Claudius Crozet

Claudius Crozet

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Claudius Crozet

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Benoit Claudius Crozet (December 31, 1789 – January 29, 1864) was an educator and civil engineer.

Crozet was born in France. After serving in the French military, in 1816, he immigrated to the United States. He taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and helped found the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Virginia. Crozet was Principal Engineer for the Virginia Board of Public Works and oversaw the planning and construction of canals, turnpikes, bridges and railroads in Virginia, including the area which is now West Virginia. He became widely known as the "Pathfinder of the Blue Ridge."

Early life, family

Claudius Crozet was born in Villefranche on December 31, 1789. He attended a special engineering school, the École Polytechnique and graduated as sub-lieutenant on October 1, 1807. Crozet studied bridge building, and graduated from the Imperial Artillery School as a second lieutenant on June 9, 1809. Crozet resigned from military duty on April 11, 1816.

On June 7, 1816, in Paris, Crozet married Agathe Decamp.

Immigration to United States

Late in fall of 1816, Crozet and his bride headed for the United States. Almost immediately after arriving, Crozet began work as a professor of engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

While at West Point, Crozet is credited by some as being the first to use the chalkboard as an instructional tool. He used the "Elementary Course of Civil Engineering", translated...
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