Date of this Version
James Thomas Allan, the only child of James and Jean Bowman Allan, was born in Pontiac, Oakland county, Michigan, Saturday September 30, 1831.
From his Scotch father he inherited a strong intellect and a tenacity of opinion, which was chastened and refined by his more sympathetic English mother, while from both he received a reverence and faith in a higher power, which in times of deepest gloom never wavered.
His education was principally in the academy of his native city. There he earned the reputation of a scholar, not only in the English branches, but also in the Greek and Latin languages, of which he was especially fond. To further satisfy his desire for knowledge, he taught school in Pontiac, after finishing at the academy. His parents had long cherished the idea of having their only son join the ministry, and for this purpose sent him at the age of eighteen to Princeton. Being too active for a sedentary life, and with ideas more liberal than the dark, austere creed of the Scotch Presbyterians of the day, he remained there but a short time.