Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hitchcock, Alfred

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HITCHCOCK, Alfred, surgeon, b. in Westminster, Vt., 17 Oct., 1813; d. in Fitchburg, Mass., 30 March, 1874. He was educated at Phillips Andover academy, was graduated in the medical department at Dartmouth in 1838, and at that of Jefferson college, Pa., in 1845, settling first in Ashley and afterward in Fitchburg, Mass., in the practice of his profession. He was frequently a member of the legislature between 1847 and 1855, was one of the executive council of Massachusetts in 1862-'4, special agent of the state to superintend the care of the wounded during the civil war, and in 1862 superintendent of the transportation of the wounded. Dr. Hitchcock was the second surgeon on record to perform the operation of œsophagotomy, and was one of the first to operate for strangulated hernia. He designed a stretcher, a surgical chair, and a splint, made two important changes in surgical instruments, and discovered two medical preparations. Dartmouth gave him the degree of A. M. in 1844. Besides several monographs and addresses, he published “Christianity and Medical Science” (Boston, 1867). — His son, James Ripley Wellman, author, b. in Fitchburg, Mass., 3 July, 1857, was graduated at Harvard in 1877, was afterward a special student there in fine arts and philosophy, and for one year attended lectures at the New York college of physicians and surgeons. Having adopted literature as a profession, he settled in New York, and is a constant contributor to magazines and newspapers, especially as an art critic. His writings include “The Western Art Movement” (New York, 1885); “A Study of George Jenness,” with a catalogue of the Jenness exhibition (1885); “Etching in America” (1887); and the text accompanying “Some Modern Etchings” (1884); “Recent American Etchings” (1885); “Notable American Etchings” (1886); and “Representative American Etchings” (1887).