|Birth: ||Jul. 16, 1785|
|Death: ||Nov. 16, 1863|
War of 1812 Veteran
Micajah Collins Hawkes, the son of Matthew and Ruth Collins Hawkes, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, July 16,1785. He was brought up as a Quaker, and remained a member of that sect until he was dismissed for marrying "outside of the Meeting." He worked on his father's farm until he was of age, then studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, and was graduated the oldest in the class of 1808, having as classmates, Edward Everett, John Godfrey Palfrey, John Adams Dix, Tared Sparks and William Willis, men famous in American history.
Soon after graduating he studied medicine with Dr. William Ingalls (q. v.), of Boston, and was about ready to begin practice when the War of 1812 began. He enlisted as surgeon's mate on a privateer and was captured but soon released. Directly afterward he was appointed surgeon to the U. S. Sloop of War Hornet, Captain James Lawrence, and was present at the defeat of the British Brig Peacock, off Demerara, February 24, 1813. As the Peacock was sinking a sailor brought off to Dr. Hawkes a medical chest which may still be seen at Eastport, Maine. The Hornet, having on board the many wounded and the rescued survivors of the Peacock, made for New York and arrived there safely, but during the voyage Dr. Hawkes met with an accident which made him slightly lame for life.
Directly after these events he resumed his studies in Boston, and was asked to go out as surgeon to the Chesapeake, but declined the urgent and flattering invitation of Captain Lawrence because the crew were untrained and unfit to fight. History tells us all too sadly of the defeat of .the Chesapeake, of the death of the lamented Lawrence in the fight with the Shannon off Boston Light, June 1, 1813, and testified to the good judgment of Dr. Hawkes.
Dr. Hawkes obtained his medical degree at Brown University in 1814, practised in Boston, and August 6, 1815, married Sally Wheeler of Salem, Massachusetts. About a year later, leading physicians of Boston were asked to send to Eastport, Maine, some young physician to take the practice of Dr. Barstow, and Dr. Hawkes was chosen for the position. He opened his office in that town June 17, 1817, soon became well known as a careful physician, and by some good operations obtained control of nearly all the surgical cases occurring for years in that region. He was also at one time contract surgeon to the garrison, and later on, collector of the port, and of the district of Passamaquoddy, and then without warning, and at a time when his prospects seemed most cheerful, he was made the actual defendant in a suit for malpractice which over shadowed him for five long years, but from which he emerged victorious after three trials before the courts of Maine.
After the ending of his law suit in 1826, Dr. Hawkes resumed the quiet current of his practice and worked hard to regain the money spent in defending his good name- People liked and respected him, his practice flourished, he wrote one or two medical papers for publication, and drove about with his good old horse "Ridgeway" hitched into the shafts of a chaise, which was decorated on both sides with a picture of the good Samaritan of the New Testament. A similar picture in flamboyant colors likewise adorned the facade of his hospitable mansion in Eastport. He wore his hair in a cue to the end of his days, and had an intense dislike for birds, and in order to prevent robins from robbing his cherry trees of their fruit, he tied to the branches shining balls of tinsel to frighten them away. The visitor to Eastport of today should not fail to look in at the old homestead of Dr. Hawkes, and note the handsome mahogany wainscoting of one or two of the living rooms, whilst a careful study of the various pamphlets by Mr. Lowell and the celebrated "Open Letter" of Dr. John Collins Warren to Chief Justice Isaac Parker will well repay the student of American medical history.
Sarah A Wheeler Hawkes (1795 - 1879)*
Plot: East A, Plot: 138
Created by: FullOBlarney
Record added: Oct 26, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60651289