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This Day in Georgia History

May 30, 1907

Young John Allen Died

Missionary Young John Allen died in Shanghai, China. Born Jan. 3, 1836, in Burke County, Georgia, Allen was orphaned as an infant, but his father’s estate provided for his education. He attended Emory College, where he was profoundly affected by several campus revivals. In 1859 he and his family embarked for China with a small group of Methodists. China was racked by the Taiping Rebellion, while the Civil War back home left the small mission group on their own financially. Allen traded in coal and rice to help support the mission. He also learned Chinese and worked as both a teacher and interpreter. His work work helped spread the Christian gospel to thousands of Chinese, and eventually to Japan and Korea as well. Allen edited several periodicals, most notably the newspaper Review of the Times, which circulated among the more influential society members - including the imperial courts of China, Japan, and Korea. Allen also penned or translated some 250 pieces of literature. In 1906, Allen visited the South, where he spoke at the Methodist Conference in Birmingham, Ala. In his speech, later published as “The Gospel Liberating China,” Allen foresaw the revolutions that would sweep and change China. He returned to his mission in Shanghai, where he died the following year.