References: "A Retrospect of Forty Years," by William Allen Butler, and "Our Navy and the West Indian Pirates," by C. F. Goodrich.
William Howard Allen was born July 8, 1790. His parents coming from the island of Nantucket had settled at Hudson, N.Y., at the head of ship navigation on the Hudson River. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy as a midshipman in .1808 and was commissioned a lieutenant in 1813. He entered at once on active service in the war with England and was made third in command of the sloop-of-war Argus. This vessel of only 268 tons was destined to achieve a great naval reputation. It was commanded by Captain William Henry Allen, who was no relation of William Howard Allen.