EDWARD HITCHCOCK was not the only
star in the firmament of American science and
philosophy in the nineteenth century, but he was
certainly one of the brightest. The son of a hatter
and farmer, he was raised among the wheat and rye
fields of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and expected to
pursue a farmer's life. But early on he developed a
"strong relish" for science. By the age of twenty-five
he had adopted his father's orthodox Christian faith
and set a dual path for his life, science and
Although Hitchcock's career as a
pastor would be brief, preaching and spreading the
Gospel would remain his highest calling. Nevertheless,
his scientific impulses could never be denied, his
spiritual life could not 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."
Hitchcock is best remembered for
his pioneering work in paleontology, particularly in
deciphering the fossilized tracks of the ancient
creatures we know today as dinosaurs. But he was also
the first State Geologist of Massachusetts and one of
the founders of the Association of American
Geologists, forerunner of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science.
Hitchcock was a lifelong advocate
for higher education. A professor at Amherst College
for nearly forty years, he was named president in 1845
and is credited with saving that institution from
dissolution. He promoted women's education (so long as
the sexes were educated separately, of course!) and
played a vital role in the founding of Mount Holyoke
College. He was also an early proponent of
agricultural education who lobbied successfully for
the establishment at Amherst of Massachusetts
Agricultural College, known today as the University of
For all Edward Hitchcock's
contributions to science, religion, and education in a
young America, his story has never been told - never,
that is, until now.
the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and
Legacy of Edward Hitchcock,
Massachusetts author Robert T. McMaster brings Edward
Hitchcock to life for his readers. Relying largely on
Hitchcock's own words from his letters, notes, and
other unpublished manuscripts, McMaster presents an
intimate view of the man, his scientific achievements
and his theological writings, as well as his battles
with powerful personal demons that threatened him at
every turn. Each chapter is introduced with a
vignette, a scene from the life of Edward Hitchcock or
his family, that reveals the humanity of the man with
dignity, charm, and humor.
For more information on All the Light Here Comes from
Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock
including a FREE SAMPLE and HOW TO ORDER, click here.
ALSO ON THESE PAGES
Full text of many of Hitchcock's unpublished works
including his sermons, notes, travel diaries, and
essays, a total of over 2000 pages, available here for
the first time.
Lists of Hitchcock's published works, works cited,
sermons, and descendants. Also "The World of Edward
Hitchcock Ten and Now: A Photographic Tour."
News, information, and anecdotes about Edward
Hitchcock and his family added by author Robert T.
McMaster and updated regularly.
THE BOOK: Reviews, excerpts, and ordering
information for All the
Light Here Comes from Above.
Newspaper stories, videos, and announcements of coming
events about All the Light
Here Comes from Above.
Recorded talks on the life and legacy of Edward
Hitchcock with author Robert T. McMaster.