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Name:    Lee, Robert E.
Profession:  Architect, Politician
Category:  St. Louis and the West
Description:    Captain Robert E. Lee, an army engineer, was sent to St. Louis to see what could be done about the growth of Duncan´s Island in the middle of the Mississippi River near the mouth of Mill Creek. He received $50,000 (about one-third of what was needed) from Congress, with which he constructed a network of underwater dikes. At first his project looked successful, but the river soon learned to wind around the dikes, leading to a virtual war between Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton and Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Eventually, the city paid almost $250,000 to do the job in a satisfactory way. Lee´s temporary fix of underwater dikes worked for a short time, but a permanent solution was not found until 1853, when Lee´s entire program was implemented.

Lee went on to become a hero of the Mexican American War and the commanding general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

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