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Locomotive to AeromotiveOctave Chanute and the Transportation Revolution$
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Simine Short

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036316

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036316.001.0001

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The Formative Years

The Formative Years

Chapter:
Chapter 1 The Formative Years
Source:
Locomotive to Aeromotive
Author(s):

Simine Short

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036316.003.0001

This chapter details the early years of Octave Chanute. In 1838, six-year-old Octave arrived in America with his father Joseph Chanut, who had accepted an offer to teach in one of the three major colleges in antebellum Louisiana. The eldest of three, Octave left the security of his life in Paris, where he lived with his mother, grandmother, and two younger brothers, to move to America with a father he barely knew. A new life, so different and not Parisian at all, began for Joseph and Octave. Joseph home-schooled his son, and his French-speaking colleagues supplied a teaching curriculum according to their expertise, usually communicating in their mother tongue. They not only taught the youngster to read and write, but also to tell the truth and observe the general rules of etiquette. In September 1846, Octave entered the Coudert Lyceum in New York for an education different than what he had received from his father and other professors in Louisiana. After graduating in August 1848 with a degree similar to a high school diploma, Octave selected the Hudson River Railroad as his path into the future.

Keywords:   Octave Chanute, civil engineers, Joseph Chanut, America, Paris Coudert Lyceum, Hudson River Railroad

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