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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing),
Wheeler, Samuel 1742- 1820 (search)
Wheeler, Samuel 1742-1820 Blacksmith; born in Weccaco, Pa., in 1742; was in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War, and at the personal request of Washington made the chain which was stretched across the Hudson River at West Point to prevent the passage of British vessels. He also manufactured a cannon by welding together iron bars, which did better execution, had a longer range, and was not so heavy as brass ordnance. During the action at Brandywine this gun did such good service that it was regarded as a wonder by American officers, but before the conclusion of that battle it was captured and afterwards sent to England, where it was exhibited in the Tower of London. Later, Napoleon Bonaparte used a pattern of it as a model for the cannon used by his flying artillery. He died in Philadelphia, Pa., May 10, 1820. See Clinton, Fort, capture of.