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American Medical Biographies/Harrison, Samuel Alexander

Harrison, Samuel Alexander (1822–1890).

Samuel A. Harrison, physician and historian of Talbot County, Maryland, born at Clay's Hope farm in Saint Michael's district, Maryland, on October 10, 1822, was the son of Alexander Bradford Harrison and Eleanor, daughter of Colonel Perry Spencer, of Spencer Hall.

He graduated at Dickinson College in 1840, at the age of eighteen, then studied medicine at the University of Maryland, where he received his diploma in 1842. He began to practise, but impaired health induced him to relinquish this and to seek benefit in St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged in business. He declared that he had "little faith in medicine but great faith in surgery." In a few years he returned to Maryland and after a brief residence in Baltimore, moved to Talbot County, where he devoted himself to agriculture and literary work. From 1864 to 1867 he was superintendent of public schools in Talbot County.

Dr. Harrison's research and study of the history of the Eastern Shore section of Maryland resulted in numerous historical papers read before the Maryland Historical Society, and afterwards published by it. His writings on Talbot County, including Queen Anne's County and the western half of Caroline County, formerly part of Talbot, "comprise a concise and critical history"; they are used largely in the "History of Talbot County, Maryland, 1661–1861," by Oswald Tilghman (Baltimore, 1915), which bears on its title-page the legend, "Compiled principally from the literary relics of the late Samuel Alexander Harrison." Dr. Harrison's portrait forms the frontispiece to the book. In 1847 he married Martha Isabel, daughter of Benjamin Denny; his second wife was Mary Ann Rhodes, who survived him nineteen years. He had two daughters. One of them married Colonel Oswald Tilghman.

Among his historical manuscripts is a "History of the Church of England, and the Protestant Episcopal Church in Talbot." His manuscripts and scrapbooks are now deposited in the Maryland Historical Society.

Dr. Harrison died at "Foxley," the home of Colonel Tilghman, on May 29, 1890.