1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Allison, William Boyd

ALLISON, WILLIAM BOYD (1829-1908), American legislator, was born at Perry, Ohio, on the 2nd of March 1829. Educated at Allegheny and Western Reserve Colleges, he studied law, and practised in Ohio until 1857. In that year he settled in Dubuque, Iowa, where he took a prominent part in Republican politics; and in 1860 he was a delegate to the national convention at Chicago which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. In 1861 he was appointed a member of the staff of Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood (1813-1894), and was of great service in the work of equipping and organizing the Iowa volunteers. From 1863 until 1871 he served with distinction in the House of Representatives; in 1873 he was elected to the United States Senate, and re-elected in 1878, 1884, 1890, 1896 and 1902. Here he became one of the highest authorities on questions connected with finance, and from 1877 he was a member of the Senate committee on finance. In 1881-1893, and again from 1895, he was chairman of the committee on appropriations, in which position he had great influence. He declined offers of the secretaryship of the treasury made to him by Presidents Garfield and Harrison. He was a prominent candidate for the presidential nomination in the Republican national conventions of 1888 and 1896. In 1892 he was chairman of the American delegation to the International Monetary Conference at Brussels. He died at Dubuque, Iowa, on the 4th of August 1908.