Oliver Prescott

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Oliver Prescott (27 April 1731, in Groton, Massachusetts - 17 November 1804, in Groton) was a colonial-era physician, soldier and judge.


He graduated from Harvard in 1750, after which he was apprenticed to Ebenezer Robie of Sudbury,[1] and then practiced medicine in Groton. He returned to Harvard to get an M.A. in 1753.[1] He and Lydia Baldwin were wed in 1756. Three of their seven children died in an epidemic of 1765/6.

From 1779 until his death, he was judge of probate for Middlesex County. In 1780 he became one of the original[1] fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he was a trustee, patron, and benefactor of Groton Academy.


His son, also named Oliver (4 April 1762, Groton - 26 September 1827, Newburyport, Massachusetts), was also a physician. He graduated at Harvard in 1783, studied medicine with his father, and was surgeon of the forces that suppressed the Shays insurrection in 1787. Leaving a large practice in Groton, he removed to Newburyport in 1811, practising successfully there till his death. He was often a representative in the legislature, and was a founder, trustee, and treasurer of Groton Academy.

He contributed articles to the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, but is best known for a discourse before the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1813, entitled a “Dissertation on the Natural History and Medicinal Effects of Secale Cornutum, or Ergot,” which was republished in London, and translated into French and German.


  1. ^ a b c Eric Howard Christianson (1999). "Prescott, Oliver". American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press. 


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