Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GUNNISON, John W., engineer, born in New Hampshire in 1812; died near Sevier Lake, Utah, 26 October, 1853. He was graduated at the United States military academy, became 2d lieutenant of topographical engineers, 7 July, 1838; 1st lieutenant, 9 May, 1846; and captain, 3 March, 1853. He served in the Florida war of 1837-'9, was engaged for nearly ten years in the survey of the northwestern lakes and in the improvement of the harbors, and in 1849-'51 was associated with Captain Howard Stansbury in making maps of the Great Salt Lake region, drawing up an able report on his work. In 1853 he had charge of the expeditions and survey of a central route for a railway from the Mississippi river to the Pacific ocean. While thus engaged he was murdered, with seven of his exploring party, by a band of Mormons and Parvante Indians, his body being pierced by seventeen arrows and otherwise mutilated. He is the author of a "History of the Mormons of Utah: Their Domestic Polity and Theology" (Philadelphia, 1852).
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