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Charles Henry Davis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-104940).

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Davis, Charles Henry (16 January 1807–18 February 1877), naval officer and hydrographer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Davis, solicitor general of Massachusetts, and Lois Freeman, the sister of James Freeman, the first Unitarian minister in New England. Davis entered Harvard College in 1821 but left two years later to become a midshipman and did not complete his degree until 1841. From 1824 to 1840 Davis served in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the West Indies, the South Atlantic, and the Pacific; made warm friends, including ...

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Clarence Edward Dutton. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-37906).

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Dutton, Clarence Edward (15 May 1841–04 January 1912), geologist and soldier, was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Dutton (occupation unknown) and Emily Curtis. Little is known of Dutton’s youth. He graduated from Yale in 1860 without distinction, although he rowed crew, won the senior writing prize, and established credentials as a mathematician and a raconteur. He later spent two weeks at Yale’s theology school until, in his words, he left before he was thrown out. In September 1862 he joined the Twenty-first Connecticut Volunteers as adjutant. A year later he earned a captaincy and, after passing exams, transferred to the regular army in 1864. Soon afterward he married Emeline C. Babcock of New Haven; they had one child, a son. The Ordnance Corps remained his career despite “pretty rough service,” including serious wounds received at Fredericksburg. His postwar assignment to the Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York, however, launched his second, better-known career as a geologist....

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McArthur, William Pope (02 April 1814–23 December 1850), hydrographer and naval officer, was born in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, the son of John McArthur and Mary Linn, occupations unknown. He was appointed a midshipman in the U.S. Navy on 11 February 1832 and spent his early years on the South Pacific Station. He was promoted to passed midshipman on 23 June 1837 and then attended the Naval School at Norfolk. Upon completion, he reported to naval lieutenant Levin M. Powell’s expedition to the Everglades, a special group of sailors, soldiers, and militiamen using small boats and canoes to operate against the Indians in south Florida during the Second Seminole War (1835–1842)....