Born at Waccanaw near Georgetown, South Carolina. Graduate of Harvard in 1800. He was a painter responsible for introducing the romantic style to the United States. In 1798 he became engaged but travel would postpone the wedding. He studied under Benjamin West in London in 1801. In 1803 he went to Paris and later Italy. He returned home in 1808 to marry Ann Channing, sister of William Ellery Channing, the founder of American Unitarianism, and a Harvard classmate.
In 1811 Allston and his wife went to England with their pupil Samuel F. B. Morse. Following the death of his wife he returned to the United States in 1818. The period 1811 to 1818 was his most prolific period. His second wife was Martha R. Dana, sister of novelist Richard Henry Dana. She was a cousin of his first wife. He died at Cambridgeport, Massachusetts.
Allston appears on one of three 63mm mint medals (Julian PE-3) produced for the American Art union. Dies were by Charles Cushing Wright.
bio: ApCAB; DAB; Drake; Fielding; NCAB 5; NYHSD; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-HSource credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies