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In the summer of 1816, Stephen West Williams (1790-1855), a doctor in Deerfield, Massachusetts, gathered plant samples from the area around Deerfield. Williams stated that he wanted to study the medicinal values of the plants he collected with another local doctor and Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864), principal of Deerfield Academy. In a book that goes with his collection of samples, Williams described the uses of plants that could be prepared into medicines.