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Colonel John Allan M.P. J.P. (January 3, 1746 – February 7, 1805) was a Canadian politician who became an officer with the Massachusetts Militia in the American Revolutionary War.

Born in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland,[1] the son of Major William Allan (1720-1790), 'a Scottish gentleman of means and an officer in the British Army', by his wife Isabella, daughter of Sir Eustace Maxwell. The Allan family temporarily resided in Edinburgh Castle where they had sought refuge during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, under the Deputy Governor, General George Preston, Commander-in-Chief of Scotland. In 1749 his father arrived in the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a military capacity, where the family remained for ten years before moving to Fort Lawrence.

At Halifax, John Allan became a justice of the peace and clerk of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. He also represented Cumberland township in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1775 to 1776.

He came to Massachusetts to serve in the American Revolution in 1776, and rose to the position of colonel in the Massachusetts militia. Allan later took part in the negotiations to establish the boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. General George Washington appointed him Superintendent of the Indians of Eastern Maine. This did not bring him into the lime light of those times, although his duties were arduous and required skill, executive ability, keen foresight and sagacity, which attributes he possessed to a marked degree.

In executing this important mission he was not with any of the memorable battles of the Revolution and hence his name is not prominently inscribed upon the roll of the famous men of that great struggle. His services for the cause of the American Colonies again brings into prominence Passamaquoddy Bay and the historic town of Machias, that being his headquarters. He died in 1805.

Allan's sister, Elizabeth, married John George Pyke, a Nova Scotia merchant and politician.


  1. Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967. 

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