Student compositions of Washington Allston, 1799

About this Collection

Allston, Washington , 1779-1843
Harvard students' essays.Poems-1799.Harvard students' poems.
Collection Title
Student compositions of Washington Allston, 1799
.02 cubic feet (2 folders)
Harvard University Archives
To cite this material, use the information provided in the "Cite" tab in the top menu of the viewer with the digitized image. Please also add Colonial North America at Harvard Library to each citation.
Harvard University--Curricula
Harvard College (1780- ).
Conduct of life--Early works to 1800

Content Notes

Handwritten essay about procrastination and a poem celebrating spring composed by Washington Allston while he was an undergraduate at Harvard. The essay uses a story about a young Italian named Bernardo to discuss the consequences of procrastination. The essay is labeled “Allston Novem. ’99" and is titled with a quote from Edward Young's poem "The Complaint," “Procrastination is Theif [sic] of time.” Allston’s poem celebrates spring and incorporates Phillida and Corydon, two characters from Nicholas Breton’s poem “Phillida and Cordion.” The poem is titled with the verses, “Chief, lovely spring, in thee, and thy soft scenes, / The smiling God is seen” from James Thompson's poem “Spring.” The poem is labeled "Allston July 10, 1799."

Biographical Notes

Washington Allston (1779-1843), an influential American painter and poet, was born on November 5, 1779 in Waccamaw Parish, South Carolina. He received an AB from Harvard in 1800. Allston was admitted to the Royal Academy in London in 1801 and traveled through Europe before settling in London. Allston was a well-known painter when in 1813 he published his first book of poetry, The Sylphs of the Seasons, with Other Poems. In 1818, Allston returned to the United States and lived in Cambridge, Mass. until his death on July 9, 1843.