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 Sylvanus Thayer

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Sylvanus Thayer

United States Army Brevet Brigadier General. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, he was a carrer military officer known as the "Father of West Point". In 1807, he entered West Point and was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant 3rd in the class of 1808 after meeting the requirements for graduation in just 14 months. He served as an assistant professor of mathematics at West Point (1809-11) and served during the War of 1812. Following the War of 1812, he was sent to Europe to study the military schools of France and England, (1815-17). On July 28, 1817, President James Monroe appointed Lieutenant Colonel Thayer superintendent of West Point. While superintendent, he built the academy into one of the world's leading military-engineering schools. He is credited with originating technical education in America, established the educational philosophy and discipline still followed at the academy. He also recognized the expanding country's need for military engineers and made civil engineering the core of the curriculum. In 1833, he resigned as superintendent of West Point and remained in the Army Corps of Engineers. During the Civil War, he was a Colonel and was credited with designing the fortifications in Boston Harbor that were part of the system of Coastal fortifications. For his service, he was brevetted Brigadier General of the US Army on May 31, 1863 and he retired the next day, June 1, 1863. He went on to establish the Thayer School of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Braintree, Massachusetts, where lived to his death at age 87.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1027
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sylvanus Thayer (9 Jun 1785–7 Sep 1872), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1027, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .