Macon Bolling Allen was the first recorded licensed black lawyer in the US. He was a self-taught lawyer who gained his knowledge and legal skills by serving as an apprentice and law clerk to practicing lawyers in the pre-Civil War era. In 1868, Allen moved to South Carolina, where he became active in politics as a Republican. Allen became a partner in the first black law firm in the US. In 1872, he ran for secretary of state on a Republican ticket.