Abert, John James
Autograph Slip Signed 3-1/2 x 2
"John James Abert (17 September 1788 - 27 January 1863) was a United States soldier. He headed the Corps of Topographical Engineers for 32 years, during which time he organized the mapping of the American West.
ABERT, John James, soldier, born in Shepherdstown, Virginia, 17 September 1788; died in Washington. District of Columbia, 27 September 1863. He was the son of John Abert, who came to this country with Rochambeau in 1780. Young Abert was graduated at West Point in 1811, but at once resigned, and was then employed in the war office. Meanwhile he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia in 1813. in the war of 1812 he volunteered as a private soldier for the defense of the capital. He was reappointed to the army in 1814 as topographical engineer, with the rank of major, in 1829 he succeeded to the charge of the topographical bureau at Washington, and in 1838 became colonel in command of that branch of the engineers. He was retired in 1861 after "long and faithful service." Col. Abert was associated in the supervision of many of the earlier national works of engineering, and his reports prepared for the government are standards of authority. He was a member of several scientific societies, and was one of the organizers of the national institute of science, which was subsequently merged into the Smithsonian institute. His sons served with distinction in the United States army during the civil war.