Search - List of Books by Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams (May 20, 1751 – May 16, 1815), American businessman, military figure, politician and writer.
Total Books: 76
Williams was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin. He became Chief of Engineers of theArmy Corps of Engineers, was the first superintendent of West Point, and was elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress.
Williams spent most of the period from 1770 to 1785 in England and France, where he assisted Franklin with business affairs and served as a commercial agent in Nantes. He joined the American Philosophical Society in 1788 and published articles on scientific subjects.
President John Adams appointed Williams a major in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers in February 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson made him the Army's Inspector of Fortifications and assigned him to serve as the first superintendent of West Point in December 1801. The following year Jefferson appointed him to concurrently command the separate Corps of Engineers established by Congress on March 16, 1802. He vacated (not resigned) his Superintendent position in 1803 but was reappointed in 1805. In 1802, the investor Richard Woodhull purchased in north Brooklyn and named the area Williamsburgh (later changed to Williamsburg), after Col. Williams, who surveyed the land.
From 1807 to 1811 Williams designed and completed construction of Castle Williams (the East Battery) and Castle Clinton (the West Battery) in New York Harbor. Castle Williams was the first casemated battery in the United States. He founded the U.S. Military Philosophical Society and gave it its motto, "Science in War is the Guarantee of Peace."
He resigned from the Army in 1812 because the Secretary of War, William Eustis, refused to give him command of Castle Williams, a fortification he designed and was named after him. At the time he was heading a group of volunteer engineers building fortifications around Philadelphia when he was elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress from that city in 1814. He died of gout in Philadelphia before the Congress assembled.