, ten of whom reached maturity. He died in Piffsfield at the age of 67 years.