Hamlin, Augustus (1829 - 1905)

Genre: Illustrator, Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction - Scholarly

Augustus Choate Hamlin was born in Columbia, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College (1851) and from Harvard Medical School (1857). After studying in Europe for two years, he returned to Bangor to practice medicine. In April, 1861, he entered the Civil War as assistant surgeon of the Second Maine Brigade, was promoted in 1862 to brigade surgeon, and in 1863 became a medical inspector. He served in the army for the duration of the war and was entrusted with important commands in the Army of the Potomac (Medical Director) and in the Army of Western Virginia. He was afterward promoted to one of the highest positions, that of Medical Inspector, in the staff of the regular army and served with distinction in the Army of the South during the famous siege of Fort Wagner.

After his return to Bangor, Dr. Hamlin served as the Surgeon-General of Maine (1882-1886) under Gov. Robie, and is known as one of the most distinguished medical officers in New England history. He also served as Bangor's mayor ( 1879-1880). A lover of gems and minerals, he purchased the Mount Mica farm in Oxford County, Maine in order to mine the pegmatite there.

He was also an accomplished painter and made small watercolor paintings of many of his tourmaline crystals and he also exhibited a painting titled Mount Katahdin at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York City (1859). Most of the originals of his watercolors are held in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum.

As an author, he contributed articles to the medical journals, wrote a couple of Civil War-related histories, and wrote several books about gems and minerals.

Selected Bibliography

  • Martyria; Or, Andersonville Prison (1866)
  • The Tourmaline: Its Relation as a Gem; Its Complex Nature; Its Wonderful Physical Properties (1873)
  • Leisure Hours Among the Gems (1884)
  • The History of Mount Mica of Maine, U.S.A. and Its Wonderful Deposits of Matchless Tourmalines (1895)
  • the Battle of Chancellorsville; The Attack of Stonewall Jackson and His Army Upon the Right Flank of the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville, Virginia, on ... (1896)
  • The Tourmaline; The History of Mount Mica of Maine, U.S.A. (2009)

Selected Resources

-The Hamlin Family Papers at the University of Maine