James Allen Photo

James Allen

Born: Feb 15, 1806

Death: Aug 23, 1846

Birthplace: United States of America

Nationality: United States

James Allen

Date of Birth : Feb 15, 1806
Date of Death : Aug 23, 1846
Birth Place : United States of America

James Allen was a U.S. Army officer who organized the Mormon Battalion and was commander of Fort Des Moines, the fort from which the City of Des Moines grew. He was also in charge of improvements to the harbor of Chicago as well as producing maps of the U.S. frontier. Allen was born in Ohio. He graduated from West Point in 1829. In 1832, he accompanied Henry Schoolcraft on an expedition to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which led to Allen producing the first accurate map showing the lakes and streams of the headwaters. In 1833 he was assigned to the First Regiment of Dragoons, where he served as an engineer in the exploration of the Indian country of the Southwest. Allen oversaw improvements to the harbor of Chicago in 1834. In 1842 he was transferred to Iowa, taking charge of the Sac and Fox Agency and then Fort Des Moines No. 2. After Fort Des Moines No. 2 was abandoned in 1846, it became the core of what is now the modern City of Des Moines. He was sent to Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, to a camp of homeless Latter-day Saints who had been driven from their homes by anti-Mormon mobs, to recruit a battalion of 500 men to fight in the Mexican-American War.

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