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Armstrong, John (13 October 1717–09 March 1795), soldier, surveyor, and member of the Continental Congress, was born in County Fermanagh, Ulster, Ireland. The identities of his Scotch-Irish parents and circumstances of his youth are unclear, but his father may have been named James. A trained surveyor, John Armstrong evidently received some education fairly early in life. Sometime in the mid-1740s Armstrong immigrated to America, settling initially in Delaware and then in Pennsylvania, where he worked as a surveyor. It was probably at some point after his arrival in America that he married Rebeckah Armstrong. The couple had two sons (the younger, ...

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Emory, William Hemsley (07 September 1811–01 December 1887), soldier, surveyor, and cartographer, was born on the family plantation, “Poplar Grove,” in Queen Annes County, Maryland, the son of Thomas Emory and Anna Maria Hemsley. In July 1826 William Emory enrolled in the United States Military Academy, where his classmates, to whom he was known as Bold Emory, included ...

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William Henry (Bill) Mauldin. Bill Mauldin holding Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon, 1959. Photograph by Bob Briggs. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-DIG-ppmsca-03232).

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Mauldin, William Henry (29 October 1921–22 January 2003), Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist, was born in Mountain Park, just east of Alamogordo, New Mexico, the second son of Sidney Albert Mauldin, a wrench salesman, outdoor privy builder, and odd-jobman, and Edith Katrina (Bemis) Mauldin. Bill was often confined to his bed by rickets as a kid and drew pictures of his daydreams. At age thirteen he took a correspondence course for cartoonists. His family traveled southwest and northern New Mexico looking for work during the Great Depression. His parents divorced when he was seventeen years old, and he headed to Phoenix, Arizona, on his own. A loan from his maternal grandmother paid his tuition to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1939, where he studied under the ...

Article

Meigs, Montgomery Cunningham (03 May 1816–02 January 1892), army officer, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Charles Meigs, a physician, and Mary Montgomery. Soon after the family relocated to Philadelphia. In 1831 Meigs briefly attended the University of Pennsylvania there. He transferred to the U.S. Military Academy the following year and on 1 July 1836 graduated fifth in his class of forty-nine. As a second lieutenant, Meigs was initially posted with the First Artillery Regiment but subsequently requested and received transfer to the engineers. He engaged in various construction projects over the next sixteen years, commencing with Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia. He also worked on navigational improvements along the Mississippi River with Lieutenant ...

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Otis, George Alexander (12 November 1830–23 February 1881), U.S. Army medical officer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George Alexander Otis, a lawyer, and Anna Maria Hickman. His mother remained for some time in Boston after his father died in 1831 before returning to her native Virginia, and Otis attended Boston Latin School before entering school in Fairfax County, Virginia. He received a B.A. from Princeton College in 1849 and entered medical school at the University of Pennsylvania that same year, after spending the summer studying with a local physician. He married Pauline Clark Baury in 1850; they had two children. In 1851 Otis received both an M.A. from Princeton and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He then studied ophthalmic and general surgery in Paris, France, until the spring of 1852, when he returned to the United States and opened a private practice in Richmond, Virginia....

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George B. Post Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-104303).

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Post, George Browne (15 December 1837–28 November 1913), architect and Union militia officer, was born in New York City, the son of Joel Browne Post and Abby Mauran Church. Of distinguished New England ancestry, Post was educated at Churchill School, Ossining, New York, and graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering from New York University in 1858. His notably successful career as a technically progressive though stylistically eclectic architect began shortly thereafter when he opened a practice with ...

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Scammell, Alexander (27 March 1747–06 October 1781), schoolmaster, military officer, and surveyor, was born in Mendon (now Milford), Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Leslie Scammell, a physician, and Jane Libbey. His parents had emigrated from Portsmouth, England. His father, who died in 1753, had asked the town’s Congregational minister, Amariah Frost, to prepare Alexander for Harvard. Scammell successfully matriculated at Harvard in 1765, where he held the Hollis and Browne scholarships, waited on dining hall tables, and taught school during intersessions but nevertheless found it difficult to finance his education. He briefly left the college during a student protest his junior year but soon thereafter was readmitted. At his graduation in 1769, he delivered a commencement oration in Greek and received an award for scholarly merit. Harvard also awarded him an M.A. three years later....

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Smith, Daniel (17 October 1748–16 June 1818), revolutionary soldier, statesman, and surveyor, was born near Aquia Creek in Stafford County, Virginia, the son of Henry Smith and Sarah Crosby. The eldest of twelve children, he attended the College of William and Mary and then studied both law and medicine. However, he also learned the use of surveying instruments while still a teenager, and the demand for frontier surveys kept him occupied principally in that profession for most of his life....