Sylvanus Thayer - West Point, New York
Posted by: BruceS
N 41° 23.623 W 073° 57.541
18T E 587025 N 4582987
Quick Description: Statue of Sylvanus Thayer known as "the Father of West Point". Statue is located on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 7/20/2008 2:38:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM4865
"Brigadier General Sylvanus Thayer (June 9, 1785 - September 7, 1872) also
known as "the Father of West Point" was an early superintendent of the United
States Military Academy at West Point and an early advocate of engineering
education in the United States.
Thayer was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of farmer Nathaniel
Thayer and his wife Dorcas. In 1793 at the age of 8, Thayer was sent to live
with his uncle Azariah Faxon and attend school in Washington, New Hampshire.
There he met General Benjamin Pierce, who, like Faxon, was a veteran of the
Revolutionary War. In 1803 Thayer matriculated at Dartmouth College, graduating
in 1807 as valedictorian of his class.
Thayer, however, never gave the valedictory address at Dartmouth, having been
granted an appointment to West Point by President James Madison at the behest of
General Pierce. Thayer graduated from the Military Academy in a single year, and
received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1808.
During the War of 1812, Thayer directed the fortification and defense of
Norfolk, Virginia and was promoted to major. In 1815, Thayer was provided $5,000
to travel to Europe, where he studied for two years at the French École
Polytechnique. While traveling in Europe he amassed a collection of science and
especially mathematics texts that now form a valuable collection for historians
of mathematics. In 1817, President James Monroe ordered Thayer to West Point to
become superintendent of the Military Academy. Under his stewardship, the
Academy became the nation's first college of engineering.
Colonel Thayer's time at West Point ended with his resignation in 1833, after
a disagreement with President Andrew Jackson. Thayer returned to active duty in
the Army Corps of Engineers. He retired in 1863 with the rank of brigadier
general." ~ Wikipedia