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De Brahm, William Gerard (20 August 1718–03 July 1799?), surveyor-cartographer and military engineer, was born in Koblenz, Germany, the son of Johann Phillip von Brahm, court musician to the elector of Triers, and Johannetta Simonet. A member of the lesser nobility, De Brahm secured a broad education that included exposure to the burgeoning experimental sciences of his day. After attaining the rank of captain engineer in Charles VII’s imperial army, De Brahm married and renounced the Roman Catholic faith. Forced to resign his army commission because of his renunciation, he and his bride, Wilhelmina de Ger, found themselves nearly destitute....

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L’Enfant, Pierre Charles (02 August 1754–14 June 1825), engineer and architect, was born in Paris, France, the son of Pierre L’Enfant, painter of military subjects for the French Crown, and Marie-Charlotte Leullier. In 1771 he was listed as his father’s student at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, the only known record of his education. L’Enfant arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in April 1777 aboard the ...

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Mangin, Joseph François (17 December 1764–after 1818), engineer and architect, was born in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, the son of Joseph-Denis Mangin, surgeon, and Jeanne-Marie-Anne Morin Delaterasse. He served as engineer in the French army, spending eight years mapping the northern part of Santo Domingo until the revolt of 1793. He was married to Theresa Bulland; they had one child....

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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 ...