Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GEDDES, James, engineer, born near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 22 July, 1763; died in Geddes, Onondaga County, New York, 19 August, 1838. He obtained a limited education while working on a farm, and in 1794 removed to Onondaga County, where the town of Geddes was named in his honor. He organized a company for the manufacture of salt, in that County in 1794. He was prominent in urging the project for a canal from Lake Erie to Hudson River, and in 1808 was appointed to make the preliminary surveys of the route, he was elected a magistrate in 1800, a member of the State legislature in 1804 and 1812, an associate County justice in 1809, and judge of the common pleas in 1812. From 1813 till 1815 he represented New York in congress. In 1816 he became engineer of the Erie canal, and two years later was appointed chief engineer of the Champlain canal. He was appointed to make surveys for a canal from Ohio River to Lake Erie in 1822. In 1827 he was employed to locate the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, and in 1828 was engineer for the canals of Pennsylvania.
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