James C. Allen (Allan), soldier and judge, was born in Kentucky and entered Texas as a first lieutenant with a battalion recruited in New York by colonels Edwin H. Stanley and Edwin Morehouse. This unit left New York on November 21, 1835, but did not reach Velasco until March 8, 1836, because the ship was seized by the United States Navy and held for fifty days. The battalion was assigned the job of escorting fleeing colonists to a safe place. By December 31, 1836, Allen was captain in command of Company B of the First Volunteer Regiment, under Col. Joseph D. Rogers. He received a bounty warrant for 1,280 acres for service from January 1, 1836, to January 16, 1838. He also received a headright grant of one-third league in Victoria County. On June 10, 1837, President Sam Houston nominated Allen for judge advocate general, but he was not confirmed by the Texas Senate. On November 10, 1837, he was nominated for chief justice of Refugio County; he was confirmed the next day but did not arrive at the post until the middle of 1838. In September 1839 it was reported to Secretary of War Albert Sidney Johnston that Allen was involved in cattle rustling. Allen served as chief justice in Refugio until March 30, 1840, when he resigned and moved to Victoria. His application there for the post of judge of the Fourth Judicial District was defeated in the Republic of Texas Senate. In 1847 he was mayor of Victoria and in 1848 was chosen an elector for the Whig party. On May 2, 1839, Allen married Catharine Hay. The census of 1850 indicates that he was forty years old at that time and had four children. Catharine Allen was alive during the Civil War. In 1878 two Victoria lots belonging to a James Allen were sold for unpaid taxes.
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Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970). E. W. Winkler, ed., Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Politics and Government
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
John G. Johnson,
“Allen, James C.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 21, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
July 30, 2020