Samuel Perkins Allison was the son of Colonel William Allison (1810-1834) of Tennessee, and his wife, Louisa Perkins (1811-1831). Both mother and father are buried in the Allison Cemetery in College Grove, Williamson County, Tennessee. Because both of his parents died before he was 9, Samuel was raised by his paternal grandmother, Nancy Ogilvie Allison. At age 16, Samuel attended the University of Virginia in session 20 (1843-1844), and studied Ancient Languages, Mathematics, and Chemistry. While he was at U.Va. his guardian was an uncle, Thomas F. Perkins, who resided in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee. (Findagrave.com; U.Va. Matriculation books)
After his year at U.Va., Allison attended Yale University from 1844 through 1847. During his time there he was a member of the secret society Psi Upsilon and the literary society Calliopean. (Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, 1701-1901; Jubilee Anniversary Report of the Class of 1847, Yale University, 1847-1897.)
After his graduation from Yale, Samuel Allison was admitted to the bar, and returned to Tennessee to practice law in Nashville. During his brief law career, Allison became well known and respected in Nashville. In 1854, he was a delegate to the Great Southern Convention (a convention on business issues) in Charleston, SC. “He was a Democrat in politics, and the unsuccessful opponent against the Hon. Felix K. Zollicoffer in one candidacy for Congress.” (Jubilee Anniversary Report of the Class of 1847, Yale University, 1847-1897, p. 364) The city was shocked at the news of his death from tuberculosis at age 31. He had never married. Allison is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, TN.
- “Article IX. Great Southern Convention in Charleston.” DeBow’s Review, v. 16, new series, v. 2. New Orleans, 1854, p.632-633.
- Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, 1701-1901. New Haven, Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1901, p. 99, 302.
- Chapin, Henry Barton, editor. The Jubilee Anniversary Report of the Class of 1847, Yale University, 1847-1897. New York, 1897, p. 11, 95-96, 364.
- “Died [Samuel P. Allison],” Nashville Patriot (TN), 2 Apr. 1858, p. 3.
- Ogilvie Kith and Kin, v. 25.
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.