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Guillaume Tell Poussin (1794-1876), indirectly related to the great French painter Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), was born in France, received an excellent technical education at the Lycée of Rouen and the School of Fine Arts in Paris, but fled to America after the collapse of Napoléon Bonaparte’s empire. He became a supervisor of the rebuilding of the United States Capitol, damaged in the War of 1812, and he was commissioned a captain of the US Army Corps of Engineers with the personal support of President James Madison. In partnership with his fellow Frenchman General Simon Bernard, he surveyed the waterways and roads of the United States and drafted plans for canals, roads, inter-coastal waterways and fortresses over the entire country. He returned to France in the mid-1830s and published several books in French on America as well as on European public works. He was briefly the chief diplomatic representative the French Second Republic in Washington, DC, but was recalled for vehemently protesting the seizure of a French ship. He continued to publish as an expert on American and European matters, and he is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

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