Book Talk with Dr. Robert T McMaster on his biography of Edwards Hitchcock
Jacob Edwards Library

Thursday, Sep. 15, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Dr. Robert (Bob) T. McMaster has just published a biography of one of this state’s most illustrious native sons, Edward Hitchcock, entitled All the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock (ISBN 978-0-9856944-9-4). Join us for a presentation on the work of this early geologist on Thursday, September 15th, 2022 at 6:30 pm.

Raised among the wheat and rye fields of Deerfield, Massachusetts, Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864) was expected to pursue a farmer's life, but early on he developed a "strong relish" for science. He went on to become one of the most influential American scientists of the nineteenth century, gaining international acclaim for his pioneering research on the dinosaur footprints of the Connecticut Valley. He was appointed the first State Geologist of Massachusetts and is recognized as one of the first American geologists to embrace the theory of continental glaciation.   

 

Like many scientists of his day, Hitchcock was also an ordained Christian minister. But his scientific impulses could never be denied nor his spiritual life deflect him from the pursuit of scientific truth. In that respect he was perhaps unique for his time–and for today–for he saw no conflict between science and religion. "When rightly interpreted and understood," he wrote, "they will appear in perfect unison."

Professor Hitchcock was much beloved and admired at Amherst College where he taught for nearly forty years. He was appointed president of Amherst in 1845 when the college was on the brink of bankruptcy and is credited with saving that venerable institution from dissolution during his nine-year presidency.

My book, the first biography ever written of Edward Hitchcock, relies largely on his own words from his letters, notes, and other unpublished manuscripts. It provides an intimate view of  the man, his scientific achievements, his theological writings, as well as his battles with powerful personal demons that confronted him at every turn.

For more information visit  www.EdwardHitchcock.com

 

Sponsored by Friends of Jacob Edwards Library.
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