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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Scott, Andrew

by T. C. Parramore, 1994

d. 1767

Andrew Scott, physician and natural scientist, left Prince Georges County, Md., and settled in North Carolina about 1753. While practicing in Maryland, Dr. Scott on at least one occasion sent a collection of thirty-six indigenous plants of that colony to Dr. Richard Middleton Massey, an English botanist. Massey eventually gave these specimens to Dr. Hans Sloan, the great Irish naturalist, and they became a part of the collections that formed the beginnings of the British Museum. Scott's specimens are still among the museum's holdings. In 1739 Scott wrote to Sloan offering some seeds and seeking his influence with Lord Baltimore in securing an appointment as sheriff of Prince Georges County, but nothing seems to have come of it. Lord Petre was another of Scott's British correspondents and received seeds from him.

In or about 1753 Scott moved to Bath and practiced medicine there for a time before settling permanently at New Bern in 1757. An Anglican layman and justice of the peace, he was evidently New Bern's foremost physician during the decade of his residence there. He was a personal friend of Samuel Johnston, Sr., father of the future governor of the same name, and attended the elder Johnston at his deathbed in the fall of 1757. He also appears to have pioneered in the use of smallpox vaccine, an effort that earned him a court appearance and was apparently the only occasion in the history of the colony when a physician experimented with this controversial procedure.

An inventory of Scott's estate in 1767 lists among other items in his library one entitled "Vegetable Kingdom MS by A. Scott (1 Vol.)." This was evidently a herbal compiled by the doctor and indicates that he had continued to pursue his naturalistic investigations as a resident of North Carolina. The manuscript, along with the doctor's other personal belongings, appears to have been sent to his brother George in Maryland by executors of the estate.


W. H. Brown, ed., Archives of Maryland: Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732–1753 (1908).

Craven County Miscellaneous Estate Papers (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

J. E. Dandy, ed., The Sloane Herbarium (1958).

Dorothy Long, "Smallpox in North Carolina," North Carolina Medical Journal 16 (October 1955).

Andrew Scott to Samuel Johnston, 28 Oct. 1757 (Hayes Collection, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Additional Resources:

UNC University Library. "Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council. North Carolina. Council. May 01, 1758-May 04, 1758. Volume 05, Page 992." Documenting the American South: Colonial and State Records. (accessed July 15, 2014).

UNC University Library. "Report by the Committee of both Houses of the North Carolina General Assembly concerning public claims. North Carolina. General Assembly. May 20, 1760. Volume 22, Pages 818-823." Documenting the American South: Colonial and State Records. (accessed July 15, 2014).

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