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In the summer of 1816, Stephen West Williams (1790-1855), a doctor in Deerfield, Massachusetts, gathered plant specimens from throughout the area surrounding Deerfield. Williams stated that he intended to investigate the medicinal properties of the plants he collected in the company of another local doctor, and Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864), principal of Deerfield Academy. In a volume accompanying his collection of specimens, Williams described the uses of plants that could be prepared into medicines.