Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ALLSTON, Robert Francis Withers, statesman, born in All Saints' parish, South Carolina, 21 April 1801; died near Georgetown, South Carolina, 7 April 1864. In 1821 lie was graduated at West Point, ranking so high in his class as to be assigned to the artillery; but after a year's service he resigned, and became a rice planter, civil engineer, and surveyor in South Carolina. From 1823 to 1827 he was state surveyor-general. In 1828 he was elected to the legislature, and in 1832 to the senate, of which he became successively acting president and president. (1847-'56). He was deputy adjutant-general in 1831-'38, trustee of South Carolina College, Columbia, 1841-'64, and governor of the state in 1856-'58. He was a progressive agriculturist, an active member of various societies, and the author of a "Memoir on Rice" (1843); "Report on Public Schools" (1847); and "Essay on Sea-Coast Crops" (1854). In politics he advocated state sovereignty. His study of rice-culture was of much advantage to that industry.
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