Page:The Biographical Dictionary of America, vol. 01.djvu/96

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ALLSTON.ALLSTON.


companion, and in the dark hours of his checkered career her faith in him and her devotion to him were the only ties that bound him to his fellow-beings. Subsequently, when her exiled father was weary of his four years' wanderings in foreign lands, it was through her eloquent appeals to Mrs. Madison, Secretary Gallatin, and other old-time friends, that the way was finally opened for his return to his America. The death of her son, in his eleventh year, before his grandfather's return, prostrated her completely. In the hope that the companionship of her beloved father would restore her broken health and spirit, her husband obtained passage for her to New York in the Patriot, a coasting schooner. The vessel was never heard from after its departure from Charleston, S. C, in December, 1813, and it was believed to have foundered off the coast of Hatteras. Some forty years afterward, however, a romantic story found credence and went the rounds of the press, to the effect that a dying sailor in Detroit had confessed that he had been one of a crew of mutineers, who, in January, 1813, took possession of the Patriot, bound from Charleston to New York, and compelled the crew and passengers to "walk the plank." Charles Burr Todd has written biographical "Sketches of Rev. Aaron Burr, D.D., Col. Aaron Burr, and Theodosia Burr Allston," published in New York, 1879.

ALLSTON, Washington, artist, was born at Brook Green Domain, in the district of Waccamaw, S. C, Nov. 5, 1779. When seven years of age he was sent to Newport, R. I., to prepare for college, and was graduated from Harvard in 1800. His talent for drawing manifested itself at an early age, and his chief pleasure was in drawing and sketching. His first essay at painting was a portrait of the eldest son of Dr. Waterhouse, professor of medicine at Harvard college; and this was followed by portraits of four members of the Channing family. He had no regular instructor in drawing or painting until after he went abroad in May, 1801. He studied in England at the Royal academy, and afterwards visited Paris, and then Rome, where he remained for several years, during which time he gained for himself a high reputation as a colorist. He was called the "American Titian," because of the wonderful wealth and harmony of his magical color combinations. In 1809 he returned to America and married Ann Channing, a sister of William Ellery Channing. After spending two years in America, he sailed for England in 1811, and established himself in London, where he entered upon a career of uninterrupted prosperity. Many of his pupils became artists of note; and he painted a number of subjects of great merit, among them: "Uriel in the Sun," "Jacob's Feast," and "The Dead Man Revived by Touching the Bones of Elijah," a picture which took a prize of two hundred guineas from the British institute, and was afterwards bought by the Philadelphia academy. His work at this period shows "high imaginative power, and a rare mastery of color, light and shade." He was most influenced and inspired by the Italian masters, though his principal teachers were West and Reynolds. In 1818 he returned to America, and established a studio in Boston, moving some years later to Cambridgeport, where he spent the remainder of his life. In 1819 he was made associate of the Royal academy. His second wife, whom he married in 1830, was a sister of Richard H. Dana. The choicest of his works during this period are in Boston, some belonging to the Museum of fine arts, and some to the private collections of the older families of the city. His "Spanish Girl," "Spalatro's Vision of the Bloody Hand," "The Death of King John," "Jeremiah," "The Witch of Endor," "Miriam and Rosalie," are best known in America. His "Belshazzar's Feast," a most ambitious undertaking, was left unfinished at his death, and became the property of the Boston Athenæum. Allston's writings display much talent, and his works in both prose and poetry have been highly praised by critics. His "America to Great Britain" was declared by Charles Sumner to be "one of the choicest lyrics in the language," and it was incorporated in "Sybilline Leaves." Some of his other works are: "The Sylphs of the Seasons," a poem read before the Phi Beta Kappa at Cambridge, and published in 1813; "The Paint King" and the "Two Painters," "Monaldi," a romance of Italian life (1841); "Lectures on Art and Poems" (1850). See "Ware's Lectures on the Works and Genius of Washington Allston" (Boston, 1852); and "Artist Biographies, Allston," by M. F. Sweetzer (Boston, 1879). He died in Cambridge, Mass., July 9, 1843.

ALLSTON, William, soldier, was born in Charleston, S. C, in 1757. He married a daughter of Rebecca Motte and was an extensive planter and slave-owner. During the revolutionary war, he served with distinction as captain under Marion, and subsequently was elected state senator, to which office he was many times re-elected. He served as presidential elector. His