Long, Stephen Harriman

Long, Stephen Harriman,

1784–1864, American explorer, b. Hopkinton, N.H. As an army engineer, Long was sent on several exploring and surveying expeditions. The first in 1817 was to the region of the upper Mississippi and the Fox-Wisconsin portage; it is recorded in his Voyage in a Six-oared Skiff to the Falls of St. Anthony (1860). A journey to the Rocky Mts. in 1819–20 provided much new knowledge of the mountains. He climbed several peaks, including Long's Peak, and explored the regions of the Platte and Arkansas rivers. Edwin James's Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains (2 vol. and an atlas, 1822–23) tells of that journey. In 1823, Long led an expedition to determine the source of the Minnesota River and to study the United States–Canadian boundary W of the Great Lakes. Some of his notes were used in W. H. Keating's Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of the St. Peter's River (1824). Chosen to select a route for the Baltimore and Ohio RR, he made a survey that resulted in an authoritative railroad manual, with tables of grades and curves.
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Long, Stephen Harriman

(1784–1864) soldier, explorer, engineer; born in Hopkinton, N.H. A Dartmouth graduate, he entered the army in 1814. In 1817 he established Fort Smith, now a city in Arkansas. He then began to lead expeditions for the army: In 1820 he led an exploration party into the Rocky Mountains (discovering the peak outside Denver, Colo., named after him), and in 1823 he explored the sources of the Minnesota River and helped survey the border between the U.S.A. and Canada. After 1827, as a consulting engineer for railroads, he surveyed railroad routes, including that of the Baltimore & Ohio, drew up a manual with curves and gradients, and built railroad bridges. In 1861 he joined the Federal government as chief of the topographical engineers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.