Allison, John (Congressman)

Born: 1812-08-05 Beaver, Pennsylvania

Died: 1878-03-23 Washington, DC

Flourished: 1812 to 1869 Pennsylvania

John Allison, manufacturer and politician, studied law and was admitted to the bar in his native Pennsylvania. Allison spent limited time in the legal profession and instead enjoyed a varied career in manufacturing and business pursuits, including hat-making and tanning. He described himself as a lumberman in the 1860 census. Allison was active in Whig politics in Pennsylvania, was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1846, 1847, and 1849, then served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1851 to 1853 and again from 1855 to 1857. Following the dissolution of the Whig Party, Allison became a Republican and acted as president of the first statewide Pennsylvania Republican convention in Republican National Convention in June 1856. As a delegate to the first Republican National Convention, he nominated Abraham Lincoln as a vice presidential candidate. He also served as a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention, where his preferred presidential candidate was William H. Seward. Allison was appointed an additional paymaster in 1861 and acted in this capacity through the end of the Civil War. He married Eliza Ann Adams in 1836 and the pair had seven children.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 573; Andrew N. Adams, comp., A Genealogical History of Robert Adams, of Newbury, Mass., and his Descendants, 1635-1900 (Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1900), 261, 429; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Beaver County, PA, 56; Proceedings of the First Three Republican National Conventions of 1856, 1860, and 1864 (Minneapolis, MN: Charles W. Johnson, 1893), 38, 61, 62; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Beaver County, PA, 15; John Allison to Abraham Lincoln; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 12:65, 154-55; The Philadelphia Inquirer (PA), 25 March 1878, 4:5; Gravestone, Beaver Cemetery and Mausoleum, Beaver, PA.