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Headmaster of Deerfield Academy in his younger years from 1815-1819, Edward Hitchcock's life was a full one. Son of a hatter, Justin (1722-1822), Edward showed an early interest in science, particularly astronomy, and religion. He studied divinity at Yale, served as pastor of a parish in Conway, Massachusetts, and then taught geology, mineralogy, and natural science at Amherst College. He served as state geologist for Massachusetts and, in 1844, became President of Amherst College. Dr. Hitchcock continued to teach theology and geology during his nine-year tenure as president.