Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Loammi Baldwin

Loammi Baldwin

Ask a question about 'Loammi Baldwin'
Start a new discussion about 'Loammi Baldwin'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Colonel Loammi Baldwin was a noted American engineer, politician, and a soldier in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...


Baldwin is known as the Father of American Civil Engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

. His five sons, Cyrus Baldwin (1773-1854), Benjamin Franklin Baldwin (1777-1821), Loammi Baldwin, Jr.
Loammi Baldwin, Jr.
Loammi Baldwin, Jr. was an American civil engineer. His father was Col. Loammi Baldwin a prominent civil engineer.-Biography:...

 (1780-1834), James Fowle Baldwin
James Fowle Baldwin
James Fowle Baldwin was an early American civil engineer who worked with his father and brothers on the Middlesex Canal, surveyed and designed the Boston and Lowell Railroad and the Boston and Albany Railroad, the first Boston water supply from Lake Cochituate, and many other early engineering...

 (1782-1862), and George Rumford Baldwin
George Rumford Baldwin
George Rumford Baldwin an early American civil engineer who worked with his father Loammi Baldwin and brothers Loammi Baldwin, Jr., and James Fowle Baldwin, on the Middlesex Canal and other projects...

 (1798-1888) were also well-known engineers. He surveyed and was responsible for the construction of the Middlesex Canal
Middlesex Canal
The Middlesex Canal was a 27-mile barge canal connecting the Merrimack River with the port of Boston. When operational it was 30 feet wide, and 3 feet deep, with 20 locks, each 80 feet long and between 10 and 11 feet wide...

, but today he is perhaps best remembered for the Baldwin apple
Baldwin (apple)
The Baldwin apple is a bright red winter apple, very good in quality, and easily shipped. It was for many years the most popular apple in New England, New York, and for export from America.-History:...

 which he developed at his farm, or rather he recognized its potential and propagated it throughout the northeast. The apple had been discovered on the farm of John Ball in Wilmington, Massachusetts
Wilmington, Massachusetts
Wilmington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 22,325 at the 2010 census.-History:Wilmington was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1730, from parts of Woburn, Reading and Billerica. Minutemen from Wilmington responded to the alarm...

, around 1750, and named Woodpecker by a later owner of the farm. Colonel Baldwin's promotion of the apple occurred after 1784. He was also a surveyor and plantation co-owner in Hartford, Maine
Hartford, Maine
Hartford is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. Hartford is included in the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine metropolitan New England City and Town Area...

, which at that time was known as East Butterfield. (Source: The Apples of NY (1905), and Lorraine Parsons in Hartford, Maine)


Baldwin attended grammar school in Woburn, Massachusetts
Woburn, Massachusetts
Woburn is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. The population was 38,120 at the 2010 census. Woburn is located north of Boston, Massachusetts, and just south of the intersection of I-93 and I-95.- History :...

. Later he would walk from North Woburn to Cambridge with his younger friend and childhood neighbor, Benjamin Thompson
Benjamin Thompson
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford , FRS was an American-born British physicist and inventor whose challenges to established physical theory were part of the 19th century revolution in thermodynamics. He also served as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Loyalist forces in America during the American...

, later Count Rumford, to attend the lectures of Professor John Winthrop
John Winthrop (1714-1779)
John Winthrop was the 2nd Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Harvard College. He was a distinguished mathematician, physicist and astronomer, born in Boston, Mass. His great-great-grandfather, also named John Winthrop, was founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony...

 at Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

. He and Thompson performed their own experiments at home. Baldwin received a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 degree from Harvard in 1785.

Military Career in the American Revolution

In 1774 Baldwin enlisted in a regiment, and commanded the Woburn militia at the Battle of Lexington and Concord as a major. At the beginning of the war he enlisted in the 26th Continental Regiment
26th Continental Regiment
The 26th Continental Regiment was an infantry unit of the Massachusetts Line during the US Revolutionary War. The regiment was formed for one year in Massachusetts in January 1776 from the remnant of the 25th Massachusetts Bay Provincial Regiment known as Gerrish’s Regiment. The old regiment had...

 commanded by Colonel Samuel Gerrish
Samuel Gerrish
Samuel Gerrish was a bookseller and publisher in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 18th century. He kept a shop "near the brick meeting house in Cornhill," and published works by Thomas Prince and others. He married Mary Sewall in 1709; children included Samuel Gerrish .-Published by Gerrish:* Thomas...

. Here he rapidly advanced to be lieutenant-colonel, and upon Colonel Gerrish's retirement in August 1775, he was placed in command of the regiment, and was soon commissioned colonel.

Until the end of 1775, Baldwin and his men remained near Boston, but in April 1776, he was ordered with his command to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. On the night of December 25, 1776, in the face of a violent and extremely cold storm of snow and hail, General Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and his army crossed the Delaware
Delaware River
The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States.A Dutch expedition led by Henry Hudson in 1609 first mapped the river. The river was christened the South River in the New Netherland colony that followed, in contrast to the North River, as the Hudson River was then...

 to the New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 side, and fought the Battle of Trenton
Battle of Trenton
The Battle of Trenton took place on December 26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, after General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey. The hazardous crossing in adverse weather made it possible for Washington to lead the main body of the...

. Baldwin and his regiment participated in both the crossing and the fight. In 1777, Baldwin resigned from the army because of ill health.

Political career

Baldwin was elected to various public offices between 1780 and 1796. He was appointed high sheriff of Middlesex County
Middlesex County, Massachusetts
-National protected areas:* Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge* Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge* Longfellow National Historic Site* Lowell National Historical Park* Minute Man National Historical Park* Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge...

 in 1780, and was the first to hold office after the adoption of the state constitution. From 1778-1784, he represented Woburn in the Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases...

. In 1794, he was a candidate for election to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, and obtained all the votes cast in Woburn but one.

Engineering career

Baldwin began work with his older sons on the Middlesex Canal
Middlesex Canal
The Middlesex Canal was a 27-mile barge canal connecting the Merrimack River with the port of Boston. When operational it was 30 feet wide, and 3 feet deep, with 20 locks, each 80 feet long and between 10 and 11 feet wide...

 in 1794 and after nine years, the canal began service in 1803. He later worked on Boston's fortifications. His son Cyrus continued his father's work on the Middlesex Canal as an agent for the canal company. His son Benjamin worked on the Boston Mill Dam for before an early death at age 43.


Baldwin was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

 in 1782. He opposed Shays' Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising in central and western Massachusetts from 1786 to 1787. The rebellion is named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War....

. His home Baldwin House
Baldwin House
The Baldwin House, also known as the Loammi Baldwin Mansion, is a fine Colonial American mansion located at 2 Alfred Street in Woburn, Massachusetts. On October 7, 1971, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places....

--originally built in 1660 and expanded in the 1800s—still stands in Woburn and is currently in use as a Chinese restaurant.


Baldwin married July 9, 1772, Mary Fowle (died 1786 age 39) daughter of James Fowle, Jr. and Mary Reed, and had four sons. He married again, May 26, 1791, Margaret Fowle (1747-1799), daughter of Josiah and Margery Carter, and had a son and a daughter.
Howard Means in Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, The American Story, references Baldwin as a cousin of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed , born John Chapman, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois...


Further reading

External links