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of March, 1831, the year after their arrival in this country, I was born, in Albany, N. Y., the third child in a family which eventually increased to six--four boys and two girls.
The prospects for gaining a livelihood in Albany did not meet the expectations which my parents had been led to entertain, so in 1832 they removed to the West, to establish themselves in the village of Somerset, in Perry County, Ohio, which section, in the earliest days of the State, had been colonized from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
At this period the great public works of the Northwest--the canals and macadamized roads, a result of clamor for internal improvements — were in course of construction, and my father turned his attention to them, believing that they offered opportunities for a successful occupation.
Encouraged by a civil engineer named Bassett, who had taken a fancy to him, he put in bids for a small contract on the Cumberland Road, known as the National road, which was then being extende