Totten, Joseph Gilbert
- Edward Hagerman
Totten, Joseph Gilbert (23 August 1788–22 April 1864), soldier, engineer, and scientist, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Peter Totten and Grace Mansfield. Totten was raised by his uncle, Jared Mansfield, following the death of his mother when he was three and his father’s appointment as vice consul at Santa Cruz in the Caribbean. Totten entered West Point as a cadet in 1802, the same year that his guardian Mansfield took an appointment as the first professor of mathematics at the infant U.S. Military Academy. He graduated in his 1805 class of three, only the tenth graduate of the academy, and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. Within a year he resigned his commission to be secretary to his guardian, who left West Point to become surveyor general of the Northwest Territory, charged with the first systematic survey of the new states....