Zina Pitcher Edit Profile
He attended Middlebury College in Vermont and graduated in medicine in 1822.
He was the younger brother of Nathaniel Pitcher, a future Governor of New York. Pitcher joined the Army in 1822 as an assistant surgeon, and was promoted to the rank of major in 1836 as a full surgeon. He was president of the Army Medical Board in 1835, and resigned from the Army at the end of 1836.
Pitcher was also an excellent botanist (not uncommon for medical professionals of his day). He collected and studied plants in the Great Lakes region, and the exceedingly rare Pitcher's thistle (Cirsium pitcheri) was first collected by him from the Grand Sable Dunes during his service as an Army surgeon. Subsequently it was named for him as well.
At times Pitcher teamed with botanist Thomas Nuttall. He moved to Detroit, and was elected mayor for two separate terms, once from 1840–1841 and again in 1843. He was also a regent of the University of Michigan from 1837 until 1852.
He served as president of the American Medical Association from 1856–1857, presiding over its annual meeting in Detroit. He died in Detroit on April 5, 1872 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. The Zina Pitcher Collegiate Professorship of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School
Zina Pitcher Place, a street leading into the University of Michigan Medical Center
The Great Lakes endemic plant, Pitcher's thistle, named for its discoverer.
He was a president of the American Medical Association, a two-time mayor of Detroit and a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan.
Married Anne Sheldon, 1824. Married second, Emily L. (Montgomery) Backus, 1867.