Edmund Blunt the first and oldest assistant in the survey of the coast, died on September 2, 1866, at his residence, near the city of New York in the 67th year of his age. The conspicuous services of Mr. Blunt deserve more than a mere expression of personal regret for the loss of an able associate. Since the organization of the Coast Survey he had acted an important part in earning, by the extent of his labors and the accuracy of his results, the reputation which the work has sustained for efficiency and precision. Inheriting from his father a strong inclination for hydrographic pursuits, and commencing in early boyhood the practice of his profession, his entire life may be said to have been devoted to the security and extension of our commerce by determining and describing the dangers in its path. The law of Congress which provided for the survey of the coast did not take full effect until 1832. Previous to that date the charts of our coast were based upon the early and cursory surveys of Des Barres and others, occasionally corrected by detached surveys in pursuance of special acts of Congress, or by private enterprise. Foremost in this laudable work was the father of the subject of the present notice, Edmund M. Blunt, who, in addition to the Coast Pilot, compiled and published at his suggestion in 1796, undertook hydrographic surveys and examinations. In these latter operations his sons took an active part. Before he was 18 years of age, Edmund Blunt made a survey of the Harbor of New York. In the years 1819-20 he assisted in the sounding of the Great Bahamas Bank route to the Gulf of Mexico; afterwards in the survey of Nantucket and George's shoal. In 1824 he surveyed the seacoast in the vicinity of New York Bay; and between the years 1828 and 1830 the shores and shoals of Long Island Sound. Early in 1833 Blunt was appointed an assistant in the Coast Survey, that work, after a suspension of 15 years, having been then resumed. This appointment enabled him to bring to the performance of the duties assigned to him, in the systematic operations about to be undertaken, the skill and experience acquired during his previous career. In subsequent years, as the geodetic survey advanced, the name of Assistant Blunt became in succession identified in its records with the triangulation of Long Island Sound and of the adjacent coast; with the triangulation of Delaware Bay and River; with the measurement of a base line for verifying the primary triangulation completed previous to 1844; with various detached surveys between New York and Boston; with the triangulation of Chesapeake Bay; and with that of the valley of the Hudson between New York City and Albany. The death of Mr. Blunt was sudden and unexpected. He retained to the last day of his life the vigor and activity which had marked his early manhood. In field operations he laid the basis for the excellent work which he performed by untiring search, and by adopting in all cases the means suggested in a comprehensive review of the ground features, however extended the area might be, designated for triangulation. Concerned chiefly in the primary work, on parts of the coast presenting all the natural difficulties in the way of observing over extended lines of sight, he brought into use many of the expedients now regularly employed in similar localities. The regard for his profession, which seemed to strengthen as time drew on, was befitting in one who had largely shared from the beginning in the labors pertaining to the geodetic survey of the coast. Prompt, energetic and successful in the field, and at all times devoted to the interests and credit of the work, the example of Mr. Blunt commanded the respect, as his kind and genial disposition gained the regards of all his associated on the survey.
Maps of Antiquity is located on Cape Cod
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