Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Allen University

Marker ID: SCHM 40-152
Location: 1530 Harden St., Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 00.646    W 081° 01.264
  34.01076666    -81.02106666
Style: Free Standing **


Allen University, chartered in 1880, was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. It had its origin in Payne Institute, founded in 1870 in Cokesbury, in Greenwood County. In 1880 the S.C. Conference of the A.M.E. Church voted to move Payne Institute to Columbia. It opened in Columbia in 1881 and was renamed in honor of Bishop Richard Allen (1760-1831), founder of the A.M.E. Church. The first university building on this site was in use by 1888.

Allen University, founded to educate ministers for the A.M.E. Church, also had primary and secondary courses, and college-level liberal arts courses. It also offered courses in the arts and had one of the few black law schools in the South before 1900. Its primary and secondary programs ended in the 1920s and 1930s. Allen was also a significant center for civil rights activities in Columbia from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Erected by the Historic Columbia Foundation, the City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation, 2011


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Wikipedia - Allen University
Wikipedia - Allen University