Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ALLISON, Burgess, clergyman, born in Bordentown, New Jersey, 17 August 1753" died in Washington, 20 February 1827. He became a convert to the Baptist faith early in life, and began to preach when he was sixteen years old. He studied at Rhode Island College (now Brown University) in 1777, and subsequently had charge of a small congregation at Bordentown, New Jersey, where he established a classical boarding school, which attained great reputation. In 1796 he withdrew from his teaching and devoted his time for several years to inventing. Some improvements in the steam engine and its application to navigation are due to his efforts. In 1801 he resumed his school, and soon afterward his pastorate, but ill health compelled him to relinquish both. He was elected chaplain of the House of Representatives in 1816, and later became chaplain at the navy yard, Washington, where he remained until his death. Dr. Allison had considerable mechanical and artistical ability. He was for some time one of the secretaries of the American philosophical society, and was a constant contributor to periodical literature.
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