Thanks to Allen Street advocate Justen Ladda:
An excerpt from “The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan’s Street Names and Their Origins ” by Henry Moscow( Fordham University Press 1990):
The Namesake: Captain William Henry Allen, youngest skipper in the Navy in the War of 1812, and one of the most gallant. He died in action at the age of 29.
A midshipman at 16, Allen first served in the war of 1812 as a lieutenant to Stephen Decatur. New York gave him a hero’s welcome on New Year’s Day, 1813, when he brought the British ship Macedonian into the harbor as a prize. Promoted to command the brig Argus, Allen transported William H. Crawford to France to serve as American minister there, then roamed the English Channel for enemy craft. He captured twenty in a month, the last, unfortunately, a wine ship. When the British brig Pelican caught up with Argus on August 14, 1813, Allen’s crew had a monumental, mass hangover. The first ball fired by Pelican carried away one of Allen’s legs, but he refused to go below. He died the next day.
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