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Edward and Mary Judson Hitchcock Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MA.00002

Scope and Contents

The Edward (AC 1849) and Mary Judson Hitchcock Family Papers document the professional activities and personal life of Edward "Doc" Hitchcock, Mary Judson Hitchcock and the Hitchcock and Judson families, spanning more than one hundred years, from 1840 to 1962. The bulk of the material falls into the period 1850-1911. The Papers occupy approximately 25 linear feet of shelf space.

The breadth of Edward Hitchcock's career, professional activities and personal life are represented in the Papers and reflect his multiple roles and interests as an educator in the field of physical education and hygiene, a faculty member, a physician and family man. Because of Hitchcock's overlapping professional and personal commitments, a researcher should check all series in the Papers for relevant material.

These papers include professional and personal correspondence; published and unpublished works by Hitchcock; tributes to, biographical material and works about Hitchcock; a collection of family diaries kept during the trips he made and letters to and from his family; and manuscript and printed music used by Hitchcock while playing his cello.

Mary Judson Hitchcock is less thoroughly represented in the Papers. The material that has survived documents her social and community activities as well as her family responsibilities. It provides a picture of her roles as wife, mother, member of the College and town community, and genealogist.

The Papers also include material relating to Edward and Mary's children, Edward (AC 1878), Caroline, Lucy, Jane Elizabeth, John (AC 1889) and his wife, Mary W. Bryan Hitchcock, and Albert and his wife, Charlotte Emerson Hitchcock. Much of this material is personal correspondence, correspondence among family members, photographs, genealogical material, and some documentation of the children's professional activities. There is a small amount of material relating to Mary Judson Hitchcock's relations, the Judson and Lewis families.

Chronologies of the lives of Edward "Doc" Hitchcock and Mary Judson Hitchcock are located on pages 4 and 7, respectively.

Dates

  • 1840-1962
  • Majority of material found within 1850-1911

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the Edward (AC 1849) and Mary Judson Hitchcock Family Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes. Materials from other institutions which are found in the Hitchcock Papers cannot be duplicated, as indicated.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849) was born in 1828, three years after the fledgling Amherst College received its charter. He was the oldest son of geologist and Amherst College President Edward Hitchcock and his wife, artist Orra White Hitchcock. He graduated from Amherst with the Class of 1849. After receiving an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, Hitchcock returned to Amherst where he served on the faculty as Professor of Hygiene and Physical Education for fifty years, beginning in 1861. Affectionately known as "Old Doc," he also served as the college physician and as de facto collector of Amherst College history. As noted at the time of his death on February 15, 1911, "his life [was] inseparably linked with the life of the College."

Hitchcock was a major figure in the area of collegiate physical education. In 1861 he was called to Amherst to head the newly created Department of Physical Education and Hygiene, the first of its kind in the country. Hitchcock believed in the importance of sound physical health for college students so that the mind could accomplish its best work and the students could look forward to "the promised labor of a long life." To achieve that goal, he developed systems of physical training (a precursor of today's fitness exercises) intended to appeal to the students both mentally and physically. His program at Amherst, fine-tuned over the next fifty years, became a model for college and secondary school programs nationally and internationally. The development of this first college program was Hitchcock's major contribution to the field of physical education.

Hitchcock devoted his life to the study of comparative anatomy, focusing particularly in the area of tests and measurements. In the fall of 1861, Hitchcock began his system of anthropometric measurements documenting the physical size and strength of every freshman for more than 20 years. These measurements became the American standard for comparative purposes and earned Hitchcock the reputation as "one of the pioneers in the field of anthropometrics."

In addition to heading the Department of Physical Education and Hygiene at Amherst, Hitchcock taught physiology, comparative anatomy, and hygiene. He served as Dean of the College for many years.

Hitchcock was active in his profession and held numerous positions in professional societies, many of which he helped to establish. He wrote largely on physical education and prepared, with his father, one work on human physiology. (See the Edward Hitchcock Chronology.)

One of Hitchcock's farsighted projects was to gather together the "raw materials" of the history of the College into what became known as the Memorabilia Collection. This collection became the foundation of today's Amherst College Archives and Special Collections. He also gave the College a large collection of American Indian relics, which he started as a boy and actively added to all his life.

Hitchcock's broad interests were not limited to the College. He was active in town and state life and served for many years on the Massachusetts Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity and as a trustee of both Williston Seminary and Mount Holyoke College. (See the Edward Hitchcock Chronology.)

Hitchcock was kind, broad-minded, vigorous, optimistic, honest, a faithfully religious man with shrewd common sense, and loyal to the College. He was devoted to his students and believed in them and their well-being, serving as inspiration, helper, and sometimes their salvation. His College obituary notes: "Many a man who has struggled through college against overwhelming odds of financial, moral, or spiritual difficulties or hindrances will never forget the help which he received from Dr. Hitchcock, a help known only to the two." Hitchcock remains one of Amherst's most beloved faculty members, mourned by scores of alumni and townspeople who remembered him for his capacity for friendship and his "great heart."

