Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FERGUSON, James, civil engineer and astronomer, born in Perthshire, Scotland, 31 August 1797" died in Washington, D. C., 26 September 1867. He was brought to the United States in 1800, was assistant civil engineer on the Erie canal in 1817'19, assistant surveyor on the boundary commission under the treaty of Ghent in 1819'22, astronomical surveyor on the same commission in 1822'27, civil engineer for the state of Pennsylvania in 1827'32, first assistant of the U. S. coast survey in 1833'47, and assistant astronomer of the U. S. naval observatory from 1847 till his death. While holding this last office he discovered three asteroids, for which he was awarded the astronomical prize medal by the Academy of sciences of France in 1854, and again, by the same institution, in 1860. Professor Ferguson was a contributor to Gould's "Astronomical Journal" and to the " Astronomisehe Nachrichten "; also to the "Episcopal Church Review" and other magazines.
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