Allston, Robert (Francis Withers)(1801–64) farmer, governor; born in Waccamaw, S.C. A West Point graduate (1821), he spent a year on the Geodetic Coastal Survey when family matters called him home to oversee the rice plantation. An innovative farmer, he improved cultivation methods and developed better varieties of seed, samples of which won medals at the 1855 Paris Exposition. In 1843 he published Memoir on Rice. In addition to farming, he was South Carolina's surveyor general (1823–27), a state representative (1828–30) and a state senator (1832–56) until he was elected governor (1856–58). As governor, he emphasized the importance of local taxation to supplement the support of schools.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.