Hitchcock, Edward, Dd, Lld
Hitchcock, Edward, D.D., LL.D.
was born in Old Deerfield, Mass., May 24, 1793. Poverty, general ill health, and, worse than all, an affection of his eyes, prevented him from the completion of a collegiate course: but, despite this, he succeeded in obtaining in 1816 the principalship of the academy in his native place, and his success as a teacher received the recognition of Yale College in the degree of M.A., which that institution of learning conferred on him only two years later. — In 1819 he went to Yale, and studied theology under Dr. Taylor for about three years. His first and only settlement in the ministry was at Conway, where he remained from 1821 to 1825, when again failing health induced him to accept the professorship of natural history and chemistry in Amherst College, which gave him the prospect of more exercise and less exhaustive labors. He entered this new position after some preparatory study under Prof. Silliman, senior, of Yale College. In 1845 he was elected president of Amherst College, and professor of natural theology and geology. In 1854 he resigned the presidency, but still continued in the chair of geology. He died Feb. 27, 1864. Dr. Hitchcock is especially deserving of our recognition in this place on account of his Religion of Geology and its connected Sciences (Boston, 1851, 12mo), the result of thirty years' study and reflection, which had a very extended circulation both in this country and in Europe. Among Dr. Hitchcock's peculiar literary traits (see the Biblioth. Sacra, July, 1851, p. 662, 663) may be mentioned "his mode of answering the objection to the resurrection of the body; his proofs from geology of the benevolence of God, of special providence, and of special divine interposition in nature" (comp. his articles in Bib. Sacra, 10:166-194, "Relations and Duties of the Philosopherarid Theologian;" and 11:776-800, "Special Divine Interpositions in Nature"). Dr. William S. Tyler, professor in Amherst College, who preached a discourse at Dr. Hitchcock's funeral, which has been printed, gave "an admirable estimate and summary of his life, character, attainments, and influence." — Appleton's Cyclop. 9, 210, and Annual, 1868, p. 1428; Chambers, Cyclop. 5, 379; Amer. Presb. Rev. July 1864, p. 528.