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MERCER


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MERCIER


the province of Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna. The next year he com- manded part of the forces under Gen. Forbes in the expedition against Fort Du Quesne, and during this war Mercer made the acquaintance of Washington and a friendship sprung up between them which lead to Virginia becoming the home of the former on the advice of the latter.

Dr. Mercer some time after the end of the French and Indian wars removed to Virginia and settled in Fredericksburg. Here he lived and practised until the be- ginning of the Revolution. The reputat- ion he gained as a physician and citizen is attested by an English traveller who visited Fredericksburg during the Revolu- tion, an account of which visit was pub- lished in 1784. He wrote " In Fredericks- burg I called upon a worthy and intimate friend, Dr. Hugh Mercer, a physician of great eminence and merit, and, as a man, possessed of almost every virtue and accomplishment."

The building where the doctor had his consulting room and apothecary's shop is still standing (1908) and is situated on a corner of Princess Ann and Amelia streets.

The beginning of the Revolution found him actively engaged in raising and drill- ing troops, for, abandoning his large and lucrative practice he entered the service of the colonies as colonel of the third Vir- ginia continentals. In appreciation of his distinguished services he was soon pro- moted to be a brigadier-general, the date of his appointment being June 5, 1776. Gen. Mercer participated with great dis- tinction in the campaigns of Washington, until refusing to surrender, he was club- bed and bayonetted, and left for dead on the field of Princeton. Despite, however, his seven bayonet wounds of the body and many of the head from the butts of muskets, be was not yet dead, and after the battle was removed to a farm-house, where he was tenderly cared for by Mrs. Clark and her daughter, the wife and child of the owner of the house, and by Maj. Lewis, whom Gen. Washington sent for the purpose. The surgeons who attended him were Dr. Benjamin Rush


and Dr. Archibald Alexander, of Virginia. In spite of every care and attention that could be given him, he succumbed to his wounds, passing away on January 12, 1777. He was buried in Christ Church yard, Philadelphia. Many years later his remains were removed to Laurel Hill Cemetery and a monument erected to his memory by the St. Andrew's Society, of which he had become a member in 1757. This monument was dedicated on November 26, 1840, and bears as part of its inscription these words: " Gen. Mercer, a physician of Fredericksburg, in Virginia, was distinguished for his skill and learn- ing, his gentleness and decision, his re- finement and humanity, his elevated hon- our and his devotion to the cause of civil and religious liberty."

Soon after his death it was recommend- ed that a monument be erected at Fred- ericksburg and on June 28,1902, an act was passed by Congress directing that the resolution of 1777 be carried into effect.

Mercer married not long after coming to Fredericksburg Isabella Gordon of that town and had a daughter and four sons. A portrait of Mercer is in possession of the Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy, and in the historical paintings of the battle of Prin- ceton by Peale, at Princeton, and by Trumbull at New York, he is given a prominent position.

R. M. S.

Various Encyclopedias of American Bio- graphy, Southern Messenger, April, 1838. The Life of Hugh Mercer, John T. Goolrick.

Mercier, Alfred (1816-1894).

Alfred Mercier better known as a writer than a doctor, was born at Mc- Donough, Louisana, June 3, 1816. In his fourteenth year he was sent to France to be educated. In 1842 he published at Paris a volume of poems, the principal of which were "La Rose de Smyrne" and "L'Ermite de Niagara" which were high- ly praised in the Revue de Paris. He travelled extensively through Europe and made a philosophic study of men and things. In 1848 he wrote a romance for " La Reforme," a prominent literary jour-