Born: February 12, 1816, Baltimore, Maryland.
Died: July 18, 1886, Calcutta (now Kolkata), India.
Buried: Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Charles was the son of James Dall and Henrietta Austin. He was adopted at age seven by his bachelor uncle and maiden aunt, William and Sarah Dall of Boston, Massachusetts.
He attended the Franklin School, and graduated from the Boston Latin School (1833), Harvard (1837), and the Cambridge Divinity School (1840).
Afterward, he worked as a minister at large. He was ordained an evangelist in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1841, and later continued this work in Baltimore.
In 1855, the American Unitarian Association commissioned Appleton as a missionary, and despite extremely poor health, he sailed from Boston to Calcutta in February of that year.
He was coughing blood during the voyage (tuberculosis?), but eventually reached India. Unconscious on arrival, he had to be carried ashore on a litter.
He recovered well enough to spend three decades laboring on the subcontinent. He inherited a large personal fortune, and spent nearly all of it on mission work.