The Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Book Bag column features All the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock, by local author Robert T. McMaster (UnQuomonk Press). Hitchcock (1793–1864) was a pastor, geologist and paleontologist who taught at Amherst and served as the College’s third president.
“In an introduction to this in-depth work, for which he says he’s relied heavily on Hitchcock’s voluminous writings—studies, letters, diary entries, sermons—McMaster recalls visiting the Pratt Museum of Natural History at Amherst as a boy and being impressed even then with the number of artifacts, such as dinosaur tracks in stone, that Hitchcock had discovered,” DHG staff writer Steve Pfarrer notes in the column.
Pfarrer writes that Hitchcock “is remembered as well for helping rescue Amherst College from dire financial circumstances after he became president in 1845, and for his promotion of women’s education.”
McMaster’s book also gives credit to Edward’s wife, Orra White Hitchcock, a scientific illustrator who bolstered her husband’s work with both her artistic talent and her emotional support.