Edward Hitchcock died on February 15, 1911 with the cause of death listed as angina pectoris. Dr. Paul C. Phillips (AC 1888), Hitchcock's colleague and successor in the Department of Physical Education and Hygiene, wrote of Hitchcock three years after his death: "It is three years since he left us but his spirit is with us still, the inspiration of his life made a different atmosphere at Amherst; his memory is among its most precious heritages."

In 1853, Hitchcock married Mary L. Judson (1831-1918). Together they had ten children, two of whom were graduates of Amherst. Mary Judson Hitchcock was devoted to her family and to the communities of Amherst College and the town. Described as a "remarkable woman," Mrs. Hitchcock was known as cheerful, inspiring, and helpful. Her obituary noted that "as the helmsman of the family she was guided by a healthy philosophy and right living and thinking." The Hitchcocks lived most of their life together in a house on College Street, built two years after they came to Amherst. Their home was described as "the life of the college world at Amherst."

Both Edward and Mary Judson Hitchcock are buried in Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst.

EDWARD"DOC" (AC 1849) HITCHCOCK

1828 May 23
Born in Amherst, Mass.
Parents: Edward Hitchcock (President of Amherst College 1845-54) and Orra White Hitchcock
1837-1843
Attends Amherst Academy, Amherst, Mass.
1844
Attends Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass.
1845-1849
Attends Amherst College
1849
Graduates from Amherst College
1849-1850
Studies medicine with David J. Thompson, M.D., Northampton, Mass.
1850-1852, 1853-1860
Instructor of chemistry, natural history, and elocution, Williston Seminary
1850-1853
Attends Harvard Medical School
1852
M.A. Amherst College
1853
M.D. Harvard Medical School
1853 November 30
Marriage to Mary L. Judson, daughter of David Judson and Phebe Lewis, Stratford, Conn.Ten children, seven survived:
1854
Edward (AC 1878)
1857
Caroline Judson
1859
Charles Nicholas
1861
Lucy Clark
1863
Jane Elizabeth
1865
Henry Judson (d. 1867)
1868
Ruth Sherman (d. 1868)
1869
John Sawyer(AC 1889)
1871
Lewis Henry (d. 1873)
1874
Albert White
1860
Elementary Anatomy and Physiology, written with his father, Edward Hitchcock, geologist and President of Amherst College, 1845-1854
1860
Travels in France (Paris) and England (London) to observe medical practices with brother-in-law Pixlee Judson
1860-1861
Studies comparative anatomy with Sir Richard Owen,British Museum, London, England
1861-1911
Teaches at Amherst College becoming the Parmly Billings Professor of Hygiene and Physical Education
1861
Begins systematic scientific anthropometric measurements of every freshman at Amherst College
1864
Incorporator of First National Bank
1864-1883
Trustee, Northampton Lunatic Hospital
1869-1911
Trustee, Mount Holyoke College
1872-1873
Travels around the world with fellow professor Julius H. Seelye (AC 1849), future President of Amherst College (1877-1890)
1872-1875
Member, Amherst (town) School Committee
1879-1906
Member of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity
1885
Founder, American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education
1885-1888
President, American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education
1887
Published An Anthropometric Manual; revised in 1889, 1893, and 1900
1888-1898
Member, National Council, American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education
1891-1911
Trustee, Clark Institute, Northampton, Mass.
1891-1911
Trustee, Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass.
1892
Travels to Brazil with Mary Judson Hitchcock and daughter Lucy
1897
Charter member of the Society of College Gymnasium Directors (precursor to the College Physical Education Association)
1898
Board of Directors, First National Bank
1898
Travels to the Mediterranean and Hyres, France, with Mary Judson Hitchcock
1898-1899
Director, Amherst Water Company
1898-1910
Dean of the Faculty, Amherst College
1899
L.L.D.Amherst College (honorary)
1903
Member, [Amherst] Old Home Week Celebration Committee
1905
Honorary member, American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education
1911 February 15
Dies in Amherst, Mass.; cause of death described as angina pectoris
1911 February 18
Funeral held at the College Church, burial in Wildwood Cemetery

MARY JUDSON HITCHCOCK

1831 January 16
Educated at home in New York City and Stratford, Conn.
Parents: David Judson
Phebe Lewis
Born in New York City, New York
1853 November 30
Marriage to Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849), Stratford, Conn. Ten children, seven survived:
1854
Edward (AC 1878)
1857
Caroline Judson
1859
Charles Nicholas
1861
Lucy Clark
1863
Jane Elizabeth
1865
Henry Judson (d. 1867)
1868
Ruth Sherman (d. 1868)
1869
John Sawyer(AC 1889)
1871
Lewis Henry (d. 1873)
1874
Albert White
1853-1861
Residence in Easthampton, Mass., where Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849) serves as instructor of chemistry, natural history and elocution at Williston Seminary
1861
Moves to Amherst, Mass., where Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849) joins the faculty of Amherst College as Professor of Hygiene and Physical Education
1861-1863
Resides in the Merrill house on Maple Avenue
1863-1918
Resides in new house at 12 College Street, where she lives for 55 years
1892
Travels to Brazil with Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849) and daughter Lucy
1898
Travels to the Mediterranean and Hyres, France, with Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849)
1917-1918
Confined to her home by illness
1918 May 9
Dies at the age of 80 at home on College Street, Amherst, Mass.
1918 May 11
Funeral services held at home; burial in Wildwood Cemetery

Extent

25 Linear feet (25 archives boxes, 4 half archives boxes, 3 flat boxes, 3 oversize flat boxes, 2 oversize archives boxes, map case drawer)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Papers documenting the professional activities and personal life of Edward "Doc" Hitchcock, Mary Judson Hitchcock and the Hitchcock and Judson families. "Doc" Hitchcock's papers include letters, published and unpublished writings, travel diaries, and manuscript and printed music used by Hitchcock while playing the cello. They reflect his roles and interests as an educator in physical education and hygiene, a faculty member, physician and family man. Papers of his wife, Mary Judson Hitchcock, include letters, legal records and photographs documenting her roles as wife, mother, member of the College and town community, and genealogist. Also included are letters and other personal papers of the Hitchcocks' children Edward, Caroline, Lucy, Jane, John and Albert, as well as genealogical information on the Hitchcock and Judson families. The papers include letters written to Mary W. Bryan Hitchcock in 1898 by her husband John Sawyer Hitchcock (AC 1889) and brother-in-law Albert Hitchcock while serving in Cuba during the Spanish American War, where they contracted malaria.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into nineteen series:
  1. Series 1: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Personal Affairs [1840-1962]
  2. Series 2: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Diaries and Reminiscences [1870-1904]
  3. Series 3: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Personal Correspondence [1851-1921]
  4. Series 4: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Professional Correspondence [1850-1911]
  5. Series 5: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Travel [1860-1898]
  6. Series 6: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Published Writings [1855-1909]
  7. Series 7: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Music [1852-1892]
  8. Series 8: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1849): Images [1862-ca. 1940's]
  9. Series 9: Mary Judson Hitchcock: Personal Affairs [1853-1918]
  10. Series 10: Mary Judson Hitchcock: Correspondence [1848-1915]
  11. Series 11: Hitchcock Family Genealogical Materials [1893-1905]
  12. Series 12: Edward Hitchcock (AC 1878) Family [1854-1940]
  13. Series 13: Caroline J. Hitchcock [1874-1934]
  14. Series 14: Lucy C. Hitchcock [1874-1938]
  15. Series 15: Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock [1882-1932]
  16. Series 16: John S. (AC 1889) and Mary W. Bryan Hitchcock [1884-1933]
  17. Series 17: Albert W. and Charlotte Emerson Hitchcock [1876-1931]
  18. Series 18: Judson Family [1735-1912]
  19. Series 19: Miscellaneous [1889, Undated]

Arrangement

Since different parts of the Papers were received at various times, there is no evidence of original order. In about 1974, the bulk of the Papers was sorted and material in some sections was put in chronological order. Between 1996 and 1999, the Papers were reviewed and arranged and described following current archival standards. The result is more detailed access to information in all parts of the Papers. Where necessary, documentation about previous handling was maintained.

Note: Information relating to women in the family is filed under their birth names, not married names.
  1. Charlotte M. Barrows Hitchcock
    see: Charlotte M. Barrows
  2. Martha B. Barrows Hitchcock
    see: Martha B. Barrows
  3. Mary W. Bryan Hitchcock
    see: Mary W. Bryan
  4. Charlotte Emerson Hitchcock
    see: Charlotte Emerson
  5. Sarah Fuertes Hitchcock
    see: Sarah Fuertes
  6. Carrie Goodnow Hitchcock
    see: Carrie Goodnow
  7. Catharine Hitchcock Storrs
    see: Catharine Hitchcock
  8. Emily Hitchcock Terry
    see: Emily Hitchcock
  9. Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Putnam
    see: Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock
  10. Mary Judson Hitchcock
    see: Mary L. Judson
  11. Phebe Lewis Judson
    see: Phebe Lewis

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in the Edward (AC 1849) and Mary Judson Hitchcock Family Papers were given to the College in the early twentieth century by Edward Hitchcock, son of President Edward and Orra White Hitchcock. Additional materials were collected from members of the Hitchcock family and added by Margaret Hitchcock Emerson, Edward and Mary Judson Hitchcock's granddaughter, during the 1940s.
Status
Completed
Author
Daria D'Arienzo, Barbara Trippel Simmons, Briana Cahill, Margaret Dakin
Date
2002
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299