North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

Coming Soon

NC Architects and Builders is a growing system. We will post this entry as soon as it is ready.

Allen, John (fl. 1780s-1790s)

Variant Name(s):
  • John Allan
Birthplace: Unknown
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Builder
NC Work Locations:
  • Wilmington, New Hanover County
  • New Hanover
Building Types:
  • Public;
  • Residential


John Allen (fl. 1780s-1790s), builder, was cited as "Mr. Allen of the Town of Wilmington" when he was one of several men who bid on construction of the State House in Raleigh in June, 1792. He was evidently a builder of some stature and skill. Although Rhodham Atkins won the State House project, the legislative board paid Allen £25 in December for "making a Draught of a Governors House." John Allen appeared occasionally in Wilmington records, working on the city's market house (1788, 1789), selling a house on Princess Street (1789), and advertising for "one or two white journeymen carpenters who understand framing" (1795). He surely constructed some of Wilmington's late 18th century buildings, but none is known to survive. It is not known whether he was the same John Allen who took apprentices to the carpentry trade in Halifax County in 1785-1786.

Author: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

John Allen's Work Locations


  • James H. Craig, The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina, 1699-1840 (1965).
  • Legislative Papers, 110, 119, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Elizabeth Reid Murray Collection, Olivia Raney Library, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • "Report of commission establishing capitol," Secretary of State Miscellaneous Papers, Box 906, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Research Files, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Wilmington Chronicle and North Carolina Advertiser, Feb. 19, 1789; Sept. 24, 1795.

Brought to you by The NCSU Libraries and The NCSU Libraries Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center.

Please contact us with any additions, corrections, or updates.

Giving to the Libraries