When you look back on famous land surveyors over the years, you might initially be at a loss. There are actually more famous land surveyors in history than you might think. In fact, historical land surveyors are an important part of the country’s settling.
1. George Washington
One of America’s most famous (and earliest) land surveyors is George Washington himself. The young future president got his bright start at the age of 17 in 1749. It was not long until he was appointed to be the Surveyor General for Virginia. Washington actually played an essential role at this time, because surveying the land promoted expansion westward.
2. Daniel Boone
As an American pioneer and explorer from Kentucky, Daniel Boone resolved settler’s claims to land. The legend was known to have spent much of his time traveling around the American frontier. In spite of the fact that he had no formal schooling, Boone went on to become an expert tracker by the time he was a teenager. In the years following, he took to surveying.
3. Thomas Jefferson
George Washington wasn’t the only president to work as a surveyor. Thomas Jefferson was appointed to work as the Albermarle County surveyor in Virginia in 1773. He also promoted surveying by sending Lewis & Clark on their expedition to explore the land gained through the Louisiana Purchase.
4. Henry David Thoreau
Though most might know of Thoreau as an author, he actually became a surveyor in the 1850s before he published his books. Being a surveyor allowed Thoreau to use his career to facilitate his hobby. Thoreau used his observations to journal his ideas.
5. Benjamin Banneker
As a self-taught African-American mathematician and surveyor, Benjamin Banneker was remarkably successful. In 1789, Washington even appointed Banneker to be part of the team surveying the future site of Washington, D.C. The project took about two years.
6. Abraham Lincoln
The nation’s 16th president got his start as a self-educated man in Kentucky. He worked as a storekeeper and postmaster in addition to surveying land and studying law at the same time. It is clear that Lincoln was a man with a great deal of talent and many skills, seeing how much time he spent participating in different types of work before he became president.
7 & 8: William Clark & Meriwether Lewis
Lewis and Clark were tasked with some of the most intensive land surveying in American history. While Lewis had a reputation as more of a planner, Clark was an expert surveyor and mapmaker. Together, the partners traveled across the land then known as the Louisiana Purchase, making their way to Oregon to scout it out.
This means that in working as a land surveyor, you are in good company. If you are thinking about making a career change, learning the necessary skills is your first step. Studying can help you learn how to work in an industry like land surveying or real estate, no matter your current skills. Learn more about PDH approved courses and land surveying skills to pursue a new career path.