Appointed George Washington’s chief geographer in 1780 at age 24, Simeon DeWitt was attached to the Army during the Revolutionary War and surveyed the route south to Yorktown. He prepared a series of maps showing the course of the war. Surveyor-general of New York State for more than 50 years, he was engaged in delineating the boundaries between New York and Pennsylvania in 1787. As the founder of Ithaca, New York, he was the single most influential person in the planning and development of the settlement. He also surveyed various canal routes for the state of New York and played an important role in planning the Erie Canal. In 1796, he declined a nomination to be surveyor-general for the United States. Instead, he served the State University of New York from 1798 until his death in 1834, as regent, vice chancellor, and chancellor. Although he was a cartographer, Dewitt had a great interest in the sciences and is said to be the first educator to propose the establishment of an agricultural college. He was a charter member of the New York Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufacturers, whose presidency he assumed in 1813.