- Paul David Nelson
Allan, John (14 January 1746–07 February 1805), revolutionary war soldier, was born in Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Major William Allan, a British army officer, and Isabella Maxwell. In 1749, when Allan was only three years old, his father brought him and his mother to Nova Scotia to take part in founding the military colony of Halifax. After the dispersion of the Acadians in 1756, Allan’s father retired from the army and took up a tract of former Acadian land in Nova Scotia. Soon the elder Allan was a prominent and wealthy citizen of the province. In 1762 he sent John, his eldest son, to Massachusetts to round out the latter’s education. Much to his father’s chagrin, John Allan imbibed the political attitudes of the New England people and thus became an advocate of the old Whig cause against Britain. Upon his return to Nova Scotia, Allan settled down as a farmer and Indian trader; his business interests flourished, and soon he was wealthy. In 1767 he married Mary Patton, with whom over the next few years he had five children. He also served in positions of honor in his home county of Cumberland: clerk of the sessions and justice of the peace. Advancing to higher ranks, he was appointed clerk of the provincial supreme court, and from 1770 to 1776 he held a seat in the Parliament of Nova Scotia....