Lynchburg Press, Thursday 02/11/1819
Dr. Shannon Higginbotham (ca 1796-1819) VA/PA
DIEDÂ—At Philadelphia, on the 22d ultime, Dr. SHANNON HIGGINBOTHAM, son of Mr. William Higginbotham, of Amherst County, Va., in the 23d year of his ageÂ—beloved, and lamented by all who knew him! Here the pen might drop, and let Â“impressive silence speak,Â” for his eulogy is written on the hearts of his friends; of all who were of his acquaintanceÂ—But society has occasion, and justly, to deplore the premature loss of so much worth.
This excellent young man from early childhood, seemed to entertain just conceptions of the great importance of education, and the acquirement of useful knowledge, as the means by which man became fitted to perform some useful part, on the theatre of life. This correct impression he never lost sight ofÂ—he voluntarily subjected himself, throughout the last 12 or 14 years, to the most rigid discipline, and with an assiduous perseverance, but seldom equaled, probably never surpassed; devoted this important period of life, to the attainment of that high destiny, where the hopes and just anticipations of his friends had already placed him; and to the credit of his parents, be it said, they never thwarted his course, but sustained him with an unsparing hand, until at the goal of full fruition, and ripening to maturity, the fruits of their constancy, and their solace, sank together in the dust! It pleased a kind providence, thus to chasten surviving relations, and to bereave society of an ornament, of which it might well be proud! He had acquired a correct understanding of the most useful languages , ancient and modernÂ—had devoted much of his time to science and the artsÂ—and thus having become acquainted with all, he judiciously selected Â“the healing artÂ” as that in which he was likely to become most useful to his country. For this purpose, he had, with unabated labor and attention, employed the last three years of his life, to the particular study of the science of medicine; and such was his proficiency, it might be fairly said, without exaggeration, that no young man of his age, (with the opportunities afforded him) ever entered the University of Pennsylvania, with capacity and acquirements more extensive. It was while attending a course of lectures at this Â“UniversityÂ” he died.
To say thus much and no more, would be to leave the better part untold, and doing an act of injustice to the virtuous dead; but to do this as becomes us, a misfortune, not unfrequently, occurs, should we say to little, in fearing to say too much. The writer was personally, well acquainted with the subject of this obituary notice, from his infancy to his death; and although he has the will to offer a much higher tribute of respect to departed merit, then his humble pen has power to dictate, he would not heedlessly cast the memory of a good man into shade, by overcharging his real character, or pourtry his worth in traits too highly coloured for real life; this would tend to obscure his fair claims to the benedictions of posterity, and endanger the keeping up an example worthy of imitation, to the living.
Then let it suffice to say, in the language of another friend, who was with him at his death, whose fellow student he was, and who has borne ample testimony to his worthÂ—Â“That his modestyÂ—his unassuming deportmentÂ—and above all, his moral rectitude, could not but engage the attention and admiration of all who knew him. In point of understandingÂ—persevering application to his studiesÂ—and his acquirements in the particular profession he had chosen for his future usefulness, he had few equals.Â”