Howard Allen – merchant ship master

After the USS CONNECTICUT was sold into private hands, she seemed to change ownership every year or so.  By 1802, the owners are Henry A. & John G. Coster, in partnership with Jordan Wright, all of New York.  They hired Howard Allen to be the ship master and sent him on a voyage to Calcutta, India.  By 1804, Howard Allen had become a part owner of the ship.

Howard Allen (sometimes found as “Hayward Allen”, although most records and his signature are as “Howard”) had been the captain of the packet ship MOHAWK which he had sailed to London, England in 1794, arriving in May.  In August, Allen returned to New York carrying dispatches from US Chief Justice and Diplomat John Jay, who himself was in London forging the treaty he became so well known for, and which directly led to the diplomatic crumbling with France which became the undeclared war called the Quasi-War.

Howard Allen is a reasonably common name for this era, so it took some serious digging to narrow the possibilities.  With the generous and invaluable help of Donna and Thomas McQuade, the three of us uncovered some data which aided in building a bio for this man.  He was born in Mansfield, Windham County (Tolland county after 1827), Connecticut on 19 July 1762.  He was the third child to Ebenezer Allen and Mary Hayward.  In the course of his sea-going vocation, he had traveled to Nantucket Island where he met, and married, Lydia Hussey on 21 October 1788.  They removed to Hudson, Columbia County, New York during the post RevWar migration of Nantucket families.  The only son of Howard and Lydia was William Howard Allen, a lieutenant in the US Navy, who supported his father; at some point, Howard and Lydia became estranged, and Howard’s prospects thin. While Lydia remained in Hudson with her adult children and family, Howard moved further west in Albany County, living as a border. Howard died on 29 September 1836 in Westerlo, Albany County, New York.

There is MUCH MORE to this story in my box on Howard, but for now this is the placeholder and a work in progress.  Do reach out if you have relevant questions or if you believe that you have information of direct interest.


Joseph Morneault