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Brigadier General Joseph Gilbert Totten Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: August 23, 1788 in New Haven, Connecticut
Died: April 22, 1864 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
Joseph Gilbert Totten (1788-1864) was Chief Engineer in the US Army, regent of the Smithsonian Institution and co-founder of the National Academy of Sciences. Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Totten served in the War of 1812 as Chief Engineer of the Niagara frontier and Lake Champlaine armies under General Stephen Van Rensselaer. From 1825 to 1838 he oversaw the construction of Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island where he recruited assistant engineers from West Point (who all went on to earn distinction during the Civil War). In 1838 Totten was appointed Chief Engineer of the United States Army, serving in that position for 25 years until his death. A true craftsman of construction, Totten also designed the lighthouse Minot's Ledge Light which still stands near Cohasset, Massachusetts today.

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