Wright, Benjamin(1770–1842) civil engineer; born in Wethersfield, Conn. He was chief engineer on the Erie Canal (1817–25), the first major engineering project in the U.S.A. He also built the original St. Lawrence Ship Canal and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (1825–31). He subsequently became a railroad engineer.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.