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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BRUNEL, Sir Mark Isimabard, French engineer, born in Hacqueville, near Rouen, France, 25 April, 1769 ; died in London, England, 12 December, 1849. He became a sailor in 1786, made voyages to the West Indies, and in 1793 escaped from France for political reasons and settled in New York. He surveyed lands belonging to a French company, and in 1794 began the surveys for the Champlain canal. He was much employed as an engineer and architect in New York, where he built the Park theatre and took charge of the construction of fortifications in the harbor. He also conducted a cannon-foundry. His design for the national capitol at Washington was rejected because it involved too great expense. After remaining many years in the United States he settled in England, where he invented machinery for cutting blocks used in the rigging of ships besides other useful devices, constructed the Thames tunnel and other works of engineering, and designed several important public buildings.
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