PREFACE, To commemorate the lives of American citizens emi- ncnt in the profession of engineering, and who are no less illustrious for their virtues and patriotism, this work is designed. The object of the author has been to briefly portray the lives of pioneer American Engineers, and to collect some of the reminiscences of the earlier works of engineering of t,he country, with which their names are identified. The description of the works alluded to in this volume is ncccssarily general in its character, and embaces less of detail than it would mere it intended for professional reading alone. Few circumstznces have contributed so much to pro- mote the commerce and great prosperity of the States as our system of internal improvements, for which we are largely indebted to the skill, foresight, and integrity of the Civil Engineer, and there is no profession to whom, in this country, less public justice hax been accorded. In the arrangement of the several subjects, reference is had to their succession in time, commencing with those who were most conspicuously identified with our first public improvements, and noting some of the most promincnt men and works at various periods, down to recent dates. Brevity and fidelity of statement, has becn his aim rather thah literary style or eloquence of description. In the limit of time embraced he is conscious of having included but a few only of those whose lives and labors deserve to be more fitly and fully recorded than he is able to do. But the aid and encouragement that has been tendered in behalf of the undertaking by the most prorninent Engineers in every State of the Union, in the collection, not only of information embodied in the following pages, but of Engineers for whose biographies he is collecting material, encourages the hope that, as intervals of time can be had from sctiw professional engagements, other volumes will succeed this, until somc slight depe of justice shall have been done to bther deserving men of the profession. In executing the design, on all occasions of doubt and uncertainty resort has been made to the best sources for information to which access could be had, and no diligence or research has been neglected to make the work complete. If errors are found to exist, the auttor would feel grateful to those who might direct his attention to them, that corrections may be made in future editions. In a work of this kind much, from its nature, must be compilation, and to those of whose previous labors the author has availed himself he gratefully acknowledges his obligations. The author desires also to acknowledge the gratification he has derived from the many encouraging letters he his received, and the aaaistance which the numerous voluntary contributions of valuable information and important data have afforded him in the preparation of this work.