Whipple, Amiel Weeks

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Amiel Weeks Whipple, 1818–63, American soldier and topographical engineer, b. Greenwich, Mass. He became (1841) a topographical engineer in the U.S. army and engaged in surveying the U.S. borders with Canada (1844–49) and Mexico (1849–53). Whipple then made (1853–56) a survey of the region from Fort Smith, Ark., to Los Angeles to determine the route for a projected transcontinental railroad. His diary of this expedition became a valuable anthropological record of the little-known Native Americans of the Southwest. Later he took part in broadening the channels of the St. Clair Flats and St. Marys River, as a result of which the Great Lakes were opened to navigation by larger boats. He fought in the Civil War, reaching the rank of major general, but he was killed at the battle of Chancellorsville.

See his Whipple Report, ed. by E. I. Edwards (1961).