THE WORKERS BENEATH AND BESIDE THE HUDSON
9--Clifford Holland was a pioneer in the construction of underwater tunnels. In 1919, he became Chief Engineer for the first vehicular tunnel beneath the Hudson River, connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. Holland was responsible for the two-tube design and oversaw the construction from 1920-1927, but died ONE DAY before the New Jersey and New York teams met in the middle. In his honor, the tunnel (at one point called Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel Project) was given his name.
(Bonus Trivia: Ole Singstad who designed the revolutionary ventilation system and eventually took over as Chief Engineer for the Holland Tunnel would go on to design the rest of Manhattan's underwater tunnels--the Lincoln, the Queens-Midtown and the Brooklyn-Battery.)
10--Herman Melville also worked on the Hudson--at the Gansevoort Docks, as a customs inspector. After the publication of Bartleby the Scrivener and Moby Dick and after the possible suicide of one of his sons, he took this bureaucratic post and worked there for almost twenty years. He retired in 1886 and died in 1891. Unlike, say, Fitz Greene Halleck who died, convinced his poetry would last through the ages (he has a statue on the Mall in Central Park along with major figures like Shakespeare, Columbus, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott), Melville died thinking his contributions to literature would fade with him. (Only one newspaper carried an obituary--and a brief one at that--for one of America's most significant authors.) There was some attention paid to his work upon his death, but there would be no major revival until a generation later, in the 1920's, when many of his works were revisited and reissued and one of his novellas, Billy Budd, was published for the first time. It would prove extraordinarily successful, adapted into an opera and a film, and Moby Dick, of course, has come to be considered one of novels in American literature.