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Fry, Joshua (1700–31 May 1754), professor and surveyor, was born in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England, the son of Joseph Fry. His mother’s name and his parents’ occupations are unknown. He graduated from Wadham College at Oxford University and moved to the colony of Virginia, where the first record of his presence is his service as a vestryman in Essex County. He married Mary Micou Hill; they had five children. Fry became master of the grammar school connected with the College of William and Mary in 1729, and he became a professor of natural philosophy and mathematics at the college in 1731. His Oxford education paved the way for these important positions, since English-educated gentlemen were rare in early eighteenth-century Virginia....

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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....