Stephen Harriman Long

Birth: 1784


Stephen Harriman Long (December 30, 1784 - September 4, 1864) was an American engineer and explorer. He was born in Hopkinton, N.H., Dec. 30, 1784; son of Moses and Lucy (Harriman) Long. He was graduated from Dartmouth college, A.B., 1809, A.M., 1812, and taught school, 1809-14. He entered the U.S. army as 2d lieutenant of engineers, Dec. 12, 1814, and was professor of mathematics at the U.S. Military academy, 1815-18.

He was brevetted major of topographical engineers, April 29, 1816, and had charge of governmental explorations of the territory between the Mississippi river and the Rocky Mountains, 1818-23, and discovered the peak in Colorado which bears his name. He was married March 3, 1819, to Martha Hodgkins of Philadelphia, Pa. He explored the sources of the Mississippi river, 1823-24 ; was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, April 29, 1826, and was engaged in surveying the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, 1827-30.

He was engineer-in-chief of the Atlantic and Great Western railroad in Georgia, 1837-40, where he introduced a system of curves in the location of the road and a new truss bridge called by his name. At about this time he was connected with the proposed national road from Portland, Maine, to Canada. He was promoted major in the topographical engineer corps, July 7, 1838, on the organization of that corps. In 1860-61 he was on duty at the mouth of the Mississippi river, and was called to Washington and advanced to the rank of colonel, Sept. 9, 1861 ; served in the war department there, and on June 1, 1863, was retired on surgeon's certificate, but continued to perform important official duties until his death.

For his work as an explorer he received recognition in American literature in Edwin James's "Account of the First Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1819-20, from notes by Major Long and others " (1823) ; and William H. Keating's two volume work, "Long's Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River, Lake of the Woods" (1824). He was a member of the American Philosophical society and the author of: Railroad Manual (1829), the first work of this title published in the United States. He died in Alton, 111., Sept. 4, 1864.


The Biographical Dictionary of America, Vol. 07 pg. 27.

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