Henry Gannett Biography
(American Geographer Who is Known as the 'Father of Mapmaking in America')
Birthday: August 24, 1846 (Virgo)
Born In: Bath, Maine, United States
Henry Gannett was an American geographer often called "the Father of American map-making." One of the founding members of the National Geographic Society, he served as its first secretary, and later as its president. Credited to have systematized the science of geography in its practical application, he was also the chief geographer for the United States Census, 1890 and United States Census, 1900. Born in Maine, he was of Anglo-Saxon ancestry with an inherent love for adventure and exploration. As a young man, he earned his degree as a mining engineer at the Hooper Mining School. Soon after, he began his career as a geographer with the Ferdinand V. Hayden expedition to the Yellowstone region in 1871. This marked his entry into topographic mapping and he mapped the western portion of the Hayden's division until 1879. The expedition was full of exciting and hazardous experiences which the adventurous young man enjoyed thoroughly. His accurately drawn maps and impeccable reports brought him considerable attention. He eventually lobbied for centralizing the mapping functions of the entire nation into one government agency, and after the United States Geological Survey was officially formed, he was named geographer of the United States Census, 1880. One of his most significant contributions is the publication ‘Manual of Topographic Methods’, which guided the mapping of the United States for decades